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Australian Wildlife

  Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)





Common Brushtail Possum | Trichosurus vulpecula photo
Common Brushtail Possum photographed in Brisbane

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Common Brushtail Possum | Trichosurus vulpecula photo
Common Brushtail Possum

Photograph copyright: Nickolay Tilcheff - all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Common Brushtail Possum | Trichosurus vulpecula photo
Common Brushtail Possum

Photograph copyright: Nickolay Tilcheff - all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Common Brushtail Possum | Trichosurus vulpecula photo
Common Brushtail Possum

Photograph copyright: Nickolay Tilcheff - all rights reserved. Used with permission.



MAMMAL FACTS

Description
The Common Brushtail Possum is a large possum with bushy tail and pointed ears. Grey with a black band across the snout, they have a white to brownish-yellow belly. It is nocturnal and, during the day, retreats to a hollow log, branch, tree trunk or any dark area, even inside house roofs.

Other Names
Brushtail Possum, Silver-grey Possum

Size
Body 55 cm, tail 40 cm.

Habitat
Urban areas, forests and woodlands, heath. Prefer hollows in large eucalypts for daytime dens, although in cities can rest in roof cavities or other man made structures.

Food
Mainly leaves, blossoms and fruit. Occasionally eats invertebrates,

Breeding
The breeding season varies from all year round in tropical areas to a short 2-3 month birth peak in the temperate south. A single young is born 17-18 days after mating and spends 4-5 months in the pouch, attached to one of two teats. A further 1-2 months are spent suckling and riding on the mothers back until fully weaned. Females in good condition may give birth to a second young within a year.

Range
Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and Northern Territory. Also found in New Zealand.



Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Diprotodontia
Family:Phalangeridae
Genus:Trichosurus
Species:vulpecula
Common Name:Common Brushtail Possum

Relatives in same Genus
  Northern Brushtail Possum (T. arnhemensis)
  Mountain Brushtail Possum (T. cunninghami)