The kangaroo the size of a cat that lives in trees, and impresses its mates by slapping them

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 10.55.09Able to leap nine metres (30 feet) from standing, these acrobatic marsupials are the masters of navigating the treetops. There are 14 different tree kangaroo species and are found in south-east Asia and Australia.

 

They don’t choose fight or flight

Tree kangaroos are solitary and don’t like having company. Rather than battle an opponent or make a hasty retreat, these mammals simply ignore one another if they meet. Mating season is the only time tree kangaroos seek out other members of their species.

They’re vegetarians with a taste for meat

Although these peaceful animals eat mostly fruit and leaves, they can’t resist a juicy animal carcass left by a carnivore. They rarely hunt for themselves, but will gobble fresh meat whenever they come across it or even snatch live birds from the air.

Females hiss to attract males

When a female is ready to breed, she descends to the ground and clicks her tongue, making hissing noises and even swatting neighboring males to get their attention. Usually mating takes place within minutes of the onset of this display.

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There are 14 different tree kangaroo species

Females lick their pouch clean

Immediately after giving birth, a female cleans her pouch. She inserts her entire head into her pouch to lick it clean for her baby. Newborn joeys are hairless and helpless, and need a safe environment in which to grow.

They have natural earmuffs

The inside of a tree kangaroo’s ear is packed with dense fur. Rather than keeping the ears warm, this thick lining repels parasites. Despite living in extremely hot climates, they have thick fur to protect their skin from creepy crawlies.

They never learned to be afraid
Rather than being active at the same time of every day, tree kangaroos get up any time they feel like it. Evolving on small islands without predators has given tree kangaroos the security to be out in broad daylight without fear.

 

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