Sunday 19 May
Karimi's fat-tailed mouse opossum (Thylamys karimii)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Karimi's fat-tailed mouse opossum fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Karimi's fat-tailed mouse opossum description
Karimi's fat-tailed mouse opossum biology
Compared to other opossum species, there is relatively little known about Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum. It is known to be a fairly terrestrial animal, which tends to stay down at the lower levels of vegetation (6). As a result, it is not as adapted for climbing trees and lacks the prehensile tail of other opossum species. Instead, the tail of Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum can become swollen as it acts as a store of fat (3).
Like other mouse opossums, it is possible that the Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum breeds from September to March, during which time the female may have two litters (5). Mouse opossums, like all marsupials, have a short gestation period, and the young are poorly developed at birth and crawl immediately to the female’s teats (7). Although each litter can contain as many as 15 young (5), many will die as the female produces more young than she has mammae (7).
Most development takes place as the young feed on the female's milk (7). The length of time that the female Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum feeds the young for is not known, but like other mouse opossums it is likely to be more than 68 days (7). Unlike most other marsupials, the Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum lacks a pouch in which the young are protected as they feed (3).Top
Karimi's fat-tailed mouse opossum range
Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum occurs only in Brazil. It is widely distributed within the two major biomes in Brazil, the cerrado and the caatinga, in the northeast and central parts of the country (1) (3).Top
Karimi's fat-tailed mouse opossum habitat
Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum is known to inhabit dry, open vegetated regions at elevations between 300 and 1,100 metres above sea level (6). The two main regions where it is found are the dry caatinga forest and the dense savannah of the cerrado (1).Top
Karimi's fat-tailed mouse opossum status
Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Karimi's fat-tailed mouse opossum threats
Even though Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum is widely distributed in Brazil, it occurs in low densities and is threatened by habitat loss (1).
The open habitats occupied by Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum are being converted for large-scale farming, in particular for soybean plantations (1).Top
Karimi's fat-tailed mouse opossum conservation
There are currently no specific conservation measures in place for Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum, but it reportedly occurs within a number of protected areas(1), which should offer this species some protection.
Karimi’s fat-tailed mouse opossum is also likely to benefit from the work of organisations such as WWF, which are working with farmers to identify how the negative environmental impacts of soybean production can be reduced (8).Top
Find out more
Learn more about soybean production and conservation:
WWF – Soybeans:
Find out about conservation in Brazil:
The Nature Conservancy:
Wildlife Conservation Society:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
- Large, naturally occurring biological communities, such as forest or desert.
- A particular type of habitat of north-eastern Brazil defined by small thorny trees and shrubs.
- A vast, tropical woodland-savanna ecosystem of Brazil, the most extensive of its type in South America. Comprising around 21 percent of Brazil’s total land area, the cerrado includes savanna, woodland-savanna and dry forest ecosystems, and has a pronounced dry season.
- A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
- The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
- The organs of females that produce milk. Also known as mammary glands.
- A diverse group of mammals characterised by their reproduction, in which gestation is very short, and the female typically has a pouch (marsupium) in which the young are raised. When born, the tiny young crawls to the mother’s teats, where it attaches and stays for a variable amount of time, whilst it continues to develop. Marsupials also differ from placental mammals in their dentition.
- Capable of grasping.
- An animal with a backbone, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
IUCN Red List (November, 2011)
- Eisenberg, J.F. and Redford, K.H. (1999) Mammals of the Neotropics: The Central Neotropics: Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Carmignotto, A.P. and Monfort, T. (2006) Taxonomy and distribution of the Brazilian species of Thylamys (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae). Mammalia, 70: 126-144.
- Gardner, A.L. (2008) Mammals of South America. Volume 1: Marsupials, Xenarthrans, Shrews, and Bats. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker’s Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
- Carvhallo, B. de A., Oliveira, L.F.B. and Mattevi, M.S. (2009) Phylogeny of Thylamys (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae) species, with special reference to Thylamys karimii. Iheringia Série Zoologia, 99: 419-425.
- MacDonald, D.W. (2006) The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
WWF – Brazil (November, 2011)
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.