Sunday, 13 February 2011

Spot light on Bennett’s Wallabies


Willaby tubby tum

Scientific Name:  Macropus rufogriseus  Order:  Marsupialia  Family:  Macropodidae  Range:  From Queensland to South Australia, Tasmania to Bass Strait Islands.  Habitat:  Coastal Areas  Diet:  Grass

The Bennett’s Wallaby is sometimes called the Red-Necked Wallaby.  The Male’s body measures 27-31 inches; the female’s averages 23 to 27 inches.  The large hind legs are powerfully muscled and the strong, tapered tail acts as a balance and rudder when leaping, and as a third leg when sitting. (As the image shows above).  The female has a well developed forward-facing pouch.

Brown joey in Mum's pouch March 10 DSC_0160

Breeding occurs year round.  The female produces one offspring, called a joey per year.  Embryonic diapause occurs in most wallabies and kangaroos, unlike most mammals.  The female mates shortly after giving birth and the resulting embryo becomes dormant until the firstborn leaves the pouch, or dies.  Subsequently, the second embryo resumes development and birth occurs about 29 days later.  Well-developed forelimbs and digits enable the young wallaby to scramble, unaided by its Mother, up into the pouch, where it attaches itself to a nipple.  The joey permanently vacates the pouch about 235 days later and is weaned in about a year. 

Brown Wallaby with Albino Joey March 10 DSC_0166

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