You all seemed to like my old biology illustration work, so I thought I’d put up more from time to time.
This is a cuscus, which is a very bizarre little marsupial that lives in Austraila. They’re sometimes called an Australian possum. They live in trees, have primate like hands, spooky cat eyes, and a prehensile tail to help them get around in trees. There are 4 species, but many different colors. These animals have sexual dymorphism, which means the males and females exhibit different physical traits, in this case, colors. They also go through different color changes as they age from babies to adults (anywhere from black to white, to grey to orange).
For a long time, it was thought that there were many more species of cuscus than there actually are (this happened a lot with lemurs too). In this species, the females (above) are usually white or greyish, and the males are white with orange splotches. They pretty much spend their time being cute and eating fruit and insects. Like most tree dwelling marsupials, they’re also nocturnal.
is a species of marsupial native to the islands of Biak and Supori of West Papua. This animal is very rare and a combination of habitat loss, hunting and a small range has caused the cuscus to be listed as critically endangered. Several recent suveys have failed to find any individuals left in the wild. The species gets its common name due to its distinct bright blue eyes and spotted fur.
The Common Spotted Cuscus is typically a solitary creature, feeding and nesting alone. Interactions with others, especially between competing males, can be aggressive and confrontational. Male cuscuses scent mark their territory to warn off other males, emitting a penetrating musk odor both from their bodies and scent gland excretions. They distribute saliva on branches and twigs of trees to inform others of their territory and mediate social interactions. If they encounter another male in their area, they make barking, snarling and hissing noises, and stand upright to defend their territory. They are aggressive, and can scratch, bite and kick potential predators… (Wikipedia)
The Bosavi Silky Cuscus (Phalanger sericeus tbd) is a newly discovered subspecies of the Silky Cuscus (P. sericeus), found by science in 2009 on Mt. Bosavi in New Guinea. Cuscuses are marsupials, in the same family as brush-tailed possums. The Silky was first described, as a species, in western science by British zoologist Oldfield Thomas in 1907.
The Spotted Cuscus is a nocturnal marsupial (possum) found in Northern Queenland, Australia and Papua New Guinea (where it is considered rather abundant). They live an almost entirely arboreal existence in various forest types. The diet consists of a variety of fruits, flowers, and leaves, as well as the occasional small animal. The cuscus releases a very pungent musk, which it uses to establish territory and communicate breeding availability. They are commonly eaten by various native peoples in Papua New Guinea.
The Spotted Cuscus is a marsupial with thick woolly fur that is variable in colour. The female is a creamy color and the male ranges from creamy-grey to orange-rust colour with irregular spots. It is arboreal and mostly nocturnal and it makes a platform to rest during the day by pulling some twigs together.
Size: head and body 35-45cm. Tail 32-43cm. Habitat: Tropical rainforest, palm forest, also seen in dense freshwater mangroves. Food: fruit, flowers, leaves. Breeding: Usually one young reared. The young is carried on the mothers back for a few months once it leaves the pouch. Range: Far north of Queensland, Australia, uncommon in Australia, but abundant in Papua New Guinea. Notes: These animals are a food source for some tribes in Papua New Guinea.
The blue-eyed spotted cuscus (Spilocuscus wilsoni) is a small possum that was found in 2004 on Indonesian New Guinea. Overall, the island hosts the highest diversity of tree-dwelling marsupials in the world, with an incredible 38 species, WWF says.