Wallaroos live usually up to 17 or 18 years of age. When there is a drought wallaroos will survive by digging holes in the ground of up to 1 meter, (3 feet), deep to find water. They are also somewhat like camels in the sense that they only lose about 2 to 4% of their body weight per day.
They are quiet animals who use foot thumpings to warn each other of danger. When annoyed, they hiss or cough.
A small baby, the size of a peanut, is born after 32 days gestation. This baby, called a joey, is born without fur and blind but still finds its way into its mother's pouch.
Reproduction often depends on lactation to nourish the underdeveloped young, which depends on the availability of food resources. The female gestates between 31 and 36 days, and once born, the young, which are only a few centimeters in length, find their way to the mother's pouch and attach themselves to a nipple. A young is attached to the nipple until approximately 4 months of age, during which time the mother may be carrying another embryo in the uterus in an "embryonic diapause" or halted state of development. After the young detach themselves from the nipple, they continue to live in the pouch, but the mother is able to give birth to the other baby, which has resumed uterine development. The female wallaroo is then able to support two different aged joeys in the pouch simultaneously.
The diet of the Eastern Wallaroo has been studied in sympatry with the Eastern Grey Kangaroo in two areas of improved and unimproved pasture in the New England Tablelands of NSW. Both species ate a high proportion of grass ranging from 77-97% in Eastern Wallaroos and 78-98% in Eastern Grey Kangaroos. In unimproved pasture, tussock grasses were favoured in winter when grass quantity and quality is generally low. Thus tussock grasses form a typical diet of Common Wallaroos even though the species of grass may vary across the wide geographic range of the species. In the case of the Eastern Wallaroo (and Eastern Grey Kangaroo) low-fibre grass leaf is the favoured diet and selection is not based on the nitrogen content of the available plants in common with other dietary studies of large kangaroos.
The common wallaroo is often solitary, occupying a relatively small, stable home range near to a rocky outcrop or water, and moving out of rough country to graze on grasses and shrubs in adjoining areas (2) (4) (10). Small groups sometimes form around favoured resources, but are usually quite loose in size and composition (2) (6). The common wallaroo is able to survive harsh conditions by using caves and rocky outcrops for shelter, and appears to be able to go for as much as two to three months without drinking, surviving solely on the water contained in food plants.
A scientific study in northern Australia found that the distribution and abundance of the species at broad scales was controlled by the availability of permanent water, frequency of late-season fires, geology and land management. At finer scales, habitat structure was important also.
The Common Wallaroo's habitat is varied but usually features steep escarpments, rocky hills or stony rises; places where caves, overhanging rocks and ledges provide shelter and relief from extreme heat in areas experiencing prolonged periods of high temperature. It leaves this shelter in the cool of the evening to graze, primarily upon grasses and shrubs, usually within a limited home range which may include lower slopes and surrounding plains. Well adapted to aridity, it can maintain itself and even breed successfully on pastures of low protein content and it can survive without frequent access to free water if it has access to refuges from solar radiation and to food plants of sufficient water content.
One of the interesting wallaroo facts is that these animals use their tail as a third leg, for support while sitting. In general, wallaroos have a particular posture with their wrists raised, shoulders thrown back and the elbows drawn close to the body.
A wallaroo is a large stocky member of the kangaroo family. The male wallroos range from 50-100 pounds, and females are usually 40-50 pounds. They are from two and a half to four foot long. They have shaggy fur that is thick, coarse, and usually dark gray or almost black. They are characterized by their bare, black snout.