September 8, 2016
Mouse Lemur Sleepover
- as seen by -Petra Lahann
Mouse lemurs are known to be solitary and territorial.
During their activity time at night, I observed them typically foraging on their own and spending time marking, patrolling, and defending their territories. Yet during the colder season of the year, I discovered that mouse lemurs, and particularly young males, showed a preference to sleep together during the daytime, cuddled up to each other in tree holes of very specific trees most likely to better regulate their body temperature and for safety reasons.
In one of those “communal sleeping trees” in my study area, I was able to count 24 mouse lemurs at top booking times (see photo). Some of them had traveled up to three-quarters of a mile and crossed many territories to join the sleeping group.
I assume that even a tiny, solitary primate sometimes feels like snuggling up against someone.
Canon EOS 300D