Animal of the week: Red Kangaroo

Continuing on with our red theme, this week I’ll be discussing the Red Kangaroo. I don’t really have an explanation as to why I started week 1 with a “red” animal and continued this theme in week 2, but not go for the same in week 3? Three is my favorite number and has much significance in my personal life, so why not?? Also, to cover a kangaroo is also special in week 3 as the #1 nickname I have for my husband is “Chadaroo”.

As many of us know (if not all) Red Kangaroo’s are native to Australia. Specifically, Central and Western Australia. These amazing animals can be found in several zoo’s across the US and the Kansas City zoo in particluar is one location where you can see them up close and personal. How up close you ask? They roam FREE within their exhibit. I’ll admit I was a little scared when I learned this because I’ve seen videos where someone is kicked by one of these gargantuan marsupials and that was NOT on my agenda while visiting! It was incredible see them in a group not far off the walking path while my husband and I explored their habitat that day and no one was kicked…thank the Lord!

Additionally, as many of us know (if not all) being a marsupial means the momma Kangaroo’s carry their babies in a pouch. So neat! And the Red Kangaroo in particular, is the largest marsupial!

Facts about the Red Kangaroo (Marcopus rufus):

Males are typically 4-5 ft tall with a tale measuring 3+ ft in length. Females are definitely smaller measuring 2.5-3.5 ft tall with a tail 2-3 ft in length. Males can weigh up to almost 200 lbs while females can weigh up to 88 lbs. Males can jump 26 to nearly 30 ft in a single leap and have around a 6 ft verical jump.

They are herbivores so eat plants and they are able to maintain an average body temp of around 97 degrees Fahrenheit even though their environment may become much hotter.

There strong tails are not only beneficial for assisting with balance while hopping, but also when it comes to kicking for self defense. For this reason, the Red Kangaroo does not have many enemies or predators. Something I was not aware of is they are also excellent swimmers and will readily jump in water to avoid a predator if necessary.

As far as breeding, females are able to have joey’s multiple times per year and the male and female partners reportedly don’t stay together after breeding. Something interesting I learned recently is the females have the ability to do what’s called embryonic diapause. This is a process where the female can delay the birth of a new joey if food is scarce or if the previous joey has not yet vacated the pouch!

Hope you enjoyed reading about the Red Kangaroo! I’ll pick something next week that doesn’t have to do with “red” and think I already have a good idea of what it will be. Until then!

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