Macas Mammal

Unknown Marsup IAL or InseCTIVORE of Sout h America.

Physical description: Molelike. Length, 14—16 inches. White fur, with three broad, brown bands across the back. Elongated, trunklike snout. No ventral pouch. Webbed feet. Behavior: Amphibious. Habitat: River s.

Distribution: Ma cas, Morona-Sant iago Province, Ecuador.

Significant sighting: In July 1999, Angel Morant Forés ran across a stuffed specimen in Macas and took several photographs of it. Ecuadorian zoologist Didier Sanchez managed to purchase the specimen in November 1999.

Present status: Known from only one specimen.

Possible explanations:

(1) A Water opossum (Chironectes minimus) consider ably alt er ed by a t axider mist, suggest ed by Didier Sanchez.

(2) Un described species of long-nosed, aquatic marsupial lacking a pouch.

(3) Unknown species of amphibious insect ivor e, suggest ed by Kar l Shuker. Sources: Angel Morant Forés, "An

Investigation into Some Unidentified Ecuadorian Mammals," October 1999, http:// per so .wanadoo.fr /cr ypt ozoo/expedit ions/ ecuador_eng.htm; Karl Shuker, "Have Trunk, Will Tant alize: A Myst ifying Mammal fr om Macas," Strange Magazine, no. 21 (Fall 2000), on line at http://www.strangemag.com.

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