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Swamp wallaby

 Wallabia bicolor

CHARACTERISTICS

Family
Macropodidae

Weight
10 - 20 kg

Habitat
swamps, forests and open grassland

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

No Bigger than a Jelly Baby

About a month after fertilisation takes place the baby - at this point as small as a jelly baby and not even weighing one gram - climbs into its mother’s pouch unaided. Naked, deaf and blind it clings to a teat until it leaves its mother’s pouch for good eight months later.

Births in Quick Succession

A swamp wallaby mother can have three babies at different stages of development - a young animal that’s able to hop around independently, a baby in its pouch and an embryo on standby.

 

Whilst there is a baby in the pouch for about eight months, the second embryo in the womb doesn’t develop further. Only when the baby has left the pouch and there is a teat free again, does the fertilised egg grow. This way the swamp wallaby ensures a quick succession of births.

 

Strong Stomach

 

Swamp wallabies eat leaves, grasses and bark, but also a species of fern that is highly toxic for other animals.