Imagine you’re traveling down some dusty roads in Australia. Along the road, you see an animal making its way across the path. It looks like a cat, or maybe an oversized rat with spots. You get closer to get a better look and see that its nose is too long to be a cat and its ears are too rounded to be a rat. So, what is it? That’s probably a type of quoll! Here’s everything you need to know about this adorable animal.
A quoll, pronounced KWA-hl, is actually not a cat or a rat, but instead it’s a marsupial. That means it’s the same type of animal as a kangaroo or an opossum. There are six different species of quolls, and they all look a little different in size and the color of their fur. Most quolls have a coarse coat of fur that’s black, brown, or gray. Their fur is also covered in white spots all over, making it easy to see them on the ground. Like a kangaroo, they have a small pouch in the front of their body that can be used to carry their young.
But just because these little guys are cute, doesn’t mean they can’t do any damage. They have a pink snout and nose, with a powerful jaw and sharp teeth. They also have sharp claws on their front and hind legs that are good for protection and digging, or for climbing in their environment.
Where Is Its Home?
Quolls are actually a native species in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. Most of them are found on Australia and Tasmania, and they live in forests, grasslands, and scrublands. Although they’re great climbers, you won’t really find any quolls in the trees or on branches. They spend most of their lives on the ground, as they live in underground burrows or in hollow tree trunks.
Predator vs. Prey of the Quoll
As far as predators of the quolls go, they are hunted by mainly snakes and crocodiles. Other reptiles, like the poisonous cane toad, also pose as a threat to their survival.For food, quolls are mostly carnivores, but can also be omnivores at times. They are also nocturnal animals, so they enjoy hunting and eating small mammals, like rabbits, as well as birds, snakes and insects at night. They also occasionally eat berries and other available fruits.
Quolls prefer to live a solitary life, and only really come into contact with other quolls during mating season. After their mating season in winter, quoll mothers have a pregnancy for just a few weeks before they have up to 20 babies. Their babies are very small, and can fit into their pouches until they’re big enough to survive on their own. Within six months, these baby quolls no longer need their mothers and are ready to live independently. Quolls have relatively short lifespans and live for two to five years depending on the species.