The Red kangaroo animal largest living marsupial, the red kangaroo is found over much of Australia, with the highest numbers living in open savanna woodland. Its population varies greatly from year to year: when rainfall is high, numbers may reach as many as 12 million, falling to 5 million in times of drought. Females will conceive only if there has been enough rain to produce plenty of green vegetation. In a prolonged drought, the males no longer produce sperm. Red kangaroos use a highly developed sense of smell to detect water, and if it is scarce will migrate up to 200 km (125 miles) from their usual grazing grounds to find it.
They forage mainly at night, eating succulent grass shoots, herbs, and leaves. Groups frequently change composition and size. They may hold as many as 25 individuals but the average group size is 2 to 3, although 1,500 or so may gather at a water hole during a drought.
The dominant male of the group mates with several females. The red kangaroo is regarded as a pest in its native Australia, and is hunted for its meat and skin. Apart from humans and occasionally the wedge-tailed eagle, its only predator is the dingo.
Length: 0.7-1.4 m
Tail: 64-100 cm (25-39 in)
Weight: 17-92 kg (37-200 lb)
Social unit: Group
Status: Least concern
When playing or fighting among themselves, kangaroos may stand up and spar, but Kangaroos may stand up and a their normal defence is to deliver powerful kick.
IN FULL FLIGHT
Fleeing from danger the red kangaroo bounds on its hind legs. It can reach 50kPh (30MPH ) for short periods.
The dominant male of a group of red kangaroos will fight off any challenge for supremacy from other males. If one of a group spies a potential predator, it will warn the rest by stamping its foot or thumping its tail on the ground. The group will then flee, taking refuge in water if it can.
IN MOTHER’S POUCH
The young spends 1.5 to 8 months in the pouch, before making its first foray outside. It becomes independent when a year old.
Males, which may be more than double the weight of females, are usually orange-red, while females are blue- grey although coloration varies.
Red Kangaroo Animal Photos Gallery: