Western Gray Kangaroo

Macropus fuliginosus

Classifaction

Domain eukarya : All living things (single or multi celled).

Kingdom animalia : All animals in this kingdom are multicelled, and don't have a cell wall.

Phylum chordata : All chordata animal's from phylum chordata are bilateral symmetrical animals, have 3 germ layers and have a bony or cartilaginous endoskeletons.

Sub phylum : All sub phylum vertebrates have an endoskeleton, movement provided by muscles, and include fish, birds, mammals, and amphibians.

Class mammals : All class mammals require more energy intake than other animals their size. Most mammals have vocals.

Order diprotodontia : Can be recognized because they are both syndactylous and diprotodont. Most diprotodonts have incisors in the upper jaw but do not have lower canines. Most diprotodonts are herbivores.

Family macropodidae : Have long narrow skulls and use a bipedal form of hopping.

Genus macropus : Kangaroos, Wallabies, and Wallaroos.

macropus fuliginosus : Found in southern parts of Australia. Found in open forest woodlands, coastal beaches and grasslands. They are light brown or reddish shades of dark brown.

Physical Adaptation

Gray kangaroos have wide back legs to help them move and jump. A kangaroo's vertical jump is ten feet high, and they can clear nine foot fences in one jump. Also a gray kangaroo is able to cover 30 feet length in one jump. Hopping at a high speed on two legs is a lot easier than running on four legs and a better way to save energy. Kangaroos have a long, thick tail for balance. They can move quickly from side to side. However, they can't jump backward because of their tail. Kangaroos can also go for long periods of time without water because their digestive tract is able to absorb water from the food they eat. Kangaroos raise their young in pouches. A joey (offspring) has a constant supply of milk while in it's mother's pouch. Newborn joeys weigh 1/10 of an ounce at birth. They have to crawl to their mother's pouch to nurse and grow.

Behavioral Adaptations

Kangaroos live in groups (mobs) of 40-50 kangaroos. The large number of kangaroos in a mob helps to watch out for predators. There are both males and females in a mob. One male will be dominate and in charge, he is the one who decides where the mob will go. Kangaroos are herbivores. They eat leaves, wood, bark or stems. Kangaroos stomp the ground to warn other kangaroos when there is danger in the area. Dingoes are natural predators of the kangaroo. Kangaroos try to drown them by pushing them under water. Young male kangaroos often "box" or play fight with each other as they grow. They do this by standing on their wide back legs and wrapping their arms around each other.

General Description

Weight On average, the Gray Kangaroo weighs between 3 - 53.5 kg (6.61 to 117.84 lbs)

Length On average, the Gray Kangaroo body length is 946 to 2225 mm (37.24 to 87.60 inches). Tail length ranges from 425-1000mm in males and 438-815 mm in females.

Height On average, the Gray Kangaroo can be 2m (6.7 ft) tall

Color Males have light gray fur. Females have a white chest and a pouch for their young. A Joey has no fur.

Diet Gray kangaroos eat bark, leaves, stems, and wood.

Predators Dingos, domestic dogs, large birds of prey and humans.

Habitat The Gray Kangaroo lives in grasslands, woodlands, open forests, and coastal shores.

Natural Range The Gray Kangaroo lives in Australia.

Amsel, S. (2005-2015). Adaptations. Adaptations of the Kangaroo. Exploring Nature Educational Resource. Retrieved from http://exploringnature.org/db/detail.php?dbID=5&detID=6


Bradford, A. (2014). Kangaroo Facts. Live Science. Retrieved from www.livescience.com.


Currey, K. (2006). Australian Mammals. Steve Parish Publishing. Pages 28-29.


Miller, D. (2002). Macropus fuliginosus. Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved

from http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Macropus_fuliginosus/