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)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mareeba Rock-Wallaby

I keeping with the Australia Day theme, I thought I'd put up a video of some kangaroos. Rock-wallabies to be precise, at the granite gorge at Mareeba, in northern Queensland.

The Rock-wallabies (Petrogale spp.) is the most diverse genus amongst the living macropods with 16 species ranging from 1 to 12 kg in size. They are found across mainland Australia.

All Rock-wallabies favour habitat with rocky outcrops and slopes, cliffs and gorges or are found on boulder piles and escarpments especially in the wet-dry tropics. Their ability to scale precipitous rock faces in leaps that appear to defy gravity comes from adaptations to the feet and tail. The feet are short relative to the majority of macropods that inhabit flat ground. The pads are thick, spongy and highly granulated so that they compress on the rock surface and maximise grip. The tail is long and cylindrical with little taper and great flexibility. The tail acts as a counterbalance and rudder in rapid hopping across uneven surfaces and allows changes of direction in mid-air.

The Mareeba Rock-wallaby seems to prefer more open habitat than some of the other Queensland rock-wallabies. It is most often found in rocky habitat embedded within open forest and grassy woodland and less often in the thicker vine forests.

Rock-wallabies are typically social and live in colonies varying from a few individuals to over 100. The Mareeba Rock-wallaby appears to be at the latter end of the scale with colonies of up to fifty making it amongst the most social of the macropods.

For more information see

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