What’s the difference between a kangaroo and a wallaby?

Kangaroo’s and wallabies are easily mistaken. Some people think that the difference between the two are the sizes but there can be kangaroo’s the size of a wallaby too.

Take a look at this photo and try and find the difference: 

Wallaby on the left and albino kangaroo on the right
Wallaby on the left and albino kangaroo on the right

So what do you think? Is it the way they hop? The food they eat? The places they live? 

Check out their tails. It is a very small difference but the wallaby on the left’s tail lays like a dog tail where as the albino joey’s tail is bent and flat on the ground. That concept is not the easiest to explain but basically the kangaroo’s tail is like a fifth limb. Kangaroo’s can actually balance on their tails, lean backwards, and kick their hind legs at an opponent. The other main difference with the tails is that a wallaby can actually sit on their butts but the kangaroo has to lay down because their tails cannot go under their butts like the wallabies. 

Notice the tails
Notice the tails

The kangaroo on the left is laying down and the kangaroo on the right is not sitting on its butt rather using its tail for support.

Wallaby sitting
Wallaby sitting

Here the wallaby is actually sitting on its bottom and the tail is out of the way.

I hope that was informative enough and you learned something new about the differences between species. My mom doesn’t know it yet but my next pet will be a wallaby and I am not joking! My mom will probably kill me! She has had to deal with hamsters, birds, rabbits, lizards, frogs, cats, dogs, fish, and any other animal that I could afford. I would come home with a different animal from Petsmart every month!

If anyone has any other questions or suggestions about other animal or Australian related topics let me know! I would be happy to inform you in a post about any other cool stuff about animals here, especially since that is my specialty! Look out soon for a blog post about animal research done here at the University of Melbourne and my research study I will be conducting back at Penn State! 

2 thoughts on “What’s the difference between a kangaroo and a wallaby?

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