How Long Is a Kangaroo's Life Span?

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The kangaroo family of marsupials -- animals with pouches for their babies -- have as many as 50 species, each with a different estimated life span. Some are rarely seen, so it's difficult to know how long they live. Red, Eastern gray and Western gray kangaroos are more common and have better known life spans.

Giant Reds

At up to 7 feet tall, red kangaroos are the largest marsupials in the world, and generally live longer than other kangaroos -- up to 22 years in the wild and 16 in captivity. Red kangaroos are found mostly in the central plains of Australia.

Eastern Grays

At 5 or 6 feet tall, Eastern gray kangaroos are slightly shorter and heavier than red kangaroos. Eastern kangaroos live along the east coast of Australia, and can live 8 to 12 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.

Western Grays

Western gray kangaroos live to be between 9 and 13 years old. They inhabit the western and southern areas of Australia. They're smaller, thinner and lighter weight than the Eastern gray kangaroos.

Kangaroos by the Numbers

Kangaroos are known for their hopping, jumping and leaping -- and for good reason. They can leap a distance of 25 to 30 feet in one hop, or jump up to 10 feet high. They typically travel at a speed of about 12 mph, but in short spurts their speed can increase to 35 mph.

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Author

Barbara Bean-Mellinger is an award-winning writer in southwest Florida. She currently writes articles for newspapers, magazines and websites on topics including people, animals, careers and education, as well as advertising and promotional materials for businesses. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.