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Rat-Kangaroos: Potoroidae - Diet

feet eat animals underground

Rat kangaroos are primarily herbivores, meaning that they eat mostly plants rather than animals. They mainly eat the parts of fungi that grow underground. To find this food underground, rat-kangaroos use their well-developed sense of smell to help them know where to dig. They dig using the long, sharp claws on their front paws. Some rat-kangaroos also eat small invertebrates, such as insects. Some also eat grass or fruits.


Rat-kangaroos have back feet that are longer and stronger than their front feet. Scientists think that the ancestors of kangaroos used to jump up quickly and surprise predators. Animals with bigger back feet had an advantage at hopping higher and faster, which might have helped them to survive. Animals with bigger back feet had a better chance of surviving and having offspring, over many generations the genes for big feet got passed on, and the back feet got bigger and bigger, until they are the large back feet that kangaroos have today.

Rat-Kangaroos: Potoroidae - Behavior And Reproduction [next] [back] Rat-Kangaroos: Potoroidae - Physical Characteristics

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