Macrotarsomys petteri, Petter’s big-footed mouse, is a Malagasy rodent. It is the largest in its genus, with a head and body length of 150 mm (5.9 in) and body mass of 105 g (3.7 oz). The upperparts are brown, darkest in the middle of the back, and the underparts are white to yellowish. The animal has long whiskers, short forelimbs, and long hindfeet. The tail ends in a prominent tuft of long, light hairs. The skull is robust and the molars are low-crowned and cuspidate. The species most resembles, and may be most closely related to, the greater big-footed mouse. The specific name, petteri, honors French zoologist François Petter for his contributions to the study of Malagasy rodents. M. petteri is now found only in southwestern Madagascar’s Mikea Forest, which is threatened by human development. Subfossil records indicate that it used to be more widely distributed in southern Madagascar; climatic changes and competition with introduced species may have led to the shift in its distribution.
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