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What Is a Quokka? 15 Details Concerning the “Happiest” Creature on Earth

When Nationwide Geographic deems an animal “the happiest on earth,” you are taking notice. And positive sufficient, the smiling, teddy-bear sized marsupials referred to as quokkas get that identify for good purpose. Whilst you cannot have a quokka as a pet, you will discover loads of swoon-worthy pictures of them on-line, and even make a journey to go to them on their native island (which they’ve virtually infested with cuteness). Positive, this lovable species could also be pretty unknown to a lot of the world—however, frankly talking, it deserves all the eye.

So, what precisely is a quokka? And what makes them so irresistibly cute? And why on the planet do folks love taking “quokka selfies” a lot?! Effectively, surprise not. We have rounded up 15 must-know information about these little-known creatures. Here is the whole lot it’s essential to learn about these implausible beasts (together with the place to seek out them).

What’s a quokka?

Quokkas are small wallabies (assume: the identical household as kangaroos, besides these little guys solely develop to be in regards to the dimension of a home cat) with quick tails, quick faces, and spherical ears on the highest of their head. However essentially the most notable attribute a few quokka is its face: All quokkas seem like perpetually smiling, which is what earned them that candy “happiest animal on earth” moniker. They have been initially found by Dutch explorers within the seventeenth century, who mistook them for big rats, deeming their native island “Rotte nest.” (Translated, meaning “rat’s nest.”)

The place does the quokka dwell?

Quokkas dwell in Australia, however even in case you’re a local of the area, you will not simply discover one in your yard. These little guys are native to southwestern Australia (off the coast of Perth), with the largest inhabitants residing on Rottnest Island.

How do you pronounce quokka?

Quokkas get their identify from the Aboriginal those who lived within the King George Sound space of southwestern Australia once they have been first found. The identify is pronounced “kwaa-ka.”

smiling quokka
Shutterstock

Can you might have a quokka as a pet?

Sadly, quokkas are a protected species in Australia, and, per the Rottnest Island Authority Act of 1987, cannot be saved as pets. You are additionally not allowed to take quokkas out of Australia to be your pet elsewhere, which means you are almost definitely to identify one on their native island.

How did quokkas turn into well-liked?

Due to that unending smile, quokkas are intensely photogenic—a lot so, that they grew to become identified on a worldwide scale after a person posted a “quokka selfie” with the smiling, furry critter that went viral, and put them on the map.

What does a quokka eat?

Quokkas prefer to nibble on leaves, shrubs, grasses, and crops, which occur to be present in abundance on Rottnest, in addition to mainland Australia. True herbivores, they particularly like to munch on swamp peppermint. For leaner occasions, they retailer fats of their tales.

Can I pet a quokka?

No; it is really unlawful to pet a quokka. These creatures want to remain within the wild—one thing that Australian authorities take critically. Not solely is it unlawful to succeed in out and pet these cuties, however you may even be slapped with a cool $300 fantastic for doing so.

Quokkas can have anyplace from 15 to 17 infants.

These warm-blooded little guys solely give delivery to 1 child at a time, however child quokkas mature rapidly, so full-grown quokkas may give delivery twice per yr. In a 10-year lifespan (that is the typical), they may produce anyplace from 15 to 17 infants.

Like kangaroos, they carry their infants of their pouch.

The phrase “marsupial” comes from the Latin marsupium, which suggests “belly pouch.” Identical to kangaroos, wombats, wallabies, possums (or, if we’re being correct, opossums), koalas, and different marsupials, quokkas have these, too.

quokka baby in pouch
Christine Mendoza/Unsplash

A child quokka known as a “joey.”

One other similarity to their fellow Australian-natives, kangaroos and koalas, child quokkas are known as “joeys.” Awww!

Quokkas typically throw their infants for cover.

When threatened, grownup quokkas are identified to typically throw their infants out of their pouches to function a distraction, and permit then ample time to get away from the menace.

They like to hang around in packs.

The place there’s one quokka, there’s probably extra. These guys are social with their sort, and are typically peaceable amongst each other. In contrast to another mammals, they don’t usually struggle over meals or mates.

Quokkas can swim.

Although it is not their first selection, quokkas are greater than succesful within the water. Their foremost habitat is on land, although, they usually are likely to spend most of their time in timber and shrubs. Plus, their native island can go months with out rainfall, in order that they’re used to dry land.

quokkas smiling animal
Shutterstock

Quokkas are protected by the World Wildlife Basis.

The World Wildlife Basis is targeted on sustaining their present habitat and controlling predators.

Sadly, quokkas are susceptible to extinction.

Quokkas are thought-about susceptible to extinction by the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature. The species has misplaced 50 p.c of its habitat previously 200 years on the mainland, in accordance with a 2014 research led by John Woinarski of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Analysis Group, or CSIRO.

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