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Did You Know? Incredible Pademelon Facts

Pademelon Facts are a great way to get to know more about this cousin of the kangaroo and wallaby

Pademelons, wallabies, and kangaroos are animals that look alike. All species belong to the Macropodidae family but they differ in their respective sizes. Pademelons are endemic to Australia. And these animals live in diverse natural habitats, from rainforests to tropical dry forests and grasslands to swampy areas. Pademelons have shorter, thick, and sparsely haired tails. Like other marsupials, Pademelons carry their young in a pouch. Male pademelons are almost double the size of female pademelons, and both males and females are territorial animals. Pademelons are nocturnal animals, they are herbivorous and are a solitary species who prefer to be on their own.

Pademelons can be divided into seven categories based on their dwelling area, their size, their fur, and more. According to the IUCN Red List, the pademelon's species list ranges from Least Concern to Endangered. Due to habitat loss as well as climate change these, Thylogales rely on conservation efforts to prevent extinction.

If you like learning about animals, you can also read these articles on the red kangaroo and the matschies tree kangaroo.

Pademelon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Pademelon?

Pademelons, wallabies, and kangaroos all look similar, except for in size, and are all species of the Macropodidae family. They are natives of mainland Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania. Pademelons are the smallest members of their family. They are solitary and nocturnal animals and come out during dusk for feeding.

What class of animal does a Pademelon belong to?

The pademelon belongs to the Mammalia class. They are a species of the Macropodidae family. They have big hind legs and a tail used as a fifth limb for balancing. The species rears its offspring by carrying them in a pouch. Pademelons move from one place to another by hopping on their hind legs.

How many Pademelons are there in the world?

The data on the exact number of pademelons is not known. The Tasmanian pademelon is found throughout Tasmania, but in the past they were also found throughout southeastern parts of mainland Australia. According to IUCN red list, the Thylogale thetis and Thylogale billardierii are the two Pademelon species whose population is stable, whereas the population of other species is decreasing.

Where does a Pademelon live?

Pademelons are usually found in forests, from a rainforest to a sclerophyll forest, or even scrubland. They also make tunnels through long grasses and bushes in any swampy area for feeding and in order to protect themselves from possible predators.

What is a Pademelon's habitat?

Pademelons are solitary and nocturnal animals. This means they spend the daytime in thick vegetation, hence, they prefer to live in thick scrubland or densely forested undergrowth. The dusky pademelon and brown pademelon are found in subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, dry savanna, and lowland grassland, whereas the Tasmanian pademelon lives in a comparatively colder habitat.

Who do Pademelons live with?

Pademelons prefer to live on their own but group together while feeding and mating.  During the day these animals spend time alone, apart from mothers and dependent young.

How long does a Pademelon live?

Pademelons live for between four and eight years in the wild. The young are in their mother's pouch for about six months before they are weaned away from the mother's teat. After that, the young animals live in their mother's pouch from seven to 14 months of age, exploring their surroundings with their mother before eventually leaving the pouch to live independently.

How do they reproduce?

The species reach sexual maturity at the age of 14 or 15 months and breeding is continuous. Thylogale billardierii reproduce in captivity all year round, but in the wild reproduction is mostly seen in late autumn. They are polygynandrous, meaning that both the male pademelons and the female pademelons breed with multiple partners. The gestation period of a pademelon is 30 days and the pademelon gives birth to a single offspring at a time. After birth, the young attaches itself to one of four teats in its mother's pouch. The young leave the pouch at around 10 to 14 months of age and after that, another young can take its place.

What is their conservation status?

In general, the conservation status of a pademelon is Vulnerable. According to the IUCN Red List, the Tasmanian Pademelon and red-necked pademelon populations are stable whereas the mountain pademelon , red-legged pademelon , New Guinea pademelon , dusky pademelon, and Calaby's pademelon populations are decreasing. Pademelons are spread across mainland Australia and New Guinea, and the Tasmanian pademelon can be widely found in Tasmania. The number of these dark brown dusky thick fur animals has decreased over time due to multiple reasons.

Land clearance for urbanization and cultivation has forced the pademelon to share their habitat with wallabies and kangaroos. The introduction of non-native creatures such as feral cats, feral dogs, and red foxes in and around its habitat has also become a threat as they are harmful predators for the pademelon. Also, an increase in the rabbit population (which are not in the same family as wallabies, kangaroos, and pademelons) is another threat as they graze on the same type of grasses as the pademelons do.

Pademelon Fun facts

What do Pademelons look like?

Pademelon are shy but curious animals

Kangaroo, wallaby, and pademelon animals all look similar but a Pademelon is the smallest of the three.

