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Red Kangaroo image
Red Kangaroo

Red Kangaroo

(Mammal)

Red Kangaroo Baby
Red Kangaroo Baby

Red Kangaroo Habits

The red kangaroo is a grazing animal which inhabits Australia's arid interior region. The kangaroos are widespread and live together in groups, called mobs, of more than one hundred animals. The home range of the kangaroo is approximately 115 square miles. Each group of kangaroos contains at least one adult male. If there are several males in the group, the dominant male will lead the mob.
The red kangaroo has long been hunted by man for its meat and skin, first by the aborigines and then the settlers. Today, the red kangaroo is considered a pest by farmers, whose sheep and cattle must compete with it for the available grass. Where man has created water holes for grazing livestock, the kangaroos also take advantage of the supply. Because they can leap such great distances, farmers find it almost impossible to fence kangaroos out of their livestock grazing areas.

Red Kangaroo Communication

Although the communication styles of kangaroos are rather shrouded in mystery, what is certain is that these marsupials do indeed convey messages to each other and also to outsiders when necessary. Whether through loud foot stomping or protective growling, these pouched Australian creatures definitely know how to get their points across.
One of the most common ways kangaroos communicate is by stomping their hind legs noisily on the ground. If a kangaroo thumps his feet aggressively, then he's actually trying to help out fellow roos in his vicinity, alerting them to danger, such as an approaching predator like a wild dog or dingo. Aside from just foot stomping, kangaroos also often alert others to threats by making high-pitched barking noises.

Red Kangaroo Breeding

The dominant male in a mob has access to all females for mating. A female is fertile throughout the year, but she can time her breeding to coincide with the availability of food and water. Gestation is little more than a month. The young kangaroo is still quite undeveloped when born, but its forearms are strong enough for it to crawl into its mother's pouch.
Because she can breed continuously, a female kangaroo produces different kinds of milk to meet the nutritional needs of more than one offspring at a time. A joey that has left the pouch requires fat-rich milk for energy; its pouch-bound younger sibling gets more carbohydrates. In its mother's pouch the naked new-born joey takes hold of a nipple and remains attached to it for 70 days. By the time it leaves the pouch, it weighs about 7 pounds. A young kangaroo continues to feed from its mother until it is about a year old.

Red Kangaroo Food & Feeding

The red kangaroo feeds on grass and the foliage of low-growing shrubs. Kangaroos are usually found near water-courses--both natural and man-made-- where plant growth is more plentiful. Red kangaroos wander extensively over their home range. When rain falls on the desert areas, they gather to feed on plant seedlings that suddenly germinate. The red kangaroo can go for long periods without water if necessary.

Red Kangaroo Key Facts

        Size 
              Height: Head and body length, up to 5 ft. Tail, up to 3 ft.
              Weight: Males, up to 200 lb., but usually 120 lb. Females, 65lb.
       Breeding
             Sexual maturity: 18 months-2 years
             Mating: Year-round, but dependent on availability of food
             Gestation: 33 days. 6-11 months spent in the pouch
             Number of young: 1
       Lifestyle 
            Habit: Nocturnal. Lives in herds
            Diet: Grasses, shrubs, and leaves
            Lifespan: 12-18 years. Up to 25 years in captivity

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • A red kangaroo can travel up to 40 miles an hour. It can also jump more than 40 feet in a single leap.
  • Adult male kangaroos are called "boomers;" females are called "blue fliers".
  • At birth, a red kangaroo is no bigger than a human thumb, but a mature kangaroo can be taller than a man.
  • Wallabies belong to the same family as the kangaroo, and together there are over 50 different species.
  • Male kangaroos frequently battle it out with each other physically in attempts to elevate their mob positioning.

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