Adaptive radiation is particularly clearly seen in the islands, where from a few specialized ancestors colonized available habitat, there is a large number of new species adapted to a variety of environmental conditions. The black rat (Rattus rattus), imported by Mauritius in the historical period, are no exception: in Neocene they formed many new species on this island. One of these species has changed so much that he became a representative of a new endemic family of rodents.
Adjusting to a new way of life, the black rat has changed dramatically in appearance: it was the descendant of an omnivorous animal the size of a cat, which can easily climb on the branches. Body lemur rat stretched like a marten, and legs are relatively short. spotted coat color: brown background scattered on pale yellow spots, making the animal invisible among the branches. Location and number of spots in each animal individually, and this feature helps rodents to know each other sufficiently close contact. Tail long, covered with sparse, bristly fur. While driving lemuridae rat he is a balancer, and with the help of a little rat can change the direction of the jump. The animal quickly and easily climbs on branches, making a big jump when necessary.
Mauritius lemur rat competes in the trees with the descendants of introduced to the island of monkeys, and survives thanks to the gregarious and aggressiveness. She eats any small animals, which can overcome, and complements the diet of oily seeds and nuts. In order to strengthen the bite of her face is shortened in comparison with their ancestors, and masticatory muscles are very strong. His yellow incisors this rat bites through easily as a nut palm, and the skull of a bird or other vertebrates.
This type of rats adheres strictly defined territory and lives clans, including up to a dozen adult animals. Animals take deep hollows of old trees where the offspring grows together several female clan. The relationship between the females in the clan are limited to the establishment and confirmation of the hierarchy. Males behave much more aggressively: only one the strongest male has the right to mate with females. Other males occupy a subordinate position, and do not stop trying to establish their superiority. Young male clan leader expels soon as the females cease to care for them. Usually young animals live on the border lands of the clan, from time to time trying to join the clan (not necessarily in their own, often to the nearby). Usually, they can take the place of the clan by killing someone from the old males. For immature females, males are neutral, and show interest in them only with the readiness of females to mate. Therefore, young females often remain in your own clan, which changes only dominant male.
The litter may be up to five blind and helpless cubs. They are usually at the same time brings up a few females with offspring. Young rats have a light color, which is somewhat tempers the aggressiveness of adult males. They become adults at the age of 3 months.
Lifespan of lemur
rats do not exceed five years, and males often do not survive to the age of three.