Our on-island chef, Andre, is quite the talented wildlife photographer. He captured this big-eyed, long-tailed critter that he saw hiding under a tarp in the worker camp. I’m pretty sure this is either the Robinson’s mouse opossum (Marmosa robinsoni), or the Mexican mouse opossum (Marmosa mexicana). I believe by the slightly red tint of the fur, that this is a Robinson’s. There is not much information about either species online, but they are both found in tropical forests in Panama, and look almost identical in my Panama Mammals field guide. Like most opossum species, I did read that these tiny critters, only 15-17 cm long, like to find the nests of birds, turtles, snakes and other species instead of going to the trouble to make their own — which explains why he or she found our tarp quite the acceptable little resting spot. They have tails almost twice the length of their bodies, and use it as a fifth limb when climbing trees.
What do you think, is this big-eyed rodent cute, or does it make you squirm?