Sunday, December 26, 2010

Red Kangaroo

(Image Source)
For boxing day let's take a look at a boxing beast! Red Kangaroos are the largest of the marsupials, with males weighing up to 200lbs (90kg) and standing close to 6ft (1.8m) tall. They live in the inland areas of Australia, residing in open scrub and grasslands.

Red Kangaroos (Macropus rufus) are quick and powerful, with strong legs an sharp claws. They can hop at speeds of up to 39mph (64kph) and can jump in strides of 25 ft (8m) and go as high vertically as 6f t(1.8m).  During the breeding season males will fight over mates by leaning back on their tails and "boxing" with their feet. 

Like all marsupials, Red Kangaroos give birth to tiny, tiny offspring that then continue to develop and grow inside  of a pouch. Young Kangaroos, called Joeys, are only 2.5cm at birth. They crawl into the pouch, latch on to a nipple, and don't emerge again for 2 months. Joeys remain with their mothers for about 8 months after birth.

Red Kangaroos live in small groups, called mobs. These groups are made up of females and their offspring, along with a male or two. They are herbivores, and feed on grasses and flowering plants. Red Kangaroos are preyed upon by Dingos and Humans, and large birds will sometimes go after the Joeys. They are listed at Least Concern.

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