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Red Kangaroo

Macropus rufus

Class: Mammalia
Lifespan: Up to 22 years        
Diet: Herbivore      
Weight: Up to 90kg
Height: Up to 180cm
Speed: Up to 64km/h                            
Reproduction: Live birth
Status: Least concern

With males reaching a height of up to 2m, the red kangaroo is the largest living marsupial and the largest terrestrial mammal in Australia. Red kangaroos can be found throughout the arid and semi-arid regions of mainland Australia.

As herbivores, red kangaroos feed mostly on grasses, but will also eat shoots and leaves from shrubs. As an arid dwelling species, red kangaroos have the ability to go long periods of time without drinking water and can get all the moisture they need from their food if needed.

Kangaroos are able to breed year-round, however, most breeding takes place around spring and summer when food is more readily available. Reproduction is highly dependent on food supply and female kangaroos have the ability to delay their pregnancies in a process known as embryonic diapause if conditions are not suitable. Female red kangaroos have a gestation period of around 33 days and give birth to under-developed young called a joey, which is about the size of a jellybean. The joey immediately climbs into the mother’s pouch where they will remain for around 8 months before emerging again as a fully-furred, developed young kangaroo.