Thursday, November 8, 2012

Neotropical Pygmy Squirrel

Sciurillus pusillus
The Neotropical Pygmy Squirrel is an animal that really intrigues me... because I know almost nothing about it. There is actually so little recorded about these rodents that they are listed as "Data Deficient" by the IUCN. It is even difficult finding pictures of them!

Neotropical Pygmy Squirrels are the smallest of all the South American Squirrels, weighing as little as 40g. (For comparison, the Western Grey Squirrel of North American can weigh ten times that much!) They have a patchy distribution in the lowland rainforests of Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and nearby areas.

Their small sizes means that we don't see them very often, and only recently have them become subjects of study (but there is still so, so much to learn!) We have learned that they are monotypic for their subfamily, that they have very small littler sizes (no more than 2), and they probably feed on the barks, gums, mosses, and insects and grow/live in the trees.

Hopefully more studies and observations will be done in the future, so that we can learn even more about this tiny little Squirrel!

IUCN Status : Data Deficient
Location : South America
Size : Body length up to 10cm, Weight up to 43g
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Rodentia
Family : Sciuridae -- Genus : Sciurillus -- Species : S. pusillus

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