from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various small arboreal marsupials of the family Phalangeridae, of Australia and adjacent islands, having a long tail and dense woolly fur and including the cuscus and the flying phalanger.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An arboreal marsupial of the family Phalangeridae, native to Australia.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any marsupial belonging to Phalangista, Cuscus, Petaurus, and other genera of the family Phalangistidæ. They are arboreal, and the species of Petaurus are furnished with lateral parachutes. See Flying phalanger, under flying.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A marsupial mammal of the genus Phalanger or Phalangista, or of the subfamily Phalangistinæ; a phalangist: so named by Buffon (in the case of a species of Cuscus) from the peculiar structure of the second and third digits of the hind feet, which are webbed together.
- n. [capitalized] [NL.] A genus of phalangers founded by Storr in 1780. The name is prior in date to Phalangista, but until lately has been less used.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. small furry Australian arboreal marsupials having long usually prehensile tails
It was a female, and though not exactly of the same species, much resembled the remarkable animal which Mons. de Buffon hath described by the name of phalanger.
The one is distinctly a true squirrel, a rodent of the rodents, externally adapted to an arboreal existence; the other is equally a true phalanger, a marsupial of the marsupials, which has independently undergone on his own account very much the same adaptation, for very much the same reasons.
The vulpine phalanger does duty for a fox; the fat and sleepy little dormouse phalanger takes the place of a European dormouse.
At Rawak the phalanger and the sheepdog in a wild state were the only quadrupeds met with.
Of the quadrupeds, I have already mentioned the dog, and particularly described the kangaroo, and the animal of the opossum kind, resembling the phalanger of Buffon; to which I can add only one more, resembling a pole-cat, which the natives call _Quoll_: The back is brown, spotted with white, and the belly white unmixed.
The inclusion of red fox and of pewee, penguin, phalarope, and phalanger raises the interesting question of how the editorial staff decided which faunal names to include.
"There is also the flying _phalanger_," observed my friend; "an animal of the marsupial order, which is a native of Australia, and somewhat resembles the opossum.
Names based on protrusions and appendages hawk < IE root * kap - ` to grasp '(because of its grasping talons) octopus < Greek octō, ` eight' + pous, ` foot 'phalanger < Latin phalanx ` toe bone' (because of the peculiar structure of the second and third toes on its hind feet) porcupine < Latin porcus ` pig '+ spīna ` thorn, prickle, spine' rhinoceros < Greek rhin - ` nose '+ keras ` horn' shrew < IE root * skeru - ` to cut, cutting tool '(because of its snout) squirrel < Greek skiouros ` shadow tail'