MENU - MICROBIOTHERIA
The Microbiotheria order is represented by 1 Recent family containing 1 genus and 1 species. This species, Dromiciops australis, has the smallest distribution of any extant mammalian order. They are only found in south central Chile from Concepcion south to Chiloe Island, and east to mountain ranges just past the border with Argentina.
The fossil history of Microbiotheria is only known from the late Oligocene and early Miocene of southern Argentina. However, some scientists believe that this family may include extinct genera from the late Cretaceous of North and South America and from the middle Paleocene to early Miocene in South America as well.
The habitat of Microbiotheria is bamboo thickets in the dense forests of Chile. It appears to be nocturnal; primarily aboreal but has been known to take refuge under ground, as well as, building nests under rocks and fallen trees. This species is an excellent climber possessing opposable thumbs and a predominantly hair covered, prehensile tail. The tail also serves as a depository for accumulated fat stores prior to winter hibernation.
A small marsupial, Dromiciops gives birth to 1-5 young. Births occur from November to May. As with all marsupials, the majority of fetal development occurs inside a pouch on the female's abdomen.