What Do Kangaroos Eat? (Kangaroo Diet and Favorite Food)

About The Kangaroo Diet – What Do Kangaroos Eat?

Kangaroos are amongst the most iconic symbols of the Australian outback, hopping across the red sands with their joeys peeking out from their pouches. But beyond their distinctive movement and cuddly appearance, have you ever wondered what fuels these marsupials? From the red kangaroo, the largest marsupial in the world, to the smaller tree-dwelling varieties, kangaroos have a varied diet that reflects their adaptability. Understanding what kangaroos eat gives us insight into their natural behavior and habitat.

Kangaroo Diet 101 (Favorite Foods)

Kangaroos predominantly eat grasses and plants from the pea family, known as ‘forbs’. They feed on a wide variety of these, with some favorites including:


Grass makes up the bulk of a kangaroo’s diet, and species such as Wallaby Grass, Spinifex, and Tussock Grass are among their top choices. The nutritional values of these grasses are essential for kangaroos’ energy and health, especially in the harsh, arid environments where they often reside.


When grass is scarce, kangaroos turn to shrubs like Mulga and Saltbush. These provide a different set of nutrients, ensuring kangaroos can adapt their diet to their surroundings.


Leaves of various species are also on the menu for kangaroos—leaves of Eucalyptus, a favorite of the tree-dwelling kangaroos, and the more terrestrial kangaroo species may consume a range of leafy greens.


While not a significant part of the diet, kangaroos will snack on fruits when available. This could include quandongs and desert limes, especially in wetter periods or regions.

How Often Does a Kangaroo Eat?

Kangaroos are generally crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. In a 24-hour period, they may graze several times for short intervals, often returning to the same feeding patches.

How Much Do Kangaroos Eat Per Day?

On average, kangaroos consume less than 1% of their body weight in food each day. For example, a fully grown adult male red kangaroo, which can weigh 200 pounds, would eat somewhere around two pounds of food daily.

How Long Can Kangaroos Live Without Food?

Kangaroos are adapted to survive in some of the world’s harshest environments and can go for extended periods without food, especially in times of drought. They are very good at conserving energy and can use their fat reserves effectively.

Do Kangaroos Eat Meat?

Kangaroos are herbivores and do not seek out meat as part of their natural diet. They have digestive systems designed for a plant-based diet, and meat would be difficult for them to digest. Kangaroos can exhibit coprophagy, where they consume their own feces to maximize the nutrient intake from their plant-based diet.

Do Kangaroos Eat Bananas?

Bananas are not a part of a kangaroo’s natural diet. While they may technically eat a banana if offered one, it is not something they would seek out in the wild.

Do Kangaroos Eat Humans?

Instances of kangaroos attacking humans are very rare. Kangaroos are generally shy and will usually hop away if humans approach. However, there are occasional reports of kangaroos becoming aggressive, especially if they feel threatened or if humans have been feeding them, which can disrupt their natural behavior.

What Animals Eat Kangaroos?

Despite their size and strength, kangaroos are preyed upon by a variety of animals, including dingoes, eagles, and wild dogs. When threatened, kangaroos use their powerful legs to deliver a series of kicks to ward off predators.

Kangaroos Eating Habits and Diet Summary

Kangaroos are unique in their dietary consumption as they rely heavily on grass, shrubs, and leaves from plants native to Australia. Their ability to eat a range of vegetation types makes them versatile and adaptable to their environment. Most interestingly, the red kangaroo can survive on very little water, getting the majority of its moisture from its food.

Understanding the diet of these iconic animals helps us appreciate the delicate balance they maintain with their environment. It also highlights the importance of preserving their natural habitats to ensure kangaroos have a plentiful and varied diet that allows them to thrive. In the vast and often unforgiving Australian outback, the diet of kangaroos is a testament to nature’s resilience and variety.

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