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#364 Oolacunta or Desert Rat-Kangaroo`


These marsupials were discovered in the 1800's, then not seen for 88 years and were determined to be extinct. They were rediscovered in 1931 in one location, but by 1935 they could not be found again. They were similar in size to a rabbit, almost a foot long if you don't include their tail, but a little over 2 feet long if you count their tail. The difference in size between their front and back legs was extreme. The bones of the front legs weighed just 1 gram (0.0353 ounces), and the back leg bones weighed 12 grams (0.422 ounces). The a mammalogist who rediscovered them really provides much of the information about them that we know for sure. He said they almost floated as they ran/hopped. The comparison of their grace and speed to his horse made his horse seem essentially like a big clumsy mess. The horses could barely keep up with them in fact. He also said when trying to escape, they would only pause to die, and chased them for 12 miles wearing out the group's horses. That is shocking and sad but something similar happened with another extinct animal in this project, the Toolache Wallaby. The difference is the wallaby was chased to death in an effort to capture them and keep them from going extinct. Sorry, that sort of thing makes me extra grumpy. The Oolacunta was well camouflaged for their desert habitat so can be very difficult to find. Since they managed to disappear for almost 90 years before, and there has been at least one unconfirmed sighting, there is still hope they may pop up again. In 2018 an extensive survey did not manage to turn up any of them. If they have in fact gone extinct for certain, most of the blame seems to be attributed to foxes.

Yesterday was a music focused day only my son said, not really any marching. I'm anxious to hear how today went with them starting to learn the choreography and doing lots of marching all day. The excessive heat is not supposed to start until the weekend, but next Tuesday they are showing 119 degrees! I've been to Arizona when it was 110 degrees in the shade. People mostly stay inside, and not carrying around a 30+ pound drum while marching in weather like that. I think even I would have to start drinking water and hiding in the shade in that sort of a temperature. My son is the sort who thinks it is really hot if it is 74 degrees, but he's not at all worried about marching in the heat, he thinks they have medics there so apparently that makes it all ok.

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