Chordates • Earth.com

Black-spotted cuscus

(Spilocuscus rufoniger)

Description

Black-spotted cuscuses comprise one of the largest species of the family Phalangxeridae;only surpassed in size by the bear cuscus.Adult black-spotted cuscuses weigh approximately 6 to 7 kg (13 to 15 lb) on average.Typically,they are 120 cm in length,with the head and body measuring approximately 70 cm,and the tail measuring 50 cm. Both adult males and females exhibit red and black fur that is dense and woolly.However,females are bigger and have a uniformly dark,saddle-like coloration,while males have spotty colorations.The pelages of the young transform through a series of colors during maturation.The undersides of black-spotted cuscuses have areas of yellow and white.Females possess four mammae and modified pouches for neonates that open anteriorly.Black-spotted cuscuses have round heads with a short,pointed snout.The frontal skull bones are convex,which gives them their bulging forehead,and they have a large sinus that is closed off from the nasal cavity.In black-spotted cuscuses,the basioccipital and alisphenoid bones in the skull create a well-developed structure earlier than in other Phalangeridae.Their eyes are characterized by large,vertically split pupils that are useful for their nocturnal lifestyle.There is fur lining the inner ears,which are almost invisible.Black-spotted cuscuses can be distinguished from other cuscuses by their teeth.They have low crowns and small premolars that lie anterior to the primary premolar in the upper jaw.In addition,they have a prominent protocone on their first,upper molars.

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:
Class: Mammalia
Order:Diprotodontia
Family:Phalangeridae
Genus:Spilocuscus
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