Common Brushtail Possum Facts!

Common Brushtail Possum Facts!

Common Brushtail Possum
Common Brushtail Possum. Image credit: Greg Schechter cc2.0

The common brushtail possum is a marsupial found in Australia. It is the second-largest of the possums, weighing 2.6 to 9.9 pounds (1.2 to 4.5 kilograms). It has a bushy tail with a prehensile (adapted for grasping) tail tip, which also has a bare patch on the underside to aid it in effectively gripping branches.

Brushtail possum in tree. Image credit: Brisbane City Council cc2.0

Brushtail possums are nocturnal animals that rest throughout the day and come out at night. They are mostly tree-dwellers, but sometimes they come down to the ground. They usually like to eat eucalyptus leaves, but will also feed on flowers, seeds, small insects and birds’ eggs.


Brushtail possum exhibiting exudative dermatitis, a condition that often results from stress associated with overcrowding, particularly in young males attempting to assert territory. Image credit: P2409 cc3.0

A scent gland on the possum’s chest secretes a reddish substance that the possum uses to mark its territory. They also urinate and vocalize to do this. Common brushtail possums are not very social animals and usually only come together for breeding.

Common brushtail possum closeup of pouch
closeup shot of a common brushtail possum’s pouch. Image credit: Peter Firminger cc2.0

Unlike other Australian marsupials like the koala and the bilby, the pouch of the female possum opens to the front instead of the back. She gives birth to one baby, which finds its way into her pouch unassisted and attaches itself to her teat. The baby then remains in there for the next 4 to 5 months.

Common brushtail possums are featured in the following books:
25 Australian Animals
101 facts… Marsupials

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about common brushtail possums. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Common Brushtail Possum 2 by Glurice Cheng
  2. Common Brushtail Possum 3 by Glurice Cheng
  3. common brushtail possum test 1 by TheMothermole
  4. Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula) by MarkleZephire


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