Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm sorry, a what? - TREE KANGAROOS

Baby MATSCHIE'S TREE KANGAROO (Dendrolagus matschiei)

Did you even know there was such a thing as a Tree Kangaroo? Well there is, and they live in the northern tropical forests of Australia and on some of the islands of the Australasian Archipelago (places like Papua New Guinea). Our friends are a little ungainly in the trees. If I were to show you one out of habitat, you might not be able to figure that this was an arboreal animal. However, despite our judgment of their grace, they are well adapted enough to make a life in the trees. This is one of those cases of an animal not ideally adapted to its niche (it could have better legs and feet and tail for a life in the trees), but making what it has work for the life it has come to. Clumsy and awkward and utterly adorable; they have come to manners and habits that get through their homes well enough to survive. This is one of the animals that often enters the debates about evolution, because... come on, if you were to design an animal for tree life, you'd have done a better job.

GOODFELLOW'S TREE KANGAROO (Dendrolagus goodfellowi)

BENNETT'S TREE KANGAROO (Dendrolagus bennettianus)

LUMHOLTZ'S TREE KANGAROO (Dendrolagus lumholtzi)

GRIZZLED TREE KANGAROO (Dendrolagus inustus)

TENKILE or SCOTT'S TREE KANGAROO (Dendrolagus scottae)
Critically Endangered

DINGISO (Dendrolagus mbaiso)
Recently discovered by Western Science

MATSCHIE'S TREE KANGAROO (Dendrolagus matschiei)

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