Quokka

Quokka Introduction:

The Quokka is a small marsupial that is natively found in parts of the south-west of Australia and on only two islands off the south-west coast. The Quokka is one of the smallest wallaby species in the world, and most distinctively differs from other wallabies with their short and barely-furred tail and small hind legs.

Out of the roughly 50 known kangaroo and wallaby (and other marsupial) species on the continent however, the quokka is one of three whose ancestry is still fairly hazy today.

The fact that the quokka browses for food rather than simply grazing makes it quite different to other species, but despite all this, many agree that they are most closely related to the Rock Wallaby.

The quokka is a small species of wallaby that has a rounded and compact body. Their hind legs and tail are much shorter in comparison to those of many wallaby species but allow the quokka to hop through the thick vegetation and tall grasses with immense speed.

The dense fur of the quokka is fairly coarse and usually brown or grey in color, with reddish tinge around the face and neck, and generally lighter in color on the underside. Along with its rounded body, the quokka also has small and rounded ears, and a rounded snout that is tipped with a black nose.

Unlike other wallaby species, the tail of the quokka has hardly any fur on it at all and they also don’t need it to balance whilst they are hopping along. Historically, the quokka had quite a wide distribution and was once found throughout the coastal regions of south-western Australia.

Today however, the quokka has been restricted to three remote regions, only one of which is actually on the Australian mainland. The most numerous populations of quokka are found on Rottnest Island and on neighboring Bald Island, with a few isolated groups also inhabiting the bushland that surrounds the city of Perth on the mainland.

Keywords to learn


About Me:

Hey Kids, my name is Quinn the Quokka and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ www.kids.nationalgeographic.com

Key Quokka Data:

  • Order:
    Diprotodontia.
  • Lifespan:
    5 – 10 years.
  • Class:
    Mammalia.
  • Scientific Name:
    Setonix brachyurus.
  • Mass:
    1.5kg – 4.5kg (3.3lbs – 10lbs).
  • Length:
    40cm – 54cm (16in – 19in.
  • Region found:
    south-west Australia.
  • Population Status:
    Vulnerable.
  • Current population trend:
    Decreasing.
  • Diet:
    herbivorous.
  • Sexual maturity:
    10 – 12 months.

The quokka is  a quite tame animal that is very similar to the wallaby but just smaller. While quiet and tame, the quokka is classed as vermin and is a scavenger.

 

Now that you know more about the quokka by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.

 

Download questions on the quokka here: Quokka (answers are on this page)

Quokka Fun Facts for Kids:

  • # 1. Quokka are most commonly found in thick forest, open woodland and areas of scrub that are close to fresh water. Their preferred habitats are always close to water, and the Quokka can also be found along the edges of swamps.
  • # 2. The quokka is a very sociable and friendly animal that inhabits south-western Australia in small family groups, which are dominated by the males. Despite this though, the quokka is not known to be territorial with up 150 individuals known to have overlapping home ranges.
  • # 3. The quokka is a nocturnal animal that spends most of the hot day, resting in the shade of the trees and will often return to the same spot every day. At night, the quokka then begins to browse for food using tunnels through the long, grasses to move about unseen.
  • # 4. The breeding season for the quokka tends to occur in the cooler months between January and March, when a single joey is born after a gestation period of just a month. Like all other marsupial babies, the joey manages to crawl into its mother’s pouch completely unaided, when it then attaches itself to one of the female’s teats.
  • # 5. Before European colonists reached the coastal regions of south-west Australia, the quokka populations were thriving and were widespread throughout the area.

Q&A Corner

  • # 1. How many species of quokka are there?
  • # 2. Name one island the quokka is found on?
  • # 3. What is the average lifespan of the quokka?
  • # 4. What is the current population status of the quokka?
  • # 5. Name two predators that hunt quokka?

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