Antilopine wallaby, Antilopine wallaroo
Antilopine kangaroos are large, elegant kangaroos with slender faces and doe-like eyes. Males have reddish-tan upper parts and are white below, while the upper parts of females are usually colored pale gray. The feet and paws of both are white on the underside and black tipped. Males have a well-defined swelling of their nose above their nostrils, possibly used for cooling, and are also much bigger than females.
Antilopine kangaroos inhabit northern Australia, from Kimberley in the Western Australia as far as the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York Peninsula on the East. These kangaroos inhabit savannah woodlands in the wet-dry tropics and can also be found in low-lying depressions and valleys, as well as on the floodplains of the major rivers, particularly in moist areas with a lot of short green grass.
Habits and lifestyle
These kangaroos are very social, though older males are often solitary. Groups or mobs of adults of both genders are often seen together, and both males and females groom each other. Once joeys reach their mother's pouches, the mob separates, with the males forming small "bachelor groups", while females and young form large groups. Antilopine kangaroos move both individually and in groups to and from grazing areas and return again to the same "camp". During the day they stay in shady wooded areas to keep out of the hot sun. They graze at dusk in grasslands and then at dawn return to the wooded areas. In the cooler wet season they sometimes graze during the day.
mob, troop, herd
Diet and nutrition
Antilopine kangaroos are herbivorous, eating mainly grass. They seek out areas with short grass, such as low tussock grass, or places where tall grass has been reduced to shoots by burning.
Antilopine kangaroos are polygynous, which means that one male mates with multiple females. The mating season is at the start of the wet season, generally around December. Gestation is for about 35 days, with only one offspring being produced each breeding season. Once born, the newborn joey climbs up into its mother's pouch. After around 20 weeks, it begins to emerge from its pouch, and at about 6 months comes completely out of its pouch for the first time. At around 37 weeks the joey is not allowed back into the pouch. The joey is gradually weaned from its mother, feeding less and less from her, until it is about 15 months old. Males are sexually mature at 2 years old and females at 16 months old, developing their pouch after the age of 20 months.
Starts around December
The Antilopine kangaroo has no known major threats. Potential threats include hot wildfires, livestock grazing and feral herbivores. Such threats would decrease the supply of perennial grasses which the Antilopine kangaroo eats.
The IUCN Red List do not provide the Antilopine kangaroo total population size, but state that it is sparsely and patchily distributed. Although the population of this species is decreasing and classified as least concern (LC).
Fun facts for kids
- Male antilopine kangaroos groom each other before engaging in ritual combat, which is a habit unique amongst other kangaroo species.
- Before fighting, males also make a hissing sound as an alarm, usually followed by a thump of the foot.
- Kangaroos have excellent hearing. They can move their ears about in different directions while keeping their head still.
- Kangaroos can either hop around quickly using two legs or walk about slowly on all fours.
- Kangaroos are able to jump very high, up to three times as high as they are tall.
- Kangaroos can't walk backwards.