Difference Between Wallaby and Kangaroo

Australia reminds people of Wallabies and Kangaroos. Both the animals belong to the Macropod family. People often confuse between the two animals because they resemble each other and are found in similar places.

But both the animals have distinct differences and features.

Wallaby vs Kangaroo

The main difference between wallaby and kangaroo is that Wallaby is smaller in size while Kangaroo is larger. A wallaby can weigh around or more than 20 Kg while a kangaroo can weigh around or more than 90 Kg. The coat of wallaby is prettier and has a combination of two to three colors while the coat of kangaroo is uniform and has muted colors like brown or grey.

Wallaby vs Kangaroo

Kangaroos have longer legs which gives them a better height. Kangaroos reach up to a height of 2 meters or more. They have stronger legs that seem disproportionately sized and can carry the young ones at a speed. Kangaroos move the fastest in large open terrains.

On the other hand, Wallabies have shorter legs and they grow up to a height of 1 meter or more. The legs of wallabies have high agility and move the fastest across the floors of forest or rocky escarpments. Wallaby belongs to the genus of Notamacropus.

Comparison Table Between Wallaby and Kangaroo

Parameters of ComparisonWallabyKangaroo
Size Shorter and smaller Larger and bigger
Fur color The fur coat has a combination of two to three colorsThe fur coat has a uniform muted color which is usually brown or grey
Teeth type Wallaby has flat teeth and has cutting tooth and premolars Kangaroo has curved teeth and no premolars
Eating habits LeavesGrass
Life span Shorter life span and live up to 11 to 14 years Longer life span and live up to 20 to 25 years, and some have even lived up to 30 years

What is Wallaby?

Wallaby is a native animal of Australia and New Guinea. The small or middle-sized macropod is also common in other places like New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Hawaii, and several other places.

Wallaby belongs to the genus of Notamacropus. It has 9 species, out of which one has become extinct.

The animal belongs to the family of Kangaroos. Wallabies have a body length of 50 to 110 centimeters and have a tail of 35 to 75 centimeters long. Some species of wallabies even have a horny spur at the tip of the tail.

The animal is widely haunted and sold for meat and fur. Wallaby has powerful hind legs which can bound at high speeds and jump from greater heights. The legs play a major role in kicking off potential predators.

The tail of Wallabies is powerful and it helps the animal to balance and support. The name wallaby has been derived from Dharug “walabi” or Waliba.

Around the 1800s, the term was also used to refer to Brush kangaroo. Some young Wallabies are also called “joeys”. While the adult male Wallabies are known as “bucks”, “jacks” or “boomers”.

The adult female Wallabies are termed as “Jill’s”, “does” or “Flyers” and a group of Wallabies is known as a “mob”, “troupe” or “court”. The animal is an herbivore and feeds on a wide range of leaves, the grass is vegetables and other foliage.

The various threats of Wallabies are federal dogs and cats, Dingoes, Red fox, and human predators which have led to a considerable decrease in the population of wallabies.

What is Kangaroo?

Kangaroo belongs to the family of Macropodidae, order of Diprotodontia and suborder of Macropodiformes. The hind legs of Kangaroos are large, and powerful and are adapted for leaping.

The presence of a long muscular tail is for balance, and the head is usually small. The female kangaroos have a pouch which is known as marsupium, and there the joeys complete their postnatal development.

The kangaroo has specialized teeth. The incisors of the animal can chop the grass adjacent to the ground. And the molars further help in grinding the grass effectively.

The animal does not have both the sides of the lower jaw adhered or fused, which gives area for wider bite, and the placement of the lower incisors are also farther apart.

The grass usually has silica in it which is abrasive type, so the molars of the kangaroo move forward in the mouth. This leads them to gradually fall off, and are new teeth replaces them later and grows back in the same area.

This leads to a process which is commonly known as polyphyodonty. This process is observed only in elephants and manatees.

The kangaroo is known as a symbol of Australia. The animal is present on the coat of arms of Australia and even on the currency of the country.

Kangaroo is also used as a logo for various organizations of Australia. Kangaroos are also hunted on a large scale for meat, coat, leather hides, and sometimes even to protect the land from grazing.

Main Differences Between Wallaby and Kangaroo

  1. Wallabies are smaller in size and weigh around 20 kg while Kangaroos are larger in size and weigh around 90 kg.
  2. The coat of wallaby is prettier and has a combination of two to three colors while the coat of kangaroo is uniform and has muted colors like brown or grey.
  3. Wallabies have no cultural interaction and collaboration with other nations while Kangaroos are considered as a symbol of Australia.
  4. The legs of Wallaby are short and compact while the legs of Kangaroo ate long and oversized.
  5. Wallaby has premolars and cutting teeth while Kangaroo has no premolars.
Difference Between Wallaby and Kangaroo

Conclusion

Both the animals are marsupials. Marsupial animals are the ones that carry their young ones in a pouch, which is usually a part of their body. Such animals are placed together in the same family, order, and sub-family.

The animals are found in Australia, but the terrains are different. The hind legs of both the animals are strong and support extensive jumping.

The babies of both Wallaby and Kangaroo are weak and born in a pre-mature state since they have a short pregnancy period. The young one stays in the pouch, before actually venturing out.

The animals are also widely hunted and shot. The rules need to become strict to prevent the animals from becoming extinct.

References

  1. https://www.publish.csiro.au/wr/WR9870139
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00545239
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