Scurry into the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Small Mammal House, and meet more than 35 species as they move, eat and play in enclosures that mimic their wild habitats. Sand cats dwell in desert landscapes, golden lion tamarins jump from tree to tree and naked mole-rats tunnel through translucent tubes.
Some small mammals share space in mixed-species exhibits, providing the animals an opportunity to interact just as they would in their native habitats. Puzzle feeders, kong toys and other items are carefully placed throughout the exhibits as part of the Zoo’s enrichment program to encourage the animals to exercise their brains and bodies.
Back outside, head down the wooden boardwalk adjacent to Small Mammal House where you'll meet Bennett's wallabies. Continue around the back of the building to get up close to white-nosed coatis and, during warm weather months, see (and hear) howler monkeys.
Learn how Small Mammal House residents move, eat and play at the Inside Story, an exhibit that uses radiographs and artifacts to explain the relationship between animal body structure and behavior. Learn how body shape influences why some animals swim and others run, hang or jump. This exhibit was funded by a generous grant from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.