Fun Eastern Grey Kangaroo Facts For Kids

Rhea Nischal
Jan 06, 2023 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Discover fun eastern grey kangaroo facts about its appearance, population, reproduction, and more!

Eastern grey kangaroos are iconic animals of Australia. The eastern grey kangaroo classification is similar to that of the western grey kangaroos, with them belonging to the same family Macropodidae, and the infraclass Marsupialia (young carried in pouch).

Their scientific name is Macropus giganteus. Eastern grey's scientific name means gigantic large foot. However, the red kangaroo is larger than the eastern grey kangaroo.

Eastern grey kangaroos have two subspecies, the Macropus giganteus giganteus, and the Macropus giganteus tasmaniensis, that is endemic to the island state, Tasmania (also referred to as Tasmanian eastern grey kangaroo). This species inhabits woodland, shrubland, dry sclerophyll forest, mallee scrub, heathland, grassland, modified landscapes, and agricultural land in Australia, living in a small group or a mob usually.

It has soft dense fur that is grey brown colored, along with pale underparts. The muzzle of this kangaroo is finely haired along with dark-colored tips on its tail, feet, and paws.

The male is larger than the female kangaroo but alike in looks. The male has a heavily muscled chest, front limbs, and head.

Their length ranges between 3.1-9.5 ft (96-290 cm) making them longer than humans! The western grey kangaroo species is a close relative of the eastern grey kangaroos. The hopping speed of this kangaroo species is astonishingly fast.

The population of this species is stable and increasing in Australia. Keep reading to get kangarooed away!

If you enjoyed reading our eastern grey kangaroo fun facts, you will definitely enjoy reading our ring tailed lemur facts and Colobus monkey facts as well!

Eastern Grey Kangaroo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an eastern grey kangaroo?

The eastern grey kangaroo, Macropus giganteus, is a kangaroo that is a herbivorous animal that feeds upon grass, herbs, leaves, and shrub-like low vegetation. It is a marsupial mammal that inhabits woodland, shrubland, dry sclerophyll forest, mallee scrub, heathland, grassland, modified landscapes, and agricultural land.

What class of animal does an eastern grey kangaroo belong to?

The eastern grey kangaroo, Macropus giganteus, belongs to the class Mammalia and the genus Macropus.

How many eastern grey kangaroos are there in the world?

The number of the iconic eastern grey kangaroo species inhabiting Australia is normal and amounts to 16,057,783 kangaroos. The eastern grey kangaroo population is stable and increasing.

Where does an eastern grey kangaroo live?

The eastern grey kangaroo distribution is limited to eastern Australia and Tasmania. It is extensively present in mainland Australia's eastern region ranging from Queensland to the Southeast region of South Australia as well as the southern region of Victoria. It has also been brought to two islands of Australia, Maria Island and the Three Hummock Island.

What is an eastern grey kangaroo's habitat?

The eastern grey kangaroo habitat includes areas of Australia that receive high rainfall, comprising woodland, shrubland, dry sclerophyll forest, mallee scrub, heathland, grassland, modified landscapes, and agricultural land. To take shelter, they require scrubs and trees, whereas for foraging they require open areas.

Who do eastern grey kangaroos live with?

Eastern greys live in either a small group comprising 2-3 young male kangaroos, 2-3 female kangaroos, and one alpha male.

How long does an eastern grey kangaroo live?

These Australian animals have a lifespan of 7-20 years!

How do they reproduce?

These marsupial animals mate all year round with the peak being in the summer season. Females might form blood relationships with relatives.

Females have a higher probability of reproduction if they live with female relatives. Eastern grey kangaroos believe in polygamy.

Males get into fights with other males with the alpha male mating with the available females most probably. The female eastern kangaroo will give birth to one joey only.

Their young, known as a joey, is born after a gestation phase that lasts for 36 days. The female is pregnant all the time, with the exception of the day of joey's birth.

She is like a super kangaroo as she has the power to freeze the growth of her embryo (baby in her womb), till the time her joey in the pouch is comfortable enough to leave the pouch occasionally, which happens usually after 9-11 months after birth. This superpower of the mother kangaroo is known as embryonic diapause.

It is astonishing that the female can have one baby in diapause and another in her pouch existing at the same time.

She can employ this power when there is a lack of food or if there is a drought. The joey, in its early stages, makes very cute small hops circling his mother.

