What’s the Difference Between Wallabies and Kangaroos?

I can’t believe that I’ve been running this blog for nearly 2 1/2 years and I haven’t answered the most important question about life in Australia.

What is the difference between a wallaby and a kangaroo?

First, here are some pictures of cute kangaroos….

Two kangaroos

KangarooI hope you have been studying those pictures properly, I’ll be asking questions later.

Now, here are a couple of pictures of wallabies….

swamp wallaby
wallabySo, did you spot the difference?

  • Size – difficult to tell, I know, from those photographs. But, kangaroos are much bigger than wallabies. Kangaroos can grow up to 8 feet tall, that’s a little over 2 metres, whereas wallabies are about 80 cm tall, that’s about 2 foot 8″.
  • Feet – notice how they are a completely different shape. The wallaby’s feet are a bit longer and his legs are very close together. You can just about see that in this close-up….

wallaby close-upOn the other hand, the kangaroo has slightly shorter feet but legs that are more spaced apart which you can see by looking at the kangaroo above, second picture in this post, or the one on the right-hand side of this picture…….

KangaroosBecause of this difference, wallabies are very agile and great for skipping around in dense forest, whereas the kangaroo is better at running (or should I say bouncing) fast across open fields.

  • Skin – the wallaby’s skin is shiny whereas the kangaroo skin is a little dull.
  • Teeth – You did spot the difference in the teeth, didn’t you? The wallaby’s teeth are flat, good for grinding leaves, which they eat. The kangaroo’s teeth are slightly sharper, the pointy bits help them rip out grass and stalks, which is what they mainly feed on.

Unless you’ve got a little bag of goodies you bought from the kiosk when you entered the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, (which doesn’t just have koalas)…..

kangaroo feeding

And then there’s the pademelon.

What’s a pademelon? This is easy, it’s a smaller wallaby, these ones are about 50cm tall, about 1 foot 8″.

Next week, I’ll answer the second most important question about life in Australia. When letting water out of the bath tub down under, does it spin in the opposite direction?

But before I go, here’s some videos featuring wallabies….

Cute Wallaby

Boxing Wallabies

And you won’t believe this one! All the way from the English countryside….

Lawnmower Wallabies



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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • AnnMarie Allin July 18, 2016, 2:57 am |

    Wallabies are more bottom heavy and have short legs just like me!
    Thanks for the video and the info Bob. Xx

    • BobinOz July 18, 2016, 3:53 pm |

      Oh yes, so they are, nicely put AnneMarie 🙂

  • Kamma May 24, 2014, 12:29 am |

    I honestly can’t tell if the wallaby-lawnmower is just a big joke/advert for the zoo. Then again, a quick google has both the Daily Mail and Huffington Post writing about them, but big newspapers have before been fooled by joke news. Either way, it’s awesome. Wallabies! Wallabies everywhere!

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