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September 25, 2018 2:14 PM   Subscribe

One of the "most poorly known mammals in the world" and previously considered to be extinct, the Wondiwoi tree kangaroo of New Guinea has finally been spotted (and photographed) for the first time in 90 years.
posted by fight or flight (11 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Im sure this is a hugely important scientific discovery . . . but i cant help but wonder if the koala was the mom and the kangaroo the dad, or the other way around?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:23 PM on September 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

One of the "most poorly known mammals in the world"

Eh, this guy never met my wife!

But seriously, this is really damn cool.
posted by East14thTaco at 2:29 PM on September 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

I feel like this is just bad news. Now that people know where they are or that they are, seems like they only become more at risk. The best way to survive as a species is to not let humans know you even exist and also live somewhere invasive sapiens have yet to destroy.
posted by GoblinHoney at 3:35 PM on September 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

Seeing such an unlikely animal--built like a kangaroo yet somehow "nimble in the treetops"-- cheers me right up, even on a rainy, crappy day like today. Especially when there is a baby one too. Anything is possible! Go Wondiwois!
posted by pangolin party at 4:49 PM on September 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

National Geographic link that doesn't require OAuth palaver.
posted by happyinmotion at 5:03 PM on September 25, 2018 [7 favorites]

Are they sure it's not a drop bear? When I think of mysterious, elusive, poorly understood tree-dwelling mammals, they're the first to come to mind.
posted by Umami Dearest at 8:08 PM on September 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

"I'm not dead yet!"
posted by Kabanos at 8:46 AM on September 26, 2018

Today I learned that there's such a thing as a tree kangaroo. Patiently waiting for the aquatic sloths and flying capybaras. Boa Constrictors with orbital capabilities.
posted by Quindar Beep at 2:08 PM on September 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Tree kangaroos are entertaining, because they started as tree-dwelling small marsupials, evolved into ground animals, the rainforest retreated so they evolved hopping and became supremely well adapted to dry plains... then the rainforests came back so they started hopping into trees. But it's fairly recent so they are somewhat clumsily adapted compared to most tree-dwellers. I imagine them metaphorically glaring at Mother Nature and growling "make up your damn mind!"
posted by tavella at 2:33 PM on September 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Skeptic that I am, how confident are they that this is actually a Wondiwoi tree kangaroo? Could it be a related species, or perhaps even a new species? If it is, though, then perhaps there is yet hope for the Ivory Billed woodpecker.
posted by TedW at 6:20 PM on September 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Apparently no other tree kangaroos live in the area, it's an isolated species. I assume that's also why the rediscoverer dropped his original goal when his team started seeing tree kangaroo sign.
posted by tavella at 10:16 PM on September 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

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