Yapock, Or Water Opossum, a rare marsupial animal of the genus chironectes (111.), of which the only described species is C. variegatus, found in Guiana and Brazil. The hind feet are powerful swimming organs; the fore feet are long, with an elongation of the pisiform bone resembling a rudimentary sixth toe; the females have a perfect pouch; the habits are aquatic. It has large cheek pouches, and some of the lower molars have their tubercles arranged in a longitudinal series. The length is about 2 ft., of which the tail is 13 in., in proportions like the common brown rat; the fur is soft and thick, gray above, with large sooty-black patches, especially on the back, and white below. In habits it resembles the otters, with which it was long classed;* it is an excellent diver and swimmer, and feeds upon small fish, crustaceans, and other aquatic animals.
Yapock (Chironectes variegatus).