Red kangaroos are iconic symbols of the Australian outback, and are the largest living marsupials. Their powerful giant hindquarters enable them to leap along, covering a monstrous nine metres in a single bound. Red kangaroos have the ability to breed whenever conditions are right and twins can occur when food is abundant. A newborn weighs a mere 0.75 grams, and takes three minutes to make its way through its mother’s fur into the pouch, where it spends the next 70 days.
Did you know?
A red kangaroo can cover more than 10 metres in a single leap.
Scientific name: Macropus rufus
Unique adaptations help kangaroos to stay cool and outrun danger.
The red kangaroo is both the largest living marsupial and the largest mammal native to Australia.
Resourceful kangaroos cope with Australia's extreme desert heat.
Air temperature in Australia's outback reaches over 50 degrees C at midday, and the scarcity of water makes every drop of moisture vitally precious. A military grade thermal imaging camera (ThermaCamP65), usually used for search and rescue missions, gives insight to the kangaroo's strategies for coping with these harsh desert conditions.
Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
The Red kangaroo can be found in a number of locations including: Australia. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.
The following habitats are found across the Red kangaroo distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Population trend: Stable
Year assessed: 2008
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
The red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) is the largest of all kangaroos, the largest mammal native to Australia, and the largest extant marsupial. It is found across mainland Australia, avoiding only the more fertile areas in the south, the east coast, and the northern rainforests.
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