Australian possums, or phalangers, are herbivorous marsupials which live in trees. They belong to the 4 main families:

  • Ringtails and large gliders
  • Brushtails and cuscus
  • Feathertail and pygmy possums
  • honey possums

    They are shy nocturnal creatures. Some are capable of gliding, but it's not considered true flight. they have a pouch, but also carry their young on their backs.

    The greater glider possum,Petauroides volans, is an elusive creature which usually finds a home in the hollow if a gum tree.It is capable of gliding or volplaning from one tree to another by an extension of skin along the sides of the body and limbs, which when extended froms a sort of parachute.

    Leadbeater's possum, Gymnobelideus leadbeateri, is a tiny possum which lives only in Victoria over an area of 100 square kilometers, extending from Marysville, north-east of Melbourne, to Tanjil Bren. After 1909 it was thought to be extinct but was re-discovered in 1961, again at Marysville. It is the animal emblem of Victoria.

  • Pos"sum (?), n. [Shortened from opossum.] Zool.

    An opossum.

    [Colloq. U. S.]

    To play possum, To act possum, to feign ignorance, indifference or inattention, with the intent to deceive; to dissemble; -- in allusion to the habit of the opossum, which feigns death when attacked or alarmed.


    © Webster 1913.

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