Animal Species:Eastern Pygmy Possum

The Eastern Pygmy Possum is a tiny marsupial.

Eastern Pygmy Possums on flower

K Atkinson ©  Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Eastern Pygmy Possum

Identification

The Eastern Pygmy Possum has the following distinguishing features:

  • Front teeth Three pairs of upper incisors, one pair of lower incisors.
  • Head Rounded head and very large eyes. Long whiskers.
  • Ears Large ears.
  • Colouring Fawn above, white below. Soft dense fur.
  • Tail Prehensile tail with seasonally fattened base, naked underside, furred above, tapers to fine point. 75-105 mm.

Size range

Body 70 mm - 110 mm, Body weight 15 g - 43 g

Similar Species

Sometimes mistaken for a rat or mouse.

Habitat

The Eastern Pygmy Possum lives in forests, from rainforest and sclerophyll to heath.

Feeding and Diet

The Eastern Pygmy Possum feeds on nectar and pollen from eucalypts, banksias, and bottlebrushes, supplemented by insects and fruit.

Feeding Habits

frugivorous, insectivorous, nectarivorous

What does this mean?

Other behaviours and adaptations

Eastern Pygmy Possums are nocturnal.

Life history mode

nocturnal

What does this mean?

Life cycle

Mother Eastern Pygmy Possums nest with their young in tree hollows or in small spherical nests of shredded bark. The possums may also shelter in abandoned bird nests or the forks of trees.

Classification

Species:
nanus
Genus:
Cercartetus
Family:
Burramyidae
Order:
Diprotodontia
Subclass:
Marsupialia
Class:
Mammalia
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?


Last Updated:

Tags possums, marsupials, mammals, vertebrates, identification,

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