Fun Black-footed Rock-wallaby Facts For Kids

Shivangi Pandey
Feb 20, 2024 By Shivangi Pandey
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Black-Footed Rock-Wallaby Fact File
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.3 Min

The timid black-flanked rock-wallaby, a tiny and very nimble mammal that dashes among rocky outcrops and caves in central and western Australia, is a sight to behold. It only comes out at dusk to eat grass, leaves, bark, and fruits. But it's a wonderful sight on bright winter days when this magnificent creature can be seen soaking up the sun's rays. These beautiful wallabies are extremely nimble, with cushioned paws and a long tail for balance, allowing them to move quickly and easily across uneven terrain. These animals are well adapted to live amid the rocky outcrops and caves of South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory. The rock-wallabies are the most varied genus of extant macropods, with 16 species ranging in size from 2.2-26.4 lb (1-12 kg). They can be found on mainland Australia and several newly split offshore islands, but not in the Bass Strait Islands, Tasmania, or New Guinea. The species diverged from a common ancestor around 4 million years ago, and its nearest relatives are the Tree-kangaroos. Species diversification happened in two phases. The short-eared rock-wallaby, monjon, narbelek, yellow-footed rock-wallaby, and Proserpine rock-wallaby are all related to the original. You might like to read our red kangaroo and wallaby facts.

Black-Footed Rock-Wallaby Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black-footed rock-wallaby?

It is a tiny to medium-sized macropod that may be found in Australia and New Guinea.

What class of animal does a black-footed rock-wallaby belong to?

It belongs to the class Mammalia and Petrogale genus.

How many black-footed rock-wallabies are there in the world?

The number and size of P. lateralis populations have never been precisely quantified, although their range is presently thought to be shrinking. Previous explorers' and indigenous people's reports have revealed that huge populations of P. lateralis formerly existed in numerous locations where none are now found. Some speculate that their loss is due to competition from other herbivores, changes in fire patterns after indigenous people abandoned particular areas, or increasing predation by imported predators such as the fox. In 2006, the Recherche Archipelago subspecies was designated as a vulnerable species. In 2007, the South Australian State Government stated that there were just 50 animals surviving in the wild.

Where does a black-footed rock-wallaby live?

All rock-wallabies range in rocky outcrops and elevations, hills and valleys, or boulder piles and escarpments, and are found mostly in the wet-dry tropics. Although the Petrogale lateralis is commonly referred to as the West Australian rock-wallaby (black), its range is definitely not limited to this area. Populations of P. lateralis may be found in northern South Australia habitats, the northern sections of the Northern Territory, and Western Australia habitats. Australia has the world's highest mammal extinction rate in any country.

What is a black-footed rock-wallaby's habitat?

Like other rock wallabies, members of this species are adapted to dwell on rock heaps, cliffs, and rocky slopes. Their extremely developed feet let them move quickly and safely over rough terrain. The black-footed rock-wallaby habitat is generally near caves or cliffs for cover, and they are frequently introduced in highly dry habitats where water is limited.

Who do black-footed rock-wallabies live with?

Petrogale lateralis lives in groups of tens to hundreds of individuals. They are mostly passive during the warmest hours of the day, but they do bask in the sun to warm themselves in the morning after a chilly evening, and sometimes in the early evening as well.

How long does a black-footed rock-wallaby live?

Breeding begins at 18 months of age, and the life span can be up to 12 years.

How do they reproduce?

The P. lateralis reproduction has very limited information; the following summary is based largely on other wallaby species. All rock-wallaby species reproduce incessantly. Petrogalespecies have a 30-day gestation period and an oestrus cycle. Newborn rock wallabies, like other marsupials, are relatively immature and nurse within their mother's pouch. Young rock wallabies that have left the pouch but have not yet been weaned, unlike other kangaroos and wallabies, are frequently left in a sheltered area while their mother goes off to feed. This might be due to the perilous environment in which the rock wallabies reside.

What is their conservation status?

Predation by foxes and feral cats, habitat loss, and the increasing competition for food and shelter have resulted in numerous local population extinctions, and the distribution of the rock-wallaby has been significantly threatened and is in need of conservation. Some work is being done to protect them. The remaining populations are typically tiny, isolated, and endangered. There are 16 species of rock wallabies that are threatened with extinction. One such threatened species is the black-flanked rock-wallaby.

Black-Footed Rock-Wallaby Fun Facts

What do black-footed rock-wallabies look like?

