Tour of Tasmania: Possums
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Possums, not to be confused with opossums found in the Americas, are Australian marsupials. Possums vary in appearance from small rat-like pygmies and squirrel-like sugar gliders, to larger varieties which may grow bigger than a domestic cat.

It is these larger possums which are most common in Tasmania. Golden possums are native to Tasmania and are very rare. Ring tailed possums have tails similar to monkeys which taper off to a point and can be used to hold on to tree branches. Brush tailed possums have long fluffy tails a little like, say, a fox.

Possums are nocturnal and eat small plants and flowers, and sometimes insects. Brush tailed possums are common in most Tasmanian bushlands and in the suburbs of Tasmanian cities. They frequently venture into gardens in search of food, especially from fruit trees and roses. Possums, especially in suburbs, are often regarded as annoyances because of their destruction of gardens and chewing through of electricity lines. However, as they are a protected species, they continue to grow in number.

Possums are sometimes mistaken for intruders. They tend to scrabble round on roofs and make a noise similar to a human cough. Enemies of possums include domestic dogs and cats.

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