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Common Ringtail Possum[1]
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Pseudocheiridae
Subfamily: Pseudocheirinae
Genus: Pseudocheirus
Ogilby, 1837
Species: P. peregrinus
Binomial name
Pseudocheirus peregrinus
(Boddaert, 1785)

The Common Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus, Greek for "false hand" and Latin for "pilgrim" or "alien") is an Australian marsupial. The Common Ringtail is a nocturnal herbivore, which weighs between 550 and 1100 g. It has grey fur with white patches behind the eyes and usually a cream coloured belly. It has a long prehensile tail which normally displays a distinctive white tip over 25% of its length. The back feet are syndactyl which helps it to climb.

The Common Ringtail Possum eats a variety of leaves of both native and introduced plants, as well as flowers and fruits. This possum also consumes a special type of faeces that are produced during the daytime when it is resting in a nest. This behaviour is called coprophagia and is similar to that seen in rabbits.

Asleep in daytime roost. Common Ringtails usually build nests. This one prefers the open air.

References

  1. ^ Groves, C. (2005). Wilson, D. E., & Reeder, D. M.. ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 51. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3.  
  2. ^ Winter, J., Menkhorst, P., Lunney, D. & van Weenen, J. (2008). Pseudocheirus peregrinus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 28 December 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
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