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Monito del Monte

Animals Home > Mammals
 
Monito del Monte means "little mountain monkey." These guys prefer to live in humid, dense forests. They are also known to the people of Chile and Argentina as the Colocolo or Chimaihuén.
  Monito del Monte in a tree
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Description

Latin Name: Dromiciops gliroides Conservation Status: Vulverable
Distribution: Argentina, Chile Estimated Size: Up to 13 cm
 
The Monito del Monte is a marsupial, related closly to the marsupials of Australia, even though they are found exclusively in South America. They are very small, almost the size of a mouse. Their tail is prehensile, as they use it to help climb. It is not as advanced as a monkey, but useful nonetheless. They are nocturnal animals, meaning they are active at night.
 
These 'little mountain monkeys' can be commonly found in thick forests, where the humidity is rather high. They also seem to crowd around areas where Chilean Bamboo is found. Like birds, the Monito del Monte creates nests for its home and its young. Their nests can be found everywhere, on the ground or in the trees because they are semi-aboreal. When the young are moved around, they are pocketed in their mother's pouch, like other marsupials.
 
Monito del Monte's eat insects and small amounts of fruit.
 

History

The history of the Monito del Monte goes back a long way. The Microbiotheria (an ancient mammal order), is survived only by the Monito del Monte. As well, they are the only member of their family, the Microbiotheriidae. They used to be classed in the same family as some Opossum's, but was then proved to be false. Their ancestors were spread out over South America, Antartica and Australia when all were one continent.
 

         
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