25 | MAY | 2019
Fun facts about the Mexican Tlacuache
Due to its frightful appearance and hairless tail, people often mistake it with a rat - Photo: Taken from REPSA's official Facebook page

Fun facts about the Mexican Tlacuache

EL UNIVERSAL in English/David Morales
Mexico City
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The tlacuache is a marsupial that is mostly found scavenging through trash in people's back yards

Probably the most misunderstood mammal in the country, the tlacuache is a marsupial that is mostly found scavenging through trash in people’s back yards. Its frightful size and funny appearance have earned it the scorn of many and the interest of few, since they can be easily mistaken for big rats. But how much do we really know about the mysterious tlacuache? Today, we bring you a list of facts to find out!

  • They are the only marsupials in Mexico. That’s right: They’re the small, gray cousins of Australian kangaroos
  • They are omnivorous, meaning that they will eat pretty much anything: Leftovers, fruit, scorpions, mice, and even chickens!
  • They have been on earth for over 60 million years, which is way longer than our time on this planet. However, their morphology has changed very little through the millennia
  • After spending some time inside mommy’s external bag, baby tlacuaches climb on the back of their mothers for protection as they learn the greater mysteries of tlacuache life
  • Due to their low body temperature, these animals are completely harmless, and incapable of transmitting rabies
  • They are very agile, with five-fingered hands that allow them to climb walls and trees. They can also use their tails to swing from branches and pipes. However, they have very little vision and are usually very slow
  • Human beings are their most dangerous predator. Besides the fact that many people kill them on sight for their resemblance to rats, folk healers covet their meat and fat, which they use as remedies for several ailments and infections.
  • In the Náhuatl language (from which the Spanish word is derived), “tlacuatzin” means “Little fire-eating creature”


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