Megaleia rufa

Range: across mainland Australia, avoiding only the more fertile areas in the south, the east coast, and the northern rainforests

Habitat: Dry open plains where trees and bushes are scarce

Conservation status: Least concern

Red Kangaroo

  • • Class: Mammalia; Order: Marsupialia; Family: Macropodidiae
    • Red kangaroo is the largest of all kangaroos, the largest mammal native to Australia, and the largest surviving marsupial.
    • There are more than 50 species of kangaroos; wallabies are small kangaroos.
    • It has two forelimbs with small claws, two muscular hindlimbs, which are used for jumping, and a strong tail which is often used to create a tripod when standing upright.
    • Males can jump 30 feet in one leap.
    • Browsers, capable of maintaining themselves on grasses shunned by sheep and a very small amount of water.
    • Females usually bear one, sometimes two, babies after a gestation period of 30 to 40 days. The miniscule baby, weighing less than 1/4 ounce, climbs into the pouch and attaches itself to one of its mother's nipples. It lives in her pouch for a period of several months before emerging.
    • Life span in captivity: 15-18 years
    • Inhabit the arid heart of the Australian continent where they travel enormous distances to areas where it has recently rained and the grass is green.
    • High urine concentration, typical of desert mammals, suggests they evolved in this harsh, dry environment.
    • Generally more active during cool periods or at night. During the heat of the day, the reddish males and somewhat more bluish females may be seen resting in the shade. While they sleep, one animal remains awake and, if danger is sensed, signals the alarm to companions with coughing cries. The others respond by drumming the ground with their hind feet.
    • Red kangaroo is the largest of all marsupials
    • Males are reddish in color; females are more blue-gray

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