dasyuromorphia

10

Photoset 1 from the Melbourne Museum with @captain-amaezing

1. Cast of Inostrancevia, a Permian gorgonopsid and a relative of ours

2. A beautiful Banded Iron Formation with pyrite. My finger there for scale.

3. Phar Lap, the famous Australian racehorse. 

4. A paper-mache(!!!) model of the human body. If that wasn’t labor intensive enough, it opens up to show the internal organs. 

5. Neoceratodus forsteri, or the Queensland lungfish. One of the few surviving lungfish, this guy is truly a living fossil. 

6. The magnificent skull of Physeter macrocephalus, or the sperm whale. 

7. The skull of Janjucetus, a stem mysticete with teeth!

8. Aboriginal sculpture of my favorite marsupial, the tassie devil.

9. A quality rancho.

10. The arching skull of the pygmy blue whale, a subspecies, Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda. 

(Part 1) (Part 2)

2

NUMBATS!

Infraclass: Marsupialia –> Order: Dasyuromorphia –> Family: Myrmecobiidae

Okay, numbats are actually super cool. For starters, there is only one species left (Myrmecobius fasciatus), and only one subspecies, at that (M. f. fasciatus). It’s restricted to several small populations - two colonies in Western Australia, and some in South Australia and New South Wales after successful re-introductions.

Now, check out its super cool tongue. Like other animals that display a long, sticky tongue like that, the numbat eats mostly termites - and that’s how it gets its nickname, the marsupial anteater. Unlike other marsupials, numbats are diurnal, so are most active during the day.

But the coolest thing, I think, is how they have extra teeth! Unique to terrestrial mammals, numbats have an extra cheek tooth between their molars and premolars - but it’s unknown whether this is a retained juvenile tooth, or something else.

And also, they’re just very pretty marsupials. Love them, they’re magnificent.

2

Agile Antechinus (Antechinus agilis)

….a species of dasyurid marsupial which is restricted wet and moist forests southeastern corner of Australia. Agile antechinus are mainly insectivorous, feeding on insects and occasionally small vertebrates and berries. Like all members of the genus Antechinus, A. agilis has a short and violent breeding season which causes all the males to die after breeding.  

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Mammalia-Marsupialia-Dasyuromorphia-Dasyuridae-Antechinus-A. agilis

Images: Mel Williams and Michael Sale

Julia Creek Dunnart (Sminthopsis douglasi)

…a species of Dasyurid marsupial which is restricted to a 8,00km2 area in the Mitchel Grass downs of riparian grassland’s, between Julia Creek and Richmond in Queensland. It is also thought to possibly occur in the Mitchell Plataue of Western Australia as well. Julia Creek dunnarts are primarily active at night and feed mainly on small insects and other small animals.  

Sminthopsis douglasi is currently listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN, as not only does it have a very small and restricted range, but it also faces threats from the invasion of Acacia victoriae and introduced predators. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Mammalia-Marsupialia-Dasyuromorphia-Dasyuridae-Sminthopsis-S. douglasi

Image: Australia Zoo