Dingiso

About 80 % of the population of these adorable kangaroos has suffered in the past 30 years

The Dingiso, also known as the tree kangaroo, is a captivating species that exhibits a unique blend of characteristics reminiscent of both bears and primates. Unlike their terrestrial kangaroo relatives, Dingisos prefer the lofty heights of mountainous regions, dwelling at elevations ranging from 3,200 to 4,200 meters (approximately 10,500 to 13,500 feet). This arboreal lifestyle is facilitated by their remarkable ability to climb trees with agility and grace, utilizing their powerful limbs and grasping hands to navigate the dense canopy.

Adapted to their high-altitude habitat, Dingisos boasts a dense, jet-black coat that provides insulation against the chilly temperatures prevalent at such heights. This thick fur serves as a protective barrier, allowing them to thrive in environments where temperatures can plummet. Despite their bear-like appearance, Dingisos are primarily herbivorous, with a diet consisting predominantly of leaves and fruits. Their feeding behavior varies, with some individuals foraging on fallen fruit while others exhibit specialized techniques to access fresh, hanging fruit in the treetops.

Discovered by scientists relatively recently in 1995, Dingisos continue to intrigue researchers, offering tantalizing opportunities to unravel the mysteries of their behavior, ecology, and evolutionary history. Indigenous communities, such as the Moni people, hold a deep cultural reverence for Dingisos, viewing them as ancestral beings and bestowing upon them the name “mbaiso,” which translates to “forbidden animal.” This symbolic association underscores the significance of Dingisos in local belief systems and highlights the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Indonesia
<50
EN
2015
Papua Province

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No