Long-tailed Hopping-mouse (Notomys longicaudatus)

Distribution: Inland Australia.

Last Record: 1901.

The long-tailed hopping mouse was one of the largest and most elegant of Australia’s native hopping rodents. It was also very widespread in the drier regions of southern and central Australia and, to judge from some early accounts, quite common in its preferred habitat. It apparently favoured stiff, clayey soils for digging its burrows.

Almost nothing is known of its biology, for it became extinct before more than a handful of specimens had been gathered. John Gilbert recorded in 1843 that, despite its fondness for raisins, it was not as destructive to the stores of the settlers as smaller hopping-mice. A small fragment of skull found in 1977 in a recent owl pellet—a regurgitated bolus of fur and bones—near The Granites in the Northern Territory suggests that it may have survived longer than historical collection records indicate.