Alphabet Challenge :: Q :: Quoll

Pitiful Posting and the Alphabet Challenge

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ARKive – Spotted-tailed quoll photo – Dasyurus maculatus – G18251.

Who wouldn’t wanna squeeze this angry little face?? It’s probably not a good idea since the Spotted-tailed Quoll is one of the most vicious animals in the Australian bush.

– Scientific Classification –

They are the largest of the six species of quoll. Males can grow to a meter from head to tail. Spotted-tailed Quolls have shorter legs than most other Quoll species which may aid in generating power with a lower center of gravity but leaves them as slower runners. Their teeth are designed to tear flesh from mammalian prey and crushing invertebrates. Communication consists of cries, hisses and screams. They are native to Australia and Tasmania with 2 subspecies: D.m. gracilis, D.m. maculates.
Spotted-tailed quolls favour rainforest, closed canopy Eucalyptus forest, creek and river forest habitats but will also venture into adjoining woodlands and open pastureland in search of food (6). Den sites include caves, crevices and dens (4).
The Spotted-tailed Quoll may be “naturally” rare as they are a specialist mammal requiring certain foods and habitats. They are also threatened by competition with Eastern Quolls, Tasmanian Devils, and other cats, predation by foxes and the like, and deforestation. They are classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

Eastern Quoll female with young

ARKive – Eastern quoll videos, photos and facts – Dasyurus viverrinus.

And, since one species of quoll isn’t enough, here’s the Eastern Quoll!

– Scientific Classification –

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Dasyuromorphia
  • Family: Dasyuridae
  • Genus: Dasyurus
  • Species: D. viverrinus
The Eastern Quoll is a medium-sized carnivorous marsupial that comes in two distinct color morphs: fawn with whitish underparts and black with brownish underparts. The former is more common but both morphs can occur in the same litter. They have a smaller build than their relatives, the Spotted-tailed Quoll, and lack the spots on the tail. They exist in the wild now only in Tasmania and nearby Bruny Island, to which they may have been introduced. This is after a 50-90% range reduction as they used to occur in southeast Australia as well.
The eastern quoll occurs in a wide variety of habitats, including open forests, heaths, wet scrub, moorlands, woodlands, alpine habitats and grasslands (1)(2)(3)(4)(6), at elevations from sea level to around 1,500 metres (3). It is also found on agricultural land, being particularly common where pastures occur adjacent to forest(2)(3)(4)(5)(6).
They are listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.

ARKive :: Greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis)

ARKive – Greater bilby videos, photos and facts – Macrotis lagotis.

A bilby (Macrotis lagotis) with a smaller anim...

A bilby (Macrotis lagotis) with a smaller animal - either a baby bilby or a mouse - at Sydney Wildlife World, a zoo in Sydney. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

– Scientific Classification –

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Polyprotodonta
  • Family: Peramelidae
  • Genus: Macrotis
  • Species: M. lagotis

The Greater Bilby is a nocturnal mammal currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. They can be found in small populations in Australia, depending on the subspecies (Western or Eastern Bilby). Bilbies are the largest of the rat-like marsupials, commonly known as bandicoots. Due to its diet, (insects, fungi, bulbs) it doesn’t need to drink any water.

Here’s a video of this cute little marsupial just having a stroll:

ARKive :: Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis)

So I’ve been slacking a little since last week and I’m exhausted now, so, short post for today.

Captive male dibbler involved in species breeding program

ARKive – Dibbler videos, photos and facts – Parantechinus apicalis.

– Scientific Classification –

 

ARKive :: Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus)

Numbat Perth Zoo, Western Australia taken by M...

Image via Wikipedia

ARKive – Numbat videos, photos and facts – Myrmecobius fasciatus.

– Scientific Classification –

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Infraclass: Marsupiala
  • Order: Dasyuromorphia
  • Family: Myrmecobiidae
  • Genus: Myrmecobius
  • Species: M. fasciatus

The adorable Numbat, or Banded Anteater, of Western Australia is the only member of family Myrmecobiidae. They are myrmecophagous, eating an exclusive diet of termites (hence the “myrme” part of their family name). Numbats aren’t quite strong enough to rip open termite mounds so they must wait until their prey is active. They are endangered thanks to the introduction of cats and the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) as well as agricultural land clearing which removes homes for termites. They are the only marsupial that is fully active during the day.

Sources:

  1. ARKive
  2. Wikipedia – Numbat

The Sweet Sugar Glider – Petaurus breviceps

Sugar Glider, climbing down from a plant

Image via Wikipedia

– Scientific Classification –

The sugar glider is a small, arboreal marsupial that can be kept as a pet. They are native to New Guinea, Australia, Tasmania, and neighboring Indonesian Islands. Sugar gliders are only about 5 or 6 inches long in body with their tail being around the same length. This species of marsupial actually does have a pouch for the young. The skin membrane on each side of their body that aids in gliding, is called the patagium (also found in bats).

Gliders are a social animal (so having at least 2 is a necessity) that can live up to 15 years. Being marsupials, they are capable of embryonic diapause (see related articles) and, in 3 or 4 separate litters a year, can have 1-3 joeys, despite the mother only having 2 teats. For breeders, unsuspecting owners and wild populations, this sort of increase in numbers can be a bit of a shock. July – November is the “normal” breeding period so that young are reared during peak food availability in spring and summer. The joeys spend around 2 months in the pouch then another month in the nest.

Gliders can be finicky little things. The first time I heard of a sugar glider, I was watching Emergency Vets (Dr. Fitzgerald was the man) on Animal Planet and one was brought in in pretty bad shape. Sugar gliders are expensive. Upwards of $150 just from a pet store ($300-ish from a breeder). Then, necessities like the cage and toys are also costly. Gliders are insectivorous and also feed on gum and sap from acacia and eucalyptus trees, adding to the difficulties of captive care. Their scent glands are pretty constantly in use, making sugar gliders smelly little things. If you like sleep, this is probably not the right pet for you:

Dang nocturnal animals. So this post won’t be just bashing them in a captive aspect, here are some wild gliders leaving the nest:

Aaaaaand doing a little bit of gliding:

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Sources:

  1. Wikipedia – Sugar Glider
  2. Sugarglider.com
  3. Unique Australian Animals

Marsupials – The Pouched Mammals

Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) an extinct...

Image via Wikipedia - The extinct Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger)

I’m sure everyone has their idea of their favorite Marsupial; Kangaroos, Koalas, maybe the Wallaby (especially if you grew up in the 90s with Rocko’s Modern Life). Some pretty cool marsupials aside from the common favorites exist. Unfortunately, this is just a general post, so that stuff will have to wait a little while.

There are 334 species of extant marsupials, about 100 of which occur in the Americas (mostly South America). The name comes from the “marsupium” or pouch that differentiates them from placental mammals. They fall into 7 orders:

As mentioned in the previous post, they lack a corpus callosum (like reptiles and monotremes). Marsupials have a short gestation period, leading to the birth of underdeveloped young and the necessity of the mother’s pouch. All young are born blind and hairless with the use of only their front limbs to climb into the pouch and attach to a teat. However, not all marsupials have a permanent pouch or even one at all. They are then classified as marsupials when they give birth to underdeveloped young.

Wanna watch a video from the 60s?? Warning: It’s a kangaroo birth video so it’s sort of gross.

Just because I love Steve Irwin (wow, this theme song was goofy…):

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Sources: