Cuscus

Cuscus

Scientific Name: Phalanger Maculatus

Group: Rodents

Colour: Black, Brown, Tan, White, Cream, Grey

Life Span: 8 - 12 years

Predator: Snakes, Humans, Large birds of prey

Prey: Fruit, Leaves, Insects

Group: Marsupial

Size (L): 15cm - 60cm (6in - 24in)

Weight: 3kg - 6kg (6.5lbs - 13lbs)

Top Speed: 25km/h (15mph)

Habitat: Tropical rainforest and mangroves

The cuscus is a large marsupial native to the Northern forest of Australia and the large, tropical island of Papua New Guinea. The cuscus is a subspecies of possum with the cuscus being the largest of the world's possum species.
The cuscus is known to range in size from just 15cm to more than 60cm in length, although the average sized cuscus tends to be around 45cm (18inches). The cuscus has small ears and large eyes which aid the cuscus through it's nocturnal lifestyle.
The cuscus is an arboreal mammal, and spends it's life almost exclusively in the trees. The cuscus rests in the trees during the day, sleeping in the dense foliage and awakens at night to start moving through the trees in search of food. The cuscus is an omnivorous animal but the cuscus mainly eats leaves and fruits occasionally feasting on small birds and reptiles.
The cuscus is thought to breed throughout the year rather than having a strict breeding season. The mother cuscus gives birth to between 2 and 4 baby cuscus after a gestation period of just a couple of weeks. As with all marsupials, the female cuscus has a pouch on her tummy which the new born cuscus babies crawl into and stay until they are bigger, less vulnerable and able to start feeding themselves. Typically only one of the cuscus babies will survive and emerge from the pouch after 6 or 7 months.

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