Faithful to the family name (Macropodiea means big foot), the red kangaroo has large elongated hind feet that enable the animal to make great leaps. The “red” part of the name refers to the fur of the male’s back and chest, which turns a brilliant red during the breeding season. At other times the male is mostly gray or brown. The females are colored gray or blue-gray at all times. Mature males may be twice the size of females.
An adult kangaroo can travel at 40 m.p.h. for short distances, leap 27 feet at a bound, and clear a 10-ft. high fence if pressed. Like all marsupials, red kangaroos are born in an extremely immature state. A male is called a boomer, a female is a blue-flyer, a baby is a joey, and a group of kangaroos is called a mob.