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A NEW GOLDEN brushtail possum has gone on show at the WILD LIFE zoo in Sydney. These adorable and rare creatures are an unusual form of the common brushtail possum that get their fluffy golden coats from a genetic mutation that results in low levels of melanin in their skin and fur; this is the same pigment that gives human skin and hair its colour and makes you look tanned.
Unfortunately for these little guys, their colour is more of a bane in the wild because it makes them conspicuous to predators. It's hard to hide among the leaves when you've got bright golden fur! Because of this, the golden brushtail possum is a rare sight in the wild, being found mostly in small pockets around Tasmania where they have fewer wild predators.
There are four main colour variations of the common brushtail possum: silver-grey, brown, black and golden. The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is one of the most widespread species in Australia, found throughout the eastern and northern parts of the continent, as well as some western regions, Tasmania and a number of offshore islands. Possums are omnivores, though they mainly feed on the leaves of trees and shrubs and enjoy succulent herbs, grasses and garden plants.
The new 6-month-old, named Bailey (also pictured below), is the most recent addition to the successful breeding program of golden possums at the small zoo in Sydney's CBD. "Bailey's parents arrived to the attraction in 2008 and since then we've witnessed three successful golden brushtail possum births with Bailey being the latest baby to join our young, ever-growing brood of native Australian wildlife," says WILD LIFE life sciences manager Mike Drinkwater.
-- Jenna Hanson.
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Work has halted on a proposed iron ore mine in Tasmania's fragile Tarkine region.
A bee collecting nectar from a vibrant bloom in Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens is the focus of this week's reader photo.
Those who feel they deserve success are more likely to fail when challenges arise.
A triangular $5 coin launched this month commemorates the 25th anniversary of Australian Parliament House.
Chemists have manipulated the growth of crystals to build beautiful nanoflowers that are impossibly small.
Did you know some turtles can choose their egg-laying date? http://t.co/TwPYnEpY1r #iloveturtles #WorldTurtleDay
Posted on 23 May 2013
Thursday 6June 2013
The story of the first adventurers to walk across Victoria Island is showing at the Sydney Film Festival in June.
Photographers hit the beach in search of hippos in the surf for a new documentary, Africa: Eye to Eye with the Unknown.
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