7 Difference Between Kangaroo and Wallaby (With Table)

Kangaroo and wallaby belong to the same family Macropod. The family contains large-footed animals. The feet are large and they are used for jumping. They both belong to the marsupial infraclass that is; they have front-opening poach to carry their young ones. The animals belong to the same family and live in the same habitats hence they are easily confused.

So, what is the difference between kangaroo and wallaby? Kangaroos are much larger than wallabies.

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Comparison Table (Kangaroo vs Wallaby)

Characteristics Kangaroo Wallaby
Size They are large in body size. They are comparatively smaller in body size.
Teeth They do not have premolars, the teeth are curved and ridged and the crowns of the molars are higher. They have premolars and more pronounced cutting teeth.
What they feed on They feed on grasses since they live in open treeless areas. They feed mainly on leaves as they live in forests.
Legs The legs are too long between knees and ankles. They have more compact and shorter legs.
Color They have fewer shiny coats and have colors like black and grey. They have bright and colorful coats with splashes of different colors.
Body shape They have a large amount of height between their knees and ankles making their shape to be unproportional. They have compact legs which makes them agile.
Lifespan They live between 20 and 25 years. They live between 11 to 14 years.
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What is Kangaroo?

Kangaroo is a marsupial animal from the family of macropods. They are the largest species in the family of macropods. They have large powerful hind legs that are well adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for keeping balance, and a small head.

The female kangaroos are poached from where they carry their young ones after birth. They use hopping as a means of locomotion. They have a single-chamber stomach. Sometimes they regurgitate the vegetation they have chewed and swallow it again for final digestion.

They live in mobs and this promotes protection. They have a behavior of nose touching and sniffing which occurs when an individual joins a group. The sexual activity in kangaroos consists of consort pairs. Females will attract male’s attention and the males will follow the movements. Kangaroos are killed for their meat.

What is a Wallaby?

Wallaby belongs to the family macropod. They are smaller than kangaroos. They are the smallest in the family macropod. Their powerful hind legs are used for bounding at high speeds, jumping at greater heights, and administering vigorous kicks to defend themselves from their predators.

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They are herbivores. They mainly feed on leaves as they are access to lives as they live in forests. Mobs of wallabies gather around the same water hole during the dry season. They are marsupials hence they carry with them their young ones during the postnatal period.

The wallabies are threatened by animals such as feral dogs, feral cats, and red foxes. Humans are also a threat to wallabies due to interaction. Many have been involved in accidents as they mostly graze along the roads.

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Main Differences between Kangaroo and Wallaby

  1. Kangaroos are larger while wallabies are smaller in body size.
  2. Kangaroos feed on the grass while wallabies feed on leaves.
  3. Kangaroos do not have premolars while wallabies have premolars.
  4. Kangaroos have too long legs between knees and ankles while wallabies have short and compact legs.
  5. Kangaroos have fewer shiny coats while wallabies have bright and colorful coats.
  6. Kangaroos have a long lifespan; between 20 to 25 years while wallabies have a shorter lifespan; between 11 to 14 years.
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Similarities between Kangaroo and Wallaby

  1. They both belong to the same family.
  2. Both are mainly found in Australia through different terrains.
  3. Both have strong legs for jumping.
  4. Both have a short period of pregnancy.

In Conclusion

Both kangaroos and wallabies are from the same family and they are all marsupials. They are often confused but they are totally different from each other. The main feature that makes kangaroos different from wallabies is their size.

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