The Red Kangaroo is the largest of all the Kangaroos. They live throughout much of the country of Australia and are the largest mammal that lives in Australia. Its scientific name is Macropus rufus.
How big do they get?
The males are much larger than the females. They can grow to almost 10 feet long and weigh 200 pounds. The females grow to less than 4 feet long and around 80 pounds. Males generally stand around 5 feet tall, but some have grown to stand around 6 ½ feet tall.
They get their name from the color of the male's fur which is a reddish brown. Females are generally more of a brownish grey. They have short skinny arms, but much more powerful legs that they use for jumping. They also have a long and strong tail which helps them to balance on their hind legs.
Author: Tim Vickers, PD
How far can Kangaroos jump?
A male Red Kangaroo can jump up to 30 feet in one jump! They can also use their jumping ability to travel quickly at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
What do they eat?
Kangaroos are herbivores. They mostly graze on grasses. Since they live mostly in arid dry places, they can go without water for long periods of time.
What is a marsupial?
A marsupial is a type of animal that gives birth to a baby very early. After birth the baby lives in a pouch next to the mother while it continues to develop. Kangaroos are marsupials. The babies are called joeys and they are very tiny, only an inch or so long, when they are first born. After they are born, joeys will live in the mother's pouch for around 8 months.
Do they really box?
Male kangaroos will sometimes fight. When they fight it looks like they are boxing. They will push each other with their forearms at first. Then, if the fight gets serious, they will start to kick each other with their powerful legs. They can support themselves with their tail while delivering strong kicks.
Author: Jenny Smits, PD
Fun facts about Kangaroos
Males are called boomers and females are called flyers.
Kangaroos live in groups called mobs.
They have a short lifespan in the wild of only around 8 years.
Kangaroos are often killed for their meat and their skin which is made into leather.
Red Kangaroos are not endangered and have a conservation status of "least concern".
They are really good swimmers, but they cannot walk backwards.
They will thump their feet loudly on the ground to warn each other of danger.