Microbiotheria order is represented by 1 Recent family
containing 1 genus and 1 species. This species, Dromiciops
australis, has the smallest distribution of any
extant mammalian order. They are only found in south
central Chile from Concepcion south to Chiloe Island,
and east to mountain ranges just past the border with
fossil history of Microbiotheria is only known from
the late Oligocene and early Miocene of southern Argentina.
However, some scientists believe that this family may
include extinct genera from the late Cretaceous of North
and South America and from the middle Paleocene to early
Miocene in South America as well.
habitat of Microbiotheria is bamboo thickets in the
dense forests of Chile. It appears to be nocturnal;
primarily aboreal but has been known to take refuge
under ground, as well as, building nests under rocks
and fallen trees. This species is an excellent climber
possessing opposable thumbs and a predominantly hair
covered, prehensile tail. The tail also serves as a
depository for accumulated fat stores prior to winter
small marsupial, Dromiciops gives birth to 1-5
young. Births occur from November to May. As with all
marsupials, the majority of fetal development occurs
inside a pouch on the female's abdomen.