Tree Kangaroo - Encyclopedia




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TREE KANGAROO, any individual of the diprotodont marsupial genus Dendrolagus (see MAR5uPIALIA). Three species are inhabitants of New Guinea and the fourth is found in North Queensland. They differ greatly from all other members of the family (Macropodidae), being chiefly arboreal in their habits, and feeding on bark, leaves and fruit. Their hinder limbs are shorter than in the true kangaroos, and their fore limbs are longer and more robust, and have very strong curved and pointed claws. The best-known species, Lumholtz' tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi), is found in North Queensland. It was named by Professor Collett in honour of its discoverer, who described it as living on the highest parts of the mountains, in the densest scrub and most inaccessible places. It is hunted by the blacks with trained dingoes; the flesh is much prized by the blacks, but the presence of a worm between the muscles and the skin renders it less inviting to Europeans.

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