Kangaroos are one of the most recognizable animals in the world, and are the only large animal that can hop.
They are found in Australia, and are the largest marsupials on the planet. Kangaroos have short fur, powerful back legs, large feet, long pointy ears, and big muscular tails.
The red kangaroo can grow over 6 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds. Kangaroos can cover a distance of 15 feet in a single hop and can hop at speeds of up to 30 mph.
Kangaroos are social animals that live in groups called a troop, herd, or mob. If a kangaroo senses danger, it will stomp its foot to warn others in the group.
If confronted they will kick and box an opponent. Kangaroos are herbivores and enjoy a diet of flowers, grasses, ferns, moss, and leaves. They are often more active at dawn and dusk.
Female kangaroos have pouches where their young live until they grow large enough to emerge. Kangaroos are a member of the Macropodidae family of marsupials.
This family also includes wallabies, tree-kangaroos, wallaroos, pademelons, quokkas, and several other groups.
Here are animals that share similarities with Kangaroos.
Scientific name: Notamacropus
Quick summary: A smaller, close relative of the kangaroo.
At first glance, wallabies share a similar appearance to kangaroos. Both have long hind legs and a long tail to help them move around quickly by hopping.
Wallabies are usually smaller than kangaroos, with a head and body length of around 18 to 41 inches.
Wallabies are marsupials and carry their young in a pouch and are in the same order, family, and subfamily as kangaroos.
Just like kangaroos, they will warn other wallabies of potential dangers and use their powerful hind legs to kick potential predators.
Larger species of wallabies are sociable like kangaroos and live in groups of up to 50 called a mob. Smaller species are often solitary.
Wallabies are herbivores whose diet consists of vegetables, grasses, leaves, and other foliage. Due to a loss of habitat, many wallabies now feed in urban and rural areas.
Scientific name: Macropus robustus
Quick summary: A kangaroo-like herbivore that lives in Australia.
A wallaroo is a member of the Macropodidae family of marsupials. They are bigger than wallabies but usually smaller than a kangaroo.
The common wallaroo weighs around 120 pounds and can grow over 5 feet tall. Wallaroos raise their young in a furry pouch on their tummy in the same way as kangaroos.
Just like kangaroos, wallaroos are known for hopping and for their large feet. They are herbivores like their kangaroo cousins, and mostly graze on grass.
These fascinating animals can go for three months without drinking water, surviving on the water in the plants they eat.
Wallaroos live in the mountains and have shorter limbs than kangaroos to help them hop around on the rocky hillsides.
3. Tree Kangaroo
Scientific name: Dendrolagus
Quick summary: A close relative of the kangaroo that lives in trees.
Tree kangaroos are found in the rainforests and lowlands of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the north of Queensland, Australia. Their appearance looks like a cross between a lemur and a kangaroo.
Tree kangaroos have dense, thick red fur and a dark strip down their back. Their feet, limbs, and ear tips are yellow and they have white faces.
They have adapted to living in trees, and have stronger forelimbs and shorter legs than kangaroos.
Just like kangaroos, tree kangaroos have powerful hind legs. These fascinating animals are the only macropods that live in trees, and can jump from a height of 59 feet without getting hurt.
Their thick tails provide balance as they move around through the trees.
Like kangaroos and other marsupials, tree kangaroos are born tiny and grow in their mother’s pouch. Many species of tree kangaroos are endangered due to humans destroying their forest habitat.
Scientific name: Setonix brachyurus
Quick summary: A small, adorable member of the Macropodidae family.
Quokkas are a member of the Macropodidae family like kangaroos, but are a different genus. These cute, smiling animals are the only members of the Setonix genus.
They are much smaller than many other macropods and weigh around 5.5 to 11 lbs.
Although they are much smaller than their kangaroo cousins, they share many other similarities.
The food habits of quokkas are similar to kangaroos and they enjoy eating different types of vegetation.
The reproduction of quokkas is also similar to kangaroos. Both animals are marsupials, and their young joey grows up in its mother’s pouch.
Quokkas are often called the happiest animals in the world, and they will often hop toward humans and pose for selfies.
5. Musky Rat-Kangaroo
Scientific name: Hypsiprymnodon moschatus
Quick summary: A small marsupial only found in the rainforests of northeast Australia.
The musky rat-kangaroo is the smallest member of the kangaroo family. These tiny marsupials are around the size of a guinea pig, weighing up to 1.5 pounds.
They are the closest living relative to the first species of possum which all kangaroos first evolved from. Musky rat-kangaroos are thought to have survived in Australia’s rainforests for more than 20 million years.
Although they look like small kangaroos, musky rat-kangaroos scurry on the ground and don’t hop.
They raise their young in their pouch just like kangaroos, but usually give birth to twins.
The musky rat-kangaroo is only found in a small area of rainforest in northeastern Queensland, Australia.
Scientific name: Thylogale
Quick summary: A marsupial similar in appearance to kangaroos.
Pademelons look like kangaroos with their black noses, triangular-shaped faces, and strong hind legs. They are smaller than kangaroos and wallabies, typically weighing around 14 pounds.
Just like kangaroos, they hop to move around and carry their young in a pouch. They also have large ears like kangaroos so they can listen out for predators.
Pademelons are herbivores like their larger kangaroo relatives and feed on grass, leaves, plants, and berries.
Unlike kangaroos, they are solitary animals, but come together to breed throughout the year. They can be found in the forest and coastal areas of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
7. Spring Hare
Scientific name: Pedetes capensis
Quick summary: A long-legged African rodent that looks like a kangaroo.
The springhare is an African rodent that resembles a small kangaroo. Adults grow to around 31 inches in length and weigh around 6-7 pounds.
Like kangaroos, spring hares have well-developed hind legs and a long tail which they use for balance.
Spring hares are excellent at hopping and jumping and can make leaps of over 6 feet and 7 inches. They are also herbivores, preferring to graze on plant matter including stems, roots, and leaves.
These cute animals are homebodies who find their food nearby and do not roam far from the burrows where they live.
Not much is known about the social life of spring hares, but large numbers of 30 or 40 individuals can often live in one area. They usually live in burrows which can sometimes be linked together.
Spring hares give birth to a single young around three times a year. Unlike kangaroos, their babies are well-developed when they are born with plenty of furs.
They can sit on their hind legs immediately and can run on the second day after they are born.
Springhares are rapidly losing living space on our planet. Ranching, fencing of land, and human settlement has meant the loss of critical habitat for these cute animals.
Scientific name: Potorous
Quick summary: A rat-like marsupial that moves like a kangaroo.
A potoroo looks like a small rat, but it hops on its back feet just like a kangaroo. These small marsupials are distant relatives of the kangaroo and make their homes on forest floors in various areas of Australia and Tasmania.
They are one of the most ancient members of the kangaroo family and haven’t changed much in 10 million years.
The largest species of potoroo is the long-footed potoroo. Adults can grow to 16 inches long and weigh around five pounds.
They have gray or dark brown fur on their back and head and white hair on their bellies. They have long tails like a kangaroo, and can even use them to carry objects.
Unlike their kangaroo cousins, potoroos are solitary animals. They also have a slightly different diet from kangaroos, eating small insects as well as vegetation.
9. Patagonian Mara
Scientific name: Dolichotis patagonum
Quick summary: A South American rodent that looks like a kangaroo.
Petagonian maras are a rodent native to Argentina. They weigh between 16 to 20 pounds and are the fourth-largest rodent in the world.
These unusual animals have elongated heads with slightly rounded snouts that are similar to the shape of a kangaroo’s head. They are covered in coarse, brownish-grey furs similar to that of a kangaroo.
Like kangaroos, Patagonian Maras are herbivores, and they spend more than one-third of their day grazing.
They have long hind limbs which can help them reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour when alarmed or threatened. Like kangaroos, their front limbs are shorter.
These adorable rodents mate for life, and a male will fiercely defend his female. Maras also rear their young communally with other pairs and share large burrows.
10. Common Wombat
Scientific name: Vombaus ursinus
Quick summary: A short-legged marsupial native to Australia and Tasmania.
Wombats are short-legged, stocky animals that are found in Australia and Tasmania. Although their appearance is different from a kangaroo, both animals are marsupials and carry their young in a pouch.
Kangaroos have a pouch on their front, but the opening to a wombat’s pouch is backwards-facing.
Wombats have much shorter, stubbier tails than kangaroos, usually measuring around 1 or 2 inches long. Adult common wombats can reach around 45 inches in length and weigh between 44 and 77 pounds.
Like kangaroos, wombats are herbivores and eat native grasses. They are most active from dusk until dawn and usually spend between 3 and 8 hours every night grazing
Wombats can live up to 15 years in the wild, compared to 8 years for kangaroos. Wombats in captivity have been known to live for around 30 years.
11. Tasmanian Devil
Scientific name: Sarcophilus harrisii
Quick summary: An unusual marsupial only found in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian devil is a fascinating animal that is only found on the Australian island of Tasmania.
These remarkable creatures share some facial similarities with kangaroos, such as smaller eyes and black noses. They are also both marsupials and carry their young in a pouch.
Adult Tasmanian devils can weigh up to 26 pounds and grow up to 20 to 31 inches long.
Unlike kangaroos, Tasmanian devils are carnivorous. They mostly eat beetles but also sometimes eat poultry.
They became the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial when the thylacine became extinct.
Tasmanian devils have been reintroduced to mainland Australia after becoming extinct.
Unlike kangaroos, these animals are solitary although they do congregate in groups when feeding on carcasses.
12. Tiger Quoll
Scientific name: Dasyurus maculatus
Quick summary: A cat-like carnivorous marsupial.
The tiger quoll or spotted-tailed quoll is the largest carnivorous marsupial living on mainland Australia. They have similar colored fur to kangaroos, but also have noticeable white markings on their fur.
Although they are not as large as a kangaroo, a male spotted-tailed quoll can weigh up to 7.7 pounds.
The tiger quoll is a member of the Dasyuridae family. This group includes most carnivorous marsupial mammals native to Australia.
Tiger quolls are marsupials like kangaroos, and carry their young in a pouch. Unlike kangaroos and other marsupials, the female tiger quoll only develops a pouch a short time before giving birth to her young.
Tiger quolls are less sociable than kangaroos, and often only meet with other individuals to mate.
These unusual animals were once common throughout Australia and Tasmania, but they are now extremely rare.
Many animals that are similar to kangaroos also live in Australia and Tasmania. Some animals that look or behave like kangaroos do live on different continents, but these animals aren’t marsupials.
There are several marsupials with similar behavior to kangaroos even though they look quite different, such as wombats and Tasmanian devils. These marsupials carry their young in a pouch, just like kangaroos.
Wallaroos and wallabies are the closest relatives of kangaroos, and they all look very similar. They also share the same diet and similar behavior.
Kangaroos are usually the largest of these animals, and size is perhaps the easiest way to tell them apart from their closest relatives.