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Black-footed Rock Wallaby ()


The Black-footed Rock Wallaby (Image not available)

This Australian marsupial is slightly smaller and has a more delicate frame than the Wallaroo.  Although they could once be found almost anywhere now the population is concentrated mostly in the arid regions of central Australia.  They live on rocky hills near some sort of vegetation, (a source of food).  During the day they will hide out in caves or crevices to escape the heat and will only come out to feed at dusk and dawn when the temperature is cooler.  Since they conserve their energy during those hot days they do not need a source of water to survive.  They will mostly get the hydration they need directly from their food: grass, plants, fruits and shrubs.  They are very shy animals and will never venture too far from their home where they live in groups of up to 100 members.






Black-footed Rock Wallabies grow to be about half a meter, (20 inches), high and have a long tail to secure their balance that can measure up to 52 centimeters, (21 inches), long.  Subspecies have fur ranging from pale to dark depending on their habitat, their fur matching the color of the rocks they live on.  Generally they are a gray-brown color with a whiter chest, dark brown stomach and a dark tail.  The marking that distinguishes them from other wallabies is the light colored stripes they have from between the ears to the shoulders.  Their feet have texture to them to prevent them from slipping on slick rocks.  They have been seen jumping up to 13 feet, (4 meters), to reach another rock.

Between 1 and 2 years of age the black-footed rock wallaby has reached sexual maturity and can breed anytime during the year.  After 30 days gestation a baby is born and finds its way to its mother's pouch where it will stay another 30 days.  Once the baby is out of the pouch it can be left at home while the mother gets food, although it is still being fed by its mother. This is unlike other kangaroos where the baby never leaves its mothers side.  We believe it is because of the rocky terrain they live on that is perhaps too difficult for the young.

Black-footed Rock Wallabies are considered threatened in some parts of Australia and vulnerable worldwide.

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Grzimek, Bernhard. Four-Legged Australians. London: Collins, 1967. p.73 & 96

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