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Quokka Fun Facts: Meet The Happiest Animal in the World | BeCause Tees

Quokka Fun Facts: Meet The Happiest Animal in the World

Often referred to as the "happiest animal in the world," these adorable marsupials have captured the hearts of people worldwide, including ours! Here are 10 quokka fun facts to help you get to know these cheerful creatures.

Quokka holding onto plant 

10 Quokka Fun Facts

1. They Only Live in Australia

Want to see a real-life quokka in their natural habitat? You’ll need to head Down Under! Quokkas (Setonix brachyurus) are native to Australia, specifically Rottnest Island and Bald Island, with a small number also living on the Western Australia mainland.

2. They’re Behind the Name ‘Rottnest Island’

In the 1600s, Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh discovered what he thought were rats on the island and so he gave the island a name that translates into English as ‘Rats’ Nest Island’, which later turned into Rottnest Island. Little did he know, the rats he thought he saw were actually quokkas!

These adorable animals could have had an island named after them, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

3. They’re Part of the Same Family as Kangaroos

Quokkas are part of the macropod family, which also includes kangaroos and wallabies. Similarly to their relatives, they have powerful hind legs.

4. They’re the Happiest Animal in the World

With their irresistibly cute, smiling face, it was only a matter of time before quokkas became famous the world over! It’s not known exactly why they smile so much, but as their mouth appears to curve upwards naturally (similarly to axolotls), it’s likely the cause for their ever-present cheerful expression.

We fully see why they’ve earned the nickname of "happiest animal in the world."

Quokka - the happiest animal in the world

5. They’re Tiny but Mighty

Quokkas are small, measuring around 40-54 centimeters (16-21 inches) in length and weighing between 2.5 and 5 kilograms (5.5-11 pounds). They’re similar in size to a small domestic cat.

But don't let their size fool you; they've got moves you won't believe! These little dynamos can leap impressive distances and climb trees up to 2 meters high to reach leaves and berries to eat, proving that big things come in small packages.

6. They Have a Favorite Food

Quokkas are herbivores, primarily feeding on a diet of grasses, leaves, stems, and various plant parts. However, their favorite food is a small shrub called Guichenotia ledifolia.

7. Fat is Stored in Their Tails

They can go for long periods of time with no food or water by living off the fat they store in their tails.

Quokka looking at the camera

8. They’re Mainly Night Owls

Quokkas are primarily nocturnal, so they’re most active during the night. This behavior helps them avoid the scorching daytime temperatures and reduces their risk of being spotted by predators.

However, quokka residents of Rottnest Island are often active during the day, enjoying checking out the human visitors to their homeland!

9. They’re Friendly But Wild

Quokkas have a reputation for being friendly and curious – they’re like the extroverts of the marsupial world! Their inquisitive nature often leads them to investigate their surroundings, including human visitors.

However, it's important to remember that quokkas are still wild animals and should not be approached or fed, no matter how charming their smiles!

10. Declining Numbers

This isn't an upbeat fact, but quokkas are classified as vulnerable, mainly due to habitat destruction and predators like foxes and cats. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensuring their survival.


We hope you enjoyed our quokka fun facts! With their adorable smiles, it's no wonder these small but mighty marsupials have earned the title of the "happiest animal in the world." Raise a smile wherever you go with our selection of Quokka clothing and gifts!

Quokka shirt 

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