7 Australian Marsupials To Meet In Kuranda
Cute, fluffy and biologically unique, it’s hard to deny that Australian marsupials are one of the best things about the land Down Under.
Ready to get up-close to some Australian marsupials? Today we show you seven of these iconic Australian marsupials that you can see in Kuranda.
Scientific name: Phascolarctos cinereus
Status: Although the Koala is not endangered, the population is falling rapidly.
Lives in: Eucalypt woodlands
Found in Australia: in central and south-east Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and south-east South Australia
It doesn’t get more Australian than the koala! This tree-dwelling marsupial is undeniably adorable, with it’s laid-back, sleepy personality, fluffy coat and cute face. Often, and incorrectly, referred to as a “koala bear”, this marsupial sleeps a whopping 22 hours a day! This is due to the high amount of toxins and low nutritional value of the eucalyptus it eats.
Koala joeys are around the size of a jelly bean when they are born and spend another six months developing in their mothers pouch before they emerge. After emerging, they will cling to their mother’s back for a further six months.
Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo
Scientific name: Dendrolagus lumholtzi
Lives in: Tropical Rainforest
Found in Australia: only in the Tropical North Queensland tablelands between the Carbine Tablelands and the Cardwell Range
The Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo is one of Australia’s rarer marsupials and can only be only found in the Atherton Tablelands.
The Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo is the smallest of all tree kangaroo species. It also has the longest tail to help it balance. Interestingly, this species can use its limbs all separately to walk on all fours as well as hop like other species of kangaroo and wallaby.
They have an abnormally long gestation period of around 45 days. The young live in the pouch for around 9 months.
Scientific name: Dasyurus maculatus
Lives in: Wet forests
Found in Australia: Far North Queensland, east coast of Australia and Tasmania
The spotted-tail quoll is a carnivorous marsupial and is the largest one found on mainland Australia. It also has the second most powerful bite relative to body size!
Quolls tend to live in underground burrows, under buildings or in tree hollows or logs.
When quoll joeys are in the pouch, the female quoll will rest on her side. Quolls eyes open at 70 days old and before this they depend on their mother’s vocalisations.
Scientific name: Sarcophilus harrisii
Lives in: dry forests and coastal woodlands
Found in Australia: in Tasmania
The Tasmanian Devil was given iconic status through Looney Toons, although the real life carnivorous marsupial has little resemblance to its cartoon counterpart.
As the largest carnivorous marsupial in existence, this iconic Aussie animal is known for its loud screech and sometimes unpleasant odour. Unfortunately, due to the devil facial tumour disease, their are only 15-50 thousand left in the wild.
What is unusual about this particular marsupial is that it gives birth to 20-30 live young weigh only 0.20g. However, as the female Tasmanian Devil only has four nipples in her pouch, most of these babies cease to survive. The young stay in the pouch for 100 days and then they are rapidly ejected.
Eastern Grey Kangaroo
Scientific name: Macropus giganteus
Status: Stable, however it is protected by law
Lives in: shrub, woodland and farmland areas
Found in Australia: in all of the eastern mainland states and Tasmania
Does it get more iconically Australian than the Kangaroo? The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is the second largest marsupial in Australia and is only smaller than the Red Kangaroo. Males can grow up to 1.3 metres tall.
These social animals hang in “mobs” of ten or more and communicate with sounds that can be compared to clucking. The fastest ever Eastern Grey Kangaroo was a female, which rang at around 64km/hr.
These marsupials are famous for their adorable joeys, which, like all marsupials, are born the size of a tiny jellybean. The joey stays in the pouch for 9 months and will continue to suckle until around 18 months of age.
Scientific name: Macropus agilis
Lives in: grasslands, dry forests and dunes
Found in Australia: in the north
This mid-sized marsupial can be found alone or in groups in Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. These herbivores eat grasses, legumes, leaves, fruits and flowers.
They are mainly active at night and stay in large “mobs” on open grasslands to deter predators.
The Agile Wallaby has a gestation period of around 30 days and joeys emerge from the pouch at seven months. Like kangaroos, wallabies are capable of having more than one joey in the pouch, with one developing whilst the other embryo is in “pause mode”. This is known as embryonic diapause.
Scientific name: Petaurus breviceps
Lives in: Forest canopies
Found in Australia: in northern and eastern mainland Australia and Tasmania
This adorable nocturnal marsupial has small gliding membrane between its forefeet and hindfeet, which allow it to glide up to 50 metres from tree to tree.
Although they are sweet by name and appearance, this small marsupial gets its name from its diet of sap and nectar.
The Sugar Glider has a gestation period of 15 to 17 days and remain completely in the pouch for the first 60 days.
Meet all of these Australian marsupials at Rainforestation Nature Park on your Tropic Wings Kuranda tour!