Estimated Wild Population
Brush-tailed bettongs can reach up to two and a half feet long, with their tail accounting for nearly half that length, and weigh up to three pounds. Their fur is grayish-brown on top but lighter underneath, and the tips of their muzzle are naked and flesh-colored. Females have a well-developed pouch for caring young, earning them the nickname "rat kangaroos." These nocturnal, terrestrial mammals primarily eat fungus but supplement their diet with tubers, seeds, insects and resin. Bettong nests—built with grass, sticks, and bark—are usually located at the base of an overhanging bush.
Interesting Fact 1
Brush-tailed bettongs use their partially prehensile tails to carry nesting material.
Interesting Fact 2
Two viable offspring are often conceived at the same time, but because of the species' embryonic diapause, a temporary arrest of embryo development due to delayed implantation in the uterus, the second offpsring is born several months after the first.
Interesting Fact 3
Nocturnal bettongs dig up to 115 holes in the ground each night.
Commitment to Care
Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.
Support Your Zoo
Animals Depend On People Too
When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.
The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.
Take Action With Us
Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.