Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ueno Zoo Part VI: Small Mammal House

A cotton-top tamarin.

This zoo might have a larger collection of small rodents than any other that I've been to. This is a Japanese grass vole.

A large Japanese field mouse. (Does that mean there's also a small Japanese field mouse? The answer is yes. In fact, there was a display for some next to this one, but I was unable to get satisfactory pictures of it.) You might notice the PhyloPic t-shirt I'd been wearing reflected by the glass in this photo.

Some Cairo spiny mice.

A Pallas's cat, a somewhat peculiar-looking wild cat from the Central Asian steppes.

Some Ryukyu flying foxes.

Up to this point, many of the other species here had overlapped with the roster I regularly see at the National Zoo. But my visit wasn't quite over yet...

The pathway detoured outdoors and sloped downwards toward the lower floor of the Small Mammal House, where the nocturnal exhibits were kept. Along the way there was a pen for a North American porcupine.

The sloping walkway was decorated with photographs of juvenile animals that had been born here at the small mammal house, in case the adult inhabitants weren't already cute enough to induce diabetes.

A kinkajou, an arboreal frugivore closely related to raccoons.

A short-beaked echidna. (A moment of silence for Victor the echidna, the oldest resident mammal of the San Diego Zoo at the time of his death. I'm glad I got to see him one last time before he passed.)

A Japanese giant flying squirrel. Several individuals lived in a fairly large exhibit, which they shared with a Japanese hare. (Is there also a Japanese dwarf flying squirrel? The answer is yes, and they are famously adorable. As a matter of fact, there were some in a nearby display, but the viewing area was cluttered with the bodies of unprepared visitors suffering from heart attacks. I may have lied about that last part.)

A brush-tailed bettong. The one at the National Zoo is frequently a no-show (despite being kept in a dimly-lit habitat), but this one was quite active.

Some Seba's short-tailed bats.

Some common dormice. Although I didn't get pictures of any others, this zoo almost certainly has the biggest collection of dormice species I'm aware of. Dormice are more closely related to squirrels than to mice.

Also worthy of mention were the harvest mice (which are true mice), which I spent a long time unsuccessfully trying to take photos of.

A group of lesser bushbabies.

They lived alongside yet another rodent, but one significantly larger than them, a springhare.

One of the best species (in my opinion) was saved for last: the spectral tarsier! Tarsiers are the only primates that are entirely carnivorous and are very rare in North American zoos.

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