rat kangaroo

n.
any of various ratlike kangaroos (esp. genera Bettongia and Potorous) about the size of a rabbit

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      any of the nine species of Australian and Tasmanian marsupials constituting a subfamily Potoroinae, of the kangaroo family, Macropodidae (see kangaroo). Some authorities recognize a separate family, Potoroidae. They differ from other kangaroos in skull and urogenital anatomy and in having large canine teeth. All are rabbit-sized or smaller. Rat kangaroos live in undergrowth. At night they forage for grass, tubers, and underground fungi; some also eat grubs and worms.

      The four species of short-nosed rat kangaroos (genus Bettongia), also called boodies, have pinkish noses and short ears. The two long-nosed rat kangaroos, or potoroos (Potorous), have shorter tails and more pointed faces.

      The rufous rat kangaroo (Aepyprymnus rufescens) is the largest of the rat kangaroos and has a whitish but not distinct hip stripe. The tail attains a length of 35 centimetres (14 inches) or more.

      The musky rat kangaroo (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus) is the only member of the Macropodidae that has a naked tail and retains the first digit of the hind foot. It is therefore classified by some taxonomists as a separate subfamily, Hypsiprymnodontinae.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • rat-kangaroo — /rat kang geuh rooh /, n., pl. rat kangaroos. any of several rabbit sized, ratlike Australian kangaroos of the subfamily Potoroinae. [1840 50] * * * ratˈ kangaroo noun The potoroo, a marsupial of various species about the size of a rabbit,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • rat kangaroo — n. any of various ratlike kangaroos (esp. genera Bettongia and Potorous) about the size of a rabbit …   English World dictionary

  • rat-kangaroo — /rat kang geuh rooh /, n., pl. rat kangaroos. any of several rabbit sized, ratlike Australian kangaroos of the subfamily Potoroinae. [1840 50] * * * …   Universalium

  • rat kangaroo — noun any of several rabbit sized ratlike Australian kangaroos • Syn: ↑kangaroo rat • Hypernyms: ↑kangaroo • Hyponyms: ↑potoroo, ↑bettong, ↑jerboa kangaroo, ↑kangaroo jerboa …   Useful english dictionary

  • rat-kangaroo — noun a small rat like Australian marsupial with long hindlimbs used for hopping. [Family Potoroidae: several species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • rat-kangaroo — /ˌræt kæŋgəˈru / (say .rat kangguh rooh) noun any of various marsupials of the family Potoroidae, including Bettongia, Potorous and related genera, cat sized or smaller, and resembling small wallabies …   Australian English dictionary

  • rat kangaroo — noun Any of several small marsupials, of the family Potoroidae, from coastal Australia …   Wiktionary

  • Musky Rat-kangaroo — Musky Rat kangaroo[1] Conservation status …   Wikipedia

  • Desert Rat-kangaroo — Conservation status Extinct (IUCN 3.1) …   Wikipedia

  • Rufous Rat-kangaroo — Taxobox name = Rufous Rat kangarooMSW3 Groves|pages=57] status = LC status system = iucn3.1 status ref = IUCN2006 | assessors = Australasian Marsupial Monotreme Specialist Group | year = 1996 | id = 40558 | title = Aepyprymnus rufescens |… …   Wikipedia

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