Quokkas are small, nocturnal marsupial native to the southwestern parts of the world that belongs to the Wallaby species. Like the joey, the Quokka spends its early life inside of its mother's pouch for about half of the year. Unlike other Wallabies, its physical features are unique. Quokkas have small hind legs and sparse fur on their tails. They hunt for food instead of grazing and are the only member of the genus Setonix. Out of the nearly 50 known marsupials, including the Wallaby species, little is known about the early history of the Quokka, although it is considered to be closely related to the Rock Wallaby. It can go for long periods of time without needing water and can weigh up to 5 kg or about 11 pounds. In addition, it is herbivorous and can hop through the thick vegetation and tall grasses of its habitat with immense speed.
Quokka Anatomy and Appearance
The Quokka's fur is fairly coarse and thick. Its underside, however, is usually lighter than its top coat which is either a grey or brown color that is tipped with tinges of red around its neck and face. The Quokka has small, rounded ears, a rounded body and a snout - that is tipped with a cute, black button nose.
Quokka Interesting Facts and Features
Quokka family units typically stay in close proximity to one another where there is a sufficient supply of fresh water. Their environmental preference seems to be in moist environments, such as around the edge of swamps. However, Quokkas are also known to be found in regions that are quite far away from the nearest stream or river, since they stay hydrated mainly from the type of vegetation they eat. Quokkas are smaller in size than other Wallaby species which has allowed them to become expert tunnel formers through thick undergrowth. They use these runways as an escape route when threatened by a predator in order to evade capture.
Quokka Distribution and Habitat
Quokkas at one time in history could be found throughout the coastal regions of southwestern Australia. Today, the Quokka's habitat has been limited to three isolated regions; of which only one is actually on the mainland of Australia. An abundant population of Quokkas can be found on Bald Island and nearby Rottnest Island with a few remote units also inhabiting the bushland that surrounds the city of Perth in Australia. They are most commonly found in open woodland and areas of scrub and thick forest that are close to fresh water. Although Quokkas are a male dominated society, Quokkas are very friendly, sociable animals, and are not known to be territorial. Home ranges of up to 150 Quokkas typically exist in overlapping family units.