Red Kangaroo
(Macropus rufus) #64-22

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MSU Red Kangaroo Brain Sections

Physical characteristics and distribution

The Red Kangaroo is the largest living marsupial. It has a heavy frame, long legs and feet and a thick tail. The fur is short, thick and red or gray in color. Males range in total body length from 1,300 to 1,600 mm and females from 850 to 1,050 mm. Tail length is from 1,000 to 1,200 mm for males and 650 to 850 mm for females. They may weigh as much as 90 kg and may reach 1.8 meters in height when standing.

Their tail is strong enough to support the kangaroo's body weight, acts as a balance when jumping, and is used, with the two legs, to form a tripod for resting. The second and third toes of red kangaroos are fused and shaped into a grooming claw. Their foreshortened upper limbs terminate in clawed paws used with great dexterity in eating, grooming, and self-defense.

The Red Kangaroo lives in regions of arid grassland of Australia. It lives in groups called "mobs" and is generally nocturnal. It can jump 6-8 feet high covering 12-14 feet per leap and it can attain speeds of 35-40 mph for short bursts.

The Red Kangaroo feeds on grass and green plants.

Red Kangaroos breed year round. Young kangaroos are known as joeys. Red Kangaroo joeys are tiny when born, averaging only 2.5 centimeters long and 0.75 grams. After the joey is born, it crawls up the mother's fur, into her pouch and immediately attaches itself to a nipple. Individual females often have, simultaneously, a joey outside of the pouch, a joey in the pouch, and a blastocyst awaiting implantation. Gestation is 33 days with a single offspring suckled until it reachs one year of age. The young leave the pouch after roughly 235 days.

They are found on mainland and mid-latitude Australia.


Description of the brain

Animal source and preparation
All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

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