Someone call Britney Spears, because these triplets are toxic!
On August 8, 2023, gray mouse lemur mom Fauna surprised her animal caretakers by giving birth to triplets. Ultrasounds throughout Fauna’s pregnancy had indicated that she was pregnant with twins, so the third infant was delightfully unexpected! Belladonna, the only female of the three infants, might have gone undetected due to her size; while brothers Wolfsbane and Jimson Weed were born weighing 8.7 grams and 9.7 grams, respectively, Belladonna was born at just 5.6 grams.
Belladonna didn’t stay little for long! By one month old, she had actually surpassed the weights of both Wolfsbane and Jimson Weed and is now the largest of the three infants.
Mouse lemur infants born at the DLC are named after flowering plants, herbs, spices, and hot sauces. Fauna’s triplets all get their names from toxic plants—just like half-brother Baneberry, who was born earlier in the 2023 baby season. Belladonna is an alternate alias for deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), a plant that sports purple bell-shaped flowers and toxic purple-black berries. Wolfsbane (Aconitum) is a poisonous flowering plant that often features in pop culture and mythology; it has been associated with werewolves and vampires in well-known media, such as Harry Potter and Dracula. Jimson Weed also comes from the nightshade family and is sometimes referred to as devil’s trumpet (Datura stramonium).
Introducing Tumbleweed’s trio!
Fauna wasn’t the only mouse lemur mom to welcome triplets last month! On August 14, 2023, Tumbleweed gave birth to three infants: Jack Frost (male), Seaweed (male), and Cattail (female). They weighed in at 9.6 grams, 10 grams, and 9.3 grams, respectively.
These triplets also get their names from plants. Jack Frost’s namesake plant is also known as the Heartleaf Brunnera and features leaves with a frosty finish and flowers that resemble those of a forget-me-not. Cattail is named after the long, reedy marsh plant, and Seaweed’s name should be familiar to beach dwellers across the globe.