Eastern gray kangaroos are found in the grasslands, forests and mountains of eastern Australia. Red kangaroos live in the deserts, scrublands and open plains of central Australia, while western gray kangaroos inhabit the woodlands, grasslands and urban areas of southern Australia. Kangaroos mainly feed on grasses, leaves and bark. Eastern and western gray kangaroos live to be between 7 and 10 years old in the wild, while red kangaroos typically live to be around 20 years old in the wild.
1. Scientific & Common Names
4. Present Status
Scientific & Common Names
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Infraclass - Marsupialia
Order - Diprotodontia
Family - Macropodidae
Genus - Macropus
Species & Common Names - Red Kangaroo (M. rufus), Eastern Gray Kangaroo (M. giganteus), Wester Gray Kangaroo (M. fuloginosus)
Eastern and western gray kangaroos have fur that ranges from light brown to dark reddish-brown. Western gray kangaroos also have a lighter colored throat and abdomen and finer hair on their muzzles. Male red kangaroos typically have reddish-brown fur, while females have bluish-gray fur. Red kangaroos are the largest kangaroo species. Adults weigh an average of 200 pounds and measure between 3.25 to 5.25 feet in body length, with a tail length of 35.5 to 43.5 inches.
Western and eastern gray kangaroos usually breed in spring and summer, while red kangaroos breed throughout the year. Female kangaroos have a gestation period that lasts between 30 and 38 days, depending on species, and give birth to one offspring, known as a joey. Eastern and western gray kangaroo joeys stay in their mother’s pouch for around 11 months, while red kangaroo joeys leave their mother’s pouch when they are around 8 months old.
Kangaroos form small family groups that are known as mobs. Males box and perform other aggressive behaviors in order to show dominance. Kangaroos spend much of their time resting, although they are able to hop long distances in order to move to a better or safer area or to find food.
Kangaroos are still found throughout their historic range, and they are actually expanding that range, mainly due to the presence of artificial water sources for agriculture.
Red, eastern gray and western gray kangaroos have a status of least concern because of their abundant populations. They do not face any major threats and are typically found in protected areas.