Kangaroos travel in groups with a dominant male leading. These groups are called “mobs”. Males are called bucks, jacks, and boomers; females are called does, flyers, or jills. Young kangaroos are referred to as joey’s. Note: Jack and Jill went out to the outback.
Size varies, however the kangaroos are typically anywhere from 3 to 6 feet tall, or 1 to 2 meters tall. Most kangaroos weigh anywhere from 50 to 120 lbs, or 22-54 kg.
Kangaroos are herbivores, eating grass, flowers, and shrubs. The plants the kangaroo eats allows them to survive when water is a shortage. Because the kangaroo eats so much grass, it wears down their teeth. The tooth will eventually fall out and they will grow a new one!
The kangaroo sleeps on the ground during the day, usually in a shaded area.
Red kangaroos tend to live in dry regions of Australia and the islands surrounding Australia. Other kinds of kangaroos will live where there is more moisture. Some even live in trees.
Predators and Survival
The kangaroo is prey to dingoes, foxes, the Tasmanian devil, and humans. Smaller kangaroos sometimes are eaten by eagles or reptiles. The kangaroo tends to either swim away or jump away, rather than fighting the animal. Thankfully, they can detect a predator approaching through its excellent sense of hearing and smell. Other threats to the red kangaroo is habitat loss and climate change, according to World Wildlife Fund. The kangaroo struggles to find food, because there are many other herbivores that eat similar plants in the same area .
Red Kangaroos can live up to 20 years in the wild.
The most dominant male in the mob gets to pick what female he wants to mate with first, and then the second dominant male, and so on. If the female decides she does not want to mate with the male, she will leave the mob area and find a different dominant male. The kangaroo is pregnant with the joey for about a month, finds its way to the mother’s pouch, and remains inside for anytime from 120 to 450 days! The kangaroo can also produce two different kinds of milk for the joey or the newborn in her pouch at the same time.
Species Survival Status
The World Wildlife Fund lists the Red Kangaroo as “Least Concern” on the endangerment scale.
Fast Fun Facts
- The Red Kangaroo is named for the color of its fur. The reason the fur is red is because the kangaroos’ glands secrete a red oil.
- The kangaroo can survive without water for 2-3 months.
- A female kangaroo can carry a joey, a newborn, and a fertilized egg all at the same time!
- An Australian soup is made using kangaroo tail.
- Kangaroos are the only mammal that locomote by jumping.
- There are no physical signs a female kangaroo is pregnant.
- A kangaroo can jump 16 feet, or nearly 5 meters, at a time.