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Neocene mammal fauna Meganesia is a combination of the descendants of the native Australian and the New Guinea fauna and the descendants of species introduced by people. Many species of mammals of small and medium-sized herbivorous, omnivorous and carnivorous, belong to the marsupial. The mangrove forests along the shores of Lake Arafura inhabits one of the representatives of the herbivorous marsupials - the large mangrove possum. This massive herbivore, weighing up to 15 kg. Distinguished by slow movements, is an animal with short legs like a little koala bear marsupial known in human epoch. But the

mangrove Possum differs from it in the long prehensile tail that helps the animal to move among the branches of mangrove trees. Fingers of this animal is well developed, mobile and tenacious, and legs are very strong. The animal may, despite its size, hang freely on any leg or tail, paws freeing for other uses. If a large mangrove possum is not worried, he moves slowly and leisurely, but in case of danger shows considerable agility and can even jump from branch to branch. This animal is kept in the trees. From feathered enemies the mangrove Possum quickly descends to the bottom of the mangroves and hidden among the roots, where it is difficult to attack in flight. When attacking an enemy to climb - a snake or a large lizard - pet can go to the counter: seizes the enemy stranglehold and did not let go, causing deep bites. Permanent shelter the animals do not have this kind; Beast is constantly moving through its territory as far as eating and the growth of leaves.

Coat ofa mangrove possum short and velvety, has a spotty coloring - on a light gray background scattered dark spots of irregular shape, more numerous on the back and shoulders. The tail on the underside of a naked, covered with rough skin, improves adhesion to the branches. Upper side of tail covered with short black hair.

The mangrove possum has a large head with a short snout and strong jaws. Eyes animal small, yellow, with a vertical slit pupil - a legacy of the ancestors of the night. Wide ears, covered with very short hair on the outside, penetrated by blood vessels and help to heat transfer. If it becomes hot, large mangrove possum down to the water and wet the ears with his paw.

This view - daytime animal feed exclusively on the leaves of mangrove trees. Since this is difficult to digest food, the stomach is a large mangrove possum has become a real chemical laboratory. It is quite large and double chamber. Sacciform paunch is a "fermentation chamber", where the primary processing of food. The animal may regurgitate part of the processed food here and re-chew it. Second stomach of a fold, with glandular walls. Here comes the enzymatic processing of fermented food. Also, animal intestines and long-developed cecum, where nutrient absorption occurs. Large mangrove possum drinking less than similar-sized animals that live in other places: it gets a significant amount of necessary moisture from the food.

The teeth of this possum lumpy, adapted for chewing leaves. He spends a lot of time, eating the leaves of mangrove trees. Finding a good aft section, the animal is fixed on a branch with its hind legs and tail, paws pulls branches and eats leaves.

the mangrove possum is a solitary animal with a simple behavior is not characterized by ingenuity. Male and female are found only during mating. A female is born up to eight underdeveloped cubs, of which survives and is attached to the teats are only four. Of the cubs survive to independence (aged 8 - 9 months) manages only two cubs. Puberty is a large mangrove possum comes at the age of 3 years, and life expectancy is about 20 years.

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