Roger the Kangaroo

What makes his muscles so large?

Remember Roger? The beefcake kangaroo from the Northern territory? Well, he’s back.

This time his outrageous arms are going to be immortalised in clay. Chris ‘Brolga’ Barnes owner of the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs believes the statue will bring in more tourism to the Northern Territory.

“Roger has recently been recognised as one of the ten most famous animals in the world. Photos and videos of Roger go viral all the time because he’s world-renowned as being really muscular, with a great physique.” Says Barnes.

Barnes found Roger in his dead mother’s pouch and raised him in his Kangaroo Sanctuary.

Rodger shot to international fame after a photo of his large arms appeared on social media.

But why does he have so many muscles?

According to Dr Natalie Warburton from the Murdoch University of Veterinary and Life Sciences the size of a kangaroo’s arms is a key factor in their ability to attract a female.

"Forelimb measurements showed that whereas female musculature growth was proportional to body size, male musculature was overwhelmingly exaggerated," she says.

It has to do with youthful sparring. Much like humans, youthful kangaroos play fight and wrestle. Building their muscles as they get older and the activity becomes more aggressive (read more about kangaroo's muscle mass here).

Male kangaroos establish and maintain their dominance hierarchy through sparring contests that involve grasping their opponent and using their back legs to box them

The stronger they get, the more wrestling matches they win which make them stand out in a crowd of potential partners.

Dominant males spend a lot of time posturing to ward off physical challenges. Dr Trish Fleming explains:

You'll usually have a couple of really large individuals, and they'll be very bulked up, If you look at them from front-on, they look like they're body builders and they'll spend quite a bit of time posturing and displaying to females, but also to other males. Obviously, that's part of their competitive success.

Unfortunately the bulkier the kangaroo, the shorter the lifespan. The team from Murdoch University believe this has to do with the higher body mass that the kangaroo has to maintain. So if a drought or a bout of famine strikes, it will hit the males harder than the females.

Being muscly may attract all the lady kangaroos, but it shortens the roo’s lifespan significantly.

Rodger is coming to the end of his short life-span in the Kangaroo Sanctuary, Barnes his hoping that the local town will recognise his stardom by putting a statue of him up in the local Mall Todd Hall.

So everyone has a ticket to the gun show.

Check out more photos of Rodger on The Kangaroo Sanctuary's Instagram

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