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What's a Wallaby's Name and 6 More Surprising Facts!

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The average size of a wallaby is the size of a green pea. Kangaroos use their tails as fifth limbs. We found out there are so many cool things to learn about the wallabies. Check out these 6 pictures of baby kangaroos and learn 6 fun facts!

#1: Did you know that a wallaby is called Joyce?

kangaroo baby and mother
Wallabies are called joeys.

©iStock.com/JohnCarnemolla

The wallaby is called a joey. These tiny marsupials share their baby titles with koalas, opossums, wallabies and even wombats! If you're wondering why kangaroo baby names are so unique compared to other animals, it's because "joey" means "little animal" in the Aboriginal language. So many Australian babies are just critters because they are critters!

#2: Joeys Potty Trained From Birth

baby kangaroo on the beach
The Joy family relied on their mother to stimulate them to produce waste.

© iStock.com/Steve Fraser

When a kangaroo is born, it is only the size of a bean. They are so small that their mother can't even touch them. Their mom made sure they put it in her pouch and kept it tidy for her new baby from there.

She uses her tongue to remove any dirt or mess that may have accumulated, including any waste from the baby kangaroo. Wallabies can't go to the bathroom unless their mother licks them to make them feel like going to the bathroom. While that doesn't sound very appealing, since they're so small, they can only produce a drop or two of waste at a time, at most.

#3: Baby kangaroos grow just one month before they're born

Baby kangaroo close-up
Kangaroos live in the womb for only about a month before moving into their mother's pouch.

©iStock.com/photogerson

Have you ever wondered why baby kangaroos spend so long in their mother's pouch after birth? That's because these babies are born very prematurely.

The average baby kangaroo is the size of a small bean, and once born, they must walk themselves into their mother's pouch. Such a big job for a tiny baby, right? The truth is, they're too small to touch. However, since these tiny babies are marsupials, they must enter their mother's pouch to survive.

Considering the baby weighed less than 1/400th of a pound and was completely blind, getting into the pouch was a matter of pride in itself. Once they are safe and sound, they will spend most of their time growing and getting stronger. When they're old enough, watch them stick their heads out and explore the world in the safety of mom!

#4: Joyce is the Smallest and Largest Marsupial

wallaby jumping
Kangaroos give birth to the smallest marsupials and then grow into the largest marsupials.

©iStock.com/JohnCarnemolla

Newborn kangaroos are so small that even their mother can't touch them. A newborn weighs less than 400 times a pound, or about 0.8 grams. As such, they are the smallest marsupials born on Earth. Now, that's really small!

Marsupials are animals that are born before they are fully developed. These animals are unique in that they must complete their development outside the mother's womb. Fortunately, kangaroos grow quickly, and when the males reach adulthood and are fully grown, they become the largest marsupials in the animal kingdom.

#5: Wallabies Use Their Tails as Fifth Limbs

baby kangaroo
A joey's tail is critical to their balance.

©iStock.com/burroblando

As they grow, kangaroos' tails get stronger and stronger. Some kangaroos can be seen using their tails as fifth legs when walking at normal speeds. These tails can also be used for defense when needed.

A wallaby's tail is critical to its balance. This is because when they jump, they use their tails to hold the ground once they hit the ground. This ensures a safe landing and protects the wallaby from injury when landing.

#6: Female kangaroos protect their young in unique ways

Baby kangaroo, little joey jumping around beside mom
The wallaby jumps head first into the mother's pouch.

©Kjuuurs/Shutterstock.com

When a mother kangaroo is pregnant, she will stop at nothing to protect her young. The inside of the kangaroo pouch is hairless and filled with sweat glands. These sweat glands secrete an antibacterial fluid that protects baby kangaroos from bacterial infection. If there is danger around, the wallaby can dive head-down at high speed into the mother's pouch, which is strong enough to support it.

Another example is that baby kangaroos cannot suck milk by themselves when they are born. The mother uses her strong muscles to pump the milk into the baby's mouth.

#7: Wallabies are not born until the pouch is empty

Animal Facts: Wallabies
Female kangaroos can suspend pregnancy to protect their babies.

©IntoTheWorld/Shutterstock.com

Baby kangaroos are only born if the environment is right or the pouch is empty. Kangaroos can conceive quickly, even with only one baby in the pouch. Kangaroo mothers have the unique ability to pause pregnancy by changing hormones in their bodies. Gestational baby kangaroos go into dormancy and remain in this state until the baby kangaroo in the pouch is fully grown and independent.

Kangaroo mothers can even suspend pregnancy if the environment and habitat are not conducive to raising wallabies. Kangaroos aren't the only animals with this ability. They share this amazing evolutionary ability with bears, seals, and many other primarily carnivorous species on Earth.

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featured image

Joy the wallaby hangs in his mother's pouch

© iStock.com/burroblando


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How much does a baby kangaroo weigh?

Although kangaroos may be large as adults, they are impossibly small from birth. Baby kangaroos sometimes weigh less than a gram at birth and are the size of a small bean. Adult kangaroos can grow up to weigh 40 kg to 90 kg or 85 to 200 lbs, with female kangaroos being the smaller of the two.

What do wallabies eat?

Baby kangaroos get a special formula of milk from their mother that changes with each stage of their life. Wallabies drink milk for a little over a year before they are weaned and begin the diet they will adopt for the rest of their lives. Kangaroos are herbivores, so they tend to eat grass and lots of vegetation!

Where does the baby kangaroo live?

Baby kangaroos born a month after conception are born weak and helpless. This makes it extremely important that they get them into their mother's pouch as soon as possible. They keep themselves comfortably in their new home for about 6 to 8 months until they are able to walk on their own. Kangaroos can only be found in Australia.

What is the name of the wallaby?

Wallabies are known as joeys, which means "little animals", from an Aboriginal language. Adult kangaroos are often referred to simply as "roos".

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