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Bennett’s Wallaby


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Bennett’s Wallaby

(Macropus rufogriseus rufogriseus)

Height

Up to 3 feet


Weight

33 to 59 pounds; females: 24 to 34 pounds


Distribution

Tasmania and Bass Strait Islands (Australia)


Status in the Wild

They have a stable population in their range. However, they are sometimes killed as an agricultural pest and are hunted for their meat.


Habitat

Coastal areas, woodlands, and grasslands


Description
Males are larger than females—their shoulders and arms are wider and longer, and they grow approximately twice as fast as females. Females are generally lighter in color than males. They have coarse, thick, tawny-gray fur on the body, and the fur on the nape of the neck and shoulders is reddish. They have muscular hind legs and tails that they use for balance while hopping or as a “third leg” while sitting. Females have a well-developed frontal pouch for carrying developing young. Their muzzles, paws, and largest toes are black, and they have a white stripe on their upper lips. They have large ears that can move 180° and can act as a signaling form of communication with other wallabies. Their vocal chords are underdeveloped, and they make a variety of sounds. Their eyes are located high on their head, enabling them to have a wide field of vision of approximately 324°. Their sense of smell is extremely acute.
Behavior

Bennett’s wallabies are primarily crepuscular (active at dusk and dawn). They can jump 4 to 6 feet high and propel themselves at speeds of up to 30 mph.


Interesting Facts

  • A wallaby embryo can undergo “embryonic diapause,” which means one embryo can live in the uterus in a delayed stage of development while the earlier conceived offspring is carried in the pouch and suckled.

  • At birth, a wallaby is about the size of a bumblebee and weighs less than 0.03 ounces. Babies are born blind and hairless and migrate from the birth canal to the mother’s pouch, where they remain for approximately 280 days

  • Wallabies are hardy all-weather animals. In warm weather, they lick their arms and hands, which causes their saliva to evaporate, cooling them off.

  • Marsupials are mammals best known for their abdominal pouches. There are more than 270 different marsupial species, including wallabies, found around the world.

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