Coppery brushtail possum

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Coppery brushtail
Coppery Brushtail Possum (3625102158).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Suborder: Phalangeriformes
Family: Phalangeridae
Subfamily: Phalangerinae
Genus: Trichosurus
Species: T. johnstonii
Binomial name
Trichosurus johnstonii
(Ramsay, 1888)

The coppery brushtail possum (Trichosurus johnstonii) is a species of marsupial possum in the family Phalangeridae.[2] Coppery brushtails are found within the Atherton Tablelands area of Queensland, in northeastern Australia.[2][1] These mammals inhabit rainforest ecosystems, living within the tree canopy. Though they have a restricted distribution, they are locally common.[2] This population is often considered a subspecies of T. vulpecula.[1]

Description[edit]

Coppery brushtail possums have an average length of 400-490 mmm and weigh between 1200-1800 g, with males being larger and heavier than females.[3][4]

Ecology[edit]

Like the Common brushtail possum, coppery brushtails are nocturnal, and live in dens, which are usually tree hollows. At night they will still spend half of their time resting in order to conserve energy, and the other half in foraging.[5] It was found in feeding experiments that in selecting their food, these possums may tend to select a mix of plant materials with detoxification requirements that are correlated or independent, rather than contradictory, thus maximizing their ability to process harmful plant by-products.[6]

Dominance among individuals tends to place females above males, and larger over smaller individuals.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Morris, K., Woinarski, J., Friend, T., Foulkes, J., Kerle, A. & Ellis, M. (2008). "Trichosurus vulpecula". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Groves, C.P. (2005). "Order Diprotodontia". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ Kerr, Sarah Emily (2011). Divergence of a mammal along a habitat gradient: a study of the coppery brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula johnsonii (PhD Thesis). James Cook University. 
  4. ^ Meyer, T. (2012). "Trichosurus johnstonii". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Vandenbeld, John (1998). Nature of Australia: a portrait of the island continent. London: BBC Books. 
  6. ^ Marsh, Karen J; Wallis, Ian R; McLean, Stuart; Sorenson, Jennifer S; Foley, William J (2006). "Conflicting Demands on Detoxification Pathways Influence How Common Brushtail Possums Choose Their Diets". Ecology 87 (8): 2103–2112. 
  7. ^ Blackie, Helen M; Russel, James C; Clout, Mick N (2011). "Maternal influence on philopatry and space use by juvenile brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula)". Journal of Animal Ecology 80 (2): 477–483.