Photo of a wallaby

List of marsupials

Found in Australia, these animals are a bit strange. They all have pouches!

Scientific name: order: peramelemorphia

Bandicoots are small marsupials from Australia. Most bandicoots are about the same size as a rabbit. They eat plants as well as insects and small animals. There are around 20 different species of bandicoot.

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Bilby

Scientific name: macrotis lagotis

Bilbies are rabbit sized animals that live in remote desert areas of Australia. They eat plants, seeds and insects.

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Kangaroo

Photo of a kangaroo
Photo by Glen Wright
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Scientific name: family: macropodidae

Kangaroos (Macropus rufus) are a marsupial that lives in Australia. Marsupials are animals that keep their babies their pouches. Kangaroos eat mostly grasses and small shrubs.
Kangaroos travel by hopping along on their hind legs, using their tail to balance themselves. They can travel very fast, and can grow to be taller and heavier than an adult man. A baby kangaroo is called a joey.

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Koala

Photo of a koala
Photo by Rennett Stowe
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Scientific name: phascolarctos cinereus

Koalas are a marsupial that lives in Australia. Marsupials are animals that keep their babies in pouches. Koalas live in eucalypt trees, and eat only eucalypt leaves. Koalas move very slowly and spend most of their time asleep. Koalas have two thumbs on each hand and foot. A baby koala is called a joey, the same as a baby kangaroo. When the joey has left its mother's pouch, it will ride on her back for another six months. The closest relative of the koala is the wombat.

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Opossum

Photo of an opossum
Photo by Juan Tello
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Scientific name: order: didelphimorphia

Opossums are a small to medium sized, common creature that has spread from the western United States. They have a varied diet and are successful breeders. They are the only marsupial found outside of the Australian area.

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Possum

Possums are fairly small creatures that live in trees in Australia, New Guinea, and Sulawesi. Possums usually sleep during the day and come out at night. Possums eat leaves, flowers and sometimes insects, eggs and meat.
The possums in the photo are trichosurus vulpecula, the common brush-tailed possum.

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Quoll

Photo of a spotted quoll
Photo by Cimexus
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Scientific name: genus: dasyurus

Quolls are carniverous marsupials found in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Like all marsupials, they have a pouch where their young stay. A quoll's pouch faces backwards.

Scientific name: petaurus breviceps

The sugar glider is a small marsupial found in Australia and New Guinea that looks like a tiny possum. Sugar gliders have a flap of skin between their front and back legs on both sides that they can stretch out and use to glide. Sugar gliders can jump out of trees and glide through the air to another tree, like a flying squirrel.
Sugar gliders eat the sweet sap of some trees, and some types of nectar.

Photo of a Tasmanian devil
Photo by Chen Wu
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Scientific name: Sarcophilus harrisii

The Tasmanian devil is a marsupial that lives in Tasmania. Marsupials are animals that keep their babies in a pouch. Tasmanian devils eat other animals, and are very ferocious hunters. They are about the size of a small dog, but have a heavier build.

Scientific name: dendrolagus ursinus

Tree kangaroos are very distant relatives of the kangaroo. They have adapted to life in trees, eating leaves, fruit and bark. Tree kangaroos are endangered, and are only found in the rainforests in mountainous areas of far north-eastern Australia, New Guinea and some islands in the same area.