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Ant lemur (Myrmelemur pumilis)

By AlexSone
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Ant lemur (Myrmelemur pumilis)
Order: Primates (Primates)
Family: Dwarfish lemurs (Cheirogalidae)
Habitat: Madagascar, light forests and shrubby savannas.
Strangely enough, there is some advantage in the phenomenon of mass extinction for certain representatives of fauna and flora. When the great number of live beings extincts, the survived species have a possibility to occupy the become empty ecological niches and to begin active speciation. After the extinction which has occurred at the boundary of holocene and the neocene, among animals of Madagascar this process actively started, and the forests of the island were again filled with life.
In twilight and at sunrise among bushes in Madagascar light forests it is possible to see one of representatives of new fauna of this island: the small animal climbs among branches, from time to time tearing off pieces of bark and raking foliage in search of insects. Especially it interests for the nests of social insects – termites or ants. Having found such nest, the small animal stops fussy movements and starts to be fed slowly: having risen on hinder legs, it digs out the dwelling of insects, and quickly pinches his inhabitants.
This animal, the direct descendant of representatives of native fauna of Madagascar, is called an ant lemur. It is a small species of primates: length of the body is to 15 cm, the tail – to 20 cm.
The ant lemur is adapted for a food by insects. Its tongue is a little extended and covered with the sticky saliva which is exuded from large salivary glands. On fore- and third fingers of this primate the main tool for destruction of nests of insects grows: big claws. Fingers are joined into the common cover of skin, and look as one thick finger with a double claw. Bones of these fingers are thick – thanks to such fingers the ant lemur ruins even strong nests of termites. If fingers can't cope with a nest of insects, to a course there are teeth: forward cutters on the top and bottom jaws are very large, a little similar to cutters of rodents.
The ant lemur conducts mainly climbing way of life though often could be found on the earth. Because of very large claws the ant lemur moves on the ground on two feet, holding forepaws suspended. Forepaws of this lemur kept characteristic ability for primacies to a prehension. The thumb is opposed to the fourth finger and to a little finger, forming strong capture. Fore- and third fingers during the climbing rise, and don't prevent to clasp a branch. Hands are covered with dark wool. Hinder legs of this animal are not so specialised, but the thumb is opposed to the rest fingers.
The head of an ant lemur is roundish, with the flattened face and a short muzzle. Canines are very short, and premolars have keen cutting edge. The face is covered with dense short fur of black color. Eyes are large, iris of the eye is brown. Ears are short.
Hair of a male is bright red, at a female – straw-colored. The tail is long, is used as the balance weight during the climbing. On the end of the tail grows the bright black-and-white brush. A threat sign at ant lemurs – small vibrating tail lifted up.
Once a year the female gives birth only to one young. It is covered with dark wool, and gets coloring of adult animals only at maturity. The first two months of life it sits on a back of mother, being gradually trained to climb on trees and to get a forage. It is kept by large fingers for wool of the mother. When claws start to grow strongly and cause to his mother pain, she allows it to travel astride herself less often. About five months the young keeps about mother, then leaves it and conducts lonely life.
Social insects are a specific food resource: their nests are located rather seldom. Because of it ant lemurs keep one by one; only the female and a young meet together. The ant lemur marks the territory with urine, regularly updating the marks.
This small animal carefully protects the territory from relatives. If on border of possession two ant lemurs meet, they start to declare the rights to the territory: having lifted up tails, they show black-and-white brushes and thus stridently squeal and grin. Only the female ready to pairing allows a male on the territory, but at once after pairing banishes him.
Day and night this lemur spends in shelters – usually in hollows or hollow trunks of trees. The most active time of feeding – at sunrise when night predators already leave to sleep, and day didn't wake up yet. In the evening this lemur also leaves to be fed, but then it is more careful.
As at all small animals, life expectancy of ant lemurs is insignificant: no more than 10 years. Their natural enemies – snakes and birds of prey. Young animals occasionally perish, without having distinguished dangerous species of ants: they h sting them to the death.
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Comments21
anonymous's avatar
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Thinnylittlethin's avatar
This is beautiful! The colors are just so warm and very nice all together!
grisador's avatar
Very well made !
grisador's avatar
You are very welcome !
Bhurloka12's avatar
Interesting. I've always thought the mouse lemurs would be the most adaptable because of their ability to hibernate. And if lemurs did survive, I assumed the mouse lemurs would make up the majority and be the founding species for future radiations.

Is this the case in Neocene?
AlexSone's avatar
The descendents of mouse lemurs are still not describen. You can offer some ideas of these animals.
Bhurloka12's avatar
I was inspired by Neocene and did my own biota (however, it's for 20 million years hence, not 25). I haven't looked at the things in there for a while though.
AlexSone's avatar
Cool! You can also take part in the Neocene project!
Amplion's avatar
Очень красивый лемур! И очень мягкие переходы, как будто рисовалось аэрографом :)
AlexSone's avatar
Собственно один из инструментов Гимпа так и называется - "аэрограф".
Amplion's avatar
Послушай, Александр, а есть разница между большинством графических редакторов, или по большему счету она бесплатна? Вот я сейас пытаюсь начать на планшете в фотошопе рисовать, и задумываюсь - может, для иллюстрации есьть нескоолько более удобные редакторы? С меньшими возможностями , но с большим удобством. У тебя уже богатый опыт, ты рисуешь обычно в чем?
AlexSone's avatar
Обычно в гимпе, но фотошоп по моему удобнее, кроме того под него есть куча кистей. Также можно попробовать Corel Painter или Corel Photo paint.
Amplion's avatar
Спасибо! Гимп - он так и пишется? :)
electreel's avatar
Great illustration! :)
AlexSone's avatar
Thanks! I want to create an illustration of the male later.
electreel's avatar
I´m looking forward to it! :)
PeteriDish's avatar
You'rew elcome!
anonymous's avatar
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