Caenolestidae


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Related to Caenolestidae: Common shrew opossum

Caenolestidae

[‚sē·nə′les·tə‚de]
(paleontology)
A family of extinct insectivorous mammals in the order Marsupialia.

Caenolestidae

 

a family of mammals of the order Marsupialia. Caenolestids, whose body length is 9–14 cm and tail length 6–13 cm, bear a physical resemblance to rats. The hairy covering is dense and brownish. The head is elongated, and the eyes and ears are small. The tail is covered with short, sparse hairs. The marsupium is present only in the young. The extremities have five digits. There are four pairs of incisors in the upper jaw and three or four pairs in the lower jaw, of which the first pair is very large. The brain is very primitive, with large olfactory lobes.

Caenolestids form a group intermediate between Polyprotodontia and Diprotodontia. The family has three (or seven) species, belonging to three genera: Caenolestes, Lestores, and Rhyncholestes. Caenolestids are distributed in the western part of South America, from southern Venezuela to southern Chile, inhabiting forested regions and mountains up to elevations of 4,200 m. They are terrestrial and nocturnal. They feed on invertebrates. Their numbers are few.

REFERENCES

Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.
Sokolov, V. E. Sistematika mlekopitaiushchikh. Moscow, 1973.
References in periodicals archive ?
Adiciones al conocimiento de Pliolestes tripotamicus Reig, 1955 (Mammalia, Marsupialia, Caenolestidae) del Plioceno superior de la Argentina.
Especies Localidades de Muestreo SP ER W1 DIDELPHIMORPHIA Didelphidae Didelphis pernigra * 4, 5 1 Gracilinanus 8 aceramarcae (^) Marmosops noctivagus 7 Metachirus 1, 5, 7 nudicaudatus Marmosa regina 7 Monodelphis osgoodi * 8 Monodelphis peruviana 8 PAUCITUBERCULATA Caenolestidae Lestoros inca (^) 7, 8 CINGULATA Dasypodidae Dasypus novemcinctus 5 5 PILOSA Bradypodidae Bradypus variegatus 5 PRIMATES Cebidae Aotus sp.
En los bosques templados del oeste, donde el endemismo de micromamiferos es elevado, habitan dos especies de marsupiales: el monito del monte Dromiciops gliroides Thomas (Microbiotheriidae, Microbiotheria) y la comadreja trompuda o raton runcho austral, Rhyncholestes raphanurus Osgood (Caenolestidae, Paucituberculata).
Asimismo, dentro de Didelphimorphia (para su unica familia viviente Didelphidae) y Paucituberculata (para su unica familia viviente Caenolestidae), se brinda una clave de identificacion de las diferentes categorias taxonomicas reconocidas hasta el presente (subfamilias, tribus y generos para Didelphidae).