Know Your Primate: Lepilemur mustelinus

Order: Primates
Suborder: Strepsirrhini
Family: Lepilemuridae
Genus: Lepilemur
Species: Lepilemur mustelinus
Common Name: Weasel or Sportive Lemur
The genus Lepilemur contains anywhere from one to eight species – depending on who you talk to. Sportive lemurs live in deciduous forests in Madagascar and are nocturnal and folivorous.


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They are small primates – ranging up to 32 ounces in weight and 12 inches in length. They have a dental formula of 0.1.3.3/2.1.3.3 (they lack permanent upper incisors). The mandibular condyle has an articular surface that extends posteriorly and somewhat medially and is matched by a similar surface on the postglenoid process – a trait seen also in Megaladapis. The hindlimbs are longer than the forelimbs and the tail is shorter than the body. During the day they sleep in nests or tree hollows.
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They are vertical clingers and leapers while in trees, on the ground they hop bipedally. They have a large, bacteria filled caecum located at the base of the large intestine. Consequently, cellulose is broken down at the end of the digestive tract. Because of this, sportive lemurs, like rabbits, reingest their feces.
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Sportive lemurs are solitary animals. Male home ranges overlap with that of up to five females. The males are highly territorial and spend a lot of time defending their territory from other males.

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2 Responses

  1. I’ve put a link to this post up at Linnaeus’ Legacy.

  2. I’ve put a link to this post up at Linnaeus’ Legacy.

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