image credit: EPA/WILD LIFE SYDNEY
image credit: EPA/WILD LIFE SYDNEY
image credit: Carole Bradford

image credit: EPA/WILD LIFE SYDNEY

Habitat: Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Sulawesi, and Tasmania
Status:  Least Concern

I don’t even know how to begin this post right now. I’m so overwhelmed by the cuteness emanating from this animal that it’s almost too much to bear (or in this case possum – hah)! This Golden Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is one of Wildlife Sydney’s newest residents. The Golden Brushtail is actually just a color variation on the normally dark gray/tan colored Common Brushtail Possum. The color is due to the low levels of melanin in their skin and fur. There are actually four different color variations brushtail possums can come in: silver-grey, brown, black and gold.

 the ‘typical’ coloration of a brushtail possum

These guys are Australia’s largest tree-dwelling marsupials and really, how lucky can one country be? Koalas, Kangaroos, and now Golden Brushtailed Possums?! C’mon now! Share some of the cuteness with the rest of the world! Even the possums don’t like to share their cuteness with others, though; they live a mostly solitary lifestyle and keep away from other possums by utilizing scent markings (a.k.a. urinating) and vocalizations. Those vocalizations include anything from clicks, grunts, hisses, alarm chatters, guttural coughs and screeching. Screeching. The screeching would definitely make me keep my distance.

I read on wikipedia that brushtailed possums are normally not aggressive towards one another when encounters do occur, however. Instead they “usually just stare with erect ears.” So… yeah… doesn’t seem like they get into it with one another. Unless staring with your ears up in possum language is like the human equivalent of giving someone the finger… that might stir up some trouble. Thankfully, this does not seem to be the case.