A marsupial from the order Diprotodontia, the ground cuscus is a nocturnal animal present in the wild in Papua New Guinea, in Indonesia on the Aru Islands, and on the islands of New Guinea, Yapen, Misool and Salawati.
The ground cuscus (Phalanger gymnotis) weighs between 2.5 and 3 kg, and has a head-to-tail length of 45 cm and a tail more than 30 cm long. Its fur is short and thick, and dark grey with light spots on its belly. The tail is coarse and mobile for more grip, and the thumbs of the hind paws are opposable. Together, these traits allow the animal to excel at climbing trees and sitting on its hind legs while eating. The diet of the ground cuscus consists mainly of fruit, but it also eats leaves, eggs and seeds.
In the pouch of this animal are four mammary glands, even though the ground cuscus bears only one young. After three months in the pouch, the youngster ventures out at night, when these animals are active, but still goes back to the pouch to sleep until it is five to seven months old. At the end of this stage, the young animal leaves the pouch for good.