P lateralis' hind feet are robust and cushioned, with granulated soles that offer grip on rough terrain. In addition, unlike other macropods, the claw of the fourth toe of the rock wallaby extends just marginally (if at all) past the big toe pad. The Petrogale lateralis has a gray-brown coat that is thick and silky. It has a dark and gray face with a dark stripe from the spine to its head. They have a dark tail and feet. The body stripe and size of P. lateralis subspecies vary in Australia. It has short, dense, fluffy fur that is especially thick at the base of the tail, the rump, and the flanks.

The black-footed rock-wallaby has a gray face.

How cute are they?

Baby wallabies, also known as joeys, are really charming and lovely. They are vulnerable, undeveloped animals who jump into their mother's pouch for safety. Wallabies are sociable animals that require simply food for survival. They get along well with humans but cannot be petted since they are nocturnal.

How do they communicate?

Wallabies have undeveloped voice chords, thus they are quieter species. They communicate by pounding their feet on the ground, hissing, grunting, snarling, and remaining motionless. They interact by olfactory cues as well. Communication is employed in wallabies to warn other members of a predator, the availability of a food source, or to frighten away other male members.

How big is a black-footed rock-wallaby?

The black-flanked rock wallaby is a medium-sized macropod found in Australia. The tail 22 in (56 cm) is longer than the head-body 19.2 in (49 cm) like in other rock wallabies.

How fast can a black-footed rock-wallaby run?

Wallabies are pouched jumping marsupials related to the kangaroo and wallaroo families. They are spotted running at an average speed of 16 mph (25.7 kph), with a top speed of 20 mph (32.1 kph). They can also jump 9.8 ft (3 m) in the air. They hop to move about. When you compare the running speeds of a kangaroo with a wallaby, you will notice that they are not as quick as a kangaroo but have excellent evasion abilities.

How much does a black-footed rock-wallaby weigh?

Rock wallabies may reach weights of up to 20 lb (9 kg). The weight of a black-flanked rock-wallaby is between 6.83-15.42 lb (3.1-7 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The black-footed rock-wallaby male is known as a buck, boomer, or jack, whilst the black-footed rock-wallaby female is known as a doe, flyer, or jill. They're found on Australian islands.

What would you call a baby black-footed rock-wallaby?

Newborn wallaby species are referred to as joeys, which is a popular name for marsupial infants. Joeys do not leave their mother until they have reached complete development. Even if they have crawled out of their mother's sac, young joeys can leap back into it for safety if they are presented with a threat.

What do they eat?

The black-footed rock-wallaby diet includes grasses and plants. They mostly feed during early mornings and late afternoons to avoid the heat of the day. Petrogale laterali species do not require a lot of water to exist and can occasionally be found in regions where there is no permanent water supply. During the warmest hours of the day, this animal takes refuge in caverns to reduce water loss.

Are they dangerous?

No, they are not dangerous. Instead, they are very shy animals.

Would they make a good pet?

It is recommended that wallabies not be kept as pets instead that they be left with their groups in the wild. 

Did you know...

Despite the fact that these rock-wallabies couples for life, the females will mate with various males.

The lengthy tail aids in the animal's balance when jumping across boulders.

The rock-wallaby animal is also capable of climbing trees with sloping trunks.

Is the black-footed rock-wallaby endangered?

One such endangered species is the black-flanked rock-wallaby. This animal ranges in most of Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory. Clearing of its habitat, ranges, changes in fire pattern status, and, most devastatingly, imported foxes and cats all endanger its survival status. It is now only found in small isolated populations within its historical animal range.

Why is it also called warru or black-flanked rock-wallaby?

One reason for the name wallaby can be that they are unable to walk. The black-flanked rock wallaby is another name for the black-footed rock wallaby. This is due to a black stripe that runs from just below the shoulders to between the ears.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these paca facts and nutria facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable black footed rock wallaby coloring pages.

Black-Footed Rock-Wallaby Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Do not prey

What Type of Animal were they?

Grasses, shrubs, herbs

Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

6.83-15.42 lb (3.1-7 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

rocky outcrops, hills, valleys

Where Do They Live?

central australia and new guinea

How Long Were They?


How Tall Were They?

19.6 in (50 cm)







Scientific Name

Petrogale lateralis

What Do They Look Like?

Brown and beige

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

humans, habitat loss, predators, land clearing

What is their Conservation Status?

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Written by Shivangi Pandey

Bachelor of Fashion Technology specializing in Fashion Merchandising

Shivangi Pandey picture

Shivangi PandeyBachelor of Fashion Technology specializing in Fashion Merchandising

Shivangi is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Fashion Technology from the National Institute of Fashion Technology. She has a strong passion for the English language and communication, with a keen interest in fashion blogging. Shivangi's educational background and interests complement her ability to create engaging and informative content for readers.

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