The fat-tailed dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata)
The Rookeepers are lucky enough to have Fat Tailed Dunnarts in our collection and are a favorite among our marsupials. They come from the family Dasyuridae, which includes quolls and the Tasmanian devil and are a carnivorous marsupial (meat eater with a pouch). Their diet includes insects such as larvae, spiders, beetles, small reptiles, and amphibians. It stores fat reserves in its tail for times of food shortage which is how it gets its name and every night it consumes approximately its own body weight of food. They are found in the southern part of Australia in habitats such as saltbush, farm lands
and open woodlands although their numbers are low in some parts making them an endangered species, the main cause for this is feral cats and foxes. At our zoo the dunnarts get fed daily at around 6-7 pm,they have a mixed diet of crickets, mealworms, wombaroo insectivore mix mixed with mince and we also feed them beetles. All food is supplemented with protein powder and calcium to ensure all our livestock is thriving and daily health checks are also conducted looking for signs of illness or fighting within the colony. The Fat Tailed Dunnart is a marsupial meaning it has a pouch, that's pretty impressive considering the animal is only 20 grams, it can also have up to 8 babies in a litter which all start off hairless and undeveloped. We hope to breed as many Dunnarts as we can to ensure captive populations thrive and this beautiful species is around for many generations to come.
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