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Rock Wallaby

Rock Wallaby


Rock Wallaby Baby
Rock Wallaby Baby

Rock Wallaby Habits

The rock wallaby lives in the rocky deserts and the high mountain ranges of the Australian outback.
The wallaby shelters in deep, hidden crevices in the rocks. The rocks leading to the hiding places are often worn smooth by generations of wallabies using the same trail.
The brushtailed rock wallaby lives in the mountainous region of eastern New South Wales. One species living on an island, at the eastern end of the Great Australian Bight, is at home either in the island's rocky interior or on the seashore among boulders washed by the surf.
During hot weather the rock wallaby spends much of the day resting in the shade. In the cooler early morning and evening hours it may travel long distances from the rocks in search of grass, which forms the major part of its diet. On cool days the rock wallaby spends much of its time eating.
When disturbed, the rock wallaby stands rigidly, then shows its unease by beating its feet once or twice on the ground to warn other wallabies. When it is very alarmed, the wallaby disappears among the rocks, leaping from one to another in a single bound.
Unlike its close relative, the tree kangaroo, the rock wallaby cannot climb trees.

Rock Wallaby Communication

Zoologists believe that visual and olfactory signaling are the preferred modes of communication between wallabies and that auditory and tactile methods rate further down the scale. However, when a wallaby is alarmed or senses danger, it adopts a frozen posture and then makes foot thumps like a drummer (albeit lasting for only one or two beats) to warn others of its mob of the potential threat. In a few species, the foot thumping is accompanied by hisses and snorts. The same hind legs that drum warning signals are also capable of delivering powerful kicks to predators.

Rock Wallaby Breeding

The rock wallaby breeds all year when there is adequate food. During intense drought, when food supplies are scarce and the female cannot produce milk for her young, she abandons the joey (nursing baby).
If the female with a joey in her pouch becomes pregnant, the new embryo in her womb does not develop until her pouch is empty. The development of the embryo is also delayed in periods of drought.
When the rains return, the embryo immediately develops, the joey is born, and it makes its way into its mother's pouch. She then mates again, and another fertilized egg begins to develop.

Rock Wallaby Food & Feeding

Wallabies are grazing animals. They wander and graze, finding succulent grasses and other fresh vegetation.

Rock Wallaby Key Facts

              Height: Length: Head and body, 20-30 inches. Tail: 15-28 inches
              Weight: 6-20 pounds
             Sexual maturity: 18 months
             Mating: Year round when conditions are favorable
             Gestation: 1 month, then 8 months in the pouch
             Number of young: 1
            Habit: Sociable
            Diet: Grasses, as well as leaves, bark, and roots in dry weather
            Lifespan: 14 years in captivity



  • The rock wallaby had no natural enemies in Australia until European foxes were introduced in the nineteenth century. Faster and more cunning than the native dingoes (wild dogs), foxes killed many wallabies.
  • The first settlers in Australia thought the rock wallaby was a cat because it climbed so quickly and agilely.
  • The rock wallabies that live in the northern parts of Western Australia have thin, short hair to avoid overheating in Ithe hot, tropical climate.
  • Because the brushtailed rock wallaby has dull brown fur, it is not hunted for its pelt like other species with more delicate coloration.
  • The rock wallaby is not found in either Tasmania or New Guinea.

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