Quokka: feeding and reproduction

If we simply say quokka you may not be familiar, but surely in recent months you have seen the picture of a smiling animal and you have asked yourself what species it was from. Well, today we are going to get you out of doubt. In this article we bring you some information so you can know something more about this nice animal.

What is a quokka?

These marsupials were described for the first time in the century XVII by a Dutch sailor. It was not until 1830 when the zoologists Quoy and Gaimard classified the quokka within the family of the macrophodids.

The quokka ( Setonix > i> brachyurus ) are marsupials the size of a cat , so they do not exceed 60 centimeters tall. Its weight ranges between two and five kilograms.

The body of these animals is covered with a brown coat that protects its robust skin. On its face stand rounded ears and intense black eyes. It has a tail that, together with its hind legs, it uses to give impulse and to move.

They are sociable animals and with nocturnal habits. This sociability and smile-like grin has encouraged many tourists to travel to south-west Australia to take pictures and caress the approaching specimens.

Quokka: feeding

Feeding the quokka

The diet of these marsupials is strictly hervíbora. They feed on leaves, shoots or roots of various plants that grow on the ground. The search for food is carried out at night, to avoid predators.

When food is scarce on the ground, the quokka climb trees to take advantage of any plant material. Curiously, they can spend long periods without drinking water, as they are supplied with moisture from food.

Reproduction habits

The quokka females , which will be born after one month of gestation. At birth, newborns must reach their mother's marsupial bag by their own means.

Quokka: reproduction

The first six months will be fed breast milk, without leaving the protection of the pouch. Shortly thereafter, the little quokka will begin to explore the outside, but will continue to nurse. When he reaches the age of one, he will have reached maturity and will be able to fend for himself.

Is it in danger?

Currently are listed by IUCN as 'vulnerable species'. The reduction of their habitat and the introduction of predators by man have reduced their numbers considerably .

The friendly appearance of these animals is also harmful, since it increases the number of visitors and, with this, their behavior and diet may be altered. It is important to remember again the importance of conserving both the habitats and the species that live there.