POUCHED MOUSE, the colonial name for any member of the polyprotodont marsupial genus Phascologale (see MARSUPI- ALIA). There are over a dozen species, none larger, the most much smaller than a rat. The food of these animals is almost entirely insects, which some pursue among the branches of trees, while others are purely terrestrial. Pouched mice are found throughout Australia, where all the species have uniformly coloured fur, and also in New Guinea and the Aru and some of the adjacent islands, most of the Papuan forms being distinguished by striping on the back. In the view of Oldfield Thomas these marsupials fill the place held in Malaya by the tree-shrews, and in South America by the smaller opossums.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)