The scaly-tailed possum is restricted to the Kimberly division in the north of Western Australia.
The scaly-tailed possum inhabits areas with trees and rocks in the broken sandstone country of savannah woodlands in hot tropics.
- Terrestrial Biomes
- savanna or grassland
The pelage of the scaly-tailed possum is short, fine, and dense. The general dorsal color is pale or dark ashy gray while the underside color is white. A dark stripe, which may be obscure or distinct, runs along the mid-dorsal line from the shoulders to the rump. The scaly-tailed possum has a prehensile tail that is densely furred at the base and has nonoverlapping, thick scales for the remainder of its length. The head is short and wide with short ears. The claws are short and not strongly curved.
- Average mass
- 1400 g
- 49.34 oz
- Average mass
- 1700 g
- 59.91 oz
The scaly-tailed possum is known to breed in the dry season. The recorded litter size is one. Information on the reproductive behavior of the scaly-tailed possum is limited.
- Key Reproductive Features
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
The scaly-tailed possum is nocturnal and scansorial. It shelters by day among the rocks and emerges at night to feed. It is also known to be a solitary species.
- Key Behaviors
Communication and Perception
The diet mainly consists of fruits, blossoms, and leaves of Eucalyptus, Terminalia, etc. The scaly-tailed possum has also been known to feed on insects and small vertebrates.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
The scaly-tailed possum was once considered endangered but is now less threatened.
Ryo Sekine (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
The term is used in the 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals to refer collectively to species categorized as Endangered (E), Vulnerable (V), Rare (R), Indeterminate (I), or Insufficiently Known (K) and in the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals to refer collectively to species categorized as Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), or Vulnerable (VU).
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
Hume, I. 1999. Marsupial Nutrition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nowak, R. 1991. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Taylor, J. 1984. Mammals of Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Tyndale-Biscoe, H. 1973. Life of Marsupials. New York: American Elsevier Publishing Company, Inc..