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A Tale of Two Honey Possums

Bradshaw, Felicity

ISBN 10: 0646502468 / ISBN 13: 9780646502465
Published by Honey Possom South West, Australia, 2009
Condition: Fine Soft cover
From Book Realm (Wanneroo, Australia)

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About this Item

Inscribed by author. Enclosed DVD. Pictorial end papers. Glossy pictorial stiff covers. Environment Award for Children's Literature - shortlisted - The Wilderness Society. Scarce. Bookseller Inventory # 005128

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Tale of Two Honey Possums

Publisher: Honey Possom South West, Australia

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Soft cover

Illustrator: Patricia Negus

Book Condition:Fine

Signed: Inscribed by Author(s)

Edition: 2nd Edition

About this title


A Tale of Two Honey Possums is a picture story book that appeals to children curious to know what goes on in the Australian bush. It will also appeal to their parents and grand-parents, who will want to read it to them. The Honey possum is a tiny and secretive little marsupial that lives in the Banksia woodland and heath found only in the south-west corner of Western Australia. As a result of many millions of years of evolution in these flower-rich areas, the honey possum has become extremely specialised, so much so that it cannot exist in any other habitat. It is unique, in being the only non-flying mammal in the world to exist exclusively on pollen and nectar. The narrative is told simply and features a year in the lives of the honey possums, covering the biological aspects of diet, growth, pouch life, reproduction and predation. Apart from bringing attention to an endearing little marsupial, a principal focus is the extreme vulnerability of this tiny and little-known animal to the devastating effects of land-clearing and bushfire. The book is illustrated by Patricia Negus who has extensive artistic experience in recording accurately the natural world of the south-west of Western Australia, including wildflowers, fungi, seashells, fish and birds. Her work is highly-regarded, and it is her exquisite painterly approach to native plants that is one of the highlights of this little book. The scientific information in the story is the result of many years of research by the author and Emeritus Professor Don Bradshaw, both in the animal’s natural environment and at the Department of Zoology, University of Western Australia. For more information on research carried out on the honey possum, visit

About the Author:

Felicity Bradshaw majored in Zoology and Biochemistry at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and later completed an MSc on the reproductive endocrinology of the Rottnest Island quokka. Prior to retiring in 2003, she was the Senior Research Officer in Professor Don Bradshaw’s Endocrine Laboratory at UWA. She was responsible for developing and implementing assays for a range of hormones in studying the physiology and energetics of a wide variety of free-ranging animals (lizards, snakes, birds and marsupials). What started as a ‘hobby’ developed into a major research programme on the energetics and reproductive biology of the honey possum, which feeds entirely on pollen and nectar. With some 42 scientific publications, her most recent in 2011 and 2012, are major reviews of the rôle of the hormone, progesterone, in marsupial reproduction, and the field and laboratory physiology of the Honey possum. Her commitment to the understanding and preservation of the unique biodiversity of south-west Australia has been transmitted to Primary School students, with an educational Resource, 'Be a Bush Scientist'. Integrated into the curriculum, this programme takes teacher and students through an investigation of natural areas outside the classroom, using the framework of exploring, explaining, elaborating and evaluating their findings. A Tale of Two Honey Possums is used to engage the student in the necessity of understanding the vital link between an animal and its environment. For further information on Be a Bush Scientist, visit

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