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Don't feel bad if you have no idea how to pronounce this animals peculiar name. "Quokka" was coined by Aboriginal people living in Westen Australia —  where the species can still be found today. But if you really want to see one for yourself, you better head over to Rottnest island where the largest population exist. The island was even named after them by the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh. (Rottnest is derived from the Dutch meaning "rats nest.") 

The Quokka has distinctive short brown coarse hair and lighter underparts. Its body is stocky and hunched in posture with a noticeably short tail. It has a small head with a dark stripe on the forehead, short and rounded ears and a naked nose. 

While it might look like a really cute rat, it actually has more in common with a wallaby or kangaroo. It might be small, but it is still a marsupial species. (Which means the females have an extremely short pregnancy and the embryo is born 11-35 days after conception. Then the mom will suckle the baby (joey) in her pouch for up to 30 weeks.)


Quokkas sleep during the day and become very active at night. They feed on native grasses, leaves, seeds and roots. They swallow their food and then later regurgitate the cud to chew it. They often dig their own water holes and can obtain water from succulent plants like cacti. But they can actually go months without a drink, due to their remarkable ability to reuse some of their waste products. 

Quokkas form small family groups, but also share the land with up to 150 other individuals. They are very sociable animals, but fights have been known to break out amongst the dominate males over sheltered spots on hot days.  


Like its celebrity look-a-like, the Quokka may look friendly, but can also be quite vicious — especially when males are involved.

Taylor Swift

See the resemblance? 




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