Difference Between Kangaroo and Wallaby


Main Difference

The main difference between Kangaroo and Wallaby is that Kangaroo is a large-sized marsupial, whereas Wallaby is a small-sized marsupial.

Kangaroo vs. Wallaby

Kangaroo is a large marsupial, while wallaby is a small marsupial. Kangaroo has dull-colored skin; on the other hand, wallabies have shiny outer skin. Kangaroo resides in open areas such as wastelands. Wallaby lives in the woodlands. Kangaroo loses its premolars in adulthood, while wallaby has premolars. Kangaroos feed on grasses, whereas wallaby mostly eats grasses, plant leaves, and vegetables. Kangaroo eats with incisors, while wallaby eats with premolars.

Kangaroo has long hind legs; on the other side, wallaby has short compact hind legs. The length between knees and ankles is greater in kangaroo and less in wallaby. The legs are larger in comparison to the body of a kangaroo, giving misappropriate shape. The length of the wallaby’s legs is in the right ratio to the body. The tail of kangaroo is long and more potent as compared to a wallaby. Kangaroo has a life span of 20 to 25 years. Wallaby lives for 10 to 15 years. The weight of kangaroos is greater than that of wallabies. Kangaroos cannot comfortably sit on butts, whereas wallabies can sit on butts.


Comparison Chart

Kangaroos are known as marsupials which means they carry their offspring’s in the belly-pouches after birth and milk themWallaby is a small-sized kangaroo. They belong to the macropods family
Dark and muted coatShiny coat
Open landsWoodlands
No premolarsHave premolars
Tall grassesLeaves
Hind Legs
Long and strongShort and dense
20-25 years10-15 years
2-24 kgUp to 91 kg

What is Kangaroo?

Kangaroo species are present in Australia. Kangaroos are known as marsupials, which means they carry their offspring’s in the belly-pouches after birth and milk them. When babies become mature, they come out of pouches. After it, babies return to pouch only for suckling. Kangaroos belong to the macropods family. Macropods mean large feet, which help in jumping. Kangaroo has a great length between knees and ankles. Because of it, the kangaroo’s body looks quite different. Their large-sized feet are the only source of locomotion. They run and jump with large feet and powerful legs.


In kangaroo’s family, males are larger. Their height is 250cm and weighs about 200 pounds — the height measures from the terminal end of the tail to head. Kangaroos have a long and powerful tail. The tail supports in sitting. Kangaroos are not able to sit on buttocks. Kangaroo lives in open lands, and with their long legs, they can run speedily. Kangaroos are herbivores and eat greenery, mostly grasses. During the maturation stage, pre-molars are lost — the molar teeth form a curve which helps in eating grasses.

Kangaroo has dull skin. The outer skin is dark in color, mostly red, brown, or grey. The fur of the kangaroo is colorless. The distribution of fur varies with each kangaroo. The baby of a kangaroo is known as “joey.” The life of kangaroos is up to 20 to 25 years. People capture kangaroo for eating meat. The red kangaroo is the largest kangaroo.

What is Wallaby?

Wallaby is a small-sized kangaroo. These species are in Australia, and some are in New Guinea. Wallaby females carry one offspring in pregnancy. Mothers keep them in the pouch for nine months. Offspring become mature at 12-14 months. The height of the larger wallaby is 180cm and weighs about 20kg. They belong to the macropods family. Wallaby’s hind legs are short and compact, which helps in hopping and jumping. This design of legs also protects from predators. They live in forests where they run fast with their legs.

Wallaby is a herbivore and eats leaves of plants, vegetables, grasses, etc. They have premolars and molars teeth for grinding of diet. The skin of the wallaby is shiny, and streaky has different colors and smudges. It has beautiful colored fur. The life span of the wallaby is about one and half-decade. The tail is short and helps in balancing the body during locomotion.

Wallaby can sit on buttocks. The legs are short; therefore, the wallaby jumps slowly in comparison to the kangaroo. Wallabies classify as shrub species, rock wallaby, brush species, etc. Agile wallaby, whiptail wallaby, red-naked wallaby are common examples. People seize wallaby for fur and meat.

Key Differences

  1. Kangaroo is large, while wallaby is a small-sized kangaroo.
  2. Kangaroo possesses a dull-colored coat, whereas the wallaby has a shiny streaked coat.
  3. Kangaroo’s habitat is open grasslands; conversely, wallaby lives in forests.
  4. Kangaroo loses pre-molars during maturity; on the flip side, wallaby has pre-molars.
  5. Kangaroo diet is grasses, while wallaby feeds on leaves of plants.
  6. Kangaroo has more length of legs from knees to ankles, whereas the wallaby has short and compact legs.
  7. Kangaroo lives for more than two decades; on the other hand, wallaby lives for one and half-decade.
  8. Kangaroo weight can be 200 pounds, whereas the wallaby weighs about four to 53 pounds.


Kangaroo and wallaby both are macropods, but kangaroos are large and have large hind legs, whereas wallaby is small kangaroo with short legs.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson