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(Thylogale thetis), Family Macropodidae
Credit & Copyright: Dr. Bruce G.
Explanation: Who is this shy creature just emerging from the tangle of dense forest at dusk?
Hint: we are in far eastern Australia in beautiful Lamington National Park, south of Brisbane, Australia.
It's Bigfoot! Well, not that Bigfoot. It is a macropod, belonging to the family Macropodidae ... which means big foot. Because it has big feet. Well, big hind feet, anyhow. Because it hops ... using what is called saltative locomotion which means that, well, it hops.
So it's a kangaroo! Well, no. Technically it's not a kangaroo per se. It is a pademelon, which is a name for a number of Australian-endemic species that belong to the kangaroo family, have big feet, and that use saltative locomotion (hopping) to move about.
Pademelons are generally smaller versions of the classic kangaroo, and generally share many of the same biological characteristics, such as giving birth to young in a near-embryonic state that must crawl to their mother's pouch and complete development there into a juvenile ("joey").
This particular critter is a red-necked pademelon, which is often solitary, shy, and inhabits the dense dark undergrowth of old forests such as here in Lamington National Park. They keep to the dense forest edges to emerge at dusk and mostly at night.
Next week's picture: Staghorn Fern Below the Canopy
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