Red Kangaroo

Red Kangaroo

Scientific Name:
Macropus rufus

Central Australia

Deserts and scrubland

Average Size:
Body Length: 38-73 inches
Body-Tail Length: 68-128 inches
Weight: 77-190 pounds

About 20 years

Population Status:

Wild: Grasses and some flowering plants
Zoo: Herbivore pellets, sweet potato, other fruits and vegetables, bread, hay and grass.

Gestation: 33 days
Litter size: One

Coat color is usually reddish brown in males and bluish gray in females, although these colors are reversed in some areas, with females being reddish and males blue-gray.

Predominantly humans, although joeys are known to be attacked by dingos and raptors.

Red Kangaroo_map

About the Animal: The Red Kangaroo is best known for its amazing jumping ability.  Kangaroos rarely jump higher than 9 feet, but when moving at their top speed of 30 mph, leaps can be more than 25 feet long.

Because their legs are so well adapted for leaping, the kangaroo’s hind legs do not move independently of one another.  They cannot walk, only hop.

Red Kangaroos thrive in the inhospitable scrub forest and deserts where temperatures can exceed 100° F.  During the day, they lounge in the shade to keep cool.  On very hot days, if shade is not enough to keep cool, kangaroos take ‘spit baths’ by drooling on their front legs and licking their bodies.

Mating and Reproduction: During breeding, males compete for access to females. These competitions, known as boxing matches, do not often result in injury.

Baby Kangaroos are born after only a 33 day gestation period. The newborn resembles a pink squirming jellybean with underdeveloped front limbs. It makes the arduous journey across the mother’s abdomen and enters the pouch, where it attaches to a nipple. The nipple swells in the newborns’ mouth, preventing it from becoming detached and dropping out the pouch. Females exhibit embryonic diapause (a pause in the development of the embyo) when there is a joey in the pouch. Once the joey leaves the pouch (at about 235 days old), the embryo resumes development. Female often have a newborn in the pouch and a joey that continues to nurse until about 1 year in age.

Amazing Information: In areas where food is plentiful, Red Kangaroos will gather in mobs of up to 1,500 members!