Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tiger Quoll

Dasyurus maculatus
When I wrote about the Tasmanian Devil a while back, I discovered that it was the world's largest living Marsupial carnivore. This then made me wonder what other types of Marsupial carnivores were out there. You always think about the herbivorous Koalas, Kangaroos, and Wombats, but what about the meat eaters?

Well look no further than the Quolls, an entire genus of almost cat-like predators that can be found in Australia and New Guinea. (There are other carnivorous Marsupials of course, but they are for another day).

The Tiger Quoll is the largest of all the Quolls by nearly 50% body size, and is also the largest Marsupial carnivore on the Australian mainland. They are also sometimes referred to as Spotted-Tail Quolls, which is entirely appropriate due to their spotted coats that pattern all the way down their tails.

Tiger Quoll or Spotted-Tail Quoll
Tiger Quolls hunt at night, feeding on birds, possums, reptiles, and even small Wallabies!They are able to climb trees, but they spend most of their time on the forest floor.

Females reach sexual maturity when they are a year old, and produce one litter of 4-6 every year. Tiger Quolls grow and age very quickly; young ones are completely independent from their mothers when they are only 18 weeks old.

Tiger Quolls are on a decreasing population trend due to habitat loss and fragmentation, predation from introduced dogs, and competition over food with other introduced species. Studies are being done of their diets and habitats to better understand and protect the species.

IUCN Status :  Near Threatened
Location : Eastern Australia and Tasmania
Size : Body length up to 30in (75cm), Weight 8-15lbs (4-7kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Infraclass : Marsupialia
Order : Dasyuromorphia -- Family : Dasyuridae -- Genus : Dasyurus -- Species : D. maculatus

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...