Reproductive biology

Very little is known about caenolestid reproduction, including mating system. Normal litter sizes can be guessed at from the number of teats—four in members of the genus, Caenolestes, five or seven in the Rhyncholestes species. Females do not have a pouch, so nursing young must latch on firmly to the mother's teat in order to survive. Once milk is flowing, the teat swells in the infant's mouth so that it cannot easily become detached. When the young become too big to be carried beneath the mother's body, she presumably leaves them in a nest while she goes out to feed, returning periodically to suckle them.

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