A new species of lemur has been discovered in southeast Madagascar by a team of scientists at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in collaboration with scientists at Suny Polytechnic Institute and Global Wildlife Conservation.
The Groves’ Dwarf lemur, known to scientists as Cheirogaleus grovesi, is the 24th lemur to be discovered since 2006 by the Zoo’s Conservation Genetics Department led by Dr. Edward Louis Jr., in collaboration with its Malagasy partner, the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership. Scientists were able to confirm this lemur as a distinct new species after analyzing its DNA.
The lemur species can be found in the forests of southeast Madagascar between Ranomafana World Heritage Site and National Park and Andringitra National Park. The reddish brown nocturnal primate is smaller than a typical Nebraskan squirrel.
The Groves’ Dwarf lemur was named to honor one of the most highly regarded primate taxonomists and a friend of the Zoo’s team of scientists, Dr. Colin Groves, a British-Australian biological Anthropologist. A taxonomist is a scientist who describes organisms and determines how they are related to other species. Dr. Groves’ knowledge on morphology and anatomy was instrumental in defining unique biodiversity in collaboration with the molecular data from Dr. Louis’ lab at the Zoo over the past several decades.