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13 of the cutest tree-dwelling animals in the world

June 3, 2013, 5:34 p.m.
tree kangaroo

Photo: Johnathan Nightingale/Flickr

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Tree kangaroo

When most people think of kangaroos, they think of the springy, land-based variety that gets around by hopping. But can you imagine a kangaroo that lives almost entirely in the trees?

Tree kangaroos might seem counterintuitive, but they're actually remarkably well-adapted for their environment. Found in the rain forests of Australia and Papua New Guinea, they climb trees by wrapping their forelimbs around the back of a tree and hopping against the tree with their powerful hind legs. This allows the forelimbs to slide upward.

Like their land-based brethren, they are also incredible leapers. In fact, "incredible" doesn't even begin to describe it: They have been recorded jumping from the trees to the ground from as high as 60 feet without being hurt. Below is a video of a tree kangaroo and joey hopping among trees and platforms.