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Small Mammal News

New Degus at the Smal Mammal House

January 8, 2014

Five adult female degus just arrived at the Small Mammal House. During their entrance exams, we discovered a surprise–one was pregnant!

Recent News

Sand Cat Debut

April 26, 2013

A 7-year-old sand cat named Thor is the newest addition to the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Small Mammal House exhibit.

Study Finds Baby Marmosets More Likely to Become Obese if Transition to Solid Food Faster

April 10, 2013

Companion study finds young obese monkeys more likely to have pancreas problems.

Sexing a Porcupine

March 4, 2013

Figuring out the sex of a porcupine can be a difficult task. They aren't always easy to handle, and when they are young they show no sexual dimorphism. But veterinarians, geneticists, and keepers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo have figured out a novel and easy way to determine the sex of prehensile-tailed porcupines, and all it takes is a single quill.

The Inside Story

August 9, 2012

The new exhibit at Small Mammal House uses radiographs and artifacts to explain the relationship between body structure and behavior of animals. Visitors will see some interesting X-rays and learn how animals move, eat, and play.

Smithsonian Scientists Find Female Coatis Help Offspring of Other Females

May 22, 2012

Unexpected Result Challenges Understanding of the role of kinship in mammals.

Two Tree Shrews Born

September 29, 2011

Two juvenile northern tree shrews emerged from their nest in the Zoo's Small Mammal House on September 29. Keepers estimate they were born on August 20 and determined they are both female.

Vet Stories: A Porcupine's Tail

January 1, 2004

Soon after Winnie, a prehensile-tailed porcupine, arrived at the Zoo in 2004, her keepers discovered that the end of her tail was injured.