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The pademelon is a stocky animal with a relatively short tail and legs to aid its movement through dense vegetation. It ranges in colour from dark-brown to grey-brown above and has a red-brown belly. Males, which are considerably larger than females, have a muscular chest and forearms, and reach up to 12 kg in weight and 1 - 1.2 m in overall length, including the tail. Females average 3.9 kg in weight.
wet forest is the preferred habitat, although wet gullies in dry open eucalypt forest are also used.The diet of the pademelon consists of herbs and green shoots, with short green grasses being preferred. Mosses are occasionally eaten.
The unusual common name, pademelon, is of Aboriginal derivation. It is also sometimes referred to as the rufous wallaby. Pademelons are small marsupials of the genus Thylogale. This species is extinct on mainland Australia because of predation by foxes and large scale land clearance, although two other species of pademelon occur along the east coast of the mainland. In Tasmania, however, the pademelon is both widespread and abundant.