Last Reviewed and Updated on July 7, 2022
Quokkas are small marsupials native to Australia, found mostly near the south coast and near the southwest. Quokkas have a reputation for being “friendly” animals, but one of the facts about quokkas that make them seem a bit less nice. They can make some questionable parenting choices.
1. Quokkas can be found only in Western Australia and some nearby islands
There aren’t many places you will find these lovable-looking creatures. In fact, the only place they can be found is in the small shore parts of Western Australia and some nearby islands.
Rottnest Island has the largest population of these animals, they are the only native mammal species on that island.
2. They are mainly nocturnal
Quokkas are mainly active during the night and prefer spending their days resting or sleeping in the shade.
3. Mother quokkas might sacrifice their young to save themselves
They might be one of the friendliest-looking animals on the planet. But they won’t be winning any parenting awards. You may have already noticed a meme about them, claiming they throw their babies at the predators to escape.
While this isn’t exactly true, it isn’t far from the truth either. They aren’t capable of throwing their babies (or anything else for that matter) at predators, their arms just aren’t built that way. But they will expel their young from their pouch, leaving the, to the predators while they themselves make their escape. This is hands down one of the most interesting facts about quokkas although not the nicest one.
4. They have pouches
Just like the kangaroo, quokkas are marsupials, and one of the distinct features of marsupials is the pouch the females have.
5. Quokkas usually only have one offspring per litter
They still have a relatively fast reproduction rate. They mature and are able to breed quickly and females can give birth up to twice per year. Interestingly enough, the mainland quokkas will usually have young twice per year while the quokkas on Rottnest Island only breed once per year
6. They hop around as kangaroos do
Just like the kangaroo, quokka moves around by hopping most of the time.
7. They are capable of climbing trees
One of the most surprising facts about quokkas is the fact they are able to climb trees. They aren’t the best climbers but are able to climb small trees and shrubs up to almost 5 feet / 1.5 m. If it wants food from a tree, a quokka will climb it.
8. They are nicknamed “the world’s happiest animals”
If you look at the pictures of quokkas you will notice that more times than not their facial expression looks like the animal is smiling. They are also pretty docile and generally friendly to humans which earned them, the title of the world’s happiest animal. No need to poke them though, they are still wild animals so it’s best to leave them alone.
9. Quokkas are herbivores
They mostly eat grasses, leaves, stems, and bark. They prefer fresh, young, and green foods.
10. They are not yet endangered, but are vulnerable
Their populations are declining.
11. Like kangaroos, their young are called joeys
Just like a baby kangaroo, a baby quokka is called a joey.