A marsupilami is a fictional animal that made its first appearance in a French comic book/magazine. It is a rare, possibly endangered species, which exists in the sub-country of Polombia, which is also known as the Amazonas territory of Brazil, South America. The name of the animal was intended to mean "marsupial friend", even though it is technically a monotreme (the kind of mammal that lays eggs). The creature is teasingly referred to as the "little animal", even though it displays great strength when it needs it most, and is considered to be the guardian species of the jungle/rain-forest and must be treated with respect, so odds are, it might've been named after the Spanish phrase: Mar su pilla amistad (Tide it's crafty friendship). The name of the species might've dated back further when the Incoaztecs tell legend variations of how it got its extraordinary appendage, as it sounds like a childish pronunciation of the Nahuatl phrase: Mocuitlapil pipinqui (Your tail is lean yet powerful).
The species has the likeness of a monkey in structure, except the tail much longer... 7 yards, last anyone checked (the tails of the female is a tad shorter, though still ridiculously long compared to other animals), and such a tail has the capability to be tied and shaped into anything it sees fit. Aside from the tail, the marsupilami is about 1 1/2 feet tall... the females seem taller for they walk tiptoe, as though wearing invisableihigh-heel shoes. It has eight fingers, four on each hand, and toes to match for that matter, and it's dog-like with it's lrge black nose and floppy ears that stick straight up, uness they droop in misery. They have large eyes, and he mtales of the species have their eyes closer together then females, and dispiee the fangs that show most when emotionally provoked (especially in anger) it has a mouth that is, surprisingly, almost human-like. Though there are some of them that are born solid colors (a total of eight species), the most famed fur coloration is that of a cheetah: yellow with black spots, though the spots are closer to the polkadot -look then a cheetah. Their eggs (which might really be estivation pods substituting the lack if pouches, if any truth to the creatures being marsupials) look like red pears, orsome other fruit of a simularishape, and that is suposedp to be protective camoflauuflaor the untrained eyes of most preditora... which is why it was a shock when and if a marsupilami's egg is stolen from the nest before it hatches! Contrary to their species name, Marsupilami are actually monotremes.
The two main species of marsupilami are the Marsupilami Fantastii (the South American Marsupilami, scientifically classified after Franklin Fantasio, was the first to successfully capture the once-thought nonexistant creature... although it happened by accident) and the Marsupilami Africanus (the original "discoverer" of the African Marsupilami makes it look like a chubby version of the yellow with black-spots marsupilami that calls like it's speaking backward, but it seems Disney's version is closer to accurate, as it's slender and nimble as the South American Marsupilami, but this male has a thick mane around its neck, almost lion-like, except it doesn't touch his face, that is solid-colored on it's otherwise fine-haired, spotty fur). There are several sub-species, at least eight of them are classified in Polombia via fur-color, although two of them are up for debate on account of grey hairs in the aging process:
Yellow with Black Spots
Black with White Spots
Dark Blue with Yellow Spots
White with Black Spots (debated)
They are known for their unmistakable sounds, which not only distinguish the presence of a marsupilami, but it's gender as well: The males are noted for going "Houba" (pronounced HOO Bah) and the females sound more like "Houbi" (HOO Bee). Even the hatchings are known to already vocally noting themselves with a shorter version of their gender: "Bi" and "Bo" (some baby boys even say "bu", pronounced: BOO). However, the marsupilami, much like parrots and other exotic birds, are known for imitating the sounds they hear, even from the opposite gender, so while the main calls are distinctive, they often mix the sounds together into there own primal, yet effective language... that's how at least one of them learned to talk like a human! (see: Marsupilami (character))
Another interesting part of the marsupilami creature is there internal gills, as they have the amphibians capability to breath underwater as well as on land, but since they spent most of there lives in the trees and have issues with flash floods of the Amazonas, it's clear this trait only works for a short amount of time, like built-in oxygen tanks. When they take up more water then they can handle, they get the fluids out of their system while getting air without coughing by holding there nose and blowing the water out of their ears; this is most likely a learned skill.
Judging by the work on their nest, the marsupilami are fully capable of craftmanship, especially weaving and knot-work (even with things that aren't their own tails, which is most likely practiced on for means of survival), almost as well as a human with a simpler, non-modernized life, and thus are capable of making home-made gifts for friends and family out of matterials found in the jungle (like a snowglobe out of a boiboi and water, or a wasp-wax and fishbone necklace), but like monkeys, they are mostly capable of climbing and acrobatics.
Marsupilamis are also quite strong for their size, for even when not using their tails (once again, their strongest part, capable of breaking boulders and giving enemies black-eyes) they can crack open coconuts, lift and throw rocks far/fast enough to break them, and bend cage bars to make an exit... though both genders are capable of great strength, the males are most likely to manage that last one, usually to show off for his mate of choice. Being tough helps them defend themselves against jaguars, their natural preditor, but aside the marsu africanus, most of them don't push that strength to the limit spending time with a dopey gorilla or putting up with a narcotic elephant.
As stated before, this species mimics sounds they hear as parrots do, and speak to each other in a language all their own, yet dispite the tail as the enunciation of thoughts and feelings, the body language is surprisingly humanlike in communication, even among those who clearly never seen a human in their lives.
A marsupilami nest is a surprisingly complex design, hanging high in the trees with sturdy vines. The main structure of the nest is made out of fern and palm-tree leaves woven into a sturdy tarp, and has a hollow bamboo frame bent in just the right way, as there's an inner draw-string handle that allows the nest to open and close like a clamshell to keep out predators and bad weather (they don't call it the "rain forest" for nothing). The inner nest is soft and warm, as the bedding is made out of feathers of local birds... freshly plucked, when necessary. The nests are usually decorated with jungle flowers, though the purpose of that is unknown. A marsupilami that lives alone is content with a small nest, but a larger nest is made for those who been through the mating season and are intending to have a family (usually it's one egg per family, but multiple births are a rare yet not unheard event... Mars and his wife had triplets)! Sometimes, however, a trusted friend/relative is left with the young of couples that need time for themselves (usually on what a human might call a "second honeymoon") and the male of the species makes a kind of "love nest" out of large single leaves so that his mate, no matter how insistent she seems before she sees it, doesn't have to sleep on the ground.
The marsupilami tend to live off the land well, as they eat the exotic fruits and vegitables that grow in the jungle (up in the trees, usually), and in times of hardship, such as the rainy season, some marsupilami even eat bug larva but, when it comes to protein, they'd prefer fresh-caught fish... piranhas are there noted favorite. If lucky enough to come across the right kind of hill, the marsupilami also treat themselves to fire ants, but have to watch their limits, as a meal too spicy is prone for disaster.
The way they work and play, the marsupilami have every right to an ancient belief that they were lost souls of the native South Americans in a past life. The way they look, especially when revealing their tougher side against preditors (jaguars, especially, which have a strong craving for them), gets most marsupilamis compared to Mayans, or even Aztecs(see Marsupilquatl), but their behavior and ingenuity put them down closer to Incas. Like the Incas, the marsupilami have healing rituals, and the elders of the family seem to be skilled at reading signs given to them from the ancient forces of nature on what must be done to complete the ritual and ensure good health for the sick and wounded, as well as a rite of passage for marsupilami toddlers after they catch their first piranha(s).... after threading through the most dangerous part of the jungle (usually a swamp with quicksand, venus-flytraps, and dangerous reptiles) without aid from there parents (one of which always follows in secret for record's sake), they are considered young adults.