Pygmy possums are found in Australia and New Guinea. Five species, placed in two genera, are known.
These possums are small animals, ranging from 6 gms to about 80 gms. Besides traits from their diprotodont heritage, characteristics of burramyids include a conical head with short muzzle, large eyes, and short rounded ears. Their tail is long, slender, and prehensile. They have an opposable hallux on their hind feet, and their pelage is soft, thick, and wooly. Burramyids are diprotodont, with dental formula 3/2, 1/0, 2-3/3, 3-4/3-4. The molars are quadrate and have low, smooth cusps (bunodont). The third upper premolar is bladelike or plagiaulacoid.
Their well-developed pouches open anteriorly, like those of most other marsupials. Newly fertilized eggs go through a period of embryonic diapause, a common trait among diprotodonts.
Burramyids are mostly insectivorous, but also feed on nectar and sometimes lizards. They are nocturnal, and arboreal or scansorial in habit. Burramys parvus, which lives at high elevations, is the only marsupial known to undergo extensive periods of hibernation.
brush tailed possum
ring tailed possum
western pygmy possum
Family Acrobatidae Family Burramyidae Family Macropodidae Family Petauridae Family Phalangeridae Family Phascolarctidae Family Potoroidae Family Pseudocheiridae Family Tarsipedidae Family Vombatidae
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