Fun Honey Possum Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Honey Possum Facts For Kids

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Honey possums, Tarsipes rostratus, are the single species of the marsupial family Tarsipedidae. They are also known as noolbenger. They are mostly found in southwest and western Australia, and they are important pollinators for some species of plants. The honey possums are the world's only truly nectarivorous mammal, and unlike other nectar-eating birds and bats, they cannot fly to different areas to search for flowers. But they have unique physical features that help them to feed primarily on nectar and pollen, along with a high metabolic rate. Many farmers in western countries believe that having these marsupial species in their gardens helps in vegetation.

These marsupials are considered to be eco-friendly contributors to nature. Even though they are named honey, they do not consume honey, but pollen and nectar of flowers. However, due to extreme climate change, habitat loss has become their large threat. They are often seen hanging upside-down along the branches of flowers by their tail. The honey possum is largely nocturnal but will come out during the day when the weather is cooler. The breeding season of this species takes place during spring and autumn.

For more interesting facts on the honey possum, keep reading, and you can also check out the red squirrel and rice rat too.

Fun Honey Possum Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Nectar, pollen

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Up to 3

How much do they weigh?

7-10 g

How long are they?

2.5-3.5 in (6-9 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Gray, brown, black

Skin Type

Thin fur

What were their main threats?

Climate Change, Loss Of Habitat, Red Foxes, Barn Owls

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Rainforest, Scrub, Banksia Woodlands, Mediterranean Forest


Southwest Western Australia









Honey Possum Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Honey Possum?

The honey possum is a type of marsupial possum.

What class of animal does a Honey Possum belong to?

The honey possum, Tarsipes rostratus, belongs to the Mammalia class of animal.

How many Honey Possums are there in the world?

The total population of honey possums present in the world is unknown, but their population is stable as of now. However, some of their population in certain areas have gone extinct due to the clearing of vegetation.

Where does a Honey Possum live?

Honey possums can be found largely in the southwest parts of Western Australia, in the woodlands, tropical rainforest, sandplain heathlands, and shrublands, along with places with temperate weather. They live in holes of trees and abandoned birds' nests.

What is a Honey Possum's habitat?

The Tarsipes rostratus prefer habitats of banksia woodlands, which are greatly rich in floral diversity, along southwestern Australia, and are often known as mammals of Australia. They mostly prefer areas with more flowering plants and vegetation, along with cool climate and forest regions. Therefore, their habitat can be seen mostly where plants are abundant.

Who do Honey Possums live with?

Honey possums are solitary animals who live alone in their tree holes or abandoned nests of birds.

How long does a Honey Possum live?

The lifespan of this marsupial possum is quite low, which is one to two years only, unless they are devoured by red foxes or barn owls who are the predators of the honey possum.

How do they reproduce?

Honey possums (Tarsipedidae) are polyandrous, which means that female honey possums mate with more than one male. Therefore, reproduction occurs with multiple males. Breeding takes place from the month of May to June, and also from September to October. The gestation period lasts for 28 days, and yields up to three youngs, which generally remain in the mother's pouch for about 60 days. When they are born, the young possums have open eyes and fur on their bodies, and within a few days they travel by clinging onto their mother's back. In about 11 weeks, the female stops nursing her offsprings, and they reach sexual maturity by six months.

What is their conservation status?

Honey possums have a conservation status of Least Concern, with their population being stable. But, in some regions, they are believed to have gone extinct due to climate change, which led to a decline in the number of flowering plants, which is their main source of diet.

Honey Possum Fun Facts

What does a Honey Possum look like?

Being one of the world's smallest marsupials, honey possums are tiny mammals, with gray fur, a brown dorsal side, with a dark stripe from the nape of the neck towards its prehensile tail. They have long tongues to help them pull pollen or nectar out from the inside of the flower. Their heads are elongated and tapered and covered in coarse, short thin hair. The male honey possum weighs between 7 -10 g, while the female weighs slightly more, between 8-16 g. They have long tails, which are longer than their whole body length, and measure between 75-105 mm (2.9-4.2 in). These marsupial species have a body temperature of 36.6 C.


*Please note, this is an image of an opossum. If you have an image of a honey possum, let us know at [email protected].

How do they communicate?

The communication between this marsupial species is unclear and unidentified. But it is known that when they give birth, the youngs make low chatter sounds just like mice or rats.

How big is a Honey Possum?

These Australian marsupial mammals are 10 times smaller than red squirrels.

How fast can a Honey Possum run?

Honey possums can travel up to 114 m at night. They are as fast as the rat species, but not smart creatures.

How much does a Honey Possum weigh?

A noolbenger generally weighs between 7-10 g.

What are their male and female names of the species?

No separate name has been used to describe the male and female species of this possum.

What would you call a baby Honey Possum?

The youngs of the honey possums are known as joeys.

What do they eat?

The year-round diet of these possums includes nectar and pollen. It is believed that honey possum primary carnivore evolved to herbivore or nectarivorous. Also, the metabolism of a honey possum is unusually high.

Are they dangerous?

No, they are harmless nocturnal possums that only feed on plants.

Would they make a good pet?

This possum looks cute, but you need to have a serious think about them before having them as a pet. Honey possums have specialized kidneys and produce a large amount of dilute urine, and in just one day, they can excrete their body weight in water. So, if you think they are really cute and might be an excellent pet, think again, because with so much urine, you may need to clean up a lot.

Did you know...

Honey possums are the only survived species of lineage.

They are record-holders among mammals for being the smallest newborns, weighing only 0.005 g.

These animals gather in groups when it gets cold, by huddling together to conserve heat.

When they are threatened, they run to their shelter and remain silent. Their hearts beat as much as four times faster than that of humans when they are scared.

They are excellent and fast runners and can run as much as 500 m especially during the night, which is a great distance for such a tiny animal.

What role does the Honey Possum play in its ecosystem?

The Tarsipes rostratus play a big role in the ecosystem while feeding upon the nectar of flowering plants, and so serve as pollinators for flowers. They are highly appreciated by farmers since they greatly help in the field of vegetation.

What is the scientific name of the Honey Possum?

Tarsipes rostratus is the scientific name of this possum species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including dormouse, or Virginia opossum.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Honey possum coloring pages.

*Please note the main image is of a possum, not a honey possum. If you have an image of a honey possum, let us know at [email protected].

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