Chinese pygmy dormouse
|Chinese pygmy dormouse|
Temporal range: Late Miocene - recent
T. c. cinereus
Musser and Carleton (2005) recognized five subspecies. While the northwest Vietnamese form Typhlomys cinereus chapensis is often treated as a distinct species, it falls within the normal variance of Chinese T. cinereus.
- Pygmy dormouse or soft-furred tree mouse Typhlomys cinereus Milne-Edwards, 1877
The Chinese pygmy dormouse grows to a head-and-body length of about 67 to 90 mm (2.6 to 3.5 in) with a tail of one and half times its body-length. It has prominent, nearly hairless ears and white whiskers. The dorsal fur is dark greyish-brown and the underparts are grey with white-tipped hairs. The tail has whorls of scales near its base while the hindermost two-thirds are bushy with a tufted white tail-tip.
The Chinese pygmy dormouse lives in mountain forests, including bamboo forests, where it climbs in trees. It can also burrow, but is not blind (a fact that might have been deduced from the genus name Typhlomys). It feeds on parts of plants including leaves, stems, fruit, and seeds. Little is known about the reproduction of this species, but the females have four nipples and pregnant females containing two to four embryos have been found. It may use echolocation for its nocturnal activities.
The Chinese pygmy dormouse is retiring and seldom seen, so may be more abundant than is apparent. It is present in primary forest and the edge of degraded forest, but does not seem to inhabit secondary forest. A number of national parks and other protected areas are within its range, and no particular threats have been identified, so the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed it as being of "least concern".
- Lunde, D. & Smith, A.T. (2008). "Typhlomys cinereus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2009.old-form url Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern
- Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. Pp. 894-1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
- Andrew T. Smith; Yan Xie (2008). A guide to the mammals of China. Princeton University Press. pp. 208–209. ISBN 978-0-691-09984-2.
- Bittel, Jason (23 March 2017). "This Echolocating Dormouse Could Reveal the Origins of One of Nature's Coolest Superpowers". Smithsonian. Retrieved 31 March 2017.