There are red and gray kangaroos at Roo Valley! Kangaroos live in social groups called mobs. Males, called boomers, are twice the size of females, called flyers.
The red kangaroo is the world’s largest marsupial. A red kangaroo can reach speeds of over 35 miles an hour. Female red kangaroos are smaller, lighter, and faster than males. They also boast a blue-hued coat, so many Australians call them “blue fliers.” Red kangaroos live in Australia’s deserts and open grasslands, gathering in groups called mobs.
Length: 4 to 6 ft
Weight: 60 to 200 lbs
Lifespan: 10 to 20 yrs
Habitat: Grassland, bushland, and desert
Diet: Grass and leaves
Gray kangaroos roam Southern Australia. Both red and gray kangaroos can cover 25 feet in a single leap and to jump 6 feet high.
Length: 2 to 7 ft
Weight: 40 to 160 lbs
Lifespan: 10 to 20 yrs
Habitat: Forest, bushland, and grassland
Diet: Grass, bark and leaves
Range: Southern Australia
- Kangaroos possess powerful hind legs, a long, strong tail, and small front legs. Kangaroos belong to the animal family Macropus, literally “big foot.” Thanks to their large feet, kangaroos can leap some 30 feet in a single bound, and travel more than 30 miles per hour.
- Kangaroos use their strong tails for balance while jumping. They are the tallest of all marsupials, standing over 6 feet tall.
- Female kangaroos sport a pouch on their belly, made by a fold in the skin, to cradle baby kangaroos called joeys. Newborn joeys are just one inch long (2.5 centimeters) at birth, or about the size of a grape. After birth, joeys travel, unassisted, through their mom’s thick fur to the comfort and safety of the pouch. A newborn joey can’t suckle or swallow, so the kangaroo mom uses her muscles to pump milk down its throat. At around 4 months, the joey emerges from the pouch for short trips and to graze on grass and small shrubs. At 10 months, the joey is mature enough to leave the pouch for good.
- Besides humans and wild dogs called dingoes, kangaroos face few natural predators. Heat, drought, and hunger due to vanishing habitat are the biggest dangers kangaroos face.
- Generally, they are active at night and during periods of low light, but it is quite possible to find them out in the open in bright sunlight. During hot weather, kangaroos lick their forearms, which promotes heat loss by evaporation.
- With the removal of most of their natural predators, kangaroo populations have grown quite large. In fact, there are twice as many kangaroos as people in Australia—over 45 million. It’s not uncommon to see kangaroos grazing in pastures, yards, and golf courses
Did You Know?
These big-footed hoppers can cover more than 20 feet in a single bound and reach speeds up to 30 miles per hour, though they prefer to lay around during the heat of the day.