In Spec World, the Australian fauna seems to lack marsupials . There are no Kangaroos , koalas , wombats or tasmain devils . But there are other marsupials . Microbiotheria is know on home earth only from one living species from South America. This group is far more dieverse and endemic to Australia and New Guinea .
Here we see an array of Microbiotherians from all over Australia and Papua.
The nocturnal cat sized Spotted tree possum (Paratrichosurus pardalis) is a common tree dwelling omnivore found in most forested parts of Australia. They are often content to eat leaves and flowers, but vary their diet to include eggs, grubs, and small vertebrates like lizards. Squealing calls often heard in the forest at night most likely belong to this animal. Regionally, the background colour of it's spots can vary, in the daintree rainforest it can be blueish grey, in semiarid scrb in south australia it is often a sandy golden brown.
The shrap nosed glider (Acutonasus didelphotigris), at one stage classified as an abberant, orange-coloured papuan cimolestan, is now known to be a marsuipial. Eating insects, it uses it's gliding membrane to cross between trees when foraging at night. During the day it hides under loose bark, speading it's body untill it's amost flat, this behavior is almost like that of a reptile, which at first confused scientists
The banded tree possum (Didelphopseudofelis placidus) is, unusually, diurnal, unlike it's relatives. It subsits almost entirely on eucalyptus leaves, and as a result is fairly sluggish, but it is sucessful, and can be found over most of southeastern Australia.
Tuftails (Arboromys sp) can be found in all forested parts of Australia and Papua. Their colours vary regionally and from species to species, the Goodenough tuftail (Arboromys goodenoughensis) of papua is nearly black, the Lamington tuftail (Arboromys lamingtoni) of queensland is red-brown, while the Adelaide tufftail (Arboromys adelaidensis) is a sandy yellow. They are nocturnal nectarivores, climbing and jumping nimbly through the trees, using it's long tail to balance.
The savannah possum shrew (Parametasorcis sethi) and other species of the genus, found all over Australia and Papua are strict insectivores. These unassuming, tail-less, diurnal creatures are ubiqitous, and often form aggregations around foodsources like ant nests, here their nasy side comes out, as they fight for acess to food they sceam like minature humans. There is an even nastier side to them than this, they have poisonous flesh and a poisonous bite, this seems to explain the fact that they exist in such numbers, as they breed fast and are rarely preyed upon.
The false mouse possum (Antiomydelphis vulgaris) is a nocturnal herbivorous small marsuipial that can be found all over Australia and Papua, from deep montane rainforest to spinifex deserts. This animal is able to digest any nonpoisonous plantmatter, and unusually there is little outward variation in this species geographically, though genetically there is significant variation, perhaps enough to warrant 30 new species.The nocturnal Striped branch possum (Arborodelphis pledgei). Members of this genus feed on insects, nectar and soft plant matter like young leaves and flower buds, and are extremely agile in the trees. This, like numerous other marsuipials, was once mistaken for a cimolestan. This species is a handsome russet red, and is found in eucalypt forests of eastern australia. The Black branch possum (Arborodelphis niger) is indigenous to the far north queensland rainforests, while the Chocolate branch possum (Arborodelphis wonkeri) is found only in the woodlands of the Adelaide hills, each species has it's distinctive colour and pattern.
Here we have the two most common Microbiotherians species. The Liontail (Leontocaudus minutus), left, is an agile cliber and leaper of eastern Australian eucalypt forests, it feeds on insects and nectar, and is a handsome golden brown in colour, it is diurnal, so as to avoid competition with other marsuipials. Right is the Bear possum (Ursodelphis medius) a cat sized omnivore of southeastern Australia, it is so called because of it's bodyshape, diet, and its growling call, that it makes when agitated, it is nocturnal and feeds on anything digestible, from bark and leaves to birds eggs.