Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Mouse lemurs

Peters' mouse lemur (Microcebus myoxinus) Wikimedia Commons

Mouse lemurs are the smallest primates. Two new species have just been described bringing the total to twenty.

A previous post (here) emphasized that placentation in Malagasy lemurs is remarkably similar to that of the lorises and bush babies of Asia and Africa, i.e. diffuse in shape and epitheliochorial.

Mouse lemurs though have elaborated on this pattern. Firstly the diffuse shape is broken by a more compact disk-like portion. Secondly some areas of the placenta have become endotheliochorial through the local loss of uterine epithelium (Reng Z. Saugertierkd 1977; 42: 201.14).

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