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Yellow-Footed Rock Wallaby

Scientific Name: Petrogale xanthopus

Conservation Status:

Near Threatened IUCN Red List


A wallaby is really just a small kangaroo. Two arbitrary measures are used to differentiate the two. Wallabies weigh less than 44 pounds and have hind feet less than 10 inches long. Yellow-footed rock wallabies have golden fur on their feet, and they live on rocky outcrops. Their tails are banded in brown and yellow, and they are sometimes called ring-tailed wallabies. Typically, they live in groups of fewer than 20 and have developed many adaptations to survive in a challenging environment. Their slender tails are used for balance as they dart among the rocks, leaping up to 12 feet. They scale cliffs and can even climb some trees. The soles of their hind feet have ridges and bumps (similar to the soles of your sneakers) to increase traction. The pads are rough and surrounded by coarse hair. Yellow-footed rock wallabies are nocturnal and spend daylight hours resting in caves and rock crevices, occasionally emerging to sunbathe.

A wallaby’s diet consists of coarse grasses and leaves that eventually wear down their molar teeth, which are replaced as they wear out. The remaining molars move forward, while new sets appear at the back of the mouth. This serial replacement of molars also occurs in elephants. To extract the maximum amount of nutrition from their food, wallabies regurgitate food back into their mouths from their stomachs for further chewing in a process similar to ruminants chewing cud. In the dry season, yellow-footed rock wallabies can survive for long periods without water by eating the bark and roots of various trees. However, when it rains, they may drink more than 10 percent of their body weight in water in just minutes.


Yellow-footed rock wallabies are found among rocky cliffs and outcrops of South Australia, South Wales, and Queensland.


These macropods eat mainly grasses, roots, and bark.

Physical Characteristics

Body lengths is about two feet with a two-foot-long tail. They weigh between 13 and 26 pounds. Lifespan averages 10 to 14 years.


You’ll find this animal in the Australia section. See Zoo Map.

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