About time! Another Tuesday Tetrapod. We've been shirking mammals (though they do have the distinct minority of tet diversity), and have a nasty bias toward eutherians, so here's Macropus rufus, or the Red Kangaroo:
M.rufus. Photo CC-BY-NC-ND by Flickr user wallyg.
Macropus rufus is the largest extant metatherian, and a member of macropodidae, or "large feet". They are diagnostic as diprotodonts by the two large incisors on their mandible, and the characteristic syndactyl morphology of their feet. As with most metatherians, M. rufus is capable of reproductive diapause, where in this context they can delay the birth of any new babies until the current joey has left the pouch.
Red kangaroos can be quite large, with large males running up to 2m in height and 90kg in weight. The unique tendon structure in their feet means that the hopping method of locomotion is highly efficient, recovering most of their energy with each bound. This enables them to comfortably hop at 25kph, with bursts of up to 70kph.
M. rufus is rated IUCN "Least Concern" as of 2008 with a stable population.
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Arthur Falcone | 22/11/2014 05:41
Arthur Falcone | 22/11/2014 05:39