And the bush has friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him, In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wonderous glory of the everlasting stars.

Banjo Paterson (1889)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Musky Rat-Kangaroo

While walking through some rainforest near Cairns in North Queensland last Christmas, we came across this Musky Rat-Kangaroo (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus) out looking for fruit and insects in the late morning. This is a short record video of this little marsupial, as I'm very surprised not to find more footage around of this fairly common animal of this area. I suppose most are very shy and will quickly bound away if they notice you.

So what's so special about it?
  • It's believed to be an ancient ancestor of all kangaroo-type animals
  • Has long hind legs, but gaits on all fours instead of hopping on the hind legs
  • The smallest marcopod and only one with five toes
  • It's out during the day and sleeps at night in a rough nest (most Australian animals are nocturnal)
  • Has a musky odour (hence the name)
  • Is the only one member of it's family Hypsiprymnodontidae
  • Is only found in a very small rainforest area of north Queensland


Davina said...

Very, very cool footage, big ups to the videographer.

Davina said...
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