Things I Learned as a Field Biologist #635

There may come a time when, late one night deep in the forests of Madagascar, you stumble upon something that is magnificent in its diminution. A creature so glorious in its eensiness that you must steel every nerve to keep the squee at bay. But this encounter was no accident… you spent months of planning, weeks of waiting for permits and equipment, and so many long nights setting traps to ensnare this single, miniscule beast…

And now it is time.

Time to make the decision that will either bring these months to their most glorious fruition, or leave you bitter and empty-handed.

Will you…

1) Gingerly rub the soft mound of its belly… gently! Ever so gently…

2) Daub its tiny ventrum with rubbing alcohol? Cooling sensations help!


3) Delicately squeeze it? It is, after all, roughly the size of a travel-sized toothpaste tube.

Choose, but choose wisely:

There are only so many ways to convince a mouse lemur (Microcebus spp.) to urinate.

And you NEED that urine.

Because science.

Special thanks to my one of my favorite partners in gimlet-soaked-Jesus-hosted-glittery-burlesque crime for this post (and the International Primatological Society meetings in Hanoi for bringing us together again). Keep gingerly rubbing those fuzzy bellies, Luca. Keep gingerly rubbing.

Habitat destruction sucks for most lemurs, but mouse lemurs are cool with it.

Anthropology, Purdue.

Thesis title: ‘Differential usage of anthropogenically disturbed forests by Lepilemur leucopus and Microcebus griseorufus at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.’