How cute are they?

Pademelons are adorable animals and are so much fun to watch the way they hop around. They are shy but curious animals. The curious nature of these dark brown and dusky forest-dwelling animals makes them extra cute if you ask us!

How do they communicate?

Pademelons generally thump their hind feet hard on the ground to communicate when they feel threatened by predators in order to alert others in the vicinity. Despite this, vocalization is still their dominant form of communication. A small soft clucking sound is produced when they call each other.

How big is a Pademelon?

The species grow to around 39-47 in (100-120 cm) long, including the tail, and approximately 30 in (76 cm) tall when standing up. The species grow to weigh around 8.8-22 lb (4-10 kg). A pademelon is a lot like a small-sized kangaroo, smaller than a wallaby. The Tasmanian pademelon is the largest of the pademelon's species and is reasonably stocky in appearance.  

How fast can a Pademelon run?

When threatened a pademelon hops off at speeds of up to 55 km per hour. Wow!

How much does a Pademelon weigh?

Generally, male pademelons are approximately twice as large as females. The male animal reaches around 17.6 lb (8 kg) in weight and the female animal weighs around an average 8.8 lb (4 kg). Tasmanian pademelons have a heavier build compared to their counterpart species.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Though there are no exact names for male and female pademelons, it is common to refer to adult male and female wallaby and kangaroo animals by different nicknames, including bucks and boomers, jacks and does, and flyers and jills respectively. A group is called a mob, court, or troupe.

What would you call a baby Pademelon?

A baby pademelon is called a joey. The gestation period of a pademelon is 30 days. After birth, a joey will live and grow within its mother’s pouch until it reaches six months of age. After that, the joey starts to venture outside in the forest but still stays close to their mother. Joeys come back to their mother's pouch until weaning is complete, which usually happens between eight months old and 12 months old.

What do they eat?

The pademelon is a herbivorous animal. These animals eat succulent grass, herbs, green shoots, and occasionally mosses. Some also feed on brown fallen leaves and tree bark. Fresh fruits, ferns, and berries are also taken as part of their diet.

Are they dangerous?

Pademelons are very shy animals and prefer living in solitary conditions in the forest. As the pademelon is a nocturnal herbivorous animal it is not considered a present danger to humans. But as these dusky animals venture out of the forest for food and to eat woody seedlings on the edge of the forest they are in conflict with the forestry. In self-defense, they can kick harsh kicks very swiftly with their strong legs.

Would they make a good pet?

Along with Bennett's wallaby, and dama wallabies, red-necked pademelons are growing in popularity as pets. A word of caution though, anyone interesting in a pet pademelon needs to check with their state and local laws about the legality of owning this species as a pet.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Since some pademelons are now being domesticated, new things about them are being learned. Since these animals hop around large territories they need large enclosures. A proper diet meeting all the requirements of the species has to be taken care of with the help of a specialized veterinarian. Regular health check-ups are also important, as these little animals are prone to intestinal parasitic infections and other bacterial infections. They can be costly pets but can be great in the right household.

Did you know...

The pademelon's name was derived from the Native Australian term 'paddymalla' which means "small kangaroo from the forest".

Red-bellied pademelons were once found throughout Australia's mainland, but this red-bellied pademelon is now found only in Tasmania.

One of the interesting facts on the red-legged pademelon is that there are four more subspecies to this animal that has a scattered distribution from the tip of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland to around Tamworth in New South Wales.

One of the best-known red-legged pademelon facts is that these animals are nocturnal. Remember this for your next pop quiz on animals!

Different types of Pademelon

There are seven types of pademelons. They are:

Tasmanian pademelon or red-bellied pademelon: Thylogale billardierii, found in Tasmania.

Dusky pademelon. The Thylogale brunii, mostly found in the Aru and Kai islands and also in the grasslands of New Guinea.

Brown's pademelon. The Thylogale browni, found in New Guinea.

Mountain pademelon. The Thylogale lanatus, found only in Papua New Guinea.

Calaby's pademelon. The Thylogale calabyi, this pademelon is endemic to Papua New Guinea.

Red-legged pademelon. The Thylogale stigmatica, found in the eastern coastal regions of Australia and south-central lowlands of New Guinea.

Red-necked pademelon. The Thylogale thetis, mainly found on the eastern coast of Australia.

Pademelons VS. Wallabies

The pademelon is smaller and has a shorter, thicker, and sparsely haired tail than the wallaby. While foraging, pademelons use all four limbs, but other than these two points, these two marsupials have many things in common.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the chipmunk, or the Javan rhinoceros.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Pedamelon coloring pages.

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