The Common Ringtail Possum
The common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) is an Australian marsupial that can be found on the east coast of Australia, Tasmania and parts of southwestern Australia. They prefer tropical forest. The ringtail possum is less widespread than the brushtail possum, but it can still find its way to urban areas.
The ringtail possums eat a variety of leaves, flowers and seeds. These possums are known to consume a particular type of faeces generated throughout the day when it’s sleeping in the nest. This behaviour is similar to the one seen in rabbits.
The common ringtail possum is smaller than the brushtail possum. Its weight varies between 0.5-1.5kg, and it’s between 30-35cm long when fully grown. The tail is strong and approximately 30cm long. Same as the brushtail possums, they use their tail to help them climb trees.
The ringtail possum has black or grey fur with white patches behind their eyes and on their belly. The tip of the tail is distinctive white.
Unlike the brushtail possums, the ringtail possums live in social groups, usually sharing communal nests. They nest in tree hollows and build their nests from branches. One nest is generally made for adult female and male. These possums as territorial and will drive any intruder away. They communicate with each other vocally with high-pitched calls.
Depending on the area, the mating season of the ringtail possums can happen between April and December. The pregnancy lasts around 28 days. On average the litter may consist of two newborns. Although triplets are happening occasionally.
The young ones grow relatively slow due to the low amount of milk that is provided to them. The lactation period may last up to 7 months. The longer lactation time gives the little ones time to learn to climb and communicate vocally with their parents.