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Monito Del Monte: Microbiotheria


Monitos del monte live in dense, cool, temperate rainforests, in the lowlands and the Andes mountains, from sea level to 6,000 feet (1,850 meters) above sea level. They most often live in thickets of Chilean bamboo (Chusquea species), especially Chusquea valdiviensis, the most common ground plant in these forests.

The forest type where the monito del monte makes its home is as unique as the animal itself. Called Valdivian temperate forest, it is located in a limited range in southern South America between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, most of it in Chile with some extending into Argentina. The Valdivian forest biome is isolated from the rest of the world by deserts, mountains, and oceans. The forest is a treasure house of ancient plants and animals, some of which date back, little changed, from the time when the southern continents were all attached together, forming the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. The Valdivian forests have been in their present isolated condition for thirty million years. A full 90 percent of the seven hundred flowering plant species there are endemic, meaning they are found no where else in the world. One third of the woody plants (trees, shrubs, woody vines) have living relatives in Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia (an island northeast of Australia), and Tasmania, all linking to an ancient common landmass. The monito del monte is a living fossil whose relationship with other marsupials shows the same sort of geographic split as do the Valdivian plants.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsMonito Del Monte: Microbiotheria - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, MONITOS DEL MONTE AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS