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Lumholtz's tree kangaroo
Order : Diprotodontia
Family : Macropodidae
Species : Dendrolagus lumholtzi
Tree kangaroos can be seen on Peterson creek track and often in the forest surrounding Bushland Cottages and Lodge.
Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo is a heavy-bodied tree-kangaroo found in rainforests of the Atherton Tableland Region of Queensland.
It is named after the Norwegian explorer Carl Sofus Lumholtz (1851-1922).
It is the smallest of all tree-kangaroos, with males weighing an average of 7.2 kg (16 lbs) and females 5.9 kg (13 lbs).
Its head and body length ranges from 480-650 mm, and its tail, 600-740 mm. It has powerful limbs and has short, grizzled grey fur. Its muzzle, toes and tip of tail are black.
Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo lives in small, loose-knit groups of three to five, consisting of a male and female mates. Each kangaroo maintains a 'home range' and will be hostile towards a member of the same gender that enters it (the one exception seems to be non-hostile encounters between adult males and their male offspring.
A young / baby of a Lumholtz is called a 'joey'. The females are called 'flyer or doe' and males 'boomer or buck'. A Lumholtz group is called a 'mob, troop or court'.
In general, tree-kangaroos hold special body traits that allow them to live up in the trees, and these are: unusually long tail, stronger limbs in front, bigger hind legs, curved claws and 'spongy soles' which help them to grip well when climbing any tree.
These kangaroos are able to move their hind feet in independent fashion, and tree-kangaroos in fact, are the singular kangaroos which could navigate backwards...
We are all used to reading an animal (whatever it may be), as either diurnal or nocturnal, but this kangaroo is something else. they fall under 'cathemeral'.
This principally means they are active (intermittent) within the 24-hour frame of a day. In a brief sleeping session of around an hour, its head just sinks within its chest, that or between the feet, all depends on where the kangaroo is.
The ancestor of the kangaroos and their kind was possum-like and descended from the trees to spawn a large and diverse fauna of browsers and grazers.
Curiously one group the Tree-kangaroos ascended the trees again to exploit the large foliovore (leaf-eating) niche in the tropics of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Unfortunately for Tree-kangaroos their meat is tasty (hence the genus Dendrolagus or tree-hare given by the Dutch) and hunting along with habitat destruction and climate change are significant threats. Thus the majority of species are threatened or vulnerable under IUCN Red List classification.
Bushland Cottages & Lodge