Wallaby, Yellow-Footed Rock
Scientific Name: Petrogale xanthopus xanthopus
Status: Near Threatened
Habitat: Rocky cliffs and outcrops of South Australia, South Wales, and Queensland
Diet: These macropods eat mainly grasses, roots, and bark.
Length: 20–32 inches
Weight: 6.5–20 pounds
These medium-sized, nocturnal wallabies rest in caves and rock crevices during the day, occasionally emerging to sunbathe. They live in social groups where mating occurs frequently, so females are often pregnant the entire period that they are sexually mature.
Living among rocky cliffs, yellow-footed rock wallabies have developed many adaptations to survive in this challenging environment. Their slender tails act as a counterbalance as they dart among the rocks, leaping up to 12 feet. Many wallaby species also utilize their tails as additional support when sitting; however, yellow-footed rock wallabies use their tails solely for balance. Because their tails do not function as props, they lack the strong base and significant tapering that other wallaby species’ tails exhibit. The soles of the hind feet of yellow-footed rock wallabies are built to increase traction. The pads are rough and surrounded by coarse hair. The constant grind of many wallabies treading the same path can wear smooth and glossy passages across rocky cliffs.