Discovery Centre closed 4 Dec

Closed from 12.30pm on Monday 4 December to allow the installation of a new exhibition. Viewing deck, cafe & picnic grounds open regular hours.

Buff-footed antechinus
Distinct carnivorous marsupial 

Buff-footed antechinus

Antechinus mysticus

Endemic little carnivore only recently described

The buff-footed antechinus is a carnivorous marsupial found at Mary Cairncross and seldom few other locations in south east Queensland and north east New South Wales. It belongs to the family Dasyuridae alongside quolls, phascogales and dunnarts.

This small, grey mammal was only officially described in 2013, making it the 12th antechinus species in Australia.

It looks similar to a common mouse however large pale feet and the buff-yellow colour on its rump and flanks are distinguishing features.  In contrast to rodents, their tail is generally the same length, if not shorter than the length of their body.

Buff-footed antechinus nests are spherical in shape and can be found in hollow logs and crevices. Their carnivorous diet includes insects, spiders and larger prey such as lizards.  As a predator, antechinus play an important role in the ecosystem.

The Antechinus is one of very few vertebrate animals that practices suicidal reproduction. In winter, virgin males mate prolifically to the point of fatal exhaustion.