Physical characteristics

Feather-tailed possums possess a variety of adaptations to life in the trees, as well as a number of physical characteristics that set them well apart from other possums. Acrobates is

A pygmy glider (Acrobates pygmaeus) on a Banksia flower. (Photo by Pavel German. Reproduced by permission.)

tiny—the smallest gliding marsupial, weighing less than 0.5 oz (14 g). The gliding membrane is a narrow strip of furry skin. The fingers and toes end in expanded round pads with minutely serrated surfaces and sharp claws, thus ensuring good grip on rough and smooth surfaces alike. Distoechurus is longer and three to four times heavier than its gliding cousin and its fingers and toes lack expanded tips. Its face bears distinctive markings in the form of black and white stripes. Both species have large eyes and rounded, sparsely haired ears with complex fleshy nodules at the opening to the ear canal.

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