Nail-tail wallaby

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Nail-tail wallabies
Onychogalea lunata.jpg
Crescent nail-tail wallaby
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Macropodidae
Subfamily: Macropodinae
Genus: Onychogalea
Type species
Macropus unguifer
Gould, 1841
Species

Nail-tail wallaby refers to Onychogalea, a genus describing three species of macropods, all of which are found in Australia. Related to kangaroos and wallabies, they are smaller sized species distinguished by a horny spur at the end of their tail. The northern nail-tail wallaby is still common in the northern part of Australia,[1] the crescent nail-tail is now extinct,[2] and the bridled nail-tail is considered rare and endangered, with probably fewer than 1100 mature individuals in the wild.[3] Nail-tail wallabies are smaller than many other wallabies.[4]

Taxonomy[edit]

There are three recognised species of the genus Onychogalea, the nail-tailed wallabies, they are[5]

  • Onychogalea fraenata, the bridled nailtail, whose range and population has greatly declined since colonisation;
  • Onychogalea lunata, the crescent nailtail, warong, once abundant and widespread across the southwest and centre, the smallest species entered a rapid decline and became extinct;
  • Onychogalea unguifera the northern species, still extant in the Kimberley and Top End regions.

Description[edit]

A genus of Macropodidae, small and herbivorous species with a shy disposition. The earliest descriptions noted their elegant shape, graceful movements and beautiful markings.[6] Named for one of their general characteristics, the nail-tailed wallaby has a horny point two or three millimetres wide at the tip of the tail, an almost unknown characteristic for a mammal that has been compared to the bony spur of a lion's tail.[7][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources "Onychogalea unguifera", The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2008
  2. ^ International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources "Onychogalea lunata", The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2008
  3. ^ International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources "Onychogalea fraenata", The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2008
  4. ^ Menkhorst, Peter (2001). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia. Oxford University Press. p. 124.
  5. ^ Groves, C.P. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 63. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  6. ^ a b Gould, J. (1863). "Introduction". The mammals of Australia. 1. p. xxi.
  7. ^ Thomas, O. (1888). Catalogue of the Marsupialia and Monotremata in the collection of the British Museum (Natural History). London. p. 77.