Geoffroy's dwarf lemur, Greater dwarf lemur, Geoffroy's dwarf lemur
The greater dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus major ), or the Geoffroy's dwarf lemur, is a lemur that is widely distributed over the primary and secondary forests near the eastern coast of Madagascar. They are also found in northern parts of Madagascar. Greater dwarf lemurs live in forests and dry scrub areas. The head and body of the greater dwarf lemur can range from 167 to 264 millimeters in length, and 164 to 600 grams. Their tails can range from 195 to 310 millimeters in length.Show More
Greater dwarf lemurs are nocturnal. During the day, they sleep in nests of twigs, leaves, and grass, or hollowed sections of trees padded with dry leaves.
Their diet consists mostly of fruits, flowers, and nectar. Flower nectar is an important part of the diet from November to December. Sometimes they will also eat insects and small vertebrates. During the dry seasons they will store fat in their tail and become dormant.
Its fur is short, dense, grey or reddish brown, and there are dark circles of fur around the eyes. At the end of the wet season the tail will become somewhat swollen with fat.
The greater dwarf lemur is preyed upon by the ring-tailed mongoose (Galidia elegans ) during the dormant season. Other predators the Malagasy tree boa (Boa manditra ), the Madagascar buzzard (Buteo brachypterus ), and it is thought probably by the Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox ) as well, since the latter preys on other lemurs.Show Less
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Greater dwarf lemurs have short, dense fur and very long tails. At the end of the wet season their tails will become somewhat swollen with fat. The coat of these animals is grey or reddish brown, and there are dark circles of fur around the eyes. Their ears are thin and have small hairs. The eyes are large and adapted for night vision.
Greater dwarf lemurs are found in the eastern and northern parts of Madagascar. They live in forests and dry scrub areas.
Greater dwarf lemurs are nocturnal creatures. During the day, they sleep in nests of twigs, leaves, and grass, or hollowed sections of trees padded with dry leaves. They are usually live alone, but may spend some time with other lemurs when resting during the day. They have also been seen grooming each other. These animals are arboreal quadruped and move along the horizontal branches with a regular gait pattern involving all four limbs. They are not agile leapers. During the dry seasons Greater dwarf lemurs will store fat in their tail and become dormant in tree holes and hollows. Torpor may last a little bit more than a month and fat that is stored in the base of the tail is used during this time. Greater dwarf lemurs are not very vocal. They make soft calls to locate others. When disturbed, the animals will produce louder trills.
Greater dwarf lemurs are omnivorous. Their diet consists mostly of fruits, flowers, and nectar. Flower nectar is an important part of the diet from November to December. Sometimes they will also eat insects and small vertebrates.
Little is known about the mating system in Greater dwarf lemurs. They mate in October and births usually occur from November to February. Mothers build nests that are located at a height from 6 to 12 meters. Females generally give birth to twins after the gestation period that lasts around 70 days. Infants are born fully furred with open eyes. At first mothers carry babies in their mouths and by 3-4 weeks, infants start climbing and can follow after their mother. Infabts are nursed around 45 days and a month and a half after birth, they will become independent. Greater dwarf lemurs beocme reproductively mature at 10-14 months of age.
Greater dwarf lemurs suffer from the loss of their habitat due to slash-and-burn agriculture.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Greater dwarf lemur total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.
Due to eating fruits, Greater dwarf lemurs may help to disperse seeds and they may also help to pollinate plants when they eat nectar. These animals are also prey items for local predators such as the Ring-tailed mongoose, especially during the dormant season, the Malagasy tree boa and the Madagascar buzzard.