Red Kangaroo – Boomers and Flyers

The Red Kangaroo – Boomers and Flyers

The scientific name for Red Kangaroo is Macropus Rufus which means red great-foot.

Aussies just call them ROOS.

Males are called BOOMERS, females are called FLYERS and babies are called JOEYS.

Hey good looking!

The photos with this post were taken near St George Queensland this spring.

Red Kangaroo
Red Kangaroo

Red Kangaroo males are red and much bigger than the females. Females can be blue-grey or reddish with lighter colored chest and abdomen. The more arid the region the more likely females will have red coloring. You can see the males have a red chest and abdomen.

On average a male stands 1.5m tall and weighs 66 kg. A mature male can stand 1.8m and weigh as much as 85kg. The largest specimen recorded was a huge 2.1 meters tall and 91 kilograms. The red kangaroo is significantly larger than the Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Western Grey Kangaroo.

Female and Male Red Kangaroo
Female and Male Red Kangaroo

I find the muscular chests and arms of the Red Kangaroo striking. The black and white markings at the side of the mussel and the absence of hair between nostril and lip are the easiest way to be sure the Roo’s you are looking at are Red Kangaroos.

Habitat and diet

Red Roos live on inland plains and grasslands and need access to shade cover. I am so lucky to live where the habitats of the Eastern Grey Kangaroo and the Red Kangaroo meet and frequently see each species.

Kangaroos eat grass. While they have preferred grass they will browse on a range of grass and shrub species if their preferred food sources are not available.

Family Groups

Each family group is led by a dominant male. Groups range in size from two kangaroos to hundreds of members. Group membership is flexible. There may be several males in a group as they are not territorial. They do compete for females who are ready to mate. When there is a contest between males “boxing” may be seen.

When I came upon the group in this picture the males were boxing. As it is early spring one would be challenging for females. However as soon as they became aware of me the stopped and watched my approach until I was abaout 120 meters away before fleeing.

To box they stand on their hind legs and hit out with their forelimbs. Rocking back on their tail they kick out at their opponent. Red Kangaroos also engage in a wrestling behavior not seen in the other species of Kangaroo. Fights establish the hierarchy between the males in the group. When a dominant male loses he leaves the group.

Recently I was told of an encounter with a group of 200-300 Red Kangaroos about 8 hours west of Brisbane Queensland. My colleague stopped his car on a dirt road for a group “flying” across the road. I am told it was an inspiring sight. Just as the last of the flyers bounded past he noticed the boomer standing having overseen the whole procession and looking directly at him. The boomer, supremely confident in his power, hopped slowed past the stationary vehicle. I hope one day to see a large group on the fly.

Coping with the heat and dry

Red Kangaroo have developed a variety of physical, physiological and behavioral adaptions to keep their body temperature at 36% when the temperature soars to 45 degrees celsius and higher. These adaptions include:

• Red Kangaroos are not usually active in the warmer hours of the day and eek shade/cover in high temperatures.
• Kangaroos pant, sweat and lick their fore limbs to cool themselves.
• The fur of Red Kangaroos has an insulating layer.
• Roos will consume drought tolerant food sources as necessary
• The Kangaroos kidneys concentrate urine preserving the water in its body.
• Kangaroos eat the freshest shoots available as they have the highest water content

Other interesting adaptions

Eyes: The position of the Roo’s eyes allows for a 300 degree field of vision.
Swimming: These kangaroos are great swimmers

It was great researching this article. If you know other interesting facts about the Red Kangaroo let me know!

Amanda Jackson

Echidna – a one of a kind animal of Australia

Echidna – a one of a kind animal of Australia

Australia has two species of monotremes (egg laying mammals) the platypus and echidna. There are no other species like them.

It is unusual to see an echidna in the daytime because by habit they are active at night.

On the move
On the move
Echidna active at night
Echidna active at night

Echidnas are 30 -45 cm in size and weigh 2 to 7 kilograms.

The spines are coarse and used to protect the echidna. The male has a spurs but no venom. Echidna are very powerful diggers and will dig into the ground or wedge into a hollow when threatened. So I think you can see now why I call the Echidna a one of a kind of animal.

Several males will follow one female this is called a ‘train’. The female echidna lays one egg which she then incubates in her pouch for 10 days. The young suckle from a teat in her pouch. The echidna has a burrow and when the young are too big for the pouch they will live in the burrow and continue to suckle until they reach 12 weeks of age. Echidna are one the most unusual and wonderful animals of Australia.

Post and Photos by Amanda Jackson

Tachyglossus aculeatus
Tachyglossus aculeatus

Western Grey Kangaroo

The Kangaroo is an iconic animal of Australia

The photos in this post are of the Western Grey Kangaroo.

