We all know that kangaroos are the most popular Australian animals. They are marsupials that belong to the family Macropodidae, which has around 53 species that are classified into 11 genera. While some of the species are extinct, others have greatly reduced in number. Animals like kangaroos, wallabies, tree-kangaroos, pademelons, wallaroos, etc., belong to this family. Most of these animals share similar characteristics, like carrying their young ones in their pouch, and large hind legs. Like other animals, they are also adapted to the environment they live in.
It is a common fact that most of the plants and animals are adapted to their respective habitats. So, wallaroos too have some adaptations, that help them thrive in the dry environment of the rocky areas in Australia. In fact, wallaroos are considered the best adapted marsupials in Australia. The following are some of the interesting wallaroo adaptations.
- Wallaroos have furry pads under their feet, so that they can freely climb from one rock to the other. These furry pads protect their feet.
- During dry spells, wallaroos dig holes on the ground and find water. It has been observed that they can dig holes that are around one meter deep.
- As the habitat of wallaroos include rocky outcrops, these animals hide in the hollows between boulders, and save water loss.
- Being nocturnal, wallaroos can prevent water loss from their body due to the heat during the daytime.
Some Interesting Facts
Wallaroos are slightly smaller in size, as compared to kangaroos, but larger than wallabies. Even the name 'wallaroo' is derived from the names - wallaby and kangaroo.
Even though they are different species, these marsupials share a similar standing posture with raised wrists, shoulders thrown back, and the elbows drawn towards the body. As compared to kangaroos, wallaroos are stocky animals.
Most of the male wallaroos have almost twice the body weight of females. They have smaller heads, as compared to their body size, and their tails are also long and strong. The coat can be reddish, gray, or black. They have large ears, bare muzzles, and a black snout.
Wallaroos belong to the genus Macropus that consist of three species. They are Macropus robustus (eastern wallaroo), Macropus bernardus (black wallaroo), and Macropus antilopinus (antilopine wallaroo).
The eastern wallaroos are the most commonly found species, with four subspecies.
The black wallaroos are the smallest in size, and the antilopine wallaroos are found in groups (others are mostly solitary).
In general, wallaroos inhabit the rocky areas with stony grounds. The antilopine wallaroos are found to live in pastures and woodlands.
Wallaroos are nocturnal animals, that are well-adapted to the dry environment they live in. They feed on low-growing shrubs and grass (especially tussock grass), during night.