What Do Kangaroos Eat?

When we think of Australia, the first creature that comes to mind is the beloved kangaroo. They’re truly one of the most interesting animals on the planet, and are full of surprising facts. 

Many of us who have witnessed kangaroos on our TV screens, might not actually be aware of what they like to eat, and therefore might be curious about this topic.

What Do Kangaroos Eat?

The majority of kangaroos are classified as herbivores, which means they like to feast on plants.

However, it’s not all that simple, and the diet of the kangaroo depends on which species it belongs to. To find out more about this topic, keep reading, as we take a look below. 

Eastern Gray Kangaroo Diet

When we picture a kangaroo in our heads, the Easten Grey Kangaroo is one that often springs to mind. They are mostly found in the mainland of Australia, and reach up to 6.6 feet in length. 

It is the most populated species of kangaroo in the entire world, which means that if you take a visit to Australia, you’ll most certainly find one of this variety.

It has an incredibly strong tail, and a very muscular build, weighing in at 66kg. This means that you don’t want to get too close to these creatures. 

In terms of diet, Eastern Gray Kangaroos enjoy feasting on large grasslands, often in open fields. You can find them grazing both during the early evening, and early morning. 

Red Kangaroo Diet

Many of you reading this article may have not come across the species called the Red Kangaroo. They’re far rarer than their gray counterparts. 

They’re actually also known as giant kangaroos, because they weigh a startling 90kg, along with reaching a height of about 6 feet. You can easily spot the males of the species, with their striking red coats and large appearance. 

The females on the other hand, are much smaller and appear to have a gray colored coat, which may make them susceptible to confusion with the Eastern Gray Kangaroo. 

In terms of diet, one of the most interesting facts about this variety of kangaroo, is that they can actually live for many months without consuming any food or water. 

Like the Eastern Gray Kangaroo, this species also loves to graze in open fields where there is plenty of grassland. This species can be found eating some shrubs too, depending on the kind. 

Once they have consumed food, the moisture from the grass can actually allow them to live for many months without eating anything further.

This is because they’ve gradually acclimated to hot, dry weather conditions. 

Western Gray Kangaroo Diet

Western Gray Kangaroo Diet

The next species of kangaroo which is widely populated in Australia, is the Western Gray Kangaroo.

They weigh significantly less than both of the species mentioned above, weighing in at around 54kg. In terms of height, they reach up to 4 feet. 

They are mostly found in the South and West portions of Australia, and are known as the smallest species of kangaroo.

They have a distinctive appearance, as their faces tend to be far darker than the rest of their bodies, giving them a masked appearance. 

An amusing fact about these creatures is that if you get too close, you might notice a peculiar odor emitting from the males. This is because the males tend to emit a natural smell that has often been compared to curry powder. 

Like both of the kangaroo varieties discussed above, the Western Gray does primarily feed on open grasslands. They can however, be found eating leafy shrubs and tree leaves too. 

Antelope Kangaroo Diet

The final species of kangaroo on our list is the antelope kangaroo, which shares a distinctive difference in appearance to the others on our list. They weigh in at 49kg, and reach a height of only 4 feet. 

Although it is technically a species of kangaroo, they do differ in appearance, with very small limbs, tan fur, and black snouts. 

This variety of kangaroo prefers to feed in the morning and the evening times, and can mainly be seen to be eating in short grasslands which have been savaged by bush fires. 

Do Kangaroos Eat Meat?

Some of you reading this article may be curious as to whether or not kangaroos can be found eating meat.

Surprisingly, yes, on some occasions kangaroos will feast on meat, despite the fact that they are primarily herbivores. 

They are not hardwired to eat meat, because they don’t have the physical capacity to catch prey. Their delicate digestive systems are also not adept at tolerating denser items such as meat either. 

On rare occasions however, where there is no other food available, kangaroos have been found to consume meat as a last resort. 

What Do Baby Kangaroos Eat? 

In terms of infant kangaroos, which are also known as ‘joeys’, these small creatures, like many mammals, will be completely dependent on their mothers to feed them. 

They can be found residing within the pouch on their mothers stomach, which will have several different teats they can consume milk from.

They will feed on this milk for the first 8 months of their lives, before venturing into the wild to find their own food. 

After this, they will feed on the same diet of grass as their mothers. 

Final Thoughts

Kangaroos do primarily feed on tall grasslands whenever possible, as they are classified as herbivores. Some species of kangaroo also enjoy eating shrubs and low hanging leaves too. 

Baby kangaroos, like other mammals, will feed on their mother’s milk for up to 8 months, before venturing out of their pouches and eating the same diet as their parents. 

On rare occasions, kangaroos have been found to eat meat, when there are no other food supplies available.

Olivia Kepner