The quokka is a mammal about the size of a cat, native to Australia. The quokka is a marsupial of the macropod family, and is similar in appearance to a small type of Wallaby. Quokkas are herbivores and they tend to be most active at night (nocturnal). Quokkas are believed to be one of the first mammals in Australia to be seen by Europeans, who described them as looking like wild cats. They were later mistaken for large rats. Rottnest “Rotte nest” Island was given its name because of this mistake, as this translates to ‘rat’s nest’. The quokka is considered to be a vulnerable species today.

Quokkas are marsupials and macropod family members, just like wallabies and kangaroos. Quokkas can weigh as much as 11 pounds and their bodies can reach 21 inches plus a tail of almost 12 inches long. The quokka is the only land mammal on Rottnest Island. The only occupy a small portion of Australia and are generally found in the southwest portion of western Australia.

The first European to describe the quokka was Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh in 1696. He described them as ‘a kind of rat as big as a cat.’ Quokkas are often described as being the world’s happiest animal. Despite this common reputation, they have sharp claws and it’s not uncommon for children visiting Rottnest Island to be treated for bites. Quokkas do not tend to fight with their own over food or mates, and are generally peaceful in their groups.  Quokkas move about by climbing trees, crawling, and hopping. The average lifespan of a Quokka is 10 years. Quokkas do not need a lot of water to survive. Quokka mothers do not give birth to more than two babies a year. One is more common. Quokka babies gestate in the womb for only one month and then move into the mother’s pouch. The baby lives with the mother for several months and at a year they are ready to mate. Baby quokkas are called joeys. If a quokka mother is threatened by a predator she will often throw her baby on the ground to distract the predator and save her own life. Quokkas are smart and will do anything for food, even learning tricks to get tourists to feed them. Although tourists like quokkas many locals that must live with them do not. Quokkas are bold and will enter buildings such as homes and restaurants. Quokkas have sharp teeth and will shriek if cornered or attacked or if they feel threatened or provoked. The quokkas lack of fear of humans and the small size of their natural habitat makes them vulnerable to becoming endangered as a species.

Credit : Soft schools 

Picture Credit : Google 

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