Life of a tree kangaroo

There are 14 recognised species of tree kangaroo found in Papua New Guinea and Australia. These animals have adapted for life in the trees with tough padded paws that can withstand a 1.7 metre (5.5 feet) drop and long curved claws to help grip trunks.They eat fruit and leaves, but occasionally they will devour meat they come across.

Tree kangaroos live peaceful lives, hopping on two feet on the forest floor and clambering up tall trees with all four limbs. They can even walk along branches on two feet like a tightrope walker! The inside of a tree kangaroo’s ear is packed with dense hair to repel parasites and its body fur is thick to repel water.

They produce one joey at a time which, like its bouncing terrestrial cousins, lives in the mother’s pouch. When joeys are born they are hairless and helpless and rely on the mother for protection. As the joey grows it develops fur and begins to explore the environment and after 13 months in the pouch, it finally leaves and begins its own journey.

 

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Image from www.flickr.com/photos/-wichid/4737556277