A face anyone could love: the western pygmy possum. (Credit: Amanda McLean)
by Becky Crew,
JUST WHEN WE thought it couldn’t get much more adorable than the common spotted cuscus, along comes the western pygmy possum (Cercartetus concinnus) to blow everything we thought we knew about cute right out of the water.
Endemic to Australia, these furry little bundles with whiskers for days are found in the bush and arid shrub lands of southwestern Western Australia, several regions of South Australia and western Victoria, and Kangaroo Island, favouring places thick with bottle brushes, banksia, and grevillea.
They’re also found in parts of south western New South Wales, but their numbers have dwindled to the point where they’re now endangered in the state.
With a body growing to just 7.7cm long, plus an 8cm-long tail, western pygmy possums might be pretty tiny, but they’re actually one of the largest pygmy possums in the world.
Members of the pygmy possum family, called Burramyidae, are found in Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, and Tasmania has the honour of hosting the smallest possum in the world – the 6.5cm-long, 9g Tasmanian pygmy possum (Cercartetus Lepidus).