Dwarf Hutia

Dwarf Hutia
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Hystricomorpha
Family: Capromyidae
Genus: Mesocapromys
Species: M. nanus
Binomial name
Mesocapromys nanus
(G. M. Allen, 1917)

The dwarf hutia (Mesocapromys nanus) is known only from Cuba. It was last seen in 1930.

The hutias are heavily-built guinea pig-like rodents with broad rounded heads. The have relatively small eyes and short rounded ears. The average tail and body length of this hutia is unknown. Some Hutias have prehensile tails, meaning they are able to use them for gripping and climbing.[2] Unlike the larger litter sizes of many other rodents, the dwarf hutia gave birth to only a single offspring.

The dwarf hutia became critically endangered due to loss of habitat and the introduction of mongooses. The discovery of tracks and droppings in the Zapata Swamp gives hopes that this species has survived. It was initially described based on fossil material, but was later found to be extant (Woods and Kilpatrick, 2005).

References

  1. ^ Soy, J. & Silva, G. (2008). Mesocapromys nanus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 6 January 2009.
  2. ^ Glenn, C. R. 2006. "Earth's Endangered Creatures" (Online). Accessed 6/23/2010 at http://earthsendangered.com.
  • Woods, C. A. and C. W. Kilpatrick. 2005. Hystricognathi. Pp 1538-1600 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference 3rd ed. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C.



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