The Kangaroo’s Cousin

Have you ever heard of a small animal, one that loves to jump, but also hold its babies in its pouch? Yes- this description may sound familiar to that of the marsupial, a kangaroo, but actually, the kangaroo’s cousin, the wallaby, is another unique species and common name for the animal that fits these characteristics as well. The wallaby has about 30 different species, but most maintain their home in Australia and other islands near the continent. They are herbivore mammals, belonging to the genus: Macropus and the order: Diprotodontia. These animals have quite a short life span, only living approximately 9 years. Additionally, they are usually very short, reaching a height anywhere from 12-71 inches, but some have grown up to 6 feet tall. However, they weigh no more than 44 pounds. These mammals are usually brown or grey in color, and they also possess fur. There are various types of wallabies found in Australia, including the rock, shrub, and brush wallaby, and you can tell them apart by their appearance as well as where they decide to live.

Rock wallaby, Shrub wallaby, Brush wallaby (respectively)

Pictures taken from: Google Images

As seen with the kangaroo, the wallaby too has a similar body structure. Its legs are strong and can be used to jump high and long distances. On the contrary, its arms are very short, usually used for eating food. As mentioned above, the wallaby is a herbivore, so it usually likes to feed on grass, fruit, seeds, and even leaves. Additionally, the mammal has a long tail that it uses for balance, especially while sitting, for self-defense, and to hit anything that threatens it. Finally, the wallaby’s outgoing personality helps it get along with other animals of its species, and therefore, it also has a limited amount of predators. However, whenever a wallaby sees a fox, a crocodile, or even a wild dog, it better run the other way.

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Image taken from: Google Images

Wallabies, like its cousins, are marsupials, which means they carry their young in their pouches. After a one month period of gestation, the female wallaby gives birth to a joey, a young wallaby, and for a few months after, the baby can live in its mother’s pouch, where it is protected from the outside world.

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Joey in mother rock wallaby’s pouch (picture from Google Images)

Fortunately, the mammal is not endangered, and it is under least concern in the IUCN. The wallaby does not have many threats, especially none from humans. Further yet, some people, like Nashville lawyer, Alex Fasching, have decided to befriend a wallaby as a pet. In March of 2016, there was an article written about how Fasching adopted a wallaby, who he eventually named Jack. Jack has become an internet sensation, and his owner dresses him up, takes him on walks, and posts pictures with his pet wallaby on Instagram. Their bond is like one seen between best friends, since Jack only occasionally likes to “listen,” but Fasching still has his pet wallaby’s best interests in mind. Jack’s social personality has won over his owner’s heart, along with a thousand other fans in the social media world.

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