Pencil-tailed tree mouse
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|Pencil-tailed tree mice
Temporal range: Late Pliocene to Holocene, 2.588–0 Ma
Insulaemus Taylor, 1934
Chiropodomys (or pencil-tailed tree mice) is a genus of Old World rats and mice native to Southeast Asia and northeast India. They are tree-dwelling, very small mice, mostly found in tropical rainforest. In total six extant species have been identified, but only one of these, Chiropodomys gliroides, is common and widely distributed, and has been extensively studied.
Genus Chiropodomys — pencil-tailed tree mice:
- Palawan pencil-tailed tree mouse, Chiropodomys calamianensis Taylor, 1934, Palawan and neighboring islands
- Indomalayan pencil-tailed tree mouse, Chiropodomys gliroides Blyth, 1856, northeast India, southeastern China, mainland Southeast Asia, Sumatra, Java
- Koopman's pencil-tailed tree mouse, Chiropodomys karlkoopmani Musser, 1979, Mentawai Islands
- Large pencil-tailed tree mouse, Chiropodomys major Thomas, 1893, Borneo
- Gray-bellied pencil-tailed tree mouse, Chiropodomys muroides Medway, 1965, Borneo
- Small pencil-tailed tree mouse, Chiropodomys pusillus Thomas, 1893, Borneo
- †Chiropodomys maximus, Thailand
- †Chiropodomys primitivus, southern China
Species of Chiropodomys have a body length of 7 to 12 cm, plus a tail of 9 to 17 cm. They are generally gray or brown on the back and white underneath. The tail is only sparsely covered with hair, but has somewhat more at the end, giving the appearance of a pencil, thus the genus name.
Chiropodomys gliroides is particularly common in bamboo forest. It is active at night, sleeps during the day in a nest in the bamboo, padded with leaves. It eats exclusively plants.
A close connection between Chiropodomys and the genus Hapalomys (marmoset rats) is accepted. The Haeromys (pygmy tree mice) are also thought to be closely related. On the other hand, an earlier-posited connection with Crateromys (cloudrunners) is no longer considered probable.
- "Chiropodomys Peters 1868". Paleobiology Database. Fossilworks. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- Musser, G.G.; Carleton, M.D. (2005). "Superfamily Muroidea". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 894–1531. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Ronald M. Nowak: Walker's Mammals of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999 ISBN 0-8018-5789-9
- Wells K, Pfeiffer M, Lakim MB & Linsenmair KE (2004) "Arboreal spacing patterns of the Large pencil-tailed tree mouse Chiropodomys major in a rainforest in Sabah, Malaysia." Ecotropica 10 : 15-22
- Wells K, Pfeiffer M, Lakim MB & Linsenmair KE (2004) "Use of arboreal and terrestrial space by a small mammal community in a tropical rain forest in Borneo, Malaysia." Journal of Biogeography' 31 : 641-652.