Wallaroos are basically marsupial animals that belong to the Macropodidae family. Though kangaroos figure on the top of the list of popular Australian animals, various other animals such as wallaroos, wallabies and pademelons are also a part of this family. In Greek language, the term macropod is used to signify long feet. It is the long hind legs and muscled tail that are a distinctive feature of the mammals that are categorized under this family.
Unlike the placental mammals, the gestation period in case of wallaroo is quite short. The newborns of such mammals are very tiny. They crawl into the mother's pouch, wherein they get the nourishment they require. Once their developmental cycle is complete, they step into their habitat. Wallaby is another close relative of kangaroos. While wallabies also have long hind feet and a long tail, these are smaller in size.
When it comes to the size, wallaroos are smaller than the gray and red kangaroos, but definitely larger than the wallabies. Here's some information about their habitat and adaptations.
Wallaroos can be seen in various parts of Australia. Their habitat might also vary depending on the species. Here are some facts regarding wallaroo habitat.
- Macropus robustus, or the common wallaroo, can be seen in most parts of Australia with the exception of Victoria, Southern New South Wales, Cape York Peninsula and Tasmania.
- Macropus bernardus, which is commonly referred to as black wallaroo, inhabits Arnhem Land whereas Antilopine wallaroo or Macropus antilopinus can be found in eastern Kimberley, Cape York peninsula and the tropical northern region.
- Generally speaking, wallaroos inhabit the rocky slopes in the Great Dividing Range running along the eastern cost of Australia.
- These generally inhabit ridges or hills that have caves or overhanging rocks. These caves provide them shelter and help them retain bodily fluids during dry spells.
- The furry pads under their feet allow them to hop on to the stony or rocky ground. These marsupial animals have adapted themselves well to hot weather conditions.
- Another aspect about wallaroo adaptation is that they can survive on pastures with low protein content.
Interesting Facts about Wallaroos
Let's look into some interesting facts regarding the physical characteristics and behavior of this marsupial animal.
- Out of all the wallaroo species, the black wallaroos are the smallest in size.
- While the males can grow up to a height of 1 meter, the female black wallaroos grow up to a height of 80 centimeters only.
- While black wallaroos are solitary animals, the antilopine wallaroos live in groups.
- The common wallaroo, also known as Euro, are slightly bigger than the black wallaroos. While the males grow up to 1.6 meters tall, females can grow up to a height of 1.2 meters.
- Their posture is quite similar to that of kangaroos. While their wrists are raised and shoulders thrown back, their elbows stay closely tucked to their body.
- Wallaroos are best adapted to hot and arid climatic conditions. Some of them can even dig up to a meter for water.
- They conserve body fluids by staying under the rock ledges in hot weather.
- Wallaroos are known for their long muscled tail. The size of the tail can be anywhere between 53 to 90 centimeters.
- The baby wallaroo is born after a short gestation period of 32 days.
- The baby, which is commonly referred to as joey, generally takes the first steps after completing six months, but stays inside the mother's pouch for as long as one year.
- A female wallaroo can be pregnant and can also have a baby in the pouch at the same time.
- Wallaroos don't hunt for food. Their diet includes grasses and shrubs.
- Wallaroos become sexually mature between the age of 18 to 24 months and generally live up to an age of 17 to 20 years.
These were some facts regarding the traits of this marsupial animal. Hope that you found wallaroo information that you were looking for.