Pademelons are small marsupials of the genus Thylogale found in Australia and New Guinea. They are some of the smallest members of the family Macropodidae. Their common name is derived from the word badimaliyan, from the Dharuk Aboriginal language of Port Jackson (the Sydney region), while the scientific name comes from the Greek words for "pouch" and "weasel".
Pademelons, wallabies, and kangaroos are very alike in body structure, but differ in size. Besides their smaller size, pademelons can be distinguished from wallabies by their shorter, thicker, and sparsely haired tails. Like wallabies, they move by hopping.
Red-legged pademelons can be found in the coastal regions of Queensland and New South Wales, and in south-central New Guinea. In some areas, their range has been drastically reduced.
The red-bellied or Tasmanian pademelon is abundant in Tasmania, although it was once found throughout the southeastern parts of mainland Australia.
The dusky pademelon lives in New Guinea and surrounding islands. It was previously called the Aru Islands wallaby. Before that, it was called the philander ("friend of man"), which is the name it bears in the second volume of Cornelis de Bruijn's Travels, originally published in 1711; the Latin name of this species is called after De Bruijn.
The natural habitat of the pademelon is in thick scrubland or dense forested undergrowth. They also make tunnels through long grasses and bushes in swampy country.