New Marsupial Discovered in Ecuador
by Nicholas Barrett
Researchers working in Ecuador have identified a previously unknown species of shrew-opossum, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Mammalogy. Contrary to its mousey appearance, Caenolestes sangay, named after the national park where it was discovered, is actually a marsupial.
The team from Pacific Lutheran University set up more than 100 live traps over 15 nights on the eastern slopes of Andes. In the course of their research they recovered five specimens of the new species, each measuring approximately 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) long. Previously, researchers had considered it to be a subspecies due to its similarities with other populations inhabiting the western slopes of the Andes. Upon further scrutiny, however, the young field workers noticed a difference in the shape of the animal’s head…
(read more: MongaBay)
photograph by Ojala-barbour et al.