Wallabies are an animal associated with Australia but there are also small colonies of them across England and the outer islands of Scotland. This group of Red-necked wallabies live in Ashdown Forrest, just outside of Sussex, England.
Hi! Do you know how it's possible to tell the difference between a kangaroo and a wallaby skull apart from the size? Are there shape differences? Teeth? Bulkiness? Thank you in advance!! :-)
Sadly I haven’t had a change to work with many kangaroo or wallaby skulls but I do have one of each that might help show a few ways to tell them apart. My skulls are from an adolescent Red Kangaroo and an unknown but most likely Bennett’s aka Red-Necked Wallaby so I will focus on comparing those two species here.
Wallabies have a slightly more elongated shape than kangaroos. Their eye sockets are ever so slight more oval-shaped while kangaroos have more rounded eye sockets and also sometimes a higher, more pronounced brow when viewed in profile. Their snouts also present a different profile. Wallabies have a slighter curve and kangaroos have a more swooping dish.
Kangaroos have a shorter and thicker squamosal arm of the zygomatic arch than wallabies, which are again a little more elongated. And I’m not sure how accurate a tell this is but every Bennett’s
wallaby skull I’ve seen has a small area of slightly porous bone around
the upper edge of the squamosal arm of the zygomatic arch while all of the Red Kangaroo skulls I’ve seen do not. So that
might be helpful too!
Here it is on the wallaby skull.
And here’s the kangaroo, all smooth bone.
Also, kangaroos and wallabies can have anywhere from 22 to 50 teeth so count how many teeth your skull has (and take into consideration any unerupted teeth if it is a skull from a juvenile animal; my kangaroo there still has all of his rear molars yet to come in) and do a little research to see how many teeth certain species have to help narrow your ID down.
Hopefully those pics will help out a bit! Feel free to ask if you have any other questions and I’ll do my best to answer them!