IUCN threat status:

Near Threatened (NT)

Morphology

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Physical Description

Brush-tailed phascogales are squirrel-sized marsupial mice with a head and body length (excluding the tail) of between 160-230mm. Tail length varies from 170-220mm, or roughly half of body length. They weigh between 110-235 grams, the largest wild specimen known weighed 311 grams. Males tend to be heavier on average than females and this sexual dimorphism first appears at the age of eight months (Nowak, 1999). They are a deep grey color on their dorsal surface and creamy, pale white on the venter. The tail is dark black and it is characterized by having long, black, silky hairs that cover the terminal portion. These long hairs are erected during normal activity producing a "bottle-brush effect" (Nowak, 1999). The erected tail hairs is thought to distract the attention of predators away from the body (Soderquist, 1994). The ears are large and almost lacking hair. Females have eight mammae and lack a true pouch. The pouch consists of a heavy fold of skin covered with coarse, brown hair.

Range mass: 110 to 311 g.

Average basal metabolic rate: 0.694 W.

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Source: Animal Diversity Web

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