Tree Kangaroo What is a Tree Kangaroo?

Tree kangaroos, as the name suggests, are kangaroos that live in trees. They are found in mountainous rainforests of north-eastern Queensland, Australia and nearby islands.

The basic anatomy of the tree kangaroo is very similar to its lowland cousins. It too has massive hind legs with long narrow feet, a large thick tail and relatively small forearms. Having diverged from terrestrial (ground dwelling) kangaroos millions of years ago they have evolved modifications to their basic body plan. these include an exceptionally long and more flexible tail, feet that are slightly shorter and wider with spongy soles for better grip, slightly longer and wider forelimbs for climbing, and longer claws all around for better grip.

The tree kangaroo is clumsy on the ground. It moves very slowly and its hop is awkward, with its body tilted forward to balance its larger less rigid tail. In the trees however it quite agile. It climbs by wrapping its arms around the tree trunk or large branch and kicks with it strong hind legs hoisting itself up the tree. It is capable of great leaping feats for its size, being able to jump downwards as much as 9 meters from branch to branch and from an astonishing height of 18 meters from tree to ground without injuring itself.

Tree kangaroo are omnivores, eating leaves, fruit, flowers, bark and even eat eggs and baby birds.

Related: Australian Kangaroo Facts



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