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5 January 2016 Observations on the behavior of Caenolestes fuliginosus (Tomes, 1863) (Marsupialia, Paucituberculata, Caenolestidae) in captivity
Gabriel M. Martin, Baltazar González-Chávez
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Abstract

We describe the behavior in captivity of the dusky shrew-opossum Caenolestes fuliginosus from 17 specimens captured at Finca La Martinica (Colombia), which were kept alive in plastic terraria for different periods of time (between 1 and 12 consecutive days). We found that C. fuliginosus can climb and jump well and uses its nonprehensile tail as a support when climbing. Feeding observations showed a preference towards an animalivorous diet, which included moths/butterflies (Insecta, Lepidoptera), stick-insects (Insecta, Phasmatoidea), flatworms (Platyhelminthes, Turbellaria), earthworms (Annelida, Oligochaeta), frogs (Amphibia, e.g., Pristimantis sp.), and dead rodents (Rodentia, Sigmodontinae, e.g., Microryzomys sp., Thomasomys sp.). Individuals were active throughout the day and night, with no indication of daily torpor. Our observations showed C. fuliginosus is not aggressive towards congeners and often aggregates during rest, especially when several individuals are placed together. Unlike other New World marsupials, C. fuliginosus showed nonagonistic group feeding behavior when consuming carcasses. Stereotyped behavior patterns (e.g., grooming) were not frequently observed. Our work provides comparative information for further studies on caenolestids and other New World marsupials.

© 2016 American Society of Mammalogists, www.mammalogy.org
Gabriel M. Martin and Baltazar González-Chávez "Observations on the behavior of Caenolestes fuliginosus (Tomes, 1863) (Marsupialia, Paucituberculata, Caenolestidae) in captivity," Journal of Mammalogy 97(2), 568-575, (5 January 2016). https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyv203
Received: 8 June 2015; Accepted: 24 November 2015; Published: 5 January 2016
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