Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spotted Cuscus

The spotted cuscus  (Spilocuscus maculatus) is a marsupial found in Australia.  They are nocturnal animals and are primarily herbivores. 

Physical Features
The spotted cuscus is looks like a very woolly possum with a round head and small ears.  They have long tails and huge round eyes which enables them to see in the dark.  their length excluding the tail is about 58 cm (23 inches) and their tail length is about 43.5 cm (17 inches).  Their tails are more than half the size of their body.  The spotted cuscus weighs maximum 5 kilograms.  Males have a grayish white body coat with white blotches.  Only the males are spotted while the females are unspotted with a white or gray body coat.  All the limbs of a spotted cuscus have five digits each and the first digit on the hind foot is claw-less.  Females have 4 teats on its pouch.  Unlike other cuscuses, the spotted cuscus does not have a dorsal stripe on back

Spotted cuscus feeding on a flower.
The spotted cuscus is mainly a herbivore though is sometimes eats small insects.  They mainly eat leaves, flowers and fruits such as figs.  It may eat insects and will also small animals that it comes across.

Distribution and Habitat
The spotted cuscus is found in Papua New Guinea in some islands surrounding it.  It is also found in Cape York area which is in the northeastern Australia.  They live in rainforests, mangroves and in open woodlands.

Life Cycle
The life cycle of the spotted cuscus has been studied very little.  Females may give birth to 1 or 3 young ones at anytime of the year.  The gestation period and sexual maturity is unknown.  The spotted cuscus may live for 11 years in captivity.  It is not known for how much time it can live in the wild.

The spotted cuscus is mainly arboreal.  They live solitary and are nocturnals.  Females are very noisy when in breeding condition.  Normally, the spotted cuscus makes noises like hisses, shrieks and clicks to communicate.

The spotted cuscus is very abundant throughout its range.

Source of pic 1 and pic 2

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