Tracking a bad-tempered marsupial that looks like a chunky rat, a mother-daughter science duo provides first-rote photos and fascinating facts about this endangered animal. Sometimes called ""garbage cans with teeth,"" the fierce 12- to 20-pounders can consume 15 times their body weight at a single meal--and they aren't fussy, the author reports, as she collects dead roadkill to attract the nocturnal hunter. When not eating, they seem to be screaming, threatening, fighting, and generally living up to their bad reputation. The author carefully details an unusual life cycle, including a first birth (after three weeks' gestation) aa one of 50--each the size of a rice grain--only four of which will survive the three-inch journey to the mother's pouch; and a second, leaving the pouch 100 days later, big aa a newborn kitten. Like the Darlings' other books (Walrus, 1991), this combines impressive detail, excellent photos, and firsthand immediacy. Fact summary; index.