Red Kangaroo

Scientific Name

Macropus rufus



IUCN Redlist Status

Least Concern


The Red Kangaroo is found in a variety of habitats throughout Australia and New Zealand.


They are found mostly in the dry, grassy plains of inner Australia, and even at times the desert areas. They are sometimes found near or in tropical forests, but are not usually found in areas that have high precipitation.


They are herbivores 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.


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. They cannot walk and are limited to jumping or bounding for motion. Their tails help them balance while they jump from place to place. They have large ears which help keep them cool and listen for danger.


Red Kangaroos travel in groups called mobs. 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. These mobs will travel to areas of Australia and New Guinea where vegetation is more abundant. The Kangaroos do not typically graze during the heat of the day, but instead find refuge in shade. They venture out at night to find food.

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. They will often run if threatened, but they can defend themselves with their powerful hind legs if necessary.


The gestation 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.

Kangaroos are marsupials. This means that, after a joey is born, it crawls up the mother's fur to get inside of her pouch. Once the joey is inside the mother's pouch, it will begin nursing. The joey will remain inside the pouch for about 6.5 - 7.5 months.