“Pint-sized marsupial punches above its weight”


September is Biodiversity Month and we asked researchers from ECU’s School of Natural Sciences about some of their favourite plants and animals to profile. PhD candidate Tim Doherty picked the fat-tailed dunnart or Sminthopsis crassicaudata.

A fat-tailed dunnart captured during fauna surveys at Charles Darwin Reserve. The pink mark on the ear is a temporary mark used for population studies. Photo credit: Joe Krawiec.
A fat-tailed dunnart captured during fauna surveys at Charles Darwin Reserve. The pink mark on the ear is a temporary mark used for population studies. Photo credit: Joe Krawiec.

The fat-tailed dunnart might look cute but the mouse-sized marsupial’s harmless exterior belies a ferocious spirit – they’ve been known to kill snakes and other predators when cornered.

However the killer instinct is perhaps not surprising when you consider it’s closely related to the aggressive Tasmanian devil of Looney Tunes fame.

School of Natural Sciences PhD candidate Tim Doherty has had firsthand experience with the aggressive nature of a cornered, female fat-tailed dunnart.

Read more at ECU news

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