| The Mexican Mouse Opossum might be mistaken for a mouse, but a closer look reveals non-rodent-like teeth, black rings around the eyes, opposable "thumbs" on the hind feet, and a very long, hairless, prehensile tail that it uses to grasp branches when it is climbing. Arboreal opossums can even use their tails as climbing ropes. An opossum hanging from a branch by the tip of its tail can twist around, grab its own tail, and haul itself up to the branch.
Mexican Mouse Opossums are sometimes caught on the ground, but have been found 30 meters (100 feet) aboveground in the forest canopy. They tend to build their little ball-shaped nests of grass and leaves off the ground. They eat fruit and insects. Apparently bananas are a favorite fruit; occasionally a mouse opossum is found hiding in a bunch of bananas that has been shipped to the U.S.
Total Length: 260-286 mm; Tail: 140-205 mm
Merriam, C.H., 1897. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 11:44.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).
Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account (opens in a new window).