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Home Boxing How Kangaroos Battle | Echidna Walkabout Excursions

How Kangaroos Battle | Echidna Walkabout Excursions

How do kangaroos combat?

Mud flying. Scratching, pounding. Grunts and growls. Thump! Two enormous kangaroo ft meet a kangaroo stomach.

how kangaroos fight

Watching a kangaroo combat is like watching a really unusual sport. Their stance and magnificence is kind of human – akin to boxers in a hoop – circling, punching, grappling. Like boxers, kangaroos spar loads earlier than they really combat. These play-fights are widespread and sometimes seen within the night in spring and summer season in southern Australia. Watch kangaroo combating on our new Sundown tour.

However once they kick, the combat turns into unusual. There isn’t a human equal of a double-foot kick while balancing in your tail. And its not sport when two alpha males combat to the demise.


There have been unusual sounds coming from the kangaroo mob. We felt the hazard as we rounded the bend within the highway, nicely earlier than we knew what was taking place. The air was wealthy with a scent that I can solely describe as testosterone.

Two enormous male Japanese Gray Kangaroos have been combating within the Bush at Serendip Wetlands west of Melbourne. Actual combating. This was not a sport.

Enormous gray our bodies grappled and strained towards one another. Their palms lashed out at one another’s heads. Kicks thundered into bellies each few seconds, making the thump sound we had heard.

This was greater than a combat for all times. This was a combat for the way forward for their species.  Watch:

Why do kangaroos combat?

Male kangaroos combat for intercourse.

A feminine kangaroo will mate with the male with the best standing. So for a male having the best standing attainable ensures extra intercourse.

Standing is established amongst the males in an space by combating. The last word standing is Alpha Male, however only a few males obtain that. Males can breed with out alpha standing, however provided that the alpha is just not round.


The older male had fought this manner earlier than, and had received. In successful he had grow to be the supreme sex-god of the kangaroo world. He may have any feminine he wished, and no-one would argue. He was Alpha Male.

The youthful male had by no means fought like this earlier than. He had sparred and received, many many occasions. However that was simply follow main as much as this. This was the combat that he, and all male kangaroos, reside for. Failure may imply demise, however it could be price it.

For an animal species to adapt and survive, solely one of the best ought to breed.

The youthful male went down. 70+kg of muscle hit the bottom exhausting in a punishing fall that may lead to horrible bruising. Seizing the benefit, the older male jumped on him, hitting and wrestling in a determined try to preserve him down and finish the combat.


Kangaroos don’t actually combat a lot.

I’ve been watching Japanese Gray Kangaroos intently for 25 years – for a lot of of these years I used to be seeing the identical mobs of kangaroos three or 4 occasions every week all yr. I’ve seen kangaroos sparring typically. However I’ve solely seen a giant combat for Alpha standing twice.

When male kangaroos are younger they be taught to combat by sparring – at first with their mom, then later with different younger males. As they become old they set up their place within the mob by sparring with different males. The sparring turns into extra intense, lasts longer, and hurts extra as they get greater and extra skilled.

To keep away from accidents, kangaroos strive bluffing.

Why combat and get damage for those who don’t should? Many male animals undertake physique language and postures to point out different males how sturdy and decided they’re. Its a approach of claiming “I may combat you, and I might win.” Males watch this show and determine whether or not its definitely worth the effort to combat.

Kangaroo bluff show consists of those strikes, normally on this order:

  • Exaggerated pentapedal strolling
  • Ball dealing with and exaggerated grooming
  • Chest rubbing
  • Grass pulling
  • Excessive standing
why do kangaroos avoid fights

the male on the left is about to start out excessive standing, the male on the fitting is chest rubbing

Learn extra about male kangaroo show right here

How do they combat?

If all of the bluff shows don’t work, and two huge males are evenly matched, a combat will happen.

A combat normally begins with one male approaching the opposite and smacking at his face together with his hand. Each stand up on their toes, lean their heads again and hit and grapple one another with their palms.

The following transfer is the kick. Balancing on his tail, a kangaroo leans again and kicks out on the different male’s stomach. Massive claws on the ft, and large muscle tissues within the legs be sure that the kick is painful and damaging. Male kangaroos have thickened pores and skin round their bellies to guard themselves from this, they usually can take tons of of kicks in the middle of a combat. A couple of kicks like this is able to be ample to disembowel a human.

The spherical of kicking and hitting is interspersed with wrestling because the males attempt to power one another to the bottom. If one falls, the opposite will press on with the assault, attempting to maintain the opposite male down.

wild kangaroo fight kicking


The older male was the higher fighter, retaining his stability, timing his kicks nicely. He was