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Wallaby, Tammar

Tammar Wallaby and Joey

Wallaby, Tammar

Scientific Name: Macropus eugenii

Status: Least Concern

Habitat: South and west coast of Australia

Diet: These marsupials are herbivorous, eating mainly grasses.

Length: 20–27 inches

Weight: 44 pounds

Tammar wallabies are the smallest species of wallaby and are often preyed upon by dingoes. They use their powerful hind legs to kick and defend themselves against predators. Like most macropods, tammar wallaby groups adhere to a social hierarchy. Males must prove their dominance to fend off rivals and impress females. To do so, they stand upright on their hind legs, puff out their chests and flex their forearms.

Tammar wallabies, unlike other macropods, do not breed year round. Following the breeding season, embryos begin development after the summer solstice. Females are pregnant for approximately a month and then give birth to a single joey that resides in its mother’s pouch for 8–9 months. The female mates again only a few hours after giving birth but any resulting fertilized ova become dormant. They remain in this suspended state, called embryonic diapause, for up to 11 months (tammar wallabies have the longest period of embryonic diapause). When the first joey leaves the pouch, normal embryonic development resumes.

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