The tree kangaroo is a macropod that has truly been adapted for living life in the trees. The species is seen in many areas and may be known either as the tree kangaroo or the lowlands tree kangaroo. The interesting thing about this species is that they are thought to have evolved from a creature not unlike a kangaroo or wallaby, but they have adapted to a life in the trees over time. They have the large hind legs and narrow feet, which allow them to travel with great speed on the ground but also have long tails for balance and very strong forelimbs that are great for climbing.
The Tree Kangaroo
The tree kangaroo has feet that are shorter and wider than your typical kangaroo as well as longer claws, which make moving around the in the trees much more doable. The tree kangaroo is also different from your modern kangaroo in that it can move its back feet independently of one another.
What is remarkable about this species is that they are very uncoordinated when they are walking on the ground. They walk hunched over and it is obvious that they have evolved and just are not equipped to be on the ground, which is even more obvious when you watch them take to the trees and move with ease and great agility. The tree kangaroo is known for its jumping, as it leaps from tree to tree, and is known to jump almost 30 feet down and will jump to the ground from as high up as 60 feet without being injured! This is a truly remarkable species when you stop and consider how highly evolved they truly are for living in the trees when you compare them to modern kangaroos.
Mother and baby tree kangaroo
The tree kangaroo lives in the trees and they are usually found in the rain forests of New Guinea as well as northeastern Queensland, and nearby islands. The species are usually found in the mountainous areas, though they are also known to inhabit the lowlands. This is why there is a species that is known as the lowlands tree kangaroo, which does seem to be found only in the lowlands.
Living in the trees, the tree kangaroo eats mostly leaves and fruit, though they’ll eat out of the trees as well as collecting fruit that has fallen to the ground. The animals will also eat other items such as grains, flowers, sap, eggs, young birds, and even bark. They have teeth that are made for tearing leaves and they have sizable stomachs that have bacteria that break down the leaves and grasses that they consume.
The tree kangaroo is a solitary animal and appears only to come together with others for mating purposes. The female will become pregnant with one joey, which will climb on its own into the pouch where it will develop for 10 to 12 months before leaving the pouch. The joey will continue to nurse from its mother for several months, even after it has left the pouch.