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(Chironectes minimus,) also water opossum, a mammal of the family Didelphidae of the order Marsupialia; the sole species of the genus Chironectes. The body length is 35–40 cm, and the tail length is 40–45 cm. The fur is short and thick, and the tail is covered with scales. The coloration is gray with large black spots on the back and head. The paws are webbed for swimming.
The yapock is found in Central and South America (southward to Argentina). It is a nocturnal animal and lives along bodies of water in dense forests. The yapock is semiaquatic and swims very well. Its lair is a burrow whose entrance is above water level. The animal feeds on aquatic invertebrates and vertebrates. It reproduces once a year, with a litter containing as many as five young. The female swims with the young in her pouch, which is converted into a watertight compartment through the use of muscles.