Our Beautiful World

Tree Kangaroo, Dendrolagus   coming

Wildlife in Australia stand out for what we find on other continents, with many species that is found only
here. One exampel is - no, not the kangaroo, most people know about that animal, but have you ever heard
about the tree-kangaroo? No? Neither had the zoologists sent out from the Zoological Museom of the University
in Oslo, Norway. When they saw kangaroos climbing in the trees, they had to pinch their arms, to see if they
were awake or just dreaming. .

photo by P. Chevalier

Kangaroos and wallabies are marsupials that belong to a small group of animals called macropods.
They are only found naturally in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Most macropods have hind legs
larger than their forelimbs, large hind feet, and long muscular tails which they use for balance.
The word macropod actually means 'big foot'. Kangaroos and wallabies are most active at night,
dusk and dawn.

All kangaroos and wallabies have forward-opening pouches. Other marsupials - wombats and koalas -
have pouches that open backwards.

The kangaroo superfamily consists of two family groups. Kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons and
tree kangaroos make up one family, while rat-kangaroos, bettongs and potoroos make up the other.
There are 45 species of kangaroos and wallabies.

Where do they live?
Kangaroos and wallabies live just about everywhere!

Red kangaroos are found on the flat open plains
Grey kangaroos overlap the reds but prefer denser scrubs and forests.
Wallaroos have an extensive range throughout the inland, but prefer rocky outcrops or stony ground.
Rock-wallabies live among piles of boulders, rocky hills and cliffs.
Tree-kangaroos are found in the mountainous rainforests of north Queensland and New Guinea.
Smaller species of wallabies and kangaroos live in a wide range of habitats, from desert to woodland
to rainforest.

Bennett's Tree-kangaroo, Dendrolagus bennettianus

Bennett's Tree Kangaroo
at Mt Poverty, Queensland, Australia, in October 2006
Photo: Sandra Lloyd,

Bennett's Tree-kangaroo, or Dendrolagus bennettianus, is a large tree-kangaroo.
Males can weigh from 11.5 kg up to almost 14 kg (25 to 31 lbs), while the females range between
about 8 to 10.6 kg (17.6 to 23 lbs). They are very agile and are able to leap 9 metres (30 ft) down to
another branch and have been known to drop as far as 18 metres (59 ft) to the ground without injury.

Tree-kangaroos are macropods adapted for life in trees. They are found in the rainforests of New Guinea,
far northeastern Queensland, and nearby islands. Although most are found in mountainous areas, several
species also occur in lowlands, such as the aptly named Lowlands Tree-kangaroo. Most tree-kangaroos are
considered threatened due to hunting and habitat loss.

There are approximately 12 species of tree-kangaroos, though some uncertainty exists due to taxonomy.
Depending on species, there are significant variations in the colour of the pelage and size, with a head and body
length of 41 to 77 centimetres (16 to 30 in), a tail length of 40 to 87 centimetres (16 to 34 in), and a weight
of up to 14.5 kilograms (32 lb). Females are smaller than males.

Matschie's tree kangaroo, Dendrolagus matschiei

Matschie's tree kangaroo, Dendrolagus matschiei
Photo: W. Guy Finley

The Matschie's tree kangaroo, Dendrolagus matschiei, is endemic to the Huon Peninsula on the
northeast coast of Papua New Guinea. It is classified by the International Union for the Conservation
of Nature (IUCN) 2004 Red List as endangered.

Matschie's tree kangaroos live in mountainous cloud forests at elevations of up to 11,000 feet
(3,350 meters). They spend most of their time in trees. Tree kangaroos primarily eat tree leaves.
They also consume flowers, grass shoots, ferns, moss, and bark.

Average life span in captivity:Up to 20 years
Size:37 to 70 in (94 to 179 cm)
Weight:Adults: 15 to 22 pounds (7 to 10 kg)
Text above: Woodland Park Zoo

ARKive video - Huon tree kangaroo - overview
Huon tree kangaroo, Dendrolagus matschiei - Overview
BBC Natural History Unit

Tree-kangaroos are slow and clumsy on the ground. They move at about walking pace and hop awkwardly,
leaning their body far forward to balance the heavy tail. But in trees they are bold and agile.
They climb by wrapping the forelimbs around the back of a tree and hopping with the powerful hind legs,
allowing the forelimbs to slide. They are expert leapers; 9 metres (30 ft) downward jumps from one tree
to another have been recorded, and they have the extraordinary ability to jump to the ground from 18 metres
(59 ft) or more without being hurt.

Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo, Dendrolagus goodfellowi

Female Goodfellow's Tree-kangaroo with joey in pouch.
Photo: Tim Williams

Goodfellow's Tree-kangaroos, Dendrolagus goodfellowi, have short, woolly chestnut brown fur,
with pale belly. Their neck, cheeks, and feet are yellow. The face is greyish-brown, with a double
golden stripe running down their back. Tree-kangaroos have long, strong forelimbs and shortened,
broad hind feet. They walk along branches or climb, using each of their limbs independently.
The size is 60cm with tail about 1m long

Other Names: Ornate Tree Kangaroo

ARKive video - Goodfellow's tree kangaroo climbing, feeding and grooming
Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi
BBC Natural History Unit

Tree-kangaroos feed mostly on leaves and fruit, taken both in trees and on the ground, but other foods are
eaten when available, including grain, flowers, sap, bark, eggs and young birds.
Their teeth are adapted for tearing leaves rather than cutting grass. They have large stomachs that function
as fermentation vats in a manner similar to those of eutherian ruminant herbivores, in which bacteria break
down fibrous leaves and grasses. Although the arrangement of the stomach compartments in kangaroos is
quite different than eutherian ruminants, the end result is similar.
Most text above from Wikipedia

Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo, Dendrolagus lumholtzi
Photo: Maria Pesavento

Grizzled Tree-kangaroo Dendrolagus inustus N & W New Guinea, island of Yapen, and possibly Salawati and Waigeo.
Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo Dendrolagus lumholtzi Queensland, Australia.
Bennett's Tree-kangaroo Dendrolagus bennettianus Queensland, Australia.
Ursine Tree-kangaroo
Black tree kangaroo
Dendrolagus ursinus Vogelkop, New Guinea.
Matschie's Tree-kangaroo
Huon tree kangaroo
Dendrolagus matschiei Huon Peninsula, New Guinea.
Doria's Tree-kangaroo
Worlds heaviest tree-dwelling marsupial
Dendrolagus dorianus W, central, and SE New Guinea
Seri's Tree-kangaroo Dendrolagus stellarum highlands of west-central New Guinea
Goodfellow's Tree-kangaroo Dendrolagus goodfellowi central and southeastern New Guinea.
Buergers' Tree-kangaroo Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi  
Golden-mantled Tree-kangaroo Dendrolagus pulcherrimus Foja and Torricelli Mountains, New Guinea.
Lowlands Tree-kangaroo Dendrolagus spadix SW lowlands of Papua New Guinea
Discovered as recently as 1994,
Dendrolagus mbaiso highlands of west-central New Guinea
Tenkile, Scott’s tree kangaroo Dendrolagus scottae Sandaun Province, New Guinea.



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