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Biology

As might be expected this species is a capable hunter, on the ground and in the trees, and preys on small to medium-sized mammals including posssums, bandicoots, pademelons, rats and gliders. It feeds on reptiles, birds and insects too, and is also known to be an opportunistic carrion feeder (5) (6). This carnivorous marsupial kills its prey with a bite on or around the head, using its strong teeth and jaws (2). This species is largely solitary and nocturnal, hunting at night, and resting underground or in hollow log dens during the day, though it does sometimes forage and bask in the sun during daylight hours (2) (5). It is not a territorial mammal though females may maintain an exclusive area while rearing her offspring (2). Home ranges are usually 500 hectares, which may overlap with others. Some research suggests individuals may even share dens, and therefore may not be as solitary as commonly assumed (6). Mating occurs between June and August (2) (5). During this period, unmated females come into heat for about three days every three weeks. Copulation lasts up to eight hours, with the male grasping and licking the female's neck while she remains crouched with closed eyes and a lowered head (3). The gestation period is only 21 days, after which the female gives birth to an average of five young, which suckle in her pouch from September to October (3) (6). They are then kept in a nest from November to January, protected by the female; the male has little contact with the offspring (3). After 18 weeks the young quolls are independent and reach maturity at the age of one year (3) (4).

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Source: ARKive

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