Meet Jonah’s mouse lemur, Microcebus jonahi! This tiny (60-gram) primate is the 25th recognized species of mouse lemur and the 108th recognized species of lemur.
Jonah’s mouse lemur lives in northeastern Madagascar, including within the protected Mananara National Park. The species was named after Malagasy primatologist Dr. Jonah Ratsimbazafy, one of the most respected and beloved figures in lemur conservation (and plenary speaker at the DLC’s 50th anniversary scientific symposium!). We can think of no one more deserving of the honor.
This was a huge undertaking with a total of 29 authors from six countries, and years of field work followed by two years (plus) of genomic data production and analysis. Tip of the hat to DLC research scientist Dr. Marina Blanco and to the Yoder Lab at Duke University, headed by Dr. Anne Yoder, director of the Duke Lemur Center from 2006-2018!
The discovery is described in a paper in the American Journal of Primatology.
Listen to an interview with Drs. Blanco and Ratsimbazafy on NPR (two-minute listen time; transcript available).