Kangaroos are a type of mammal known as marsupials and there are over 50 kangaroo species native to Australia. However, there are 4 types of kangaroos that are well known and easily recognizable. These kangaroo types are the:
- Antilopine Kangaroo (Macropus antilophius)
- Western Gray Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus)
- Eastern Gray Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus)
- Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus)
Antilopine Kangaroo (Macropus Antilophius)
This species of kangaroo is also known as the antilopine wallaroo or the antilopine wallaby and they live mainly in the northern parts of Australia.
The fur on these kinds of kangaroos share the same color and texture as the fur of antelopes and their name, antilopine, is derived from that animal’s name.
These kangaroo varieties also exhibit sexual dimorphism which means that the males and females have different physical characteristics.
Male antilopine kangaroos can weigh up to 154 pounds and grow up to 5.9 feet long. On the other hand, the female antilopine kangaroo often weighs less than 66 pounds.
The males have a thick reddish-tan coat with a pale patch of fur on their chests. The females have greyish to a light tan fur color.
Western Gray Kangaroo (Macropus Fuliginosus)
The western gray kangaroo inhabits the southern coast of the southwestern and Western Australia as well as in parts of southern Australia.
They are also known as black-faced kangaroo, mallee kangaroo, or sooty kangaroo. This kangaroo species has one of the largest populations with over 2 million in the wild.
Western gray kangaroo have browner fur, a darker colored head (compared to Eastern gray Kangaroo), long dark ears which are almost hairless on the backs, and in some of them, a blackish patch on their elbow.
Males are about twice the size of the females and they also have longer and more muscular forearms. Female western grays grow to an average weight of 62-100 pounds and a length ranging between 2ft 9 inches and 3ft and 7 inches.
Males, on the other hand, grow up to 5 feet tall and can weigh up to 120 pounds. Male western gray kangaroos also give off a distinctive curry-like smell that’s earned them the nickname “stinker”.
Fun Fact: The western grey kangaroo controls vegetation growth by feeding on grasses and forbs.
Eastern Gray Kangaroo (Macropus Giganteus)
Also known as forester kangaroo, great grey kangaroo, and Tasmanian forester kangaroo, these types of kangaroos have thick soft, grey-brown fur (lighter in color than the Western Gray Kangaroo), which is paler on the underparts.
Males and females in this species are similar in appearance however males are still larger and more muscular than females. Eastern gray Kangaroos can grow up to the height of 6.9 feet including their head to the tail.
Adult males weigh as much as 200 pounds. Meanwhile, females weigh about 37-88 pounds with an average total length of 6 feet. They inhabit parts of eastern Australia and Tasmania.
Red Kangaroo (Macropus Rufus)
Of all the different types of kangaroos, the red kangaroo is the most popular. They are Australia’s national animal and emblem. They are also the largest kinds of kangaroos and marsupials on a whole to exist today.
Male red kangaroos are bigger and more powerful than females. Their fur is typically a rich reddish-brown color. However, females have more bluish-gray fur.
Both male and female red kangaroos have a black and white mark on the side of their muzzle and a wide white stripe on their cheek.
You can find these kangaroos across mainland Australia but they tend to avoid the more fertile areas in the south, the east coast, and the northern rainforests.
Fun Fact: The red kangaroo maintains its internal temperature at a point of homeostasis about 36 °C (97 °F) using a variety of physical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations.