Red kangaroos are one of the largest species of marsupial. The Red Kangaroo is approximately 5 feet long and has a tail that is about 42 inches long. This tail is used as a balance mechanism. Red Kangaroos can’t walk and are limited to hopping as a means of locomotion. However, they are able to jump 29 feet in distance and 6 feet in height.
For short periods they can attain a speed of 35 mph. They can maintain a speed of 12 mph for hours. The male Red Kangaroo is usually a reddish color and the female is bluish-gray. However this is not always the case. Kangaroos have long, strong hind legs and short, weaker forelimbs.
Red kangaroos survive on grass and other vegetation. They are also able to go for long periods without water as long as they have access to green plants. They are able to draw enough moisture out of their food to survive.
Red kangaroos are found throughout Australia. Primarily they are found in the dry grassy plains and stay away from the wetter grasslands.
The primary predators of the Red Kangaroo are the dingo and man. Sheep farmers will often shoot kangaroos on sight because they graze on the same land their sheep do. At one time, the Tasmanian Devil was a predator of the kangaroo. However, while not yet extinct, the Tasmanian Devil is so scarce that it is no longer a concern.
Red kangaroos travel in groups called mobs. They tend to be semi-nomadic and are led by an older male. When threatened, kangaroos will usually flee although they will fight when necessary. Red kangaroos generally rest during the midday and eat at night.
Birth & Offspring
Young kangaroos are born partially developed after 30-40 days. They are born hairless and blind and, immediately after birth, they crawl up the outside of the mother kangaroo to the pouch. Once there they start eating.
While in the pouch, for the next 225 days or so, they eat, sleep, and develop the rest of the way. Once they reach full development they can leave the pouch. A young kangaroo that can leave the pouch is called a joey.
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.