Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Red-legged Pademelon

Click on the photo to enlarge
Red-legged Pademelons, Thylogale stigmatica, are rainforest kangaroos. This species is fairly widespread in the coastal Queensland tropics. It is also known from New Guinea.

Pademelons are small but an old male can be three-quarters of a metre in height. Females are much smaller. They are very skittish and are not as tame as many other kangaroos and wallabies. Like most other kangaroos, they are crepuscular . They spend the daylight hours in the shade of the rainforest, often reclining on the forest floor. Pademelons feed on a variety of plants. Gardeners are at odds with pademelons as they seem to consume the most desirable of garden plants.

The local dominant male checks out the seed dish just before daylight. I have no idea what the spots on his chest might be. They do not seem to be ticks.

This is one of several residents. We have lost two females in the past three weeks to automobiles. It may seem unbelievable that someone could hit a pademelon on a street that is a cul de sac. But having almost hit one recently, I can vouch for their unpredictable habits. Even travelling slowly at night, these little creatures can dart out from under a shrub and become a fatality. Still we must be more careful.

This little female bares the result of some sort of life-threatening experience. Note the red spot on the let hind leg. This is actually the elbow. This pademelon, a female,  now has to prop herself on the elbow because the tibia was broken in an accident and is now useless. It is now limp. But she survives and looks healthy. Let's hope.

Origin of the word Pademelon
According to Wikipedia Pademelon is a corruption of the aboriginal word badimaliyan. It now generally refers to any small kangaroo or wallaby species.

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