Macropus rufus

Description

The Red Kangaroo is a very large kangaroo with long, pointed ears and a squared-off muzzle. Males have short, red-brown fur, fading to pale below and on the limbs. Females are smaller than males and are blue-grey with a brown tinge. It has two forelimbs with small claws, two muscular hind-limbs, which are used for jumping, and a strong tail which is often used to create a tripod when standing upright.

Size

Weighs from 18 up to 90kg. Males are larger than females usually weighing around 65 kg and females rarely exceed 30 kg. Height ranges from 74cm to 2m tall.

Habitat

Found in open shrub lands, grasslands, mallee scrubs, mulga country and desert.

Food

Red Kangaroos eat green grass and herbage, feeding mainly at night. They can live for long periods without water, utilizing the moisture in their food.

Distribution

Red kangaroos are distributed throughout Australia, most commonly found inland.

Breeding

Red Kangaroo Females are sexually mature at about eighteen months, males at about two years. There is a single young (Joey), though a mother can nurse more than one Joey at a time.

Red Kangaroo Joeys remain in the pouch for 5-6 months. They emerge looking just like their parents just smaller. Over a period of 2-3 months they gradually spend more time away from the pouch, returning to its safety when they feel threatened. Joeys are usually weaned around 1 year of age, but will normally remain close to the mother for another 6 months.