Macropus rufus is the largest living marsupial. Males range in total body length from 1,300 to 1,600 mm and females from 850 to 1,050 mm. Tail length is from 1,000 to 1,200 mm for males and 650 to 850 mm for females. They may weigh as much as 90 kg and may reach 1.8 meters in height when standing. Coat color is usually reddish brown in males and bluish gray in females, although these colors are reversed in some areas, with females being reddish and males blue-gray. Red kangaroos are robustly built, with large, well-muscled tails and powerful hindquarters. The tail is strong enough to support the kangaroo's body weight, acts as a balance when jumping, and is used, with the two legs, to form a tripod for resting. The second and third toes of red kangaroos are fused and shaped into a grooming claw. Their foreshortened upper limbs terminate in clawed paws used with great dexterity in eating, grooming, and self-defense. Females have a forward facing pouch and 4 mammae. (Nowak, 1991; Snelling, Sept-Nov 1988)
Other Physical Features: Endothermic; Homoiothermic; Bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: Male larger
- Nowak, R. 1991. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.