Difference between kangaroo and wallaby

The wallaby and the kangaroo are Australia’s marsupials : after a short gestation period inside the womb their young complete their development in the mother’s abdominal bag, clinging to the mammary glands for about 9 months until they can venture out of the bag, at that time the little ones only return to the bag to suck.

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Both the wallaby and the kangaroo belong to the macropodidae family : they have oversized feet that allow them to jump, which is their only way to get around. Since they live on the same continent and belong to the same infraclass of marsupials and the same family of macropodidae are very similar, but still there are important differences between them .

In this article of YourCatCareguide we will explain to you what are the differences between the wallaby and the kangaroo .

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The size

Kangaroos are much larger than wallabies: the red kangaroo is the largest marsupial species in the world, the largest are always males and can measure more than 250 cm from the tip of the tail to the head and weigh about 90 kg, while the largest wallabies measure about 180 cm and weigh about 20 kg. To get an idea it is considered that a wallabie female weighs about 11 kg while a female kangaroo weighs about 20 kg.

Paws and habitat

The kangaroo’s legs are longer in relation to the rest of their body, especially in the ankle segment the knee is longer, which makes them look disproportionate.

The kangaroo’s long legs make it possible to jump with speed in open spaces where it usually moves at around 20 km / hour and may even exceed 50km / hour, while the more compact body of the wallabies allow them to move agilely through the forest.

Teeth and feeding

The wallaby lives in woods and feeds mainly on leaves : so it has flat pre-molars to crush and crush the leaves, and its incisors are more pronounced for occasional cuts.

While the kangaroo loses its premolars in adulthood and the row of its molars forms a curve, its teeth are striated and the crowns of its molars are more pronounced. This dentition allows to cut branches of tall herbs .


The wallaby usually has a more vivid and intense color , with spots of different colors, for example the agile wallaby has colored stripes on its cheeks and at the level of the hips, and the red body wallaby has the body grayish but with white stripe on the lip upper, black paws and a red band on males.

The kangaroo’s hair change is usually much more monochromatic with color patterns evenly distributed on your body. The gray kangaroo has a thinning fur from its back, darker, to its belly and face, lighter.

Reproduction and behavior

Both species have a single child by gestation and the mother carries her child in her pouch not only until she is weaned, but until she is completely independent:

  • A juvenile wallaby is weaned at 7-8 months and usually stays another month in his mother’s purse. Reaches sexual maturity at 12-14 months.
  • The small kangaroo is weaned at 9 months and stays in your mother’s bag until 11 months, can only reproduce when it reaches the age of 20 months.

Both the kangaroo and the wallaby live in small groups of families , consisting of a dominant male, their group of females, their children and sometimes some immature and submissive male. It is much more frequent to see the fighting wallabies than kangaroos, usually fight with their partner.

Hope of life

Kangaroos live much longer than wallabies. Wild kangaroos live about 2’0-25 years and in captivity live from 16 to 20 years, while wild wallabies live about 11-15 years and 10-14 years in captivity. Both species are the prey of man, who hunts kangaroos for their flesh, and kills the wallabies through their skin.

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    Emily Harris

    Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-pI am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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