by Max Barry

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Marsupilami - The National Animal


Appearance
The marsupilami is a black-spotted yellow leopard-like creature with dog-like ears. Male marsupilamis have an incredibly long, strong, flexible, prehensile tail, used for almost any task. Female marsupilamis have a much shorter tail, but still long compared to real animals. Both the male and female are able to use their tail as a weapon, by tightening the end into a fist and the remainder of the tail into a spring-like spiral for maximal force. This attack was responsible for the Danish and Norwegian translators choosing words similar to "spiral" over "marsupial" as the creature's name. Unlike the males, the females also Linkwalk on the tips of their toes. When the animal rebounds, he makes the noise: "Boing".


Males are also drawn with their eyes not completely separated, as if the Linksclerae of both eyes have merged, while females are often drawn with two completely separate eyes. Female marsupilamis also have a different voice compared to the males. Males say "houba" most of the time, while females say "houbi". According to the L'Encyclopédie du Marsupilami, they are Linkmonotremes like the platypus and echidna, which explains why they lay eggs while having mammalian features. Like parrots and some corvid birds, the Marsupilami can also mimic human speech, and like an amphibian is able to breathe underwater as well as on land.

Specimens
The appellation "The Marsupilami" originally referred to the individual captured and then adopted by Spirou and Fantasio, which they never bothered to name because he was the only known specimen. The Spirou & Fantasio album LinkLe nid des Marsupilamis introduces more marsupilami characters, none of whom are in captivity; the album is mostly concerned with a documentary-within-the-comic about the life of a family of marsupilamis living in the wild in Palombia, Ricore.

Marsupilamis have been shown with multiple different fur colourations – yellow, yellow with black spots, black, white, white with black spots, and black with yellow spots. The most frequently seen fur colours are yellow with black spots, yellow with no spots, and black all over, as these are the variations seen within the main Marsupilami family in the Marsupilami comic series; these are also the fur colours that are regularly seen.

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