Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Four feet up a tree

Around here, a rustling tree on a windless day is a sign that a tree kangaroo is perched in its branches. I spotted this one yesterday at the top of the drive way, where it was trying to grab hold of some tasty leaves that turned out to be just beyond its reach. After a few minutes, the tree roo gave up and transferred its attention to grooming. Everyone likes a well-turned out marsupial.



You can get an idea from the shape of those hind feet that the ancestor of tree roos was terrestrial. (Their closest relatives are rock wallabies, which live on cliffs and boulder slopes.) The hind feet are similar to those of other roos, although relatively broader and shorter. The most unusual aspect is that they can be moved independently during locomotion. Unlike other kangaroos, tree roos can not only hop but can also walk.


8 comments:

desertnutmeg said...

Showing my lack of knowledge about any kind of roos, my those are some formidable looking claws aren't they? And thanks for the info on moving their feet. I had no idea!
I love the photos too--i really like the color of their fur.

Snail said...

They're rather handsomely coloured. It's a surprise the first time you see one up close, because I think most people imagine them to be shades of grey.

The claws are amazing. Sure help with gripping onto wet tree trunks. I've got some pics of possum feet, which I'll post. Now those are claws ...

Susan said...

Amazing!! I've never seen a land 'roo let alone a tree 'roo..could almost be a song couldn't it?

Dave Coulter said...

""Everyone likes a well-turned out marsupial.""

Yes, that's the feeling here in the Imperial Midwest as well. :)

Snail said...

We don't want no scruffs around here!

forestwalk/laura k said...

it just amazes me...all the variety of animals over there in your part of the world!!

such terrific pictures showing them all off!!!

Snail said...

The tree kangaroos are pretty special. This is probably the best place in Australia to see them.

forestwalk/laura k said...

and here i always thought there were just...kangaroos! BIG ones and then smaller ones. little did i know...there's such a variety!! i love it!