rat kangaroo

rat-kangaroo

[rat-kang-guh-roo]
noun, plural rat-kangaroos.
any of several rabbit-sized, ratlike Australian kangaroos of the subfamily Potoroinae.

Origin:
1840–50

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World English Dictionary
rat kangaroo
 
n
any of several ratlike kangaroos of the genera Bettongia, Potorous, Aepyprymnus, etc, found on the Australian mainland and in Tasmania

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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rat kangaroo

any of the nine species of Australian and Tasmanian marsupials constituting a subfamily Potoroinae, of the kangaroo family, Macropodidae (see kangaroo). Some authorities recognize a separate family, Potoroidae. They differ from other kangaroos in skull and urogenital anatomy and in having large canine teeth. All are rabbit-sized or smaller. Rat kangaroos live in undergrowth. At night they forage for grass, tubers, and underground fungi; some also eat grubs and worms.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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