Common Brushtail Possum

The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula) is an Australian and New Zealand marsupial mammal. Trichosurus Vulpecula means furry tailed little fox, but it is not a fox, and it is not related to the fox.

The Common Brushtail Possum is silver-grey, brown, black, or a golden colour, with large pointed ears and an extremely bushy tail that can wrap around branches. Its inner ears and nose are pink. It has short, fine black whiskers, and big, round brown eyes. Its feet have sharp claws with a strong grip.

Common Brushtail Possum

Common Brushtail Possum


The Common Brushtail Possum is the largest of all native Australian possums. It can grow to 32-58 centimetres (12-23 inches). Its tail measures about 24-40 centimetres (9-16 inches) long.

It is nocturnal (active at night) and semi-arboreal (living in trees).

The Common Brushtail Possum is a folivore, because it mainly eats leaves. It particularly likes eucalyptus (gum) leaves, but it will also eat fruit and vegetables.

Animals that eat possums include tiger quolls, foxes, cats, goanna lizards, snakes, and some owls.

It is native to Australia and New Zealand, around the coast and in the hinterlands, but not in central Australia, because there are no eucalyptus trees in the desert.

It is a marsupial mammal because it has a front pouch in which the young are raised (like kangaroos). It nests in tree hollows, caves, and the roofs of houses. Females are pregnant for about 18 days, before giving birth to one young, called a joey.



Photographer: Martina Nicolls



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