Chordates •

Common brushtail possum

(Trichosurus vulpecula)



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.Its forefeet have sharp claws and the first toe of each hind foot is clawless but has a strong grasp.The possum grooms itself with the third and fourth toes which are fused together.It has a thick and woolly pelage that varies 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.The muzzle is marked with dark patches.The common brushtail possum has a head and body length of 32–58 cm with a tail length of 24–40 cm.It weighs 1.2-4.5 kg.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.The chest of both sexes has a scent gland that emits a reddish secretion which stains that fur around it.It marks its territory with these secretions.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
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