POTOROO, or RAT KANGAROO, any member of the diprotodont marsupial sub-family Potoroinae (see MARSUPIALIA). None of them exceed a common rabbit in size. They inhabit Australia and Tasmania, are nocturnal, and feed on the leaves of grasses and other plants, as well as roots and bulbs, which they dig up with their forepaws; in this way some of them do considerable damage to cultivated crops. About ten species are known,- presenting a considerable range of diversity in minor characters. The members of the type genus (Potorous) run, rather than leap, and do not use the hind feet for kicking. In the genus Bettongia the tail is prehensile, and with it they collect grass and twigs for making nests in their burrows.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)