This Bushtail Possum Mum and her Joey (baby) are feeding outside my kitchen window on the feeding tray we provide. The Joey has been out of her pouch for about 1 week and will stay with its Mother for several months, riding on her back until she is quite a bit larger. Once out of the pouch it does not return, unlike Kangaroo Joeys which use the pouch for several months.
Canon 450D, zoom lens.
(Featured in Images of Endearment & Other Groups.)
We have watched this possum breed several youngsters right in the middle of suburbia. Bushtail possums have adapted to urban life and are not a threatened species. In many houses they make a real nuisance of themselves by getting into roof spaces and the like, and as they are 100% portected, it can be problematic. Our house has a flat roof, so they can’t get inside the roof space, but they love to race across the roof after jumping from our tall eucalypts. They can make a lot of noise, but we are used to it and we love having them in out lives.
We have provided a Possum Box on the top of the pole which can be seen to the left of the image, and if startled it is quite common for the Mother to dash up the pole and into the box when she has a youngster.
Adelaide, South Australia.
The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula, from the Greek for “furry tailed” and the Latin for “little fox”, also known as Phalangista vulpina) is a nocturnal, semi-arboreal marsupial of the family Phalangeridae, it is a marsupial native to Australia, and the largest of the possums. The common brushtail possum has large and pointed ears. It has a bushy tail (hence its name) with a prehensile tip and a hairless patch on the underside which helps it grasp tree branches. Its forefeet have sharp claws and the hindfeet each have an opposable, clawless toe which have good grips. 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 blend into reddish at the shoulders. As with all marsupials, the female brushtail possum has a forward-opening, well-developed pouch. The brushtail possum has a scent gland located on the chest used to mark territories. The reddish secretions from this gland give the fur around it a brown or reddish appearance