Entries Tagged 'marsupials' ↓

Tree-kangaroo and words words words

I’ve been reluctant to post because to continue, I have to expand the subject of the blog. Looking for species that are both ugly and/or adorable, I keep on finding species that are either one, the other, or neither, that I find to be very interesting. I’ve become interested in why certain animals are well known in America, and not others (I would be interested in what animals are well known in other regions as well, but having spent most of my life in the United States, I’m not familiar with it). I’ve also become interested in why we see some species as cute or beautiful or ugly. Why is the giraffe, for example, considered beautiful? I would think its proportions would seem grotesque, and its odd face and blue tongue wouldn’t appeal to too many, but somehow it just seems so perfect. I guess I will be using this blog to try to [clumsily] explore a bit more than the ugly/adorable thing is what I am saying, basically!

It seems to me there is a wealth of wonderful marsupials that I’m not terribly familiar with. To me, tree-kangaroo seems like a world-class animal. The bodies of tree-kangaroos differ a bit from their cousins who live on land, to the extant that tree-kangaroos are actually clumsy on land, but it isn’t too difficult to see the relation.

Most species of tree-kangaroos only live in New Guinea, and at what may seem like an unimpressive 45 pounds, the largest species of tree-kangaroos represent the largest native mammals on the island.

The species pictured, the Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo, is endangered, like several other species in the family. This, combined with their remote habitats, and arboreal nature (animals who live in trees often seem to be not as well understood, largely because they’re more difficult for us ground-loving humans to study) are probably why we don’t see them more often. But I like them.

Wikipedia page on tree-kangaroos.
Via Tim Williams’ Flickr photostream.

(I was going to do something relating to the Spore Creature Creator, as it was released as I was writing this, but when I downloaded it, I learned that my graphics card in combination with my operating system did not work. But if you create something uglorable, send it to me at kento [at] uglorable [dot] com . I want to keep this site about animals, and don’t want to clutter it too much with computer stuff because that’s not why most people come here, but I might add them to the collection of creatures I’ve got started at my new sideproject sporepng.com. Hopefully a solution for my tragically outdated (10 months old!) hardware will be available soon, and I will be able to make some too!)

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Greater Glider

From the Flickr description:

    I learned tonight that Petauroides volans is actually a gliding possum and is more closely related to the Lemur-like Ringtail Possum than other gliders. They are nocturnal marsupials, eating mostly eucalyptus leaves. About the size of a cat but considerably longer (about a metre long including the tail), they have a membrane stretching from each elbow to the knee. When extended this membrane forms a kind of wing that allows them to glide up to a reported 100m. We didn’t see any gliding this night.

I would have been a bit surprised to see it glide, it looks kind of chubby!

Via Julian Robinson’s Flickr photostream.

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Numbat

The numbat is a marsupial in the order Dasyuromorphia, the order of the tasmanian devils, quolls, and thylacine (also known as the tasmanian tiger). It’s notable for being one of the only marsupials to be active during the daytime, its active hours matching the hours termites, its prey, are most active.

The numbat was found over most of Australia until European colonization. Being active during the day makes one more vulnerable to predators, and introduced species took advantage of the numbats vulnerabilities, eventually leading to their extinction everywhere but in a small area of Western Australia. Efforts to protect the numbat have proven successful however, and while the species is still considered vulnerable of becoming endangered, it is no longer considered endangered.

I kind of think the numbats markings resemble those of the thylacine, and I wonder if they have the same patterns because of their relation, or if it’s because of convergence evolution.

Via Nick Lawes’ Flickr Photostream!

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Wombat

I am kind of in a marsupial mood right now.

I think I’ll post another marsupial tomorrow.

Via Ben Harris-Roxas’s Flickr Photostream!

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Cross-eyed Opossum

Posting this, I realized that I didn’t know what the difference was between a possum and an opossum. I had always assumed they were different names for the same thing. While related, it seems the word “opossum” is used for species found in the Americas, while “possums” is the name of their cousins in Australia and the Malay Archipelago.

Via Valerie’s Flickr Photostream!

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A wallaby!

I was walking to Wilkinson with one of my Japanese classmates today, and mentioned that I needed to find a post for Uglorable. I asked if she had any ideas, and she said the first animal that came to mind: wallaby. I was slightly skeptical at first, unsure of whether they were really uglorable… But this one made me think twice.

Yeah, it’s adorable, in a cross-eyed, semi-deminted, rat-like way…. I love it!

Via Jennifrog’s photostream.

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