|Common brushtail possum by John Gould, 1863|
The brushtail possums are the members of the genus Trichosurus in the Phalangeridae, a family of marsupials. They are native to Australia (including Tasmania) and some small nearby islands. Unique among marsupials, they have shifted the hypaxial muscles from the epipubic to the pelvis, much like in placental muscles, meaning that their breathing cycle is more similar to the latter than to that of other non-eutherian mammals. In general, they are more terrestrially oriented than other possums, and in some ways might parallel primates.
The genus contains these species:
- Northern brushtail possum, T. arnhemensis
- Short-eared possum, T. caninus
- Mountain brushtail possum, T. cunninghami
- Coppery brushtail possum, T. johnstonii
- Common brushtail possum, T. vulpecula
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- Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 49–50. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
- Reilly SM, McElroy EJ, White TD, Biknevicius AR, Bennett MB, Abdominal muscle and epipubic bone function during locomotion in Australian possums: insights to basal mammalian conditions and Eutherian-like tendencies in Trichosurus, J Morphol. 2010 Apr;271(4):438-50. doi:10.1002/jmor.10808.
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