Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Macropus giganteus
So now lets move from the largest Marsupial to ever live, to one of the largest living in the present day. The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is a commonly encountered Marsupial throughout Eastern Australia. They inhabit all sorts of areas, including grasslands, woodlands, and even sub-tropical forests.

Eastern Grey Kangaroos are distinguishable by their large size and short, greyish-brown fur. They have strong legs that allow them to hop at speeds of up to 35mph (56kph), and their tail provides them with excellent balance. Did you know that these Kangaroos can also cover 25ft (8m) in a single jump? And that they can also swim quite well too?

These large Marsupials are very social, and live in groups called mobs. Each mob is controlled by a dominant male, and contains younger males, females, and joeys. Males will fight over potential mates by boxing with one another; leaning back on their tails and kicking with their powerful hind legs.

Did you know that female Eastern Grey Kangaroos are nearly constantly pregnant once they hit sexual maturity? They go into heat again almost immediately after giving birth, but they cause the new embryo to stay dormant in its development until the older Joey is ready to leave the pouch.

IUCN Status :  Least Concern
Location : Eastern Australia
Size : Height up to 6.6ft (2m), Weight up to 150lbs (68kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Infraclass : Marsupialia
Order : Diprotodontia -- Family : Macropodidae -- Genus : Macropus -- Species : M. giganteus

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