The Malagasy mountain mouse is a small, mouse-like rodent, and quite different in appearance from most other nesomyines.It has a thick, soft fur, which appears dark brown on the upperparts. The cover hairs (which comprise most of the fur) are tricolored: for the basal two-thirds of their length, they are plumbeous gray; the middle is ochraceous; and the tip is dark brown to black. The longer guard hairs, which are most common towards the middle of the back, are completely black. The fur of the underparts appears dark gray and is not sharply demarcated from the upperparts. There, the hairs are also plumbeous at the bases, but the tips range from white to yellowish-brown. The mystacial vibrissae—whiskers above the mouth—are medium-sized. The short, rounded ears are densely covered with grayish hairs.Monticolomys has broad hindfeet bearing prominent pads and long outer digits. There are white hairs on the upper sides of the metapodials and digits, and long ungual tufts—tufts of hair surrounding the bases of the claws—are present. The thumb of the forefeet bears a nail, but claws are present on the other digits. The long tailis covered with small scales and light brown hairs. The tail lacks a distinct tuft at the tip, as is present in Eliurus and Macrotarsomys. Females have six mammae. Head and body length is 84 to 101 mm (3.3 to 4.0 in), tail length is 116 to 143 mm (4.6 to 5.6 in), hindfoot length is 23 to 25 mm (0.91 to 0.98 in), ear length is 15 to 20 mm (0.59 to 0.79 in), and body mass is 18.5 to 27.5 g (0.65 to 0.97 oz).
The skull is small and delicate. The front part, the rostrum, is narrow and relatively long. The nasal bones are rounded at the front, but blunt at the back. The zygomatic plate—a bony plate at the side of the skull—is narrow and extends back to the front margin of the first upper molar (M1). The jugal bonesconstitute much of the thin zygomatic arches(cheekbones). The interorbital region, between the eyes, is narrow and hourglass-shaped. There are no crests or ridges on the interorbital region or on the braincase. The incisive foramina, openings in the front part of the palate, extend back to a point between the front roots of the M1s. The bony palate itself is broad and lacks many indentations and protuberances present in other species. Its posterior margin is at the level of the upper third molars (M3s). There is no alisphenoid strut, so that the masticatory-buccinator foramen and the foramen ovale accessorium, two openings on the underside of the skull, are fused. There are 13 thoracic (chest), 7 lumbar (abdomen), 4 sacral (hip), and 38 caudal (tail) vertebrae
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