Small Mammal House

April 1, 1983 – Permanent

National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC

Olmsted Walk, near Great Ape House

Scurry into the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Small Mammal House and meet more than 35 species as they move, eat, and play in enclosures that mimic their wild habitats. Sand cats dwell in desert landscapes, golden lion tamarins jump from tree to tree, and naked mole-rats tunnel through translucent tubes. Some small mammals share space in mixed-species exhibits, providing the animals an opportunity to interact just as they would in their native habitats. Puzzle feeders, kong toys and other items are carefully placed throughout the exhibits as part of the Zoo’s enrichment program to encourage the animals to exercise their brains and bodies. During warm weather months, walk outside behind the Small Mammal House to see (and hear) howlers monkeys.

Learn how Small Mammal House residents move, eat and play at the Inside Story, an exhibit that uses radiographs and artifacts to explain the relationship between animal body structure and behavior. Learn how body shape influences why some animals swim and others run, hang or jump. This exhibit was funded by a generous grant from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.