Common wallaroo

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

The common wallaroo or wallaroo (Osphranter robustus), also known as the euro or hill wallaroo[2] is a species of macropod. The word euro is particularly applied to one subspecies (O. 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 (O. r. robustus)[3] – Found in eastern Australia, males of this subspecies have dark fur, almost resembling the black wallaroo (Osphranter bernardus). Females are lighter, being almost sandy in colour.[4]
  • euro (O. r. erubescens)[5] – Found covering most of the species' remaining range, this subspecies is variable, but mostly brownish, in colour.[4]
  • Barrow Island wallaroo (O. r. isabellinus) – This subspecies is restricted to Barrow Island in Western Australia, and is comparatively small. It is uniformly reddish-brown.[4]
  • O. r. woodwardi – This subspecies is found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and in a band roaming through Northern Territory. It is the palest subspecies and is a dull brown-grey colour.[4] Kunwinjku of western Arnhem Land call this subspecies ngabudj. They also have separate names for male and female, galkibard and wallaar, respectively. A big male is called ganduki.[6] This animal manages well in areas without permanent water and on a diet of nutrient-poor grasses, but it does need shelter.[7]

The eastern wallaroo (Osphranter robustus robustus)—which is grey in colour—occupies the eastern slopes of the Great Dividing Range and the euro (Osphranter robustus erubescens)—rufous in colour—occupies the 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 any time after giving birth, but the embryo does not 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.[8]

During the mating process, fighting occurs between males to attract a female. The fights normally do not end in one of the two wallaroos dying, but rather the two males will fight until one surrenders.[9]

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.[10] Male wallaroos are fully developed at around 18 to 20 months; females are fully developed at around 14 to 24 months.[8]

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 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.[9]

Status[edit]

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

Taxonomy[edit]

In 2019, a reassessment of macropod taxonomy determined that the species should be moved from the genus Macropus to the genus Osphranter.[11] This change was accepted by the Australian Faunal Directory in 2020.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Groves, C. P. (2005). "Order Diprotodontia". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M (eds.). 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. 2008: e.T40565A10334447. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T40565A10334447.en.
  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. ^ Goodfellow, D. (1993). Fauna of Kakadu and the Top End. Wakefield Press. p. 29. ISBN 1862543062.
  7. ^ Goodfellow, D. (1993). Fauna of Kakadu and the Top End. Wakefield Press. p. 29. ISBN 1862543062.
  8. ^ a b c "Common wallaroo videos, photos and facts - Macropus robustus". Arkive. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Macropus robustus (hill wallaroo)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Common Wallaroo Fact Sheet | racinezoo.org". www.racinezoo.org. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  11. ^ Celik, Mélina; Cascini, Manuela; Haouchar, Dalal; Van Der Burg, Chloe; Dodt, William; Evans, Alistair; Prentis, Peter; Bunce, Michael; Fruciano, Carmelo; Phillips, Matthew (28 March 2019). "A molecular and morphometric assessment of the systematics of the Macropus complex clarifies the tempo and mode of kangaroo evolution". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 186 (3): 793–812. doi:10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz005. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Names List for MACROPODIDAE, Australian Faunal Directory". Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Department of the Environment and Energy. 13 February 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.

External links[edit]