ANIMALS OF AMAZONIA



Guajira mouse opossum

Scientific Name: Marmosa xerophila

facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.


Key Facts:
  • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
  • Kingdom:Animalia
  • Phylum:Chordata
  • Class:Mammalia
  • Infraclass:Marsupialia
  • Order:Didelphimorphia
  • Family:Didelphidae
  • Genus:Marmosa
  • Subgenus:Exulomarmosa
  • Species:M. xerophila


  • The Guajira mouse opossum (Marmosa xerophila) is a species of opossum in the family Didelphidae. It is found in Colombia and Venezuela.

    The opossums, also known by their scientific name Didelphimorphia ), make up the largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, including 103 or more species in 19 genera. Of South American ancestry, they entered North America following the connection of the two continents. Their unspecialized biology, flexible diet, and reproductive habits make them successful colonizers and survivors in diverse locations and conditions.

    ETYMOLOGY
    The word "opossum" is borrowed from the Virginia Algonquian (Powhatan) language, and was first recorded between 1607 and 1611 by the Jamestown colonists John Smith (as "opassom") and William Strachey (as "aposoum"). The word ultimately derives from the Proto-Algonquian word *wa˙p- aʔθemw, meaning "white dog" or "white beast/animal".

    They are also commonly called possums, particularly in the Southern United States and Midwest. However, the term "possum" was borrowed into use to describe distantly related Australian marsupials (specifically those of the suborder Phalangeriformes) when Australia became known to Europeans.

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    A critically endangered (CR) species is one that has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.


     

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