Mountain Pygmy Possum Facts
- Most notably, fossil evidence of the Mountain Pygmy Possum was first discovered in 1895. Science previously believed that the species was extinct. However, the first living individuals were not discovered until 1966.
- Yet the species still remains extremely rare. Currently, only three small populations appear to exist. Due to this, along with other factors, the IUCN currently lists the animal as Critically Endangered.
- Further, this incredible creature adapted to a unique diet. During the spring and summer, it feeds exclusively on the bugong moth. But, the rest of the year, it feeds on fruits and seeds.
- The Mountain Pygmy #Possum is an extremely rare alpine marsupial from Australia thought to be extinct before 1966. Click To Tweet
Mountain Pygmy Possum Physical Description
Firstly, the Mountain Pygmy Possum is a very small species of marsupial. It has an average weight of only around 1.6 oz (45 g). Further, the total length of head and body is about 4.3 in (10.9 cm).
In addition, the tail grows quite long, being even longer than the head and body together. Scientists remain uncertain as to the evolutionary reason for this trait.
This interesting creature also displays a small degree of sexual dimorphism. The males typically grow to about 10% larger than the females.
The eyes also remain comparatively large, and the fur is generally gray to brown in color. Individuals often also possess a dark stripe on the back and a pale one on the side.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Diprotodontia
- Family: Burramyidae
- Genus: Burramys
- Species: B. parvus
Mountain Pygmy Possum Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Mountain Pygmy Possum evolved as endemic solely to the alpine areas of southern Australia. Furthermore, at this time, small populations exist perhaps on only three mountains: Mount Bugong, Mount Blue Cow, and Mount Buller.
Rather uniquely, the two genders have different habitat ranges throughout most of their lives. Individuals of the opposite sex usually encounter each other only during mating season.
Firstly, the females typically dwell at altitudes between 4,593-7,316 ft (1,400-2230 m). Meanwhile, the males prefer altitudes ranging from 3,937-4,265 ft (1,200-1,300 m).
Finally, the animal likes to nest near rocky streams and formations of loose boulders.