After 18 months and weighing in at 200 pounds, there’s no question that a young fully-grown male is ready to claim his right as the dominant king. What they learn through sparring as young joeys becomes a crucial skill of the young adults.
They have the most efficient aerobic physiologies of any mammal in the world. 50% of his mass is muscle concentrated around his hind legs, which makes the Red Kangaroo the most muscular animal.
Males need to fight over the right to breed. Females are less than half their size and only mate with the winners to ensure strong genes. While fending off males, the kings of the mob will need to prove his worth.
While attacking their rivals, the key is to hit the head and so most males keep their heads back while also retracting their testicles, an area they definitely don’t want damaged.
Fights like these can escalate quickly and kicks to the stomach can deal deadly blows. Some have been known to kill their opponents.
The loser of a fight is usually shunned and females will refuse to mate with him. The king is crowned and revels in his spoils.
Yet for all the risks involved in these matches, none is as life threatening as the Red Kangaroos fight with nature. With the features he has evolved over centuries, he has managed to come back time and time again, proving himself as a resilient opponent, worthy of the final round.
Catch Big Red: The Kangaroo King – Sunday 6 September at 8.30pm on Nat Geo WILD