Red kangaroo

(Macropus rufus)

Red kangaroos are not only the largest species of kangaroo, they are even the largest marsupial species. They live in the outback of Australia, where they can pass through long distances with ease thanks to their enormously wide and high jumping motions, searching for their vegetarian nourishment and even going head to head with an opponent in a boxing match!



Steppes and scrublands

Grasses, herbs, leaves, bark

Approx. 10–20 million

1.30 to 1.40 m, tail length 1 to 1.20 m

30 to 90 kg

Gestation period
33 to 35 days gestation period, gestation period in their pouches, approx. 8 months

Achievable age
Up to 20 years

What you should know about kangaroos
The steppe dwellers are active during the day and scan their surroundings for grasses and herbs. Their jumping motions quickly leave a long trail behind them, reaching speeds of up to 90 km/h in doing so. Their large tails help to balance their weight in every situation.

Crèche the size of a thimble
A new-born kangaroo weighs just 2 grammes at birth and is no bigger than a fingertip. It crawls through the mother's fur into the pouch on her belly where it drinks milk and starts to grow into a young kangaroo over the following eight moths. Only after this period does it dare to venture out.

Two steps forward, none back
Kangaroos are unable to walk backwards, but they have two different ways of moving forward. With a slow tempo, the front legs and the tail of the animal are used for support, while the back legs are used to swing forward. It jumps if it has to move quickly.

Is it true, that ...?
Kangaroos are very keen boxers. It's a fact that they use their short front legs to clutch and scratch their opponents. Should the opportunity of using their powerful rear legs to kick not arise, then they use their fists to direct a well-aimed hit.