Information On The Phalanger

 

Phalanger Information

The Phalanger is a  marsupial.

Size: head and body- 3-32 inches, tail- up to 25 inches.

Habitat and Range: forests of New Zealand, Australia, New Guinea and neighboring islands.

When first seen by explorers of Australia it was recognized as being similar to the American opossum and was called a opossum for many years. Eventually its name was shortened to possum.

Though both belong to the group marsupials, scientists have since learned that the two are not closely related. Both animals are of different families.

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The family name phalanger comes from a greek word meaning "bone of a finger or toe." The phalangers flexible toes and fingers aid the animal in climbing. the cuscus and the koala are members of the phalanger family. The phalanger may use its tail in climbing. Their sharp claws dig into tree branches making it easy for them to climb.

Phalangers can glide up three hundred feet while jumping from tree to tree. Because of the fur on their bellies, they are also known as yellow-bellied gliders.

At night phalangers search for food such as leaves, fruit, flowers, nectar, sap, and pollen. One of the gliding phalangers is called a suger glider because of its love for sweet food. Some phalangers eat insects and other small animals.

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Gestation period of the phalanger is two to five weeks with one to six young being born, depending on the species. Length of pregnancy for some species is unknown.

Phalangers enemies include snakes, monitor lizards and large owls.

 


 


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