If threatened, their tail bristles and arches over their head, making them look larger. © 2020 reporternews.com, All rights reserved. They will dine on carrion but prefer capturing rodents, insects, rabbits and ground squirrels. They live in tropical or temperate areas, rarely in drier areas, usually in dense brush forests which are plentiful with eucalyptus. Often mistaken for their raccoon cousins, the ringtail cat is a special sight in our area. 1. Common Ringtail Possum Wikipedia article -, 2. This is a test to see whether we can improve the experience for you. (Photo: Photo courtesy of the Abilene Zoo). Common ringtail possums communicate by means of vocalizations. The common ringtail possum is not solitary, unlike many other species of ringtail possum, and usually forms small groups, typically of one adult male with one to two adult females and their offspring from the last breeding season. While they are generally carnivorous, they have also been known to eat fruits and berries. This led to the species being known as “miners’ cats.” As mining began to fade as an industry in the United States, the knowledge of the ringtail began to fade as well. Gestation lasts about 4 months and they usually have one or two litters each year, usually 2 babies, although 1 to 4 have been recorded. The face is fox-like, with a pointed snout, and the body is raccoon-like and elongated. Ringtails will even den inside the walls of rarely used buildings, having successfully adapted to humans. Ringtails are omnivores, but most of their diet consists of animals rather than plants. The next time you see what you think is a small long raccoon, take a closer look. The Ring-tailed cats are most active at night, spending most of their time foraging. Common ringtail possums are to be found along Australia’s eastern coastline, Western Australia’s southwestern corner and in Tasmania. Ringtails are excellent climbers because they can swivel 180 degrees on their back legs. After a meal ringtails have the cute habit of cleaning themselves by wiping their heads with dampened paws. They are excellent climbers, and literally search high and low for rodents, squirrels, insects and other small animals. The common ringtail possum eats leaves of a variety of both introduced and native plants, and also fruits and flowers. Ringtails are cat sized animals that resemble a mix between a fox and a raccoon. The top side of the animal is yellow to dark brown or black, and the underside is a whitish buff. It uses its long prehensile tail as a fifth limb to enable it to climb and jump from branch to branch and between fences and powerlines. The defining feature of these animals is their large ringed tail which resembles that of their raccoon cousins, but are much larger in comparison to their body size. Raccoons have the black band around their eyes that make them look like little bandits, but ringtails have white fur around their eyes that make them look like they are wearing spectacles. A ringtail cat. The ringtail fathers are interesting because they may stay in the area and play with their offspring as they grow to adulthood. The ringtail measures 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 centimeters) long with a tail of about the same length, and weighs less than 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms). They may eat juniper berries, persimmons, hackberry, prickly pear cacti, acorns, and other fruits and berries. You will need to register before adding a comment. For information, go to txmn.tamu.edu or the BCTXMN Facebook page. If you ever see a ringtail, it will most likely be the tail that will leave a lasting impression. Both parents often care for the young, the father carrying them around while the mother feeds. Be on the lookout for native animals in your own backyard! Some less common food sources include fish, snakes, birds, lizards, and carrion. Slimmer than a house cat but more robust than a weasel, the ringtail also somewhat resembles a small fox. Ringtails are rarely seen during daylight hours since they are usually asleep in their dens after a long night of hunting for food. Common ringtail possums, being monogamous, remain with one partner only. Both male and female build their drey together and will readily move to another one, along with their young. The fact is that few people think about the small ringtail cat because ringtails are good at keeping a low profile. However, you can easily tell the difference between raccoons and ringtails by looking at the area around the eyes and their distinctive tails. When they finish eating, they groom themselves by licking their fur, wiping their head clean with damp paws.
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