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· Wildlife,Papua New Guinea

Gummi Fridriksson is passionate about all things PNG and enjoys sharing his vast knowledge, and local insights, through his blogs.

The cute, cuddly appearance of the Cuscus is enough to make you want to know more about this curious creature. This unusual mammal resembles a cross between a cheeky monkey and a rodent, but it is, in fact, a shy species of marsupial found on the isles of Papua New Guinea and more rarely in the trees of Northern Australia.

The most common type of Cuscus is the Common Spotted Cuscus, identified by its striking caramel and ginger-colored fur. Part of the Possum family, the Spotted Cuscus, can reach the size of a house cat (up to 6kg) but with its beautiful spotted fur and ineffective claws and teeth as attacking mechanisms, the cuscus is an easy target for eagles and tree pythons, as well as humans.

Instead, Cuscuses go on the defence. They use palm fronds around their body to cover up their luminous fur and disguise themselves from predators during the daytime. These secretive creatures also make use of the darkness to hunt, and will usually only leave their daytime green bed of palms when they are safely camouflaged by the night sky from the dangers of the rainforest.

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