Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Phaner Furcifer (Blainville, 1839)

Fork-marked (-crowned) dwarf lemur; aka fork-tailed mouse lemur. Four recognized subspecies. Found in a discontinuous distribution around the peripheries of Madagascar with the exception of the east coast. Arboreal; nocturnal; locomotion is quadrupedalism with leaping. Body mass ranges from 350 to 500 g. Dental formula:; gummivorous. Specialized morphology for gummivory includes procumbent dental comb, caniniform upper anterior premolars, long and narrow tongue, large cecum for hindgut fermentation, and laterally compressed nails with a raised central keel that function as claws. Conflicting reports about social behavior, but appears to have the typical cheirogalid pattern of noyau with overlapping male and female home ranges that produce a neighborhood; known to sleep in nests abandoned by Mirza. Vocalizations are very important in this species and appear to be used to maintain contact between males and females.

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