( Originally Published 1936 )
These are animals of moderate size, which are con-fined to Australia, New Guinea, and the adjacent is-lands. They are thickly clothed with hair, and the tail is large and more or less prehensile. In some species the skin is expanded between the legs to form a parachute, as in the flying-squirrel and other similar animals. They are mostly nocturnal and tree-living, and feed on insects and small birds, as well as on vegetable food. There are several species, which, however, do not differ greatly from each other in general characters. In Australia they are sometimes called " opossums."
Common Phalanger (Trichosurus vulpecula)
This species is common in Australia, where it sleeps in hollow trees during the day, feeding at night. There is something fox-like in its general appearance, which gives its second Latin or species name. It is brownish-grey above, ochre-yellow be-low, and measures about eighteen inches in length, without the tail, which is a foot long. See Plate 40, Fig. 167.