Kowari

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Kowari

The kowari (Dasyuroides byrnei), also known as the brush-tailed marsupial rat, Kayer rat, Byrne’s crest-tailed marsupial rat, bushy-tailed marsupial rat and kowari, is a small carnivorous marsupial native to the dry grasslands and deserts of central Australia. It is monotypical of its genus.

The kowari is 16.5-18 cm long, with a 13-14 cm tail. Its diet consists mainly of insects and spiders, but probably also small lizards, birds or rodents. It is known as a voracious predator. It lives in underground burrows, singly or in small groups. It emerges to hunt among grass tussocks for food.

The kowari is coloured ashy-grey, and its distinguishing feature is the brush of black hairs on the end of its tail, which differs from that found in the mulgaras (Dasycercus) in that it completely encircles the end of the tail. They have a life span of 3-6 years. The kowari is found in stony desert areas of the Lake Eyre drainage basin, in north-eastern South Australia and southwestern Queensland.

Kowari

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