Wild Fact #526 – The Little Wallaby – Quokka

Wild Fact #526 – The Little Wallaby – Quokka

 

Photo by Sean Mack (Wikimedia)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!!!

That’s right, it is indeed Canada Day where we get to celebrate our wonderful country with great friends, fireworks and if you live in Ottawa – the Royal Couple of the Year.  Now I wanted to do an animal that represented Canada but I have already completed facts on critters such as the Beaver and the Canada Goose.  As a result, I decided to write about an animal that has nothing to do with our great Country.  Nope, the Quokka can’t be found in Canada (unless you know someone that has a pet Quokka).  Instead they are found in parts of Australia, so let’s take a trip down under to celebrate Canada’s birthday.

The Quokka is a small marsupial, which is actually about the size of standard house cat (not one of those fat house cats like Garfield). In fact, the Quokka is the smallest Wallaby species that we know about at this point in time.  Compared to other Wallaby species, this particular marsupial has shorter hind legs and a smaller tail, which allow them to manoeuvre through thick forests at great speeds with ease.  Unfortunately, this evolutionary advantage didn’t help them once domestic cats, foxes and dogs were introduced to Australia.  As a result, their population has declined greatly since the early settlers of Australia.  I guess this type of thing is bound to happen but it is tough to see it happen to such a cute animal.

Photo by Hesperian (Wikimedia)

 

Given their size, it is probably not tough to believe that the Quokka is actually a vegetarian. Although, they spend the majority of their time feasting on grasses found in the undergrowth, they have been known to climb up trees to feed on leaves as well. No matter what they are feeding on they will typically swallow it whole.  Of course, once they do this they will regurgitate their food before eating the recycled plant matter one more time.  I know this doesn’t sound appealing to you or I but it is a great way for them to get all of the nutrients out of their food.  Not only do they get their nutrients but they also get most of their water this way as well.  In fact, the Quokka is able to go months without needing to drink any water.  I can’t even last a few hours!

That does it for our Canada Day Wild Fact.  I hope you all get to enjoy this great day, no matter where you live.  Have a good weekend and I will see you on Monday.

3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Mitch March 17, 2012

    They are adorable little creatures and fearless around humans. Had one eating from the palm of my hand while visiting Rottnest island in the mid 1990s.

  2. Avatar
    Mahsi January 06, 2013

    Where do they live? and is it legal to keep them as a pet?

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