Whatcha Got? Huh, huh?

Odille Esmonde-Morgan

GLENORCHY, Australia

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Artist's Description

A greedy and rather tame common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula, from the Greek for “furry tailed” and the Latin for “little fox”, also known as Phalangista vulpina) at the campground at Queen mary Falls near Killarney in southern Qld, Australia.

This cheeky chap later climbed down and stuck his head right into an almost empty bag of marshmallows we were toasting at our fire and made off with one.

About:
The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula, from the Greek for “furry tailed” and the Latin for “little fox”, also known as Phalangista vulpina3) is a nocturnal, semi-arboreal marsupial of the family Phalangeridae, it is native to Australia, and the largest of the possums.

Like most possums, the Common Brushtail is nocturnal. It is mainly a folivore, but has been known to eat small mammals such as rats. In most Australian habitats, leaves of Eucalyptus are a significant part of the diet but rarely the sole item eaten. The tail is prehensile and naked on its lower underside. There are four colour variations: Silver Grey, Brown, Black and Gold (note there is now a white variety – see http://australianmuseum.net.au/Common-Brushtail...).

It is the Australian marsupial most often seen by city-dwellers, as it is one of few that thrive in cities as well as a wide range of natural and human-modified environments. Around human habitations, Common Brushtails are inventive and determined foragers with a liking for fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and kitchen raids.

In New Zealand, where it was introduced in the 19th century in an attempt to build up a fur industry, it is a major agricultural and conservation pest.

Artwork Comments

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