Turns out they’re native to Tasmania, New Guinea, and Australia… seriously, some weird animals live down there. Most of them are marsupials and, oh, yep, so are quolls.
There are four different species of quolls (also called “native cats”, which I don’t really understand), and apparently there are known fossil remains of these things from the Pliocene & Pleistocene Eras… these guys have been around for 15 million years!!! Now I feel really bad that I haven’t heard of them before…
But what makes them really notable is their weird “survival of the fittest” child-rearing. Since quolls are marsupials, the females have a pouch where their undeveloped babies have to crawl into and remain until they’re fully developed… but apparently quolls typically give birth to 18 babies, but only 6 survive. Because she only has 6 *ahem* “milk ducts” (what? I don’t want your workplace to ban my blog… lol). Only 6, for 18 babies. But they keep birthing 18 anyway.
WHAT?!?! Man, I hate nature sometimes. It’s all “Here you go, helpless babies, race to the food! Oh, and the losers die, sorry about that.”
Then again, it’s kind of like my “unfinished stories” folder. For every 18 stories that I start, maybe 6 (if I’m lucky) survive to be actually written.
So I guess I’m just as brutal as the quoll. Except for the whole “innocent things dying” part. And I have a suspicion that the quoll isn’t the only marsupial to have such a disturbing birthing / raising process (I think Tasmanian Devils do this too?).
Anyway, there’s your fun fact of the day. By which I mean, disturbing nature fact.
Happy Earth Week? o_O
***NOTE: The sad reality is, these little guys are actually endangered, with one species already extinct. Conservation efforts are underway, including captive breeding programs, but as with many of endangered species, awareness is a large part of the battle. There are some programs accepting donations for their work, which is great! But be sure to do a bit of research before handing over your hard-earned cash. Or if donating isn’t your thing, you can always spread the word about conservation, or volunteer with a program in your area!