Common wallaroo

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Wallaroo[1]
Macropus robustus2.jpg
Euro (Macropus robustus erubescens)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Macropodidae
Genus: Macropus
Subgenus: Osphranter
Species: M. robustus
Binomial name
Macropus robustus
Gould, 1841
Subspecies
  • M. r. erubescens
  • M. r. isabellinus
  • M. r. robustus
  • M. r. woodwardi
Wallaroo Range.jpg
Common wallaroo range

The common wallaroo (Macropus robustus) or wallaroo, also known as euro or hill wallaroo[2] is a species of macropod. The word euro is particularly applied to one subspecies (M. r. erubescens).[3]

The eastern wallaroo is mostly nocturnal and solitary, and is one of the more common macropods, it makes a loud hissing noise and some subspecies are sexually dimorphic, like most wallaroos.[4]

Subspecies[edit]

There are four subspecies of the wallaroo:[1]

  • Eastern wallaroo (M. r. robustus)[3] – Found in eastern Australia, males of this subspecies have dark fur, almost resembling the black wallaroo (Macropus bernardus). Females are lighter, being almost sandy in colour.[4]
  • Euro (M. r. erubescens) – [5] Found covering most of its remaining range, this subspecies is variable, but mostly brownish in colour.[4]
  • M. r. isabellinus – This subspecies is restricted to Barrow Island in Western Australia, and is comparatively small. It is uniformly reddish brown.[4]
  • M. r. woodwardi – This subspecies is found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and in a band running through Northern Territory. It is the palest subspecies and is a dull brown-grey colour.[4]

The eastern wallaroo (Macropus robustus robustus)—which is grey in colour—occupies the eastern slopes of the Great Dividing Range and the euro (Macropus robustus erubescens)—rufous in colour—occupies land westward.

Reproduction[edit]

Wallaroos are not a type of animal that has one or two mating seasons throughout the year, but rather females can give birth at any time during the year. Through a process called embryonic diapause they are able to get pregnant whenever after giving birth, but the embryo doesn't start to develop until the previous joey is able to leave the pouch of the mother. Wallaroos are also polygynous, which means that the males can have multiple female partners. [6]

One interesting thing that happens during the mating process is the fighting that happens between males in order to attract a female mate, the fights normally don't end in one of the two wallaroos dying, but rather the two males will fight until one surrenders. [7]

The gestation period lasts around 30 to 38 days, after which the young joey travels into the mother's pouch where it suckles and develops,[8] the young joeys start to leave the pouch at around six months and by nine months they no longer spend most of their time in the pouch.[9] Male wallaroos are fully developed at around 18 to 20 month while females are fully developed at around 14 to 24 months.[10]

The relationship with the joey and his parents changes as the joey grows and gets older, during the time in which the joey is in the pouch, the father stays around in order to protect the joey and mother from predators, but once this protection is no longer needed the relationship weakens between the two. After the joey no longer needs its mother for food, it still maintains a close relationship with her.[11]

Status[edit]

The eastern wallaroo as a species is not considered to be threatened, but the Barrow Island subspecies (M. r. isabellinus) is classified as vulnerable.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Groves, C. P. (2005). "Order Diprotodontia". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b c Ellis, M.; Menkhorst, P.; van Weenen, J.; Burbidge, A.; Copley, P.; Denny, M.; Woinarski, J.; Mawson, P. & Morris, K. (2008). "Macropus robustus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 December 2008. 
  3. ^ a b WE Poole and JC Merchant (1987): Reproduction in Captive Wallaroos - the Eastern Wallaroo, Macropus-Robustus-Robustus, the Euro, Macropus-Robustus-Erubescens and the Antilopine Wallaroo, Macropus-Antilopinus. Australian Wildlife Research 14(3) 225 - 242. online link
  4. ^ a b c d e Menkhorst, Peter (2001). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia. Oxford University Press. p. 118. 
  5. ^ TF Clancy and DB Croft (1992): Population dynamics of the common wallaroo (Macropus robustus erubescens) in arid New South Wales. Wildlife Research 19(1) 1 - 15. online link
  6. ^ "Common wallaroo videos, photos and facts - Macropus robustus". Arkive. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  7. ^ "Macropus robustus (hill wallaroo)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  8. ^ "Common wallaroo videos, photos and facts - Macropus robustus". Arkive. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  9. ^ "Common Wallaroo Fact Sheet | racinezoo.org". www.racinezoo.org. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  10. ^ "Common wallaroo videos, photos and facts - Macropus robustus". Arkive. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  11. ^ "Macropus robustus (hill wallaroo)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 

External links[edit]