Rock-wallaby is no marsupial klipspringer


rock wallaby

Petrogale xanthopus photo © Peripitus 


Oreotragus oreotragus photo © Neil Strickland



The yellow-footed rock-wallaby and the Cape klipspringer are herbivores of similar body mass in habitats that are virtually identical in climate and topography – yet they show far more biological differences than similarities. This ostensible failure of the principle of evolutionary convergence can be explained by their incomparably different faunal contexts: rock-wallabies have boulders and cliffs virtually to themselves, whereas klipspringers compete with diverse herbivores and evade agile carnivores.
Robin and the Honey Badger, 8 January 2017