The scientific name of a wallaby is Notamacropus. These mammals look a lot like Kangaroos because they belong to the same clan. Wallabies are native to Australia. Tasmania and Papua New Guinea are common places to cite a wallaby.
The most noteworthy difference between a kangaroo and a wallaby is their size. One is longer and taller, while the latter is shorter. A wallaby stands tall between 30cm to 1 mt in rare cases.
Different Wallaby Species:
There are several different types of Wallabies. Such as Redneck wallabies, Hare wallabies, Rock wallabies, and shrub wallabies. It is one large family, with 30 different species of wallabies. The main classification is dependent on the habitat they occupy.
Red neck wallaby
A red neck wallaby is also known as Bennet’s wallaby. The name comes from the red fur on the nape of its neck and shoulders. Red neck wallabies live on the eastern coast of Australia. Compared to other wallaby species, the red neck wallaby is a solitary one. A red neck wallaby has longer ears in contrast to its other cousins.
To get by in the summer, red-necked wallabies cool off by licking their paws and forearms. Bennet wallabies also do this when they are nervous or excited.
Red neck wallabies have long grey tails, whose underside is white. Their average height ranges from 2 to 3 feet. A red neck wallaby can live up to 15 years. Like, koalas, red neck wallabies stay in eucalyptus forests.
Many a time, red neck wallabies lack the melanin that gives its fur some color. Albino wallabies have a white fur coat and red eyes. They also do look similar big white rabbits. An Albino wallaby has very poor eyesight.
They are also in danger constantly because the predators can easily spot them. Albino wallabies also get sunburnt, on their ears and nose. Sunscreen is just as important for them in the summers as it is to us.
Due to scarce melanin, albino wallabies are at the constant risk of skin cancer.
Parma and Tamar Wallaby
The smallest wallabies are parma and Tamar wallabies. The height of a parma wallaby is between 45 to 55cm. Parma wallabies live in rainforests and grasslands. They enjoy grazing by themselves.
Parma wallabies are nocturnal. Parma wallabies are native to new south wales.
Tamar wallabies live in southwest Australia. Their height and characteristics are similar to parma wallabies. Tamar wallabies drink saltwater. Not to gargle, just to quench their thirst.
Wallaby as Pets
Keeping a wallaby as a pet can put it under the spotlight! But, you need to make sure you have a large backyard. Or, a few acres of land behind the house. Essentially, wallabies enjoy roaming around. Keeping exotic pets is that you are trying to create their native habitat in an urban area.
Wallabies enjoy hopping- a lot. Normal house fencing, would not do the trick. The fencing needs to be close to 2 meters height-wise. Wallabies are shy and timid animals. They need places to hide.
Their diet includes different plants, fruits, and shrubs. Yet, everything depends on the type of wallaby you want to adopt. As some are nocturnal, while others are diurnal. It is also illegal in some places to house a wallaby. It is advisable to check the state rules on adopting exotic pets in order not to get disappointed!
A wallaby as a pet is a long term commitment. It is not as easy as taking care of a dog or a cat.
You can read more about exotic pets?
A baby wallaby when born weighs less than 1 gram! The gestation period for a wallaby spans across one month. The joey that is born has no hair. The baby wallaby is deaf and blind. It then climbs into the wallaby’s pouch and stays there until fully developed. A male wallaby matures at 19 months.
Female wallabies mature at 14 months of age.
A wallaby can have three different offsprings across different life stages at once. Let me elaborate. A joey can be in the pouch. A young joey that is dependent on the mother for feeding. And a female wallaby that is pregnant. 3 different stages, all at once.
- A young wallaby is a joey. An adult male wallaby is a boomer or jack. Even female wallabies have a name!! How cool is that? A female wallaby is a jill or doe.
- Two wallaby species have become extinct. Some of them are on the brink of extinction. The Eastern Hare Wallaby and the crescent nail tail wallaby are no longer around.
- A wallaby has sharp incisors to munch on grass. Like elephants, a wallaby has molars that come forward and fall out after a while. This occurs 4 times across the wallaby’s lifespan.
- The whiptail wallaby or the pretty-faced wallaby is the most social wallaby.
- When I say the word Mob, is the first thing you can think of is a group of gangsters? But, a group of wallabies is a mob.
- Wallabies have a riot of shades on their fur coats. There is no single uniform color on their coat.
- A wallaby can live up to 14 years at the most. They have a shorter lifespan than kangaroos.
- A wallaby’s ears can do a 180-degree turn to detect threats while grazing.
- Wallabies are active towards the evening and at dawn. Certain species tend to graze for food in groups.
- A wallaby is a social animal. Yet, some wallabies are shy. Their personalities vary across species.
- Wallabies have strong legs. They can kickbox as well as a professional.
- The long tail helps give the wallaby balance.
- A joey when born is as small as a red bean. They stay inside the mother’s pouch for a few months.
- Wallabies have are not blessed with the vocal cords of Elvis Presley. A wallaby can make very limited sounds. They only hiss or make a barking noise while communicating.
- A wallaby thumps its foot when in grave danger, or to warn its predator.
This was all about Wallaby and all the kangaroo relatives.