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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Oct 5, 2013: Tammar Wallaby, Kangaroo Island, Australia

025 October 05 Kangaroo Island, Tamar wallaby,

 

The tammar wallaby (also known as the dama or darma wallaby) is quite small, not much larger than a house cat, and pint-size when compared to its large cousin, the kangaroo.  Tammar wallabies mostly live in the southwestern parts of Australia, are most active at night, and are able to drink seawater.  A marsupial, they carry their young (known as a "joey") in their stomach pouch (born small, they climb into the pouch and nurse here for many months).  As they grow older, the joeys frequently leave the protective pouch but are quick to bounce back when frightened (which they do with such speed and force, I'm amazed the mother survives).  

 

We saw hundreds of tammar wallabies during our visit to Kangaroo Island, such as the female in this photo whose pouch is distended by a hidden joey.   This one seems sleepy at dawn as it rests in the shade of a gum (eucalyptus) tree.  

 

Kangaroo Island is a remarkable place to visit.  Beautifully scented gum forests, wonderful fields of wildflowers, grand scenic views and lots of wallabies and sea lions.  Its flora have not been devastated by rabbits, so the environment is a good microcosm of what Australia was like hundreds of years ago.  

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  • Tamar wallaby, Kangaroo Island, Australia

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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