Mountain Pygmy Possum ‘William’ is still losing weight, the envy of every dieter in the country. His current weight is 64.5g!
Of course, we’d lose weight too, if we stopped eating altogether and went to sleep for 5 months! But the metabolism of most mammals wouldn’t allow this; we would die of starvation. Mountain Pygmy Possums are very special in their ability to hibernate, and thus survive for a long period with hardly any food.
William woke up completely the other night and went zooming desperately around his enclosure, looking for any scrap of stashed food. This is normal for Mountain Pygmy Possums in hibernation; they may wake up partially for a few minutes, stumble groggily out of the nestbox for a drink of water, and go straight back to bed; or they may wake up fully for several hours – or even several days. But they will usually go back into torpor fairly quickly until all the signs are right to emerge for the breeding season. Waking up fully takes a large amount of energy, to get the body temperature back up to near normal, so they are always very hungry!
William’s keepers took pity on him and gave him some seeds, so he soon filled his tummy and was back in torpor by the next day.
Mountain Pygmy Possums habitat consists of?
a. Dry arid rock fields in Central Australia
b. Thick eucalypt forest on the lower slopes of the Great Dividing Range
c. Rocks and boulder fields just above and below the snow line on Australia’s highest mountains
(Look up the answer yourself, or find out next time)
Answer to last week’s Quiz Question: (c) The entire area of Mountain Pygmy Possum habitat is estimated to be only about 10 square kilometres. Well done again Andrea!
Its seem to his tummy is full.