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Little prosimian

Finally a little baby mayotte maki was born at the Tiergarten Nürnberg on 20 April 2011. On 15 June 1999 the Tiergarten Nürnberg took one the group of mayotte-makis remaining at the zoo in Beauval, France.

As the mayottes had been without offsprings over the years, a further male was brought to the Tiergarten Nürnberg from the Asson in France on 17 October 2007. The successful rearing of a young mayotte was therefore all the more pleasant. The mayottes are a subspecies of the brown maki who comes from the island of Mayotte in the north-west of Madagascar and weighs up to 2.5 kilograms. The makis belong to the lemurs, who represent the primates in Madagascar, and - as all primates - have fingernails. However, they also still have a wet muzzle and a light-reflecting layer in their eyes. These characteristics show the importance of the olfactory sense and their nocturnal activities. The mayottes therefore do not belong to the apes and thus called half-and-half apes.

In the wilderness, mayotte makis also live in groups of several males and females - without establishing harems or fixed hierarchies. Their main diet consists of leaves and fruits but they also eat bark and soil. The soil probably plays an important part in the lemurs' high level of acceptability of poisonous plants. They also eat insects, in particular poisonous chilopods and centipedes.

Man only arrived in Madagascar about 1,500 years ago yet has already wiped out one third of the lemur species. Almost all species left are considered as endangered since their habitat is still being destroyed. Merely direct chasing, such as poaching, could be reduced.