Northern Brushtail Possum

Northern Brushtail Possum
Northern Brushtail Possum[1]
Adult male
Conservation status
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Phalangeridae
Genus: Trichosurus
Species: T. arnhemensis
Binomial name
Trichosurus arnhemensis
Collett, 1897
A male northern brushtail possum eating an apple.

The Northern Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus arnhemensis) is a nocturnal marsupial inhabiting northern Australia. It is closely related to the Short-eared Possum, Mountain Brushtail Possum, Coppery Brushtail Possum, and the Common Brushtail Possum, the other four species of its genus.[1]

Contents

Appearance

Its fur is a grey in colour, with a white underbelly and pink skin. The Northern Brushtail Possum can grow up to 55cm in length, not including its tail, and are around the size of a small cat. Unlike its relatives and despite what its name suggests, the Northern Brushtail Possum does not have a bushy tail.[2][3]

Male northern brushtail possum being hand fed a stick of carrot.

Lifespan and reproduction

The Northern Brushtail Possum breeds year round, with a gestation period of around 17-18 days and pouch period of 4-5 months. It can live for up to 15 years.

Relationship with humans

The Northern Brushtail Possum is well adapted to rural and urban areas and is sometimes considered a pest in high numbers.[3] Like other possums, the Northern Brushtail Possum is rather tolerant of humans and can sometimes be hand fed, although it is not encouraged as their claws are quite sharp and can cause infection or disease to humans if scratched. The Northern Brushtail Possum is a traditional food source for some indigenous Australians.[4]

Diet

The Northern Brushtail Possum eats a variety of plant matter, including fruit, leaves, flowers and seeds.[2]

References


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