Desert Rat-kangaroo

The Desert Rat-kangaroo (Caloprymnus campestris) is an extinct marsupial that lived in a sandridge and gibberplain habitat in south-western Queensland and north-eastern Australia. It was the size of a small rabbit. It showed great endurance while travelling at high speeds, and 'paused only to die'. It sheltered in a flimsy nest by day. At night, it emerged to feed. It lived alone and was so independent of water that it even shunned the succulent plants of the sandhills. It was first recorded by Europeans around 1841 and was not seen again for 90 years.

The last sighting was in 1935 when one is said to have been chased for twelve miles nonstop by three people on horseback. The horses finally stopped in exhaustion and the Desert Rat-kangaroo escaped.


Cited references

General references

  • Bryson, Bill In a Sunburned Country. Broadway. ISBN 0-7679-0386-2.

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