If you are on the Islands of Australia, particularly, Rottnest Island, which is Australia’s favourite holiday spot, you are definite to meet what they popularly call “World’s Happiest animal”- The Quokka (Kwah-ka). This super cute rat, the size of a cat is a treat to gaze at. These are Macropodidae, that is, bigfoot belonging to the Kangaroo and Wallaby family (the group of marsupials) but are teeny tiny, stuffy and very cute. It has a compact round body with hind legs and a tail smaller than that of a Wallaby. Yet, they are quite capable of hopping through the long grasses, as fast as a Kangaroo. They have brown coarse and thick fur all over its body like a teddy, but no fur at all on its tail, which assist them to balance the weight while hopping.
With a large population of Quokkas dominating the Rottnest Island, makes them quite accustomed to humans but one shouldn’t get too close, as they have sharp claws. Quite interesting to know, Quokka’s tail is their food store cans, which lasts them a month. They are strict herbivores and feed on absolutely every edible flora available, provided you don’t throw away your leftover beef sliders or smoked bacons for them to feed on. Warning: Human food is just too bad for them. Now coming back to their “Happiness Quotient”. Why are they termed as the happiest animal? Look for your answers just below
An Ever-Smiling Face
Have you had a look at these Quokkas? They have, I repeat, the cutest face and ever smiling one, ready for a selfie just all the time. So, basically they are happy all the time…rather it is just an evolution gift to them. More like, their face being stretched on both sides and stapled. You can find Quokkas pictures posing with the humans bombarding all over the internet and gathering all the popularity.
They Are Meant To Be Nocturnal
Somehow, I have a soft spot for nocturnal beings. Don’t be surprised to find littered and raided garbage bins in the mornings, as it is the doing of these night-friendly animals. They cozy themselves in tunnels and other hideouts during the day and hunt for food at night. When I say they are “meant to be nocturnal”, it means that though they are nocturnal beings who feed at night, they sometimes alter their habit jumping around in the day on the lookout for leftover food by the tourists. This proves that they are much adaptive and happy with their adjustments.
No Strings Attached
Unlike many other animals, Quokkas are one such creature who are least trapped in personal ties. Quokkas gestation period is of 27 days and once the little joey (baby Quokka) is out, it spends 6-months in mommy’s pouch. You will be amazed to know mommy Quokka has babies on back-up too! In case the joey dies in the pouch, the mum can reproduce instantly. Quite often, when chased by a predator, the mommy Quokka will just eject the joey from the pouch who then makes a hissing sound attracting the attention of the predator, and mommy runs for her life. If yo ask me, quite frankly it seems very un-motherly, but mum is going to reproduce again.
They Have Great Social Skills
Quokkas are friendly and socially connected with each other, living in small groups and overlapping settlements. The groups are male-dominated and the fights are usually over shady spots during a hot summer day, but, most of the times they peacefully share their habitats. They mate all-year long and successfully nurture 1 young quokka each time, maturing in 1 and a half-year and living up to 10 years.
Perfect Diet And Happy Without ‘JUNK FOOD’
These adorable animals fulfill their dietary needs by foraging on the vegetation and need no other food source. They feed on stems, fruits, roots, berries and much more, which not only provide them a food source but also moisture that can keep them without water for months. And, human food is not right for them, as it makes them sick. So they are quite satisfied with the greens around, unless you try to feed them sodium loaded food. It has been found that the sodium content in junk food dehydrates them and sadly, fresh water isn’t available on the island.