DESCRIPTION: These large, fairly muscular animals are greyish-brown to reddish-brown in colour. The males can grow to more than two metres from head to tail. The females are smaller. Their muzzles have finer hairs than most other kangaroo species.
STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION: Western grey kangaroos are widespread and abundant across southern Australia. In fact, they are now probably found in greater numbers than before European settlement because of the provision of pasture and additional water points. As a result, they are often culled under licence in some areas by farmers concerned about damage to fences and crops.
PREFERRED HABITAT: These 'roos' prefer open grasslands, such as paddocks, near water and with nearby forest or woodland.
LIFE HISTORY: Western greys are mainly grass eaters. The males may fight for the attention of a fertile female. They breed throughout the year, although most young are born in summer. They usually produce one joey. Newborns resemble a jelly bean and take only a few minutes to climb to the pouch and attach themselves to a teat. They leave the pouch at around nine months but continue to suckle for a further nine months, often while another young is occupying the pouch. The mothers and their young use a series of clucking sounds to communicate.
HERE TO SEE THEM: Western greys can be seen on golf courses in outer Perth suburbs and country areas in early morning or late afternoon. They also inhabit most State forest areas and national parks in the south-west. They are often seen grazing in recently burnt areas.
Red Kangaroos live over most of the dry, inland, central part of Australia in areas where rainfall averages less than 500 millimeters. They prefer open plains habitats with neither trees nor bushes. The extensive area where the animals live includes scrubland, shrubland, grassland, and desert habitats.
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Scientific Name: Macropus rufus
Length: 65 inches
Weight: 40 - 200 lbs
Gestation: 30 - 40 days
Life Span: 13 years
Top Speed: 35 mph
Red Kangaroos - Physical Description
Red Kangaroos, also called Giant Red Kangaroos, are the largest living marsupials that are about 5 feet long, weigh 90 kilograms and have tail as long as 42 inches that is used as a balance mechanism when animals jump. The Kangaroos can't walk instead they hop very high.
The females are naturally smaller than the males. These animals feed mostly on grass and other vegetation. Sometimes they can do without water feeding only vegetation for a long period of time. They are the best jumpers of all mammals and can jump as high as 28 feet in distance and 6 feet in height; their speed exceeds 30 mph. They can jump for hours at a speed of 12 mph.
The male Red Kangaroo is usually of reddish color and the female is bluish-gray. Kangaroos have long, strong hind legs that help them to hop up to 40 miles per hour and go over 30 feet in one hop. Females that are quicker than males are called does, flyers, roo or jill. Adult Red Kangaroos are called bucks, boomers or jacks while a baby is called a joey.
Red Kangaroos - Behavior
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Northwest Outdoor Photography
Because man uses the skin and meat, the main predator of the Red Kangaroo is man. Sheep farmers used to shoot kangaroos because they occupied the same land, as did their sheep. During the time when the Tasmanian Devil was numerous, it also was a predator for kangaroos.
Red kangaroos usually gather in groups called mobs; these groups consist of ten animals. They feed mostly at night, as they are nocturnal animals. They are also active at night, and in the few hours after sunrise and sunset. They rest in the daytime especially in the winter than in the spring or summer. There is usually an older leader that leads the whole pack after him.
Facing danger these animals usually scatter around trying to save themselves. Although when the period of mating comes, the males become very aggressive and they are competing for females. These fights are very dramatic as the males grip each other tightly with their large fore claws and wrestle each other while balancing themselves on their tails.
When the weather is very hot and no rains are occurring, some males and females become infertile. But, as soon as the drought is over, the mating period begins and the population of the animals grows again. These are silent animals. The males make hissing and screaming sounds while fighting with other males. Females and little Red Kangaroos make soft clicking or tutting noises when communicating.