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Facts About Kangaroos – The Four Big Marsupials From Australia And More
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Animal Facts, Mammals, Wildlife

Facts About Kangaroos – The Four Big Marsupials From Australia And More

kangaroo facts

Boxing Red Kangaroos

Have you ever seen a kangaroo box? I was surprised to learn how powerful they are. It is quite a spectacle. Take a look at our video to see them box, and to learn some cool facts about kangaroos. You will be entertained.

There are MANY Kangaroo Species

So many kangaroos! Did you know there are 65 species of kangaroos? Yes, that many. And this family includes the wallabies, the wallaroos, the quokka, and the tree kangaroo. All 65 species belong to the family Macropodidae (Macropods). The term macropods literary means bigfoot. The term kangaroo, however, is typically used to refer to the four large species. These are the red kangaroo, the eastern gray kangaroo, the western gray kangaroo, and the antilopine kangaroo. The big four are Australian marsupials. Others can be found in Tasmania, other offshore islands, New Guinea, the islands east to the Bismarck Archipelago, and several species are found in New Zealand. Keep reading for more interesting facts about Red kangaroos.


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Facts About Red Kangaroos

  1. The Red Kangaroo is not only the largest kangaroo, but it is also the largest marsupial, and the largest mammal native to Australia.
  2. Red Kangaroos can be distinguished from other species of kangaroos by the black and white patches on their cheeks and the broad white stripe that extends from the corner of their mouth to their ear.
  3. They have small heads, square noses, and long pointed ears.
  4. Due to the advantageous position of their eyes, the range of vision of the red kangaroo is approximately 300 degrees.
  5. They have soft velvety fur. Usually, male red kangaroos are reddish-brown and females are blue-gray. Australians call the females “blue fliers”, and they call the males “boomers.”
  6. The red kangaroo mostly inhabits the dry and inland areas of central Australia. There is very little rainfall in this area. It is mainly open grassland, shrubland, and deserts. They prefer open habitats with scattered trees for taking shelter during hot sunny days.
  7. They vary in size but can be anywhere between 3-8 feet tall and weigh between 40 and 200 pounds.  A male may reach a head and body length of 5 feet have a tail of 3.3 feet long, and stand at 6.6 feet tall. Males can weigh 200 pounds. Females are much smaller. Sometimes half the male’s size.
  8. They have very powerful muscular hind legs, large feet, and a large muscular tail that they use to balance. And two front legs with claws.
  9. It is the only large animal to use hopping as its primary means of locomotion.
  10. They have phenomenal leaping power! A male kangaroo can cover a distance of 30 feet in a single leap and can jump as high as 10 feet. It can reach speeds of up to 40 mph. The females are faster than males. That explains why Australians call them the “blue fliers.” Because of their speed and color.
  11. Male Kangaroos fight with other males. They box by balancing on their tails and use all four legs to punch and kick. They also use all four legs and claws to battle their number one enemy, the Dingos.
  12. Red Kangaroos are primarily plant-eaters. Their diet consists mostly of green grasses and a few flowering plants. They also eat shrubs during the dry season. And they are able to live without drinking water for long periods of time as they get enough water from the plants they eat.
  13. The red kangaroo is nocturnal and spends the day sleeping or resting in the shade. It is active during the evening and at dawn when it is cool.
  14. They are marsupials and as such the mother carries the young in a pouch. A female kangaroo usually has one young, called a Joey, each year.  The Joey is born very small after about a month of gestation and it immediately crawls into a pouch on the mother’s stomach where it continues to develop. When they are born they are the size of a grape or cherry.  The Joey remains in the pouch for several weeks and feeds on its mother’s milk as it grows. At about 4 months, the Joey starts coming in and out of the pouch, it learns to hop out and look for food. When it is 7 to 10 months old, the Joey is ready to leave the pouch for good.
  15. Kangaroos are rarely found alone. They like to travel in groups that are known as “mobs.”

Super Cool Kangaroo Fact {Ancient Kangaroos}

Scientists discovered ancient fossils of a Giant Kangaroo in Australia. Much bigger than the red kangaroo. They also found fossils of a tiny kangaroo with fangs. Scientists are studying these findings to uncover clues about them, what they were like, and why they disappeared.


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Kangaroos Conservation Status

Red Kangaroos are listed in the IUCN Red List as Least Concern with a stable population. Most species of kangaroos are in the wild and thriving, however, there are about sixteen species that are considered threatened, vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. In recent years, two kangaroo species – the desert rat-kangaroo, and the Nullarbor Dwarf Bettong – have gone completely extinct. Aside from Dingos, the greatest threat to the kangaroo population is humans, which is good news because it means a lot can be done to control the killing of the species through protection laws and education programs.

Read our post on other Australian Marsupials – the cuddly Koala Bears!


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