The ringtail possum has grey fur with white patches behind the eyes and usually a cream coloured belly. It has a long prehensile tail which normally displays a distinctive white tip over 25% of its length. The back feet are syndactyl which helps it to climb. The ringtail possum's molars have sharp and pointed cusps.
The common ringtail possum weighs between 550 and 1100 g and is approximately 30–35 cm long when grown (excluding the tail, which is roughly the same length again).
The common ringtail possum feeds on a wide variety of plants including the foliage, flowers and fruits from shrubs and lower canopy. When foraging, ringtail possums prefer young leaves over old ones.
Ringtail possums generally live in temperate and tropical environments and are rare in drier environments. Ringtail possums prefer forests of dense brush, particularly eucalyptus forests.
The common ringtail possum ranges on the east coast of Australia, as well as Tasmania and a part of southwestern Australia.
After about a year, ringtail possums mate. Between 1-4 young are born, and they attach themselves to one of the four teats in the mother’s pouch. They will suckle and grow for the next four months until they’re ready to leave the pouch. For the next two weeks they’ll live in the nest and be carried on the mother’s – or even father’s – back while they look for food. Within 5-8 months they are weaned, though they’ll often stay with the nest until the next litter comes through.