Native to Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand, the wallaby may look like a mini-kangaroo, but don’t let that fool you! These little guys have their own unique traits and characteristics that set them apart from their bigger, more recognizable, and distant cousin!
Wallabies are part of the marsupial group of mammals called macropods, which means 'great-footed animals' — and there are many types of wallaby species. Some well-known family sub-groups are shrub, brush, and rock wallabies. Wallabies can be small to medium-sized animals. Like all macropods, wallabies have strong back legs with long feet. They hop on their back legs when traveling fast, using the tail as a balance. Like bouncing on a spring, it is an energy-efficient way of traveling great distances. Wallabies tend to be active at night and rest during the day. They often eat the leaves of bushes as well as grass and plants.
Kangaroos are the larger of the two members in the group of macropods. Wallabies share some kangaroo characteristics, such as the pouches in which females keep newborns. Some of the largest kangaroo species can grow over 6ft in height and weigh up to 200 pounds! However, an average male wallaby only grows to about 2ft to 3ft and weighs between 30 to 40 pounds. Kangaroos also tend to have a longer lifespan ranging from 20-25 years versus the wallaby at 16 to 20 years. Physical characteristics tend to differ between the two as well. Wallabies have smaller facial features but larger ears in proportion to the rest of their face. They also can have distinct color and fur textures, which set each sub-group apart. On the other hand, Kangaroos have evenly proportionate facial features, and their fur color tends to be pretty monochrome. Grey kangaroos have color patterns that fade around the face and neck. Red kangaroos have some white patches on their head and neck areas. Overall, wallabies have become aptly known as a “mini-kangaroo” in the marsupial group of animals.
Wallaby Fun & Important Facts:
SeaQuest is home to several wallabies in our animal family! For an up-close visit with these adorable little mini ‘roos, hop on over to the SeaQuest in your area.
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