Western Grey Kangaroo
Western Grey Kangaroo

The Western Grey Kangaroo is more brown than the Eastern Grey Kangaroo which as the name suggests is grey. These kangaroo are large with paler undersides.

Their habitat range matches their name.

This species rest in the shade during the day. They eat grasses and graze from early evening through to morning hence we see them mostly at dusk each day.

This species of Kangaroo have exceptionally strong hind legs and move by a unique hopping style. Their long strong tails are essential for movement.

They live in groups and the dominant male is called a Buck whilst Juveniles are called Joeys!

living in a family group
living in a family group

 

The females give birth to an embryo which looks like a red jellybean. This is the same for other marsupials. The embryo travels through the mother’s fur to the pouch where it latches onto a teat. The embryo develops into a Joey and lives in the pouch for 11 months.

Even though the Joey is then too big for the pouch it will continue to suckle for another 9 months.

Kangaroo’s survive and thrive because they exhibit a number of fertility adaptations for living in a harsh environment (e.g. drought and predators) in order to maximize reproductive success. These adaptations include the ability to develop another embryo in their reproductive system while there is a Joey in the pouch; and suspend the development or birth of the embryo until living conditions are better.

I hope you enjoyed this article and couple of photos on our Iconic “Western Grey Kangaroo”

Amanda

500-support

The Emu Bustle

The Emu Bustle

The Emus feathers are bunched into a bustle of its rump. The feathers are long, thick and drooping. These feathers give the appearance of an exaggerated bounce and away when the Emu runs. Emu is a flightless bird.

The Emu Bustle
The Emu Bustle

The sun in this photo makes it really easy to see the emu bustle. The Emu’s plumage is dark brown to grey brown. The plumage of breeding females darkens and the feathers of their head and neck are black. The skin of emu’s head and throat is blue and this blue skin is what what can be seen distinguishing males.

Amanda

PS A bustle was a framed and padded structure worn over a women’s bottom to support the style of dress in fashion in the mid to late 19th century.

Emu Bustle Closeup
Emu Bustle Closeup

Spiritual connections between people and animals

Lets talk about spiritual connections between people and animals!

For some this connection is a bond, an interconnection, an alikeness or affinity, or it is a relationship or a deep communion.

What is spiritual connection?

People often ask me what is meant by communion or connection with animals. Like many spiritual concepts it can be clearly understood at a cellular level when you feel it but very hard to explain or describe in words.

I’d like to suggest that if you think of an unusual communication or interaction between animals of the same species or different species or between people and animals then you will find examples.

Here are two that I have caught on film.

Horse & Kitten
Animal communion

This photo captures a moment in the ongoing communication between my small cat and my horse.  The horse was moving her reins around and you can see the cat playing with them. They are doing more than showing interest in each other or sharing space, they are playing and being playful.

This is what I mean by an unusual interaction between very different animals or animal species.

 

Butchulla woman and dolphin
Communication between a Woman and Dolphins

This photo is of a human animal or person interacting with dolphins and in this case, a mother and her baby dolphin. The mother presented the baby forward for the interaction. The Butchulla woman in the photo and the dolphin are in a totemic relationship.

We love to hear stories of animal communion or spiritual connections between animals or people and animals so if you have one to tell please send us a message.

Amanda

 

Save Wild Brumbies

Organisations that Save the Wild Brumbies:

Brumby4

http://www.savethebrumbies.org/about-us/faqs/

This group of dedicated people are in Bellingen, NSW. They are dedicated to protecting these wild horses into the future and saving individual brumby horses today through adoption programs, sponsorship and donations.

 

http://www.hvba.com.au/Home_Page.php

This Hunter Valley Association in NSW aims to provide refuge, rehabilitation to brumbies and education to all people. They are based on a sanctuary in the Hunter Valley but work tirelessly australia wide with the government for the protection of all wild Australian horses. They have an adoption program that they have been running for years.

http://www.seqbrumby.com/

People who love brumbies.

Brumby1

 

http://barmahforestbrumbies.com/

Murray Willaton as president of the Barmah Brumby Preservation Group aims to protect brumbies in the Barmah forest.

Government policy to “eradicate” barmah heritage brumbies is being fought in the Barmah Forest region along the Murray river of northern Victoria by this preservation group. They are a group worthy of support in my opinion. They work closely with the Bangerang Peoples – the traditional owners of this land.

http://www.allthingsbrumby.com/

This couple from the Ballarat area save brumbies from Kosciuszko National Park and train them. They also teach through classes and lessons how to look after, horsemanship skills and how to ride horses. They have a philosophy of horse training with conscience. A philosophy we admire very much!

 

All of these organisations and websites are helping our Australian Brumby Horses and our environment.

Please like us on Facebook and write a comment below in support!

Janine

Fluffy Animal Toys