The Musky Rat-Kangaroo is the smallest among macropods. The length is an average of about 230 millimeters and the weight about 520 grams, making the creature the smallest among all kangaroos. Its size is like a big guinea pig or a lot smaller brushtail possum or rabbit. Its closest modern-day living relatives are the wallabies and kangaroos. Aside from being the smallest, it is also considered as most primitive among macropods, with features similar to those of ancestors that resembled possums. This marsupial is the kangaroo family's only remaining member that retained a prehensile tail, which measures about 145 millimeters. The tail is scaly and bare, and it reminds one of glossy leather. Like possums and unlike kangaroos, it also has an opposable digit and first toe on its hind foot, enabling it to climb up fallen trees and branches.
It feeds mainly on fruits and seeds at daytime. The Musky Rat-Kangaroo plays a vital role as a dispersal agent in the regeneration of plants in rainforests. It also eats small invertibrates. Its stomach, however, is simpler than those of its macropod relatives.
Interesting fact: Unlike kangaroos that jump on two legs, the musky rat-kangaroo hops like a bunny on all of its four legs. It pushes its longer hind legs in front outside its shorter fore legs when galloping.
The Musky rat kangaroo is listed as Least Concern (LR/lc), lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Namings for the musky rat kangarooA young / baby of a musky rat kangaroo is called a 'joey'. The females are called 'flyer or doe' and males 'boomer or buck'. A musky rat kangaroo group is called a 'mob, troop or court'.
Some facts about the
Musky rat kangaroo
Adult weight : 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs)
Female maturity :365 days
Male maturity : 365 days
Weaning : 270 days
Litter size : 2
Interval between litters : 365 days
Weight at weaning : 0.25 kg (0.55 lbs)