At the age of 18 months, it is completely weaned (accustomed to food other than the mother's milk) and leaves the mother's pouch forever. Females have another superpower, producing different types of milk!

The mother can produce milk as per the needs of her joey. She can make two types of milk, one for the newborn joey and the other for the older one.

Joeys depend on their mother for approximately 550 days. The female joey matures at the age of 20-22 months, whereas the male joey mature at the age of 43 months.

What is their conservation status?

The number of this species is stable and thus, it is classified under the Least Concern category by the IUCN's Red List.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo Fun Facts

What do eastern grey kangaroos look like?

The grey-brown-colored fur of this kangaroo is soft and dense, unlike the grey-blue fur of the red kangaroos. The underparts of this animal are pale. The muzzle of this speedy kangaroo is finely haired along with dark-colored tips on its tail, feet, and paws.

It may have a dark stripe across its back. Eastern grey males are larger than females, but alike in looks.

The male has a heavily muscled chest, front limbs, and head. The eastern grey kangaroo height ranges between 3.1-9.5 ft (96-290 cm) making them longer than humans. They have strong and muscular hind legs which aid them in hopping.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

How cute are they?

These kangaroos are extremely adorable especially hopping around a grassland. The joey is especially very cute as it tries to hop during the early stage of its life!

How do they communicate?

This Australian species communicates with its joeys through clucking sounds. When they feel threatened, they produce guttural coughs (harsh sounding).

Males use these guttural coughs during fights as well to display dominance or warn one another. They even stomp on the ground along with the guttural cough if they feel they are in danger. These coughs can be heard from great distances as well.

How big is an eastern grey kangaroo?

The eastern grey kangaroo size is quite huge, being larger than a human. They range between 3.1-9.5 ft (96-290 cm) in length. Their powerful tail has a length of over 3.2 ft (1 m)!

How fast can an eastern grey kangaroo move?

The eastern grey kangaroo speed is very fast hopping at an average sped of 15 mph (24.1 kph), reaching 35 mph (56.3 kph) as well! These kangaroos are the speediest marsupial, with female eastern grey kangaroo achieving a recorded speed of 39.7 mph (64 kph).

They can travel over 25 ft (7.6 m) in one leap, as allowed by their bounding gait, going as high as 6 ft (1.8m).

How much does an eastern grey kangaroo weigh?

Males are heavier than females of this species with the female eastern grey kangaroo range between 37-88 lb (16.7-39. kg) whereas males weigh between 110-145.5 lb (49.8-66 kg). The largest species of kangaroos, the red kangaroo, can weigh up to 198.4 lb (90 kg)!

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male kangaroo is called boomer or jack whereas the female is called roo or jill!

What would you call a baby eastern grey kangaroo?

The young of this kangaroo is known as a joey!

What do they eat?

Like the white bellied spider monkeys, eastern greys are also herbivorous. These Australian animals are grazers consuming grasses, herbs, leaves, and shrub-like low vegetation occasionally.

Other species of kangaroos, like the red kangaroos, include shrubs in their daily food intake majorly. They do not have many predators. They have been hunted for leather and meat by humans, and are preyed upon by their natural enemies, Australian dingos.

Are they dangerous?

No, these Australian animals are not dangerous at all. However, they are known to bite and box if provoked!

Would they make a good pet?

No, these Australian kangaroos would not make good pets as they cannot be house-trained.

Did you know...

Kangaroos in a group are known as a mob!

Red kangaroos, grey kangaroos, and wallaroos are referred to as 'the great kangaroos' due to their relatively bigger size than all the other 70 types.

The red kangaroo is the biggest species of all kangaroos.

The eastern grey was named 'Macropus giganteus' in the year 1790 by George Shaw!

These creatures are known to lean on their strong and powerful tail to utilize their hind limbs in boxing with one another. They can also utilize their pointy claws to ward of dingos.

As these animals are grazers, the growth and spread of grass are in their control.

What is the difference between eastern and western grey kangaroos?

Western grey kangaroos and eastern grey kangaroos can be differentiated from each other by the grey color of eastern grey kangaroos instead of brown, having a dark eye ring, pale face. and short, round, hairy ears.

Are eastern grey kangaroos dangerous?

No, an eastern grey kangaroo attacking people would be very rare. They can become aggressive only if provoked or harassed, so one must keep a distance at all times to protect themselves from getting kicked by their powerful muscles or scratched by their claws.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Colobus monkey facts or spider monkey facts pages!

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable eastern grey kangaroo coloring pages!

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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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