This all started with the awful news about a bloke playing "quokka soccer" with a lovable marsupial on Rottnest Island. People really are the rottenest.
It was a reminder that Australia has lots of unusual marsupials beyond the ones we all know like kangaroos, koalas and wombats. Here are 10 of our less-spoken-about marsupials. How many can you identify? (Relax, it's multiple choice.)
By the way, there's information about each of the pictured animals at the bottom of this story. But don't scroll down yet because THAT WOULD BE CHEATING. Which is not as bad as quokka soccer, but it's still very naughty.
OK. Ready to learn a little more?
Bandicoots mostly eat insects and are found all around Australia and New Guinea. There are nine types of bandicoots, and some, like the common brown one pictured above, are often found in backyards of Australian cities that border bushland.
Potoroos are little bunny-sized kangaroo-like creatures that were almost wiped out in colonial Australia as they were considered pests. Gilbert's potoroo is considered the world's rarest marsupial and Australia's rarest mammal, with as few as 30-40 left in the wild.
Quokkas live mostly on Rottnest Island off Perth. You can learn more about them here.
Bilbies have become a symbol of Easter in Australia in lieu of bunnies. They are listed as vulnerable, and you can help save them here.
There are at least 17 sub-species of rock wallabies, all of which live on rocky outcrops in small groups. They are far more populous in the northern half of Australia. Here's a cool video of some of the yellow-footed types pictured in the quiz.
Dunnarts are tiny little mouse-sized marsupials who live in a wide range of Australian landscapes. When they're not chomping people's fingers, they mostly eat insects.
Bettongs are sometimes called "rat-kangaroos". There are east coast and west coast populations of these herbivores, and there are sub-species of bettongs in the west called "boodies" and "woylies".
Tree kangaroos live in New Guinea and far north Queensland. They are listed as threatened due to habitat destruction. They're the only tree-dwellers in the kangaroo family.
Quolls can be found from New Guinea to Tasmania. They're carnivorous and spend most of their days in their den, which sounds like a nice life to us.
Mountain pygmy possums are Australia's only hibernating marsupial. But here's the catch. They need snow to help insulate them, because it's WARMER under a thick layer of snow (where it's a constant 0 degrees) than under a thin layer, which can let subzero air in. They're listed as critically endangered, and climate change is making things worse.
Treasure our wildlife, people.
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