Ringtail Possum

Ringtail Possum, tree-dwelling marsupial found in Australia and nearby islands. This agile, graceful animal is known for its long, tapered tail, the end of which is often curled into a ring.

Ringtail possums inhabit a variety of wooded

Ringtail possums inhabit a variety of wooded areas, including dense, high-altitude rain forests. In prehistoric times, when rain forests were more abundant, they were widespread throughout much of the Australian continent. Today, their range is limited to Australia`s east coast, the southwestern part of the continent, and the nearby islands of Tasmania and New Guinea. Occasionally, they are spotted in suburban environments.

These medium-sized marsupials measure 16

These medium-sized marsupials measure 16 to 46 cm (6 to 18 in), not including the long, prehensile tail, which is about the same length as the body. They weigh up to 1.5 kg (3 lb). Their woolly fur is dark brown or gray, sometimes with white areas on the belly, head, or tail. Some species have dark stripes on the back or a dark band around the tail. The fur-covered tail is naked at the tip and can curl into a loop, enabling these animals to hang from branches. The thumb and first finger of the hands are opposable to the other three fingers, giving the possum the ability to grasp objects.

The ringtail possum`s diet is made up

The ringtail possum`s diet is made up of leaves, fruit, and flowers. A specialized digestive tract, which contains microbes that ferment plant matter, makes this diet possible. Ringtail possums feed mainly at night. They move quietly and slowly through trees, grasping branches and gathering food. During the day they take shelter in hollow trees or in nests made of leaves and twigs.

The ringtail species best known to scientists

The ringtail species best known to scientists is the common ringtail. Members of this species feed solely on eucalyptus leaves and build elaborate nests the size of soccer balls. The gestational period for common ringtails is about four months, and after giving birth, the females carry the newborns in their pouch for about two months. After the young leave the pouch, they ride on their mother`s back until they are ready to follow her independently. Unlike other ringtails, which are solitary animals, common ringtails live in clusters of two or three adultsone male and one or two femalesand their offspring. These groupings usually stay together for at least several months. Like other ringtails, common ringtails have a life span of about four to six years.

Ringtail possums have been hunted extensively

Ringtail possums have been hunted extensively, primarily for their dense, soft skins. In addition, ringtail populations have suffered habitat losses due to logging and the clearing of land for agriculture. Despite these pressures, ringtail possums are not threatened or endangered.

"`Scientific classification:"` Ringtail

"`Scientific classification:"` Ringtail possums are members of the Pseudocheiridae family in the order Marsupialia. The common ringtail possum is classified as "Pseudocheirus peregrinus".

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