How does the Tree-Kangaroo climb trees?
There is only one species of arboreal (tree living) kangaroos in the world. It is the Goodfellow’s Tree-Kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi). Other kangaroos are terrestrial, living on the ground.
The Tree-Kangaroo has adaptations to its feet to enable it to climb trees.
The Tree-Kangaroo has longer and wider hind (back) feet, with longer curved nails, than the terrestrial kangaroo.
The Tree-Kangaroo has longer front paws than the terrestrial kangaroo.
The Tree-Kangaroo has sponge-like grips on its paws and on the soles of its hind feet.
For balance, it has a long, slender tail, which is longer than the tail of the terrestrial kangaroo.
The Tree-Kangaroo climbs up trees head first. It wraps its front paws around the tree trunk, and grips the tree with its sharp claws. It hops up the tree using its powerful hind legs.
To climb down a tree, it can slide down or climb down head first, although it usually leaps downwards. It can leap long distances of up to 9 metres (30 feet) horizontally (from tree to tree) and up to 18 metres (50 feet) down to the ground.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM