Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A plethora of pademelons

I've named the pademelons. Not out of cutesy sentimentality, but because I want to work out how many individuals are using the garden. To do this, I need to tell them apart. I could have spray-painted them, but I suspect that it not what wildlife biologists mean when they talk about tagging animals. So, I had to look for identifying marks. And once I did that, it was easier to give the paddies descriptive names rather than boring old numbers. (Did that sound convincing?)

So far, I can recognise three individuals.

Big Red is a male with an excess of pigmentation. He looks as though he's been retouched in Photoshop. Whereas the others are shades of grey with a rusty suffusion on the hind legs, Big Red has a charcoal back and orange face and sides. He may have been at the henna. Another characteristic is his lack of grace. You can hear him approaching — for such a small animal, Big Red is very heavy on his feet.



Crinkle Cut is a female with notched ears, presumably from being beaten up by other paddies. Over the past few days, she's spent a lot of time cleaning her pouch. I'm not sure whether she has a joey, is preparing for a joey or is just sick and tired of all the ATM and credit card receipts that accumulate over time.





Steptoe is an old male with torn ears and scars on his back and flank. He turned up yesterday evening and hung around for a few hours, pressing his face right up against the window like a kid at the Myers Christmas display. No mugshot yet.

10 comments:

mick said...

Well even if you didn't mean it they are cute names! Plus I had a chuckle at your descriptions. Thanks!!

Snail said...

They're also v. cute animals, especially Crinkle Cut!

Dave Coulter said...

"....at the henna" LOL :)

Snail said...

Wait until you see the possums around here!

Tyto Tony said...

If he's true to name, Steptoe's just waiting to leer at you in the shower.

Snail said...

If he can set up a step ladder! Although I wouldn't put anything past the pademelons here ...

Snail said...

I have encountered the first problem with my system: recognising Big Red at night.

Denis Wilson said...

Great post, Bronwen.
Lovely creature, and imaginative wriote up, esp for Crinklle Cut cleaning out her pouch (or handbag).
Cheers
Denis

Kevin said...

Go with the paint, that's what a researcher here did some years ago with the prairie dogs. You might even be able to still buy posters from National Geographic that have them painted . . . (like you would want that to hang on your wall).

Snail said...

I've finally got some photos of Steptoe. Unfortunately, he's about as photogenic as I am. I've taken the sort of pic that usually appears in a passport.