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:

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

Monotremes – The Egg-laying Mammals

A Short-beaked Echidna on the move

Monotremes are egg-laying mammals indigenous to Australia and New Guinea. The name refers to the “single opening” they have (the cloaca) through which excretory and reproductive functions occur. There are two families, Ornithorhynchidae (“bird nose” ; platypus) and Tachyglossidae (“rapid tongue” ; 4 species of echidna).  Though they lay eggs, they do produce milk for their young. No defined teats means the milk simply oozes from their mammary glands. They have low reproduction rates (eggs are retained in the mother’s pouch for some time) and lengthy parental care. Lower metabolic rate means monotremes have relatively lower body temperature than placental mammals. As with reptiles and marsupials, they lack a corpus callosum (to be discussed in a later post). They have no teeth in adulthood, but need an egg tooth to hatch. Baby echidnas are commonly referred to as “puggles”.

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