Lemur are primates that inhabit Madagascar, and three new species of them have been anounced despite the fact that they were located in the eastern rain forests in 2001. They are all mouse sized primates and have all gotten the genus Microcebus to describe their small bodies.

One of the species have been named, Microcebus mittermeieri, named after primatologist and Conservation International president Russell Mittermeier, “for his commitment and dedication to protecting wildlife and forest habitat all over the world.” The second lemur has been named Microcebus simmonsi, after Lee Simmons, director of the Henry Doorly Zoo, and Microcebus jollyae, for Alison Jolly, a lemur researcher at Princeton University in New Jersey.

The discovery of these new lemurs have influenced the Madagascar’s president to recently announce that the government would be tripling the total size of the island’s protected areas to 14,826,000 acres (6,000,000 hectares), which is a significant contribution to primate research and conservation.

The discovery will be published in the current issue of the scientific journal International Journal of Primatology. You can read more about the discovery over at National Geographic News.

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