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Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Macropus giganteus

Class: Mammalia
Lifespan: Up to 20 years        
Diet: Herbivore      
Weight: Up to 90kg
Height: Up to 180cm
Speed: Up to 48km/h                            
Reproduction: Live birth
Status: Least concern

Eastern grey kangaroos are an iconic Australian species that can be found across most of the eastern states including Tasmania. They are primarily a grazing animal and can often be found in areas where grass is abundant, from open woodlands to grasslands. They are also commonly found around campsites and golf courses where food is plentiful.

Kangaroos are a crepuscular species, meaning they are most active early morning and late afternoon, and rest during the heat of the day. Eastern grey kangaroos are social animals and congregate in groups called mobs, that can range in size from around ten to over 100 kangaroos. Within the mob there will be multiple breeding females and younger males, with one dominant male who will have exclusive breeding access with the females. Dominance within the mob is established through fighting and sparring amongst the males.

Like all marsupials, female kangaroos give birth to underdeveloped young called joeys. The gestation period for an eastern grey kangaroo is around 34 days. At birth the joey is only about the size of a jellybean and hairless. It must climb into the pouch and attach itself to one of the mother’s teats, where it will remain and continue to develop for around 8 months before emergence.

The word kangaroo comes from the aboriginal Guugu Yimithirr people’s word for the grey kangaroo (gangurru).

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