Animals, when not in their wild form, are adorable creatures. A dog breed as violent as the German Shepherd can still act all cute and innocent after turning the entire house upside down. Although not all animals are as delightful to interact with, especially not the ones that live in the wild, the adorable golden possum that looks like Pikachu is an exception. In this article, we will discuss everything about this fascinating creature. So, let’s begin!
1. Origin of Brushtail Possum
The brushtail possum is a thick-tailed, fluffy animal. This name comes from the Greek word Trichosurus Vulpecula, which means furry tailed, while in Latin it means little fox. Their tails are very bushy and thick, giving them a charming look. Brushtail possums are nocturnal and semi-arboreal which means they do not spend most of their time only on trees. They rank second largest among the entire possum species in the world.
Their favorite habitat is forests, semi-arid areas, cultivated lands, and even urban areas. Brushtail possums are widely spread across Australia. They are also found in the northern and eastern parts of Australia and even found in Tasmania, located towards the eastern region of the continent as well as on some offshore islands such as Barrow Island and Kangaroo Island. Brushtail possums were introduced, in New Zealand in the 1850s, and they have spread widely ever since then. (Also read 7 Chupacabra Animal Facts)
2. Physical Features of Brushtail Possums
- They have pointed, large ears, forefeet with claws minus the first toe. The third and fourth toes are fused together, which they groom themselves with.
- Their fur is wooly and thick just like their tail, and their ventral areas are lightly colored. Brushtail possums’ fur can be black, brown, gold, or silver-grey in color.
- Though their tails are very bushy, they are prehensile like other possums. Their tail is full of hair on all sides except the lower underside. The tail is between 9.44 inches to 15.76 inches (24 cm – 40 cm) in length.
- The average size of a brushtail possum ranges between 12.60 inches to 22.84 inches (32 cm to 58 cm), and the weight can be between 1.2 kilograms to 4.5 kilograms (3 pounds to 9.92 pounds).
- Males are a bit larger and heavier than females, and the coat of males is a bit reddish at their shoulders. Female possums are wider than males and have a well-developed pouch since they have to carry their litter in it for approximately two months. (See 8 Types of Possums)
3. Behavioral Patterns of Brushtail Possums
- Brushtail possums do not prefer living in groups and often maintain distance from their fellow possums by marking their areas with vocalization and scent marking (urinating).
- Like other possums, they also make nests in places that were abandoned by other animals, rooftops in residential areas, caves, or dens.
- They can turn violent for the authority of their dens. It is because they do not like to share their den. However, things do not turn violent every time because mostly in such situations, they will just stare at each other with erect ears. (See Are Possums Dangerous to Humans?)
The brushtail possum is known to destroy the pine plantations, flowers, regenerative forests, buildings, and fruits trees. Because of this, humans residing in those areas consider them pests. But these possums are known to be more tolerant towards humans if compared to their relative possum species. In animal reserves and veterinary places, possums can be fed by hand if required. But it is strictly advised that people should not try this because they are rodents, and a scratch from their sharp claws may be infectious. (See How to Get Rid of Possums Permanently?)
4. Eating Habits of Brushtail Possums
So apart from the looks of the adorable golden possum that looks like Pikachu, there are other interesting facts too. They belong to the folivore, which means, they specialize in eating green leaves. The brushtail possums’ favorite leaves are Eucalyptus leaves as well as fruits, seeds, shoots & flowers. They have an ability to identify leaves whether they are poisonous a skill developed during their evolution. However, they can also eat insects, eggs (birds and chicken eggs), rats, or other small animals when short on leaves. This mixed diet provides them with the necessary amount of nitrogen. (Also read What Do Possums Eat?)
5. Golden Brushtail Possums vs Common Brushtail Possums
Before understanding the feature of an adorable golden possum that looks like Pikachu, you should know that both the golden and common possums are the same species, and the only difference is the color of their fur. Golden possums are gold or bright yellow-orange in color. It is because of a genetic mutation that occurs due to the absence of melanin. Apart from this, they both are the same in every aspect, including their habitat, behavior, food habits, and even territorial markings. (See Can Possums be Pets?)
6. Adorable Golden Possum that looks like Pikachu
Anthropomorphism has been an essential part of all the animations and fictional characters in the storybooks. And after witnessing this golden possum, things became clearer that artists take inspiration from real animals. You all must know of the Japanese manga turned cartoon series Pokémon and everyone’s favorite Pokémon Pikachu. (Also read Anthropomorphic Art Meaning with Examples)
On one fine day, a picture was uploaded by a rescuer from Boronia Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital, Melbourne. It was a female possum with bright yellow fur and a cute pink nose. The pictures ran wild over the internet, and everyone was in love with this adorable golden possum that looks like Pikachu. She was only five months old when rescued. Probably she fell from her mother’s back.
Even though, the adorable golden possum that looks like Pikachu is cute still experts are not sure about her reaction after they release her into the wild. There is a golden brushtail possum in forests, but the chances of Pikachu meeting with them again are unknown. (Also read What is the Difference between Possum and Raccoon?)