Monito del monte

A bad omen or a harmless seed disperser?

José Luis Bartheld

Only living species belonging to his order is the monito del monte (little mountain monkey). These tiny mammals were considered to be the members of didelphimorphia (the order containing opossums) but genetic evidence rejects this connection and places monitos closer to Australian marsupials.

They attract much superstitions regarding them as harbingers of evil or bad omens. Against all evidences, some even believe them to be venomous. But now we know them to be false and misleading beliefs, on the very contrary, they are an excellent seed disperser of a keystone species of mistletoe.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Argentina
2014
Chile
2014

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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