Almost Half A Red Kangaroo's Mass Is Muscle!

Video highlights from Big Red: The Kangaroo King

Learn more about the king of the outback

The driest part of Australia gets about 6 150 mm of rain a year.

The red kangaroo is the largest marsupial in the world.

Red Kangaroos are reported to have weekly home ranges that can be between 260 and 560 hectares.

Capable of lifting nearly 50% of their body weight, wedge-tailed eagles can prey on joeys.

Male red kangaroos continue to grow throughout their lives. Some can stand 6 feet tall and weigh almost 200 pounds. That’s almost the same size as prize fighter Muhammad Ali.

The red kangaroo has one of the most efficient aerobic physiologies of any mammal – better than a racehorse, and a lot better than us.

A red kangaroo’s heart is much bigger than you’d expect – Almost twice the size of a deer’s.

Almost half of a red kangaroo’s mass is muscle, making them one of the most muscular mammals in the world.

When used in defence against predators, the kicks of a kangaroo can be deadly and have been known to disembowel dogs.

Densely packed fur helps red kangaroos reflect about 30% of incoming heat, which is helpful when the landmass you live on has the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world.

Red kangaroos can survive levels of dehydration that would kill most humans.

Raising their breathing rate to over 200 breaths a minute helps kangaroos reduce their body temperature and cool their brains.

In 2013, parts of Australia experienced the hottest temperatures of the last 100 years.

Kangaroos hopping at 40 kilometres an hour may burn through half the energy a pursuing dingo needs to keep up.

Red kangaroos can bound along at speeds of over 60 kilometres an hour. At times their leap propels them 8 metres.

Big Red: The Kangaroo King premieres 8.30pm tonight on Nat Geo WILD

Discuss this article


Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address
We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services, personalise your advertising and remember your preferences. If you continue browsing, or click on the accept button on this banner, we understand that you accept the use of cookies on our website. For more information visit our Cookies Policy AcceptClose cookie policy overlay