Researchers have discovered two new species of mouse lemur on the African island nation of Madagascar, and are now showing off the tea-cup sized primates to the world.
The mouse lemurs have so much in common that it is impossible to tell them apart without genetic sequencing. They also only weight about 2.5 to 3 ounces. They feature grey-brown fur, large eyes, and are shy and nocturnal and blend in with the rainforest.
The first of the two new species is called Anosy mouse lemur, Microcebus tanosi. The other species is the Marohita mouse lemur, Microcebus marohita. Despite being cousins, the two species apparently do not interbreed.
These two species of lemurs were first discovered in 2003 and 2007, when study co-author Rodin Rasoloarison captured them. He then weighed and measured the tiny primates, and took skin samples for genetic analysis in the lab.
The species looked similar on the outside, however their DNA told a different story. In order to determine where the animals fit into the lemur family tree, scientists analyzed two mitochondrial and four nuclear DNA genes.