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Brushtail Possums

Brushtail Possums
Photo Information
Copyright: Gethin Hill (inked) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 132 W: 0 N: 249] (771)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-12-15
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi), Canon EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 III
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Mammals of Australia [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-01-17 4:33
Viewed: 5491
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
hi everyone,

got this photo of these brushtailed possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. I have seen so many of these there, you can't go without seeing them if you are around once it gets dark. I think it's a mother and baby, which isn't so baby-sized anymore from the looks, although i've still seen them this size clinging onto a mothers back. Some kids just don't leave home till they're older i guess.

About the Brushtail Possum... from wikipedia

The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula, from the Greek for "furry tailed" and the Latin for "little fox") is the largest possum, and the Australian marsupial most often seen by city-dwellers, since it is one the very few that thrives in cities as well as a wide range of natural and human-modified environments. Despite its resemblance to a fox's brush, the characteristic tail is prehensile and is naked on its lower underside.

Like most possums, the Common Brushtail is nocturnal. It is mainly a folivore, but supplements its usual diet of leaves with fruit, invertebrates, flowers, buds, and whatever else is available. In most Australian habitats, leaves of Eucalyptus are a significant part of the diet but rarely the sole item eaten. This is probably because of the tannins and other chemical defences present in eucalypt leaves. Around human habitations, Common Brushtails are inventive and determined foragers with a liking for fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and kitchen raids.

They are highly inquisitive and live in troupes of about a dozen individuals with a complex social structure not dissimilar from wolves and primates.

During the day, Common Brushtails sleep in a den in a hollow tree or any other convenient place, notably ceiling spaces that are not securely sealed. Although primarily arboreal and not found in places without trees to provide refuge, they spend a good deal of time on the ground. They are able to stand upright.

The very loud hissing, crackling territorial call of the male Common Brushtail has a harsh quality. They have a number of other vocalizations, mainly consisting of pitched clicks. Most are also relatively quiet. Socially they may be solitary or they may form small groups which share territory.

Keeping of Brushtail Possums is prohibited in many areas, and they do not make good pets. If hand reared they will become tame to humans, but still keep an instinctive urge to explore their surrounding area which can bring them into contact with a number of threats. Not the least of which is the wild possums in the area which will be highly territorial and aggressive to any new possum. Feeding of hand reared possums is also involved, after weaning from a replacement possum milk formula they need a good mixture of native leaves and flowers, as well as fruits and vegetables. A common mistake is to feed captive possums solely on fruit and vegetables, which inhibits the correct development of gut microbes required for digestion, and can cause death.

PaulH, valy67, rousettus, rcrick, marhowie, jusninasirun has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-01-17 4:38]

Hi Gethin,
cool shot, really like the look of these two characters sat up there looking down like this! Some nice detail, good framing and a well seen composition - well done mate!

Hello Gethin !
These animals are very cute, and you managed to get a beautiful picture. There are some nice details, wonderful composition and POV, and it's also nice to see their natural environment. You're so lucky to be able to see them, must be fantastic ! Thank you for sharing with us these beautiful creatures.

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-01-17 7:47]

Hi Gethin, botanic gardens are a great place to stroll at night ;-)) Love that picture, stealing a moment in darkness of the beautiful little animals, they are really cute! You managed a great composition with the trunk of the tree crossing the frame. The pose of the possums is nice too, with their long ears, incredible, with very nice foliage in the background. Thanks!


Hi Gethin,
my critiques, I wrote today, there is not small mammals photograph as much as birds and larger mammals etc. However, I saw several great capture smaller mammals here. One of the best shots. You capture two lovely possum together greatly. POV, focus, composition very nice. framed and notes also. thanks for sharing. best wishes

Hi Gethin,
Really good shot of these brush tailed possums in there natural environment, well composed with excellent detail, and no red eye effect from the fill flash, nice work all the best Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-01-18 1:36]

Hi Gethin,

An animal we dont see that often on TN,you made a good capture with nice POV,the colors looking great and the fillflash applied is just enough,tfs


Great image Gethin, it's well composed.
Difficult to get it sharp at night with the slow s-speed, but these two look well detailed with nice color..Excellent notes,
Well done!

Hello Gethin,
This is a beautul shot which looks like they are ready for some action. I like the details and clarity that you managed here. Superb sharpness in the animal's faces.
Have a wonderful weekend.

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