If you’ve been watching the wildlife channel recently, then chances are that you’ve come across the adorable animal that is the quokka.
These little guys have been described as some of the happiest animals on the planet, and we can’t blame them, we’d be happy too if we looked as cute as they do!
If you’ve found yourself wanting to find out more about these teddy bear-like creatures, then keep reading, because we’ve compiled some of the most interesting facts about quokkas below, including what they like to eat.
Take a look below to find out more.
What Is A Quokka?
Before we jump in to looking at some interesting facts about quokkas, first let’s discuss what they actually are. For those of you who haven’t seen quokkas before, they resemble a wallaby, only much smaller.
They are indeed a part of the wallaby family, but are some of the smallest in that category, measuring around the same size as a domestic cat.
They’ve got very round ears, short faces, and short tails, which are responsible for making them look just like teddy bears.
The most amusing thing about quokkas is that they always appear as if they’re smiling, as this is the natural shape of their mouth.
They were actually first discovered during the 17th century by explorers who regarded them as large rodents.
What Do Quokkas Like To Eat?
In regards to diet, you may be wondering whether or not the quokka is a carnivorous creature. This however, isn’t the case, as quokkas are classified as true herbivores.
They like to feast on all manner of grassland, including stems, grass, and leaves. You can even find some quokkas chewing on bark, which doesn’t seem all that appetizing.
In terms of their favorite foods, they essentially prefer anything that’s fresh. So, the newer the plant or the leaves, the more inclined they’ll be to chow down on it.
Which Animals Pose A Threat To The Quokka?
In terms of predators, the quokka has seen a few in its lifetime.
In fact, they were incredibly abundant on the mainland of Australia many years ago, but have since drastically declined in numbers because of the increase in predators.
The main predator of the quokka which has contributed to their decrease in numbers is the dingo. The dingo saw the decline of the quokka over 3,500 years ago.
As well as this, foxes also slaughtered many quokkas (see also: Are Quokkas Friendly?)in the 1800s, drastically reducing their numbers.
The good thing is that nowadays many wildlife centers are looking to protect the quokka, and as a result, their numbers are now steadily increasing once more.
Where Do Quokkas Live?
Perhaps if you’re planning a trip to Australia soon, you’re hoping to come across one of these little guys on your travels. The thing is though that they’re actually very difficult to come across in the wild.
They live primarily off the coast of Perth, in the southwestern portion of Australia. They mainly still live in the region in which they were discovered, on Rottnest island.
You can, however, enquire with some local wildlife centers to see if they contain any quokkas that you can observe in person.
Can Quokkas Be Kept As Pets?
Anybody who’s enquired whether or not quokkas can be kept as pets, may be disappointed to find that they can’t actually be kept as domesticated animals.
This isn’t due to their temperament, but rather the fact that they’re recognized as a protected species in Australia. According to these laws, animals regarded as protected species can’t be kept as pets in the home.
In addition, you’re not allowed to pet a quokka if you come across one, otherwise you could end up with a fine of 300 dollars.
They’re also not allowed to be taken out of Australia, so you’ll only ever find them residing in this country.
Which Family Do They Belong To?
As we mentioned briefly above, the quokka is a part of the wallaby family. This actually means that they’re in the same family as the kangaroo.
Some of you may be surprised to discover this, as they appear so different to kangaroos, the latter of which have long limbs and noses.
They do however share some of the same characteristics as kangaroos, one of those being that they carry their offspring in a small pouch located in the front portion of their stomachs.
As well as this, if you observe the way that the quokka travels, they actually hop around in a similar manner to the kangaroo.
When Is The Best Time To Spot A Quokka?
If you’ve found yourself on the island where the quokka reside, then you’re probably wondering when the best time is to spot these cute little creatures.
If you want the best chance at seeing a quokka in the flesh, then they tend to make their appearance during the early morning or evening. This is because quokkas are considered to be nocturnal creatures.
They spend the majority of their days sleeping, and tend to make their appearance at nighttime.
They are often found to be resting near water in long blades of grass, and the chances are that if you find one quokka, you’ll likely witness their whole family too, because they like to stick in large packs.
Quokkas are truly fascinating creatures, beyond their adorable teddy bear-like appearance, they’re also full of interesting facts.
They are considered to be herbivores, and you’ll mostly find them chewing on fresh leaves and grass.
They’re nocturnal creatures, so if you want to spot one in the wild, the best time to do so is during early morning or evening.