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Reproduction and behaviour of the lesser mouse lemur (microcebus murinus, Miller 1777) in captivity.

Glatston, ARH; (1979) Reproduction and behaviour of the lesser mouse lemur (microcebus murinus, Miller 1777) in captivity. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

A detailed knowledge of the behaviour and reproduction of any exotic species of mammal plays an important role in the successful maintenance and breeding of that species in captivity. Data from the field are particularly important in evaluating results in captivity. Where complete field data are not available, problems arising in captivity can only be assessed by taking successfully breeding individuals as the norm and using them as a guideline when studying reproductive problems. This study has been designed to establish the reproductive parameters of the lesser mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, using data from the field and successfully breeding individuals to this end. Aberrations arising in captivity were examined and an attempt was made to identify their causes. During the course of this study data have been collected on the annual variations of behavioural and physiological parameters. Information on male and female reproductive physiology has been collected and hormone assays have been conducted on urine samples from oestrous, pregnant and non-pregnant females. Data on infant birth-weight and development have also been recorded. Special attention has been paid to reproductive behaviour, particularly birth and maternal care. In addition, a study has been made of social behaviour and communication. The relationship between social behaviour, status and reproductive success has been examined. Having established the "normal" condition it was possible to examine deviations from this norm. Under certain circumstances environmental stimulation was observed to either stimulate or suppress reproduction. Suppression of reproduction is discussed in the light of physical and social environmental influences. Data on pathology have also been collected and adrenal weight and histology recorded. An attempt has been made to integrate post-mortem findings with observations on reproduction and behaviour. The normative data collected in this study are discussed in terms of their adaptive significance and the deviations from the normal condition are viewed in terms of stress. An attempt is then made to indicate the positive influence which this and similar studies could have on captive animal management.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Reproduction and behaviour of the lesser mouse lemur (microcebus murinus, Miller 1777) in captivity.
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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