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INTRODUCTION & BIOLOGY

In HE, Madagascar has quite an odd fauna. But it still isn't as odd as it could reasonably be expected to be. For example, all its mammals, even the endemic lemurs, are ordinary placentals, even though 70 million years old strata have yielded gondwanatheres and one metatherian, possibly marsupial, tooth. Naturally, Spec is different. Placentals (namely p-lemurs and p-bats) have reached Madagascar, but gondwanatheres and marsupials remain important components of the fauna. The latter, described here, range from shrew-sized forms to animals resembling weasel trikes and the civets of HE, and include insectivores, omnivores and carnivores, ground-living, swimming and a few climbing forms.

SPECIES

Mouse Weasel Possum (Phascolictis enantimurinus)

Weasley

Mouse weasel possum, Phascolictis enantimurinus (Madagascar)

Measuring hardly 30 cm including the short tail (and long trunk), the mouse weasel possum is the smallest of the weasel possums. It is largely nocturnal, hunts mainly unmice, and is small enough to do this in their own burrows. Every year, it gives birth to 4-6 young in a burrow which it usually hasn't dug itself.

Marsupial Fossa (Anticryptoprocta arborea)

Marsupialfossa

Marsupial fossa, Anticryptoprocta arborea (Madagascar)

The largest mammal of Madagascar is the marsupial fossa. It resembles the tree foxes of the mainland Old World, and mainly hunts their relatives, the p-lemurs. Like them, it has to fear rocs and large jagators.

Mouseshrewpossum
Possumshrew
Pygmyshrewpossum
             ,=†unnamed tooth 
=Nesodelphia=| 
             | ,=Phascolomicrogale longicauda (Long-tailed shrew possum) 
             `=| 
               | ,=Alloplanigale=Alloplanigale minima (Dwarf shrew possum) 
               `=|
                 | ,=Parasminthopsididae (Malagasy marsupial mice) 
                 `=| 
                   | ,=Phascolictidae=Phascolictis murinus (Mouse weasel possum) 
                   `=| 
                     | ,=Allodidelphis=Allodidelphis maior (Malagasy opossum) 
                     `=|
                       |                   ,=Enantipleres falanuk (Pouched falanuk) 
                       `=Thylacoviverridae=| 
                                           | ,=Phascolerpestes hydrophilus (Swamp civet) 
                                           `=| 
                                            | ,=Thylacoviverra enanticivetta (Common civet)
                                             `=| 
                                               | ,=Allodasyurus quoll (Marsupial marten) 
                                               `=| 
                                                 `=Anticryptoprocta arborea (Marsupial fossa)

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