Eastern caenolestid

Little is known about these little marsupials

Pablo Moreno

Also called Shrew opossum or Rat opossums (because of their pointed snout), these tiny marsupials are endemic to the Andes mountains of South America. Because of their small size, nocturnal habits, and far-off habitat, not much is known about them. Their eyesight is poor as they hunt and roam in the darkness of night. They rely on hearing and detection of sensations by their especially sensitive whiskers. They share an unusual characteristic with Opossums of the Didelphimorphia order—the presence of paired sperms (it boosts the efficiency of sperm movement). Currently, their seven living species are known, but this order shows a very rich history of biodiversity, that is, before the extinction of most of its families.


Population est.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No