Common Brushtail
(Trichosurus vulpecula) #64-29

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Physical characteristics and distribution

The Common Brushtail has a long, bushy prehensile tail. It has a foxlike face with large, erect ears. The fur is dense, woolly and dark silvery gray with a yellow underside. The tail of the possum is tipped black or white. Head and body length is 32-58 cm and it can weigh up to 5 kg.

The possum's habitat consists of wooded areas especially where eucalypts grow. The brushtail is primarily arboreal spending daytimes sleeping inside of tree hollows. Trichosurus vulpecula typically eats leaves, shoots, and flowers. they have a great ability to adapt to a number of dietary resources including a large number of highly toxic flowers and leaves. Throughout most of its range, it prefers to feed on Eucalyptus flowers, but will eat from a number of various trees and shrubs. In addition, it eats clovers, grasses, garden fruits and turnips.

Brushtails breed once or twice a year and usually bear a single offspring. The typical gestation period is 17 days and the offspring leave the pouch at 5 months of age.

Trichosurus vulpecula has the widest distribution of any Australian mammal. It is found in Australia: E Queensland, E New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, SE and N South Australia, SW Western Australia; and introduced to New Zealand.

Description of the brain

Animal source and preparation
All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

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