Rufous rat-kangaroo

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Rufous rat-kangaroo[1]
Rufous Bettong (Aepyprymnus rufescens) (9855539716).jpg
Scientific classification

Garrod, 1875
A. rufescens
Binomial name
Aepyprymnus rufescens
(Gray, 1837)
Rufous Bettong.JPG
Distribution of the rufous rat-kangaroo

The rufous rat-kangaroo (Aepyprymnus rufescens), more commonly known as the rufous bettong, is a small marsupial species of the family Potoroidae found in Australia. It is found in coastal and subcoastal regions from Newcastle in New South Wales to Cooktown in Queensland, and was formerly found in the Murray River Valley of New South Wales and Victoria.[3] It is not classified as threatened.[2] The rufous bettong is about the size of a full-grown rabbit.

The rufous rat-kangaroo is the only member of its genus, and is the largest of all the potoroids. It is generally grey with a hint of reddish brown and its scientific name means "reddish high-rump".[4] It was once thought of as a solitary, nocturnal animal, but recent observation indicates that the rufous rat-kangaroo may form loose, polygynous associations.[4] It feeds mostly on tubers and fungi, but also on leaves and other vegetation.[3]

Breeding occurs throughout the year, once the female has reached maturity, generally at 11 months. The male reaches maturity between 12 and 13 months. Once mature, the female is capable of breeding at three-week intervals. The gestation of the young is about 22–24 days. After the young are born, they live within the pouch for about 16 weeks. Upon leaving the pouch, the joey stays near the mother for about 7 weeks, while it gets used to fending for itself.[4]


  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). "Order Diprotodontia". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b Burnett, S. & Winter, J. (2008). "Aepyprymnus rufescens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  3. ^ a b Menkhorst, Peter (2001). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia. Oxford University Press. p. 100.
  4. ^ a b c Strahan, R. (1995). The Mammals of Australia: the National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife. Reed Books. p. 758.

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