It’s quite rare we find a new breed of marsupial species, but Scientists in Australia have made a remarkable discovery. With the help of DNA evidence, scientists have found that one of Australia’s airborne marsupials is actually three separate species.
A new study published in Nature’s public access Scientific Reports journal details the findings and now the greater glider, which is a possum-sized marsupial with big ears and a long furry tail, is no longer classified as a single species. This nocturnal creature lives inside hollow trees during the day and at night searching the forest for eucalyptus leaves to eat.
“Australia’s biodiversity just got a lot richer,” Andrew Krockenberger, a professor at James Cook University and a co-author of the study, told the outlet. “It’s not every day that new mammals are confirmed, let alone two new mammals.”
Greater gliders from the northern (top left), central (bottom left), and southern (right) groups identified through DArTseq showing morphological differences that are typical of our dataset. Greater gliders of the type shown on the right have several pelage color morphs including white and light grey. Photos by Denise McGregor (top left) and Jasmine Vink (bottom left and right).
I seriously can’t get over how adorable this creature is. It’s very exciting to see our planet’s biodiversity growing with this new mammal discovery. You can see more about these new findings here.
two new greater glider species have been discovered in australia!— freyr (@sunfloweraidil) November 8, 2020
it was previously assumed they were of one species, but apparently greater gliders comprise of three separate species. they’re one of the world’s biggest gliding mammals. look at how cute they are! pic.twitter.com/neVdL7Klv3