Common Brushtail Possum (Joey)


Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula)

The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula, from the Greek for “furry tailed” and the Latin for “little fox”, previously in the genus Phalangista[3]) is a nocturnal, semi-arboreal marsupial of the family Phalangeridae, it is native to Australia, and the second largest of the possums.

Like most possums, the common brushtail possum is nocturnal. It is mainly a folivore, but has been known to eat small mammals such as rats. In most Australian habitats, leaves of eucalyptus are a significant part of the diet but rarely the sole item eaten. The tail is prehensile and naked on its lower underside. There are four colour variations: silver-grey, brown, black, and gold.[4]

It is the Australian marsupial most often seen by city-dwellers, as it is one of few that thrive in cities, as well as a wide range of natural and human-modified environments. Around human habitations, Common Brushtails are inventive and determined foragers with a liking for fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and kitchen raids.

In New Zealand, where it was introduced in the 19th century, it is a major agricultural and conservation pest.

The common brushtail possum has large and pointed ears. It has a bushy tail (hence its name) that is adapted to grasping branches, prehensile at the end with a hairless ventral patch.[5][6] Its forefeet have sharp claws and the first toe of each hind foot is clawless but has a strong grasp.[6] The possum grooms itself with the third and fourth toes which are fused together.[6] The common brushtail possum has a thick and woolly pelage that ranges in colour depending on the subspecies. Colour patterns tend to be silver-gray, brown, black, red or cream. The ventral areas are typically lighter and the tail is usually brown or black.[5][6] The muzzle is marked with dark patches. The common brushtail possum has a head and body length of 32–58 cm[5] with a tail length of 24–40 cm.[6] It weighs 1.2-4.5 kg.[6] Males are generally larger than females. In addition, the coat of the male tends to be reddish at the shoulders. As with most marsupials, the female brushtail possum has a forward-opening, well-developed pouch.[5] The common brushtail possum’s chest has a scent gland that emits a reddish secretion which stains that fur around it. It marks its territory with these secretions.[7]

More Info in WIKIPEDIA