What is the BIGGEST KANGAROO? (Solved)

male eastern grey kangaroo
eastern grey kangaroos are the second largest kangaroo species

The size of a kangaroo can be extremely impressive. Fortunately I was able to observe some big kangaroos living in the wilderness of Australia. But which is the biggest kangaroo in the world?

The official largest kangaroo in the world was a male red kangaroo with a body length of 2.5 m (8.2 ft) that was about 1.8 m (5.9 ft) tall when standing upright.

With this size, the red kangaroo was entered into the Guinness Book of Records as the largest marsupial.

The largest kangaroo species

large red kangaroo standing in the desert
Source: dnatheist, CC BY 2.0 (modified)

There are over 70 different species of kangaroo in the world. Which is the largest kangaroo species?

The largest kangaroo species is the red kangaroo. Red kangaroos live in the outback of Australia and grow to a maximum of 2 - 2.2 meters (6.5 - 7.2 ft).

The hot central part of the Australian continent is the habitat of the red kangaroos. Red kangaroos are extremely well adapted to the region with their body size and large jumping range. They reach a maximum speed of 70 km/h (43 mph) and can leap up to 9 m (30 ft) with a single jump.

red kangaroo with joey in pouch
a female red kangaroo with a joey in her pouch

Eastern grey kangaroos are only slightly smaller than red kangaroos. However, they appear less muscular.

Roger the biggest kangaroo

Roger was one of the most famous kangaroos. He grew up in a kangaroo sanctuary in Alice Springs (Northern Territory) after his mother was hit by a car.

The animal became famous after the release of a video that showed the gigantic size, the strong muscles, as well as the impressive weight. What was so special about Roger the gigantic kangaroo?

Roger was an Australian red kangaroo with a height of 2 m (6.5 ft) and a weight of 91 kg (200 lbs)!

Roger passed away in 2018 at the age of 12 years. In this video you can learn more about Roger the impressive kangaroo:

The biggest kangaroo species that EVER existed

procoptodon goliah
Illustrations of Procoptodon goliah. Sources: Left (Apokryltaros at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0); Top right (Nobu Tamura, CC BY 3.0); Bottom right (Nobu Tamura, CC BY-SA 4.0)

In the Pleistocene, the time period before today's present time, there were kangaroo species that were significantly larger and, above all, heavier than today's kangaroos. What was the largest kangaroo species that ever existed?

The kangaroo species Procoptodon goliah was the largest and heaviest kangaroo species that ever existed. Procoptodon were 2 meters (6.5 ft) tall standing upright and weighed up to 240 kg (530 lbs). The kangaroo species became extinct about 45,000 years ago.

Procoptodon goliah were thus only slightly larger than red kangaroos living today. However, they were significantly heavier and more powerful than today's kangaroos. Procoptodon goliah could reach branches up to 3 meters high with their long paws.

This kangaroo species lived all over the Australian mainland. Both wet and dry areas were inhabited by Procoptodon goliah.

The range of Procoptodon goliah also overlapped with Aboriginal areas for over 30,000 years. Therefore, it is believed that humans were not crucial to the extinction of the largest kangaroos ever to exist.

But why did Procoptodon goliah become extinct? The exact cause of the extinction of the largest kangaroo species is still not clear. It is possible that climatic changes at the end of the Pleistocene made it difficult for Procoptodon goliah to survive. Sometimes large and heavy animals require a good amount of food to survive.

The biggest kangaroos are males

 eastern grey kangaroo grazing in NSW national park

In most kangaroo species, males are significantly larger than females.

This phenomenon is called "sexual dimorphism" and is not unique to kangaroos.

Male kangaroos are sometimes twice as large as females and appear much more muscular.

However, there are large differences in size even among kangaroos of the same sex. Male red kangaroos reach a body size between 1.4 m (4.6 ft) and 2.2 m (7.2 ft). Female red kangaroos are significantly smaller and reach a size between 0.8 m (2.6 ft) and 1.1 m (3.6 ft).

As females are much smaller it is often difficult to distinguish larger juveniles from their mother by size.

Read this article to learn more about the size of different kangaroo species.