Kangaroo vs. Wallaroo

Kangaroo vs. Wallaroo

Kangaroo and wallaroo are types of marsupials that belong to the kangaroo family. There are 4 species of kangaroo and 3 species of wallaroo that are endemic for Australia (they cannot be found anywhere else). Kangaroos and wallaroos are strict herbivores. Their diet is based on different types of grass and shrubs that are consumed during the night. Pregnancy in kangaroo and wallaroo lasts around 33 days and ends with underdeveloped baby called "joey". Baby finishes its embryonic development inside the mother's pouch, attached to one of her tits. Kangaroos and wallaroos are numerous and widespread in the wild, despite the fact that people frequently kill kangaroos as a source of meat and leather, and to protect their pastures. Kangaroo and wallaroo are close relatives with many common features, but they can be easily differentiated thanks to the following characteristics:

Habitat

Kangaroos can be found in the open grasslands, dry scrublands and woodlands, while wallaroos inhabit mountains, rocky outcrops, hillsides and tropical forests.

Size

Kangaroo is much larger than wallaroo, which is in between the size of kangaroo and wallabi (hence the name "wallaroo"). Largest kangaroo species, red kangaroo, can reach 6 feet in height and 200 pounds of weight, while common wallaroo, the largest species of wallaroo, can reach 5 feet in height and 120 pounds of weight. Females of both kangaroo and wallaroo are usually two times lighter than males.

Morphology

Kangaroo has small head, large, powerful hind legs and long, strong tail which is used for balancing. Kangaroo has more slender body and smaller front limbs compared with wallaroo. Wallaroo has robust, stocky body covered with shaggy fur. Its wrists are always raised, elbows kept close to the body and shoulders oriented backward. All wallaroos have large, triangular moist, black snout.

Locomotion

Both kangaroos and wallaroos have very large feet equipped with elastic tendons designed for jumping. Kangaroos usually "travel" at speed of 12 to 16 miles per hour, but they can accelerate to 43 miles per hour when they are threatened. Wallaroos jump more upright compared with kangaroos. When they sense danger, wallaroos emit hissing noise and thump the ground using their hind legs to inform other members of the group about nearby predators. Both kangaroos and wallaroos are excellent swimmers.

Lifestyle

Kangaroos are social animals that live in large family groups called mobs. Mobs usually consist of 10, or rarely up to 100 animals (when food is abundant). All species of wallaroo except antilopine wallaroo, are solitary. Antilopine wallaroo lives in small groups of up to 20 animals. Wallaroos occupy smaller territories than kangaroos, that can occupy territory of around 200 square miles.

Popular Culture

Kangaroos are more popular than wallaroos. They are often used as a symbol of Australia and they can be seen on the various souvenirs, posters, emblems and even on a currency of Australia.

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