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Brush-tailed Bettong (Bettongia penicillata)

Brush-tailed Bettong

The Brush-tailed Bettong

The Brush-tailed Bettong is a small mammal, about (10-17 inches) in length, and tail is about (9-13 inches). They weigh a mere (2-3 pounds). They have a brisk grey-brown coat, and little or no hair on their muzzle and tail.

They inhabit mainly grasslands in Southwstern Australia through to New South Wales. The species is classified as endangered due to natural predators and habit clearance. They were once extinct in South Australia, however they were re-introduced in 1975 and are still recovering. They build small nests from sticks, leaves and other available material. They build the nest under the cover of foliage or bases of trees for shelter and protection.

They are herbivorous, feeding on roots and other such food sources. Reports of Brush-tailed Bettongs feeding on carrion have also been established.

 

 

Did you know? The bettong has been known to carry twigs or other such materials with its tail.

The Brush-tailed Bettong has a gestation period of only 21 days, before one or sometimes two young are born.

The dugongs breed throughout the year, and the gestation period is currently unknown but averages around one year. A single calf is born in shallow water. The calf begins feeding intermittently from around three months, and may stay with the mother for up to a year. The calf suckles from the mother underwater which can continue for more than a year.

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Bibliography:
Strahan R. 1995. The Complete Book of Australian Mammals. Reed Books.

Delroy L.B., J. Earl, M. Hewett. 1986. The Breeding and Re-establishment of the Brush-tailed Bettong, Bettongia penicillata, in South Australia


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