Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q is for Quokka

It seems in my quest to find interesting animals I have come across several marsupials, and the quokka is one of them. At first glance they may look a little like rats, but they are actually one of the smallest of the wallaby family. Some are found on the mainland of Australia, but most are located on Rottnest Island and Bald Island.

They make tunnels through the dense vegetation and if threatened can move rather quickly through these tunnels. Unlike most wallabies, who graze, the quokka mostly browses to find food. They will eat grasses found along their tunnels and sometimes will eat leaves, berries and fruit. Quokkas do not drink a lot of water and can go for months without having any. This picture shows a quokka eating with its front paws.

Quokkas are not very large animals weighing anywhere from 5.5-11 pounds.  Their bodies are from 16-20 inches long with tails anywhere from about 9-11 inches long. They are nocturnal, preferring to sleep in the shade during the heat of the day. 

They live in family units and usually only have one joey (baby) at a time, which lives exclusively in the mother's pouch for the first 6 months of life. After that it does some exploring but still comes back to the pouch for a couple months more to continue to nurse its mother's milk.

More information can be found at Wikipedia, Animal Fact Guide and a-z animals.

This is Day 17 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

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