The Dusky Pademelon (Thylogale brunii) is a small macropod marsupial mammal. It belongs in the Macropodidae family of big-footed mammals. It is also known as the Dusky Wallaby or the Aru Island Wallaby.
The Dusky Pademelon looks like a mini-kangaroo. It is a stocky marsupial with brown fur with light patches and a white underbelly. It has large ears, a black nose and large brown eyes. It has a short, flat tail. It has two big hind (back) feet with two smaller front feet that act like hands. Its paws are dark-brown to black, with sharp claws.
It grows to about 50 centimetres (20 inches) tall, with a tail measuring about 50 centimetres (20 inches).
The Dusky Pademelon is native to the Aru Island, the Kai Island and the Trans Fly savannah and grasslands of Papua Province in Indonesia and in Papua New Guinea. It is not found in Australia, where kangaroos and wallabies are native animals.
It prefers sub-tropical and tropical dry forests, dry savannahs and shrublands.
It is crepuscular, active at dawn and dusk.
It is generally solitary, but it will gather with other individuals to feed. It feeds on grass, roots, leaves, and weeds.
The female Dusky Pademelonhas a front pouch in which her young are protected. Her baby is called a joey, whether it is a boy or a girl. The joey stays in the pouch for about 30 days. When the joey leaves the pouch, several mothers and fathers look after it. This is called alloparenting.
The Dusky Pademelonmay live up to 9 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
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