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Possum, Common Brushtail.jpg

Brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) are the most abundant, widely distributed and frequently encountered of all Australian marsupials. As its name suggests, the common brushtail possum has a rather bushy tail, which is prehensile at the tip and has a naked patch on the underside, helping it to grip branches. The foreclaws are sharp and the hind foot bears an opposable, clawless first toe which gives a good grasp. The second and third toes are fused, with a long, split claw, used in grooming. The fur of the common brushtail possum is thick and woolly, and quite variable in colour, ranging from silvery-grey, to brown, black, red or cream, lighter on the underparts, and with a brown to black tail. The ears are large and pointed, and there are dark patches on the muzzle. A number of subspecies are recognised, based on variations in colour and body size, with individuals in Tasmania generally being the largest, with dense, often black coats, and particularly bushy tails . The mae common brushtail possum is generally larger than the female, and the male’s coat usually blends to reddish across the shoulders. The female common brushtail possum has a well-developed, forward-opening pouch. The common brushtail possum is very vocal, producing a range of sounds including clicks, grunts, hisses, alarm chatters, coughs and screeching.

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