6 Red Kangaroo Fun Facts
If you are short on time, here are 6 mind-blowing red kangaroo facts for you.
- Red kangaroos are the largest kangaroos of the four kangaroo species.
- Australians call female red kangaroos ‘blue fliers’ because they have blue-tinged fur.
- The hindlimbs of red kangaroo work like a rubber band! It stretches when the animal bends, and it releases energy to push the animal up.
- A female red kangaroo stays pregnant almost forever!
- Kangaroo industry contributes A$270 million each year.
- It can run over 35 miles an hour, can jump for more than 9 meters in a single leap!
Australia is famous for kangaroos, and red kangaroo is the national animal of Australia. These powerful animals are found almost everywhere in Australia. Today let us learn about the mighty red kangaroos. Without wasting time, let’s begin red kangaroo facts.
Species: M. rufus
Red Kangaroo Facts 1-7
1. The scientific name of red kangaroos is Macropus rufus. Macropus means ‘big foot’, and rufus means ‘red.’ They belong to the marsupial family.
2. Did you know red kangaroo is the largest of all the kangaroos? It is also the largest land mammal endemic to Australia. It is also the largest extant marsupial in the entire world.
3. It has long and pointed ears and square-shaped snout or muzzle.
4. Male red kangaroos are around 1.3 to 1.6 meters tall. If the tail is included, males are 2.5 to 2.9 meters tall.
5. Females are smaller than males. They usually are around 85 to 105 centimeters in length (without tail), and the tail is around 65 to 85 centimeters.
6. The weight of a male red kangaroo is 55 to 90 kilograms, and females weigh 18 to 40 kilograms.
7. An average red kangaroo is around 1.5 meters tall. Large and mature males can be around 1.8 meters tall. The largest red kangaroo confirmed weighed 91 kilograms and was 2.1 meters tall.
Red Kangaroo Facts 8-14
8. A red kangaroo has two forelimbs and two muscular hindlimbs. Forelimbs have small but sharp claws. Hindlimbs help in locomotion (jumping).
9. The tail of kangaroos, in general, is powerful. It supports the kangaroo as a third leg when it is in an upright position.
10. The legs of red kangaroo work like a rubber band. The Achilles tendon stretches when the animal comes down, and then it releases the energy to push the animal up. This is how the animal bounces/jumps and moves from one place to another.
11. Male red kangaroo has red-brown fur on the body, and the fur fades from red to pale on its limbs. Female red kangaroo has blue-grey fur with a light shade of brown. Australians call them ‘blue fliers.’ They are faster, lighter, and smaller than males.
12. It maintains its internal temperature of 36 degrees Celsius. It maintains an internal temperature by adapting various behaviors like having an insulating layer of fur, panting, sweating, staying in the shade when the temperatures are high, licking its forelimbs, etc.
13. It is present throughout the central and western parts of Australia. Its range includes deserts, grasslands, and scrubland.
14. It mostly prefers open land with some trees for shade. It can conserve water and gets water from the succulent vegetation that it eats.
Red Kangaroo Facts 15-21
15. Its kidneys concentrate urine to save more water, especially during the summer months.
16. Red kangaroos are herbivores. However, it mostly prefers grasses. 75 to 95% of its diet is grass. 54% of that includes Eragrostis setifolia, a grass that stays green even in a dry period.
17. It stays active during dawn, dusk, and at night. It rests during the day under the shade of trees.
18. It stays well within its home range, and it is mostly sedentary, just like other kangaroos.
19. Grazing takes up most of its time. It is an adept swimmer.
21. It also disperses to far off places to find fresh vegetation after rains.
Red Kangaroo Facts 21-28
22. It lives in a group or mob of 2 to 4. Female and its young joeys are the most common groups made.
23. In a densely populated area, large groups are seen. The groups are pretty social and flexible. Males (boomers) fight only when it comes to mate with the females (flyers).
24. The fighting of males is called boxing. The two males usually stand upright and try to push the opponent by locking their forelimbs. If it gets more aggressive between the kangaroos, they start kicking each other.
25. The tail supports the body when a male red kangaroo kicks its opponent.
26. Young males tend to involve in fighting, and it is more of wrestling than kicking in red kangaroos when compared to other kangaroo species.
27. Alpha male mates with almost every female in the group. If overthrown, it moves away and avoids contact with others and lives alone.
28. It can breed all around the year. The female can pause the pregnancy and delay the conception till the joey (produced from the previous mating) leaves the pouch. The delaying of the conception is called embryonic diapause.
Red Kangaroo Facts 29-35
29. The mating lasts for about 25-30 minutes. The baby is born 33 days after the copulation. Most of the time, only one baby is born at a given time.
30. The baby is hairless, blind, and is just a few centimeters long. It uses its forelimbs to get into the pouch of its mother. As the baby gets into the pouch, it starts drinking milk by suckling.
31. The next reproductive cycle of the female/mother kangaroo starts immediately.
32. The baby comes out of the pouch after 190 days and is called a joey. The joey doesn’t leave the pouch altogether. It goes out and spends some time and again gets back into the pouch.
33. After 235 days (from the day the baby entered the pouch), it leaves the pouch permanently. However, it keeps suckling until they reach 12 months or 365 days.
34. A female red kangaroo sexually matures at the age of 18 months or five years (if it is drought throughout the four years). On average, a female sexually matures at the age of 2.5 years. Males attain sexual maturity when they turn 2 years.
35. It sounds funny, but a female red kangaroo is forever pregnant except for the day when she gives birth.
Red Kangaroo Facts 36-42
36. Incredibly, a female can raise three joeys at once – one at feet suckling teats, other in the pouch, and the third one in the womb developing.
37. A female is sometimes seen to adopt other females’ joeys. This behavior is called alloparental care and is seen in many other animals.
38. Except for humans, it doesn’t have a natural predator. Extinct natural predators were the marsupial lion, wonambi, and Megalania. Eagles and dingoes kill joeys.
39. The lifespan of a red kangaroo is 23 years.
40. It can run at a speed of more than 35 miles an hour. It can cover 25 miles in a single leap and can jump 6 feet high! It can turn its ears 180 degrees.
41. Kangaroos are eaten, and their skin is used to make different leather products. Its meat and hide industry produces A$270 million every year.
42. It is listed as Least Concern in the IUCN. Its population is around 5.8 million as of 2017.