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Location, Habitat and Diet

The Red Kangaroo is found in a variety of habitats throughout Australia and New Zealand. It is found mostly in the dry, grassy plains of inner Australia, and even at times the desert areas. They may also on occasion be found near or in tropical forests but are generally not found in areas with more precipitation. The Red Kangaroo is an herbivore and eats grasses, leaves and other vegetation that is found near the ground. Much of its water needs will be satisfied by the water it obtains by eating vegetation.


Size and Description

The Red Kangaroo is the largest kangaroo as well as the largest marsupial alive. They measure 5 - 5.5 feet in length, and have a tail length of 3 - 3.5 feet. The male can weigh over 175 pounds. The color of the Red Kangaroo's coat varies from reddish-brown for males to bluish-gray for females. In some instances, depending on location, the coat colors can be reversed or similar for the sexes. The fur of the coat is short. They have two short forelimbs and two large hind legs that assist the Kangaroo in jumping long distances or heights. Using its legs the Red Kangaroo can jump over 8 feet high and over 20 feet long. The Kangaroo cannot walk and is limited to jumping or bounding for motion. The tail assists the Kangaroo in balancing while it jumps from place to place. The ears are large and likely help it keep cool.


Behaviors

Red Kangaroos will travel in groups called mobs. The mobs are relatively small and usually led by a single, older male. The rest of the mob may consist of several females and young kangaroos, called joeys. The mobs will travel to the areas of Australia and New Guinea where vegetation is more abundant. The Kangaroos will not generally graze during the heat of the day but rather they will find refuge in shade. They will then venture out to find food at night. Kangaroos will also engage in "boxing matches". During these matches they will stand on their hind legs and then attempt to hit or jab each other with their forearms. The Red Kangaroos will most often run if threatened, but they can defend themselves with their powerful hind legs if necessary.


Reproduction

The gestation or pregnancy period of the Red Kangaroo lasts between 6 and 7 weeks. They will most often give birth to one offspring, or joey. The baby Kangaroo is extremely small when it is born, being roughly the size of a bean. After the joey is born, it will crawl up the mother's fur to get inside of the pouch. Once the joey is inside the pouch, it will begin nursing. The joey will remain inside the pouch for about 6.5 - 7.5 months.


 
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    Classification
    Kingdom: Phylum: Class: Order: Family: Genus: Species: Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprodontia Macropodidae Macropus rufus
           
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