Kangaroo FAQ | Everything you need to know about Kangaro

The four species commonly referred to as kangaroos are: the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), the eastern gray kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), the western gray kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) and the antilopine kangaroo (Macropus antilopinus)

Size and Weight: The kangaroo can reach a height of 3 to 8 feet (1 to 3 meters) and weigh 40 to 200 pounds (18-100 kg)

The eastern gray kangaroo is the heaviest marsupial in the world, and the red kangaroo is the largest

It is the only large animal that jumps as its main means of locomotion

A male kangaroo can jump nearly 30 feet long and up to 10 feet high

Diet: The kangaroo is a herbivore, although its diet varies from species to species

The species also has highly specialized teeth

Its incisors are able to cut grass and shrubs very close to the ground, and its molars are used to chop up vegetation

The species has an unusual feeding practice

The kangaroo regurgitates the grass and bushes it has already eaten and chews them once more before swallowing them for final digestion

A kangaroo can survive for long periods without drinking water – hydrated by the moisture in the vegetation it consumes

Geography: The kangaroo is endemic to Australia

This species is also found in Tasmania and nearby islands

Other marsupials can be found in parts of Asia and the Americas, though the Australian continent is by far the most abundant, both in terms of species and population numbers

This species is very adaptable and can live successfully in many different habitats

Breeding and Social Structure: The species often lives in large groups called mobs

These mobs can vary from small groups to over a hundred kangaroos

The kangaroo is a very social species and often touches its nose or smells to build group cohesion

Boxing between males in a group is used to establish dominance

The dominant male leads the crowd and has exclusive access to the females for mating

A baby kangaroo is born only after about a month of gestation

Like all marsupials, the female kangaroo has a pouch, called a marsupial

Immediately after birth, the newborn baby – who is born hairless, blind and less than an inch long – crawls into the sack where he suckles and continues to develop

The young kangaroo stays in the pouch from 120 to 400 days, depending on the species

Females produce two different types of milk, one for newborns and one for more mature kittens

During periods of drought, the female kangaroo loses its ability to conceive

As the necessary resources are made available to the population again, the female regains her ability to have offspring

Under good conditions, the female gives birth every year

Threats: Mainly humans who hunt this species for meat and leather

The family name Macropodidae is derived from macropods, meaning “big or big feet”

The word kangaroo comes from the indigenous Guugu Yimithirr word for gray kangaroo (gangurru)

A long-standing myth says that the kangaroo’s name actually comes from a misunderstanding between Cook and the natives

When Cook asked the locals for the name of the species, they responded with “kangaroo” – supposedly translating it to “I don’t know” However, that was not the case

A male kangaroo is called a goat, boomer, or jack, and a female is referred to as a doe, flyer, or jill

A group of kangaroos (usually ten or more roo) is known as a mob, troop, or court

Like a cat, a kangaroo twitches its ears to pick up sounds

Kangaroos are good swimmers

Scroll to Top