I stood quiet and said nothing. I wondered if everybody around me could tell my entire mind was turning circles – everything I previously thought seemed to be wrong. How could this be? I have had an image in my mind my entire life and all of sudden I am finding out I am mistaken? Never to my knowledge have I misidentified a kangaroo until right then.
Before moving to Australia when it came to identifying kangaroos, I would have placed myself in a top percentile of people able to do this fairly confidently. First off, I knew their country of origin was Australia, (and bonus points – I could find Australia on a map), I knew that they hopped, they are both a mammal and a marsupial, they have a pouch, their front legs are shorter than their back legs and that their babies are called joeys. I thought I was doing pretty good.
For us, as we drove more than 40,000 kilometers or 24,854 miles around Australia, we set out to see for ourselves, what, exactly is the difference between kangaroos, pademelons, wallabies, wallaroo’s and whole bunch of other animals. Here is a selection of some of the mammals that either are, or at least look like a kangaroo.
We were enjoying the antics of the two Eastern Grey Kangaroos above when all of a sudden we hear this splashing and caught this one coming to join them. He just splashed threw the water with so much ease and once it got too deep he swam across the channel splashing his way up the sand bank on the other side.
Having a look through piles of sea weed on the beach, this is the Western Grey Kangaroo. Although superficially similar to the Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Western Grey Kangaroos usually have thicker coats and are darker brown in colour.
Looking out across a field at a wallaby and learning I was incorrect in thinking it was a kangaroo is why I love to travel. Before Australia I didn’t even know some of these amazingly unique animals existed, and now they have become apart my of world. Just as much as travel makes my world larger, it also makes it smaller. I constantly realize how little I know and how much greatness there is. I live to be shown this over and over again. Now, after all these new animals we have seen and experienced, I still feel similar to as I did at the beginning of this story. I would say, rather confidently, that I could identify a kangaroo.