Posted tagged ‘Australia’

Pademelon: A mini kangaroo

August 31, 2009

Did you know that kangaroo-shaped marsupials come in three sizes? They’re like poodles or coffee.  Fortunately we don’t call them “tall,” “grande,” and “veinte.” (Sorry Starbucks; calling a small a tall? Idiotic).

Since these beasts all hop around on relatively large feet, they carry the generic moniker of “macropod.” Kangaroos occupy the large position on the macropod menu, wallabies cover the middle ground, and pademelons represent the snack size. Apparently in the past people called pademelons “lesser wallabies” and wallabies “greater wallabies,” but now they each get there own name.

Last year I traveled to Cairns, Australia for a geophysics meeting. While I was there I saw this red-legged pademelon in the “Cairns Rainforest Dome“, an enclosed glass dome atop a casino, which houses injured or otherwise debilitated Australian animals along with over 3000 plants:

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