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any of many small rat- or mouselike animals, belonging to the family Dasyuridae (order Marsupialia), found in Australia and New Guinea. The species vary in body length from 5 to 22 cm (2 to 9 inches), and all have tails, often brushlike, that are about as long as their bodies. Their coat is generally solid gray, buff, or brown; a few species are speckled. All marsupial mice are predatory, most are nocturnal, and they are really more like shrews than mice.