Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Big Daddy of Primates: Lemur Has Giant Testes

by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | July 15, 2015 09:09am ET

A recently discovered lemur from Madagascar has the largest testes per body weight of any primate, new research finds.

If the northern giant mouse lemur were the size of a human, its testes would be as big as grapefruits, said Christoph Schwitzer, the director of conservation at the Bristol Zoological Society in the U.K.

The lemur (Mirza zaza) was first named by science in 2005, and researchers knew nothing about its diet and lifestyle — though the animal is already listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

"In order to design effective conservation measures, we need to have at least a little bit of knowledge of what we're trying to conserve," Schwitzer told Live Science.

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