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Wallaby

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Wallaby
Wallaby ecology.jpg
Scientific Classification
Species
  • Banded Hare-wallaby
  • Brown Dorcopsis
  • White-striped Dorcopsis
  • Black Dorcopsis
  • Gray Dorcopsis
  • Small Dorcopsis
  • Macleay's Dorcopsis
  • Lake Mackay Hare-wallaby
  • Spectacled Hare-wallaby
  • Rufous Hare-wallaby
  • Eastern Hare-wallaby
  • Agile Wallaby
  • Black-striped Wallaby
  • Tammar Wallaby
  • Toolache Wallaby
  • Western Brush Wallaby
  • Parma Wallaby
  • Pretty-faced Wallaby
  • Red-necked Wallaby
  • Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby
  • Crescent Nail-tail Wallaby
  • Northern Nail-tail Wallaby
  • Short-eared Rock-wallaby
  • Monjon
  • Nabarlek
  • Proserpine Rock-wallaby
  • Rothschild's Rock-wallaby
  • Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby
  • Allied Rock-wallaby
  • Cape York Rock-wallaby
  • Godman's Rock-wallaby
  • Herbert's Rock-wallaby
  • Unadorned Rock-wallaby
  • Black-flanked Rock-wallaby
  • Mareeba Rock-wallaby
  • Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby
  • Purple-necked Rock-wallaby
  • Mt. Claro Rock-wallaby
  • Tasmanian Pademelon
  • Brown's Pademelon
  • Dusky Pademelon
  • Calaby's Pademelon
  • Mountain Pademelon
  • Red-legged Pademelon
  • Red-necked Pademelon
  • Swamp Wallaby or Black Wallaby
Wallabyy.jpg
Agile wallaby (Macropus agilis)

Wallaby is the common name for about 30 species in the macropod family (Macropodidae), which are smaller than either the larger kangaroo or intermediately sized wallaroo.

It is a marsupial, which means it has a pouch where it keeps and feeds its young (called a joey). They have small front feet with claws so that they can rummage, and large back feet (macropods) so that they can jump and travel at fast speeds. They are also known for their strong tail thats helps them balance. They are herbivores so they eat only plants. The wallaby is found mostly in Australia and its nearby islands and New Zealand. Sometimes wallabies are even kept as pets. [1]

Anatomy

Whiptail Wallaby (Macropus parryi).

The wallaby is usually small or medium-sized, they can be 12 to 41 inches in size, the largest is 6 feet from its head down to its tail. Its tail can be 10 to 29 inches long. They have their tail for two reasons, they use their tail to balance themselves while they are moving, and the second reason is they use it as a prop when sitting in an upright position to hold themselves up. They have strong hind legs that they use to get around at fast speeds, they also are able to jump far distances. Sometimes, they use their legs to defend themselves by giving powerful kicks. They weigh from 4 to 53 pounds.[2] The wallaby has large flat feet like the kangaroo that helps it jump. Most wallabies are brown, grey, red, almost black, or brown and grey with a cream color. [3] Their stomach is usually lighter in color than the rest of its body. The female wallaby has a pouch which is where the young lives and drinks milk until they are old enough to leave. The male wallaby which is called a boomer, are usually larger than the female, the baby wallaby is called a joey. They have short arms and hands with claws, they may be young but their legs are still powerful with feet and toes that have sharp claws.[4]

Reproduction

A small wallaby with a joey in its pouch.

The wallaby are viviparous (live birth) and a marsupial, meaning they give birth to not yet fully developed young. The newborn comes out of the mother with no hair and it can not see. Without their mother, they would not be able to survive. They give birth to one baby at a time. Once it is born, because of instinct it crawls into the mother's pouch where it is warm and safe and there they attach to the mother's nipples for nutrients to stay alive. This is where the wallaby will remain until it is developed, as it grows the mother will let the young out of the pouch for a small amount of time. Once the joey, which is what a baby wallaby is called, is fully matured, they leave the pouch and the mother will not let them back in. In some species, once it leaves the pouch it becomes “young-at-foot.” The young wallaby usually stays close to its mother until it's old enough to be on its own. [5]

Ecology

The Wallaby is largely populated throughout Australia and the islands that are close to it. They are mainly found in more densely populated areas with trees and brush, remote and rugged areas, not so much on the plains where the larger kangaroos can be found. The wallaby can also be found in New Zealand, there it is popular to hunt them, they are mainly thought of as a pest. Some populations of wallabies are strangely found in the British Isles, where some of the wallabies have escaped from the zoos. [6] The wallaby eats only plants, things like grass and leaves. They have big, flat teeth in their large jaw so that they can eat leaves and other foliage easily. [7] Some live in rocky areas, these are called rock wallabies. Their hind feet are extra furry so that they can move around on the rocks. Some wallabies that are like this are the brush-tailed rock wallaby and the yellow-footed rock wallaby. [8] Some wallabies can sleep only at night and others will sleep during the day. The life expectancy of a wally differs, usually depending on its size. It is more prone to being prey than a kangaroo because it is much smaller so it's harder to defend itself against a larger animal. Some wallabies are endangered, but not many. They have been more and more used to humans taking over their habitat. People are working to save the wallabies and their habitats. [9]

Danger to the Wallabies

Wallabies have been very popular around the world. Tasmania is using their fur by selling it to European countries' fashion markets. Although now, people aren't buying from the market so they are killing these wallabies for no reason. About 30,000 wallabies are killed each year in Tasmania. They use them for pet food, fur, and they sell their meat to European restaurants. But the president of the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia, Pat O'Brien, is trying to stop this unnecessary killing of innocent animals. [10] In 2003, wallaby fur was showed at a fashion show for the first time. A company called Snowy Peak is using clothes made out of wallaby fur with some merino and possum fur as well, which they call wallerino. [11]

Gallery

References