The kowari is extremely rare in captivity and also in the wild.
The kowari (Dasyuroides byrnei) is also called, by some, the crested-tailed
marsupial rat. They are about the size of a large gerbil with a body length
of 5 to 7 inches long with a lovely tail 4 to 6 inches long. They weigh about
3 to 5 ounces.
They inhabit a very small part of Australia and are fully protected there.
They are a sandy tan with a pink nose, and a tail that is black from the middle
to the end. The body hair is soft and dense. The underparts and feet are white.
There are five toes on the front feet and four toes on the rear feet.
They are marsupials but do not have a complete pouch as in sugar gliders or
kangaroos but it is sufficient to contain the young. The female has a estrus
cycle about every two months. Gestation is 30 to 36 days at which time the young
(just 4 mm long) crawl into the pouch and attach to the nipple. Litter size
ranges from 3 to 7. The young detach from the nipple at about 50-60 days and
ride about on the mother's back. They are weaned at about 3-4 months and are
ready to bread at about one year.
The kowari is fascinating to watch in its
They live in desert regions where they inhabit holes
in the ground or rock crevices. They enjoy sunny days and are active at all
periods of the day and night. In the wild they eat insects, spiders, scorpions,
and small birds, rodents and reptiles. In captivity they do quite well on cat
food and insects as treats.
They are capable of jumping up to 20 inches in height and enjoy an enclosure
with rocks and plants to explore. They do well in small groups and pairs IF
THE ENCLOSURE IS LARGE ENOUGH. We raise ours in pairs in a 150 gallon aquarium
decorated with dens made of pvc pipe covered with rocks or bricks. We provide
a deep dishpan full of sand for them to bathe in and branches for them to climb.
We cut up pieces of terry towels or tee-shirts into 1.5 inch squares for them
to take to their nest for bedding. They enjoy dry leaves, grasses, etc. to add
to their home.
The kowari has a lovely soft coat.
They make a variety of vocalizations such as hissing,
snorting and chattering. These are usually warning sounds. They soon learn to
trust you if your movements are deliberate and non-threatening.
They are quick and need to be tamed as youngsters to eliminate animals who bite
in defense. They are fascinating to watch and are very curious little animals.
These little animals are extremely rare in the US because they are very scarce
in the wild. Those that are in the wild are protected Austrailia's natural resources
department and none can be exported.
R-Zu-2-U Animal "Terms"
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