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Red Kangaroo - Largest Marsupial


macropus rufus

 

The red kangaroo is the largest kangaroo, the largest marsupial and the most populous kangaroo in the Outback. The males and females do not have the same color fur. That makes it easier for us to tell them apart, other animals should have thought of that. The female’s coat is blue-gray in color and the males are a rusty red.

 

 

red roo

 

standing upright

 

The adult male can reach a weight of more than 200 pounds (90 kg). And there is little flab on this beast, more than half of the kangaroo’s weight is solid meat. They used to be heavily hunted but there are stricter controls over hunting now even though they still are hunted by man and by dingos. But a factor even more important to their population numbers is the climate. When it is too hot and dry they will not produce offspring.

 

big foot kangaroo

 

roo in the grass

 

These animals have the shortest pregnancy among large animals. The mother will give birth between 4 to 6 weeks after conception. The newly born “joey” weighs about 0.75 gm (1/40 oz). Once the offspring emerges from the birth canal it instinctively climbs into the mother’s pouch and starts feeding, by selecting one of the mother’s nipples. The mother’s milk changes in consistency and fat content to accommodate the growing joey. The joey will spend about eight months in the mother’s pouch and another four months drinking the mother’s milk.

 

joey

 

red roo of the rocks

 

 

 

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