Friday, February 4, 2011

Long Nosed Potoroo

The long nosed potoroo (Potorous Tridactylus) is a species of marsupial found in Australia.  It looks like a rat.  It is rated as 'vulnerable' by the IUCN.  The population has declined since the European settlement in Australia.

Physical Features
The long nosed potoroo is a rat like marsupial that has compressed and short hair on its body.  They have very strong muscles on the hind feet which allows them to hop from place to place.  These animals have a cone-shaped face with large, black eyes and round ears.  They have a very small nose that is quite long compared to its face.  Long nosed potoroos have very thick and hairy tails.They have grayish-brown fur that is faded underneath.  Females have 4 teats in her pouch which is a forward-opening pouch.  Potoroos can weigh 600 grams or 1 kilogram.  Their body length excluding their tail is 38 cm (15 inches) maximum while their tail length is 26 cm.  

Potoroo feeding on insect.
Long nosed potoroos are considered as omnivores as the eat different insects and plants.  They eat roots, shoots, fungi, tubers and many types of invertebrates.

Distribution and Habitat
The long nosed potoroo is mainly found in the southeastern coasts of Australia.  They are found in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales in the east while they are found in the extreme southern corners of Australia.  The places include South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.They like to live in coastal heaths and in forests that have heavy rainfall and dense ground cover.

Life Cycle                                                                   
Female with young
A female potoroo gives birth to 2 young per year after undergoing as gestation period of 4.5 months which includes delayed implantation.  Leaving the pouch after 130 days, the young get weaned at the age of 5 months.  Males and females mature at the age of one.  They live for 7 years in wild but, in captivity, they live for about 12 years.

Conservation Status
the long nosed potoroo has declined due to the European settlement.  Now, it has a population of roughly 10,000 individuals.  It is now protected by law.

Source of pictures: picture 1picture 2, picture 3

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