I was expecting sugar gliders but there were none around. Nary a glider to be seen. They must have all been down at the Lake Eacham Hotel, knocking back a few cleansing ales after a hard day's sleep. Instead, I saw something that I really wasn't anticipating — something more exciting than a sugar glider — a striped possum (Dactylopsila trivirgata).
Although widespread in NE Queensland (it also occurs in New Guinea), this species is not seen often. Certainly not by me. I feel privileged to have come face to face with one, even if the feeling wasn't reciprocated. The possum was rather less impressed by me than I was by it.
Striped possums demonstrate a beaut adaptation. The fourth finger is skinny and elongated, similar to that of an aye-aye. It's used in much the same way — for winkling out beetle larvae from wood. They are not exclusively larvivores (did I just make that up?) and feed on a wide range of foods, including the sweet liquid used to bring in sugar gliders. (When they're not down at the pub.)
Later on, the next shift turned up — a bandicoot and a white-tailed rat. See if you can work out which is which. (There's no prize, so don't try too hard.)