The bushy-tailed opossum (Glironia venusta ) is an opossum from South America. It was first described by English zoologist Oldfield Thomas in 1912. It is a medium-sized opossum characterized by a large, oval, dark ears, fawn to cinnamon coat with a buff to gray underside, grayish limbs, and a furry tail. Little is known of the behavior of the bushy-tailed opossum; less than 25 specimens are known. It appears to be arboreal (tree-living), nocturnal (active mainly at night) and solitary. The diet probably comprises insects, eggs and plant material. This opossum has been captured from heavy, humid, tropical forests; it has been reported from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The IUCN classifies it as least concern.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
This marsupial belongs to the group of American opossums, which are related to Australian opossums by the type of reproduction. This opossum is a very rare and little-known species. The animal reminds a dormouse by its appearance. No wonder the scientific name of the species is 'glironia', where the Latin word 'glir' means dormouse and 'venusta' - graceful or charming. The long, pointed nose of the animal has long tactile hairs. This marsupial has keen sense of hearing; the large ears of the opossum are blackish in color, oval-shaped and naked. The tail of the opossum is bushy, covered with thick fur. The coat of the animal is grey to buffy-white below while fawn or cinnamon-brown on top. The fur ranges greatly from soft and velvety to dense and woolly.
These marsupials inhabit Amazon and Paraguay Basins in South America (Bolivia; Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; Peru), occurring in dense, humid, tropical forests as well as semi-deciduous, dry seasonal sub-montane forests.
Presently, the Bushy-tailed opossum is quite a rare and insufficiently explored species. The animal is thought to be nocturnal and is likely to live solitarily. The big toe of the animal is large and opposable, which enables us to conclude that this marsupial is an arboreal animal that spends most of the time in the trees. In addition, some specimens of this opossum have been captured in pitfall trips, located on the ground, which allows to presume, that from time to time, the animal uses lower parts of the forest and sometimes comes down to the ground, probably in order to catch insects.
Presently, the diet of this marsupial is unknown, though the species has many similarities with genus Marmosa, which allows the researchers to presume that the Bushy-tailed opossums are omnivorous and may have the same diet as Marmosa species, namely, insects, eggs, seeds as well as fruits.
Currently, there is no information on the mating system of this marsupial, though species of the family Didelphidae are mainly polygynous. Rarity of their population numbers does not allow deeper study of the species. In general, however, opossum males compete for mating rights while communicating with each other through a wide variety of clicking calls. Opossums normally do not have any courtship rituals or pair bonds. Offspring of all opossum species are born altricial or poorly developed. Newborn babies climb to the pouch of their mother, staying there for weeks. Coming out of the pouch, the young are carried by their mother for another several weeks, after which they are weaned.
Currently, the opossum greatly suffers from the alteration of its forest habitat to agricultural areas, which, in turn, leads to sharp decline in the numbers of the species. Remaining forestlands are now being destroyed, logged, fragmented and turned to cattle pastures.
According to IUCN, the Bushy-tailed opossum is rare, although has a widespread distribution but no overall population estimate is available. However, the species is currently classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.
This opossum is thought to have the same diet as Marmosa species, namely, Robinson’s mouse opossum, which acts as seed disperser of various plants and fruits it feeds upon.