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How do wallabies move? Wallabies are famous for their elegant hopping and huge jumps. What fascinating is their ability to effortlessly jump and hop huge distances without getting too tired. How do wallabies move? Wallabies move using their two forelimbs, two hind-limbs, and tail. Hopping Wallabies use their two muscular hind-limbs and tail, whereas grazing animals move using their forelimbs, hindlimbs, and tail. In this article, you’ll learn how do wallabies move?

Walker or Hopper?

How do wallabies move? Wallabies can’t really walk, but they do not always obviously hop when they are moving. You can see them slowly moving when they are grazing on open grasslands. This is called crawl-walking. Wallabies are shy animals and flee when they see potential predators

Fast and Not Furious

When Wallabies hop they are moving extremely fast. The fastest one ever seen was traveling at 64 km/h (40 mph). This speed was achieved by an eastern grey wallabies that is native to the eastern part of Australia. There, distances are huge and traveling at speed has its benefits.  Wallabies move fast to travel long distance. If they need to find food or water. They also move extremely fast if predators are getting close. Typical predators include dingoes, eagles, and humans. This means wild Wallabies will hop away as fast as they can if they see us. 

The normalhopping speed is about 20 – 25 km/hand the most interesting fact is that Wallabies actually require less energy to move the faster they hop until they’ve reached their comfortable hopping speed. 

The Hopping Wallaby

How do wallabies move? There is a significant difference in whether Wallabies move slowly or fast. When Wallabies want to travel fast, they hop fast. The hind legs of Wallabies are designed to work like giant springs. That’s why it looks so effortlessly when Wallabies hop around. 

As the tendons in their hind legs strain and contract, they get about the energy they need to bounce back. This is much more than humans can regain when they walk. You could compare hopping of Wallabies to a bouncing ball. With each bounce, it loses energy, but it still bounces. 

How do wallabies move? This means that Wallabies must put a lot less effort into bouncing because they only lose about a couple of percent of energy with each bounce. Wallaroos also use their strong tail as a counterbalance and a counterweight.

Hopping is Breathing

How do wallabies move? Wallabies have even more benefits when they hop instead of walk. They not only require relatively little energy to hop around but hopping actively supports their breathing. If you watch their bouncing movements closely, you can see their gut moving up and down. This inflates and deflates their lungs which make them extremely energy efficient. 

So all in all, we can say that Wallabies do everything to get from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. Their slow movement is totally different. If you’ve seen Wallabies grazing on open grasslands, they rarely hop, they move slowly instead. 

Wallaby Tails

Wallabies’s slow movement works totally different compared to fast hopping. Wallabies are certainly famous for hopping. However, they spend a great amount of time moving on their two forelimbs and two hind legs. But you might be surprised to see that they also need their strong tail to move slowly. How do wallabies move? When Wallabies or wallabies and wallaroos are grazing they have to move a few centimeters from time to time. They do not hop, because they would get too far away from their desired position. 

Step – by – Step Wallaby Hopping

Step #1

Wallabies lean forward. Their body weight is supported by their forelimbs and hind limbs. They tense their tail which touches the ground

Step #2

Wallabies then raise their hind limbs – their body weight is then supported by their forelimbs and tail. Their body forms a tripod. They then pull their hind limbs slightly forward. They move their hind limbs back on the ground

Step #3

Wallabies then raise their forelimbs and move them forward if they continue to walk while their hind limbs and tail touch the ground

The Pros of Hopping

How do wallabies move? Wallabies, like its close relatives are native to Australia. Just like humans who live in the outback, long-distance traveling for food and water is common for Wallabies in Australia.  They, therefore, need energy – saving way to travel big distances. But their story started about 30 million years ago when Australia was a totally different continent. Their predecessors resembled something like possums and they were living in the trees of Australia’s rainforests and had a hard time moving on the ground. 

With time Australia got dryer and dryer and the spaces between trees, food, and water supply got bigger and bigger. Wallabies and their predecessors learned to travel long distances as efficiently as possible in order to survive. Back in the days when their predecessors were living in trees they didn’t need to be good at walking, but they transformed their ability to hop and bounce to move efficiently on the ground. 

Tree Wallabies

How do wallabies move? The hind legs of tree Wallabies are shorter and they can actually move backward. Additionally, they have better-developed claws to get a better grip in the trees. Tree-Wallabies live like their name would suggest, in the trees but they are rarely found in the wild. 

Wallabies can cover up to 7 meters in a single hop. Only larger animals will achieve this distance but it shows how incredible their feet are designed to travel long distances. Wallabies can hop this far because of their strong hind legs which work like giant springs. They achieve speeds up to 64 km/h which also helps them to hop this far. With a typical hop, Wallabies cover about 2 meters.  Red Wallabies can jump 1.8 m high, it was reported that Wallabies can jump 3 m high in very rare cases. 

Backward Steps?

How do wallabies move? Most Wallabies cannot move backward. Only the tree-Wallabies must move backward to move in trees.  On the ground, Wallabies do not move their hind legs separately which makes it hard to move backward. If you look at the section how Wallabies move slowly (crawl-walk) you can see them forming a tripod with their forelimbs and tail and then pull the hind legs forward. It would be difficult to do the same procedure to move backward. 

Crawl – Walking

How do wallabies move? Wallabiesmovement is called hopping and crawl-walking. They hop at high speeds and crawl-walk in typical situations such as grazing on open grasslands. Wallabies and wallaroos are closely related to each other. They also move similar but there are some differences, though. The hind legs of Wallabies are designed to be fast on wide open flat grounds. This is what their natural habitat looks like. Wallabies, on the other hand, are more often found in bushy forests and speed is less important than maneuverability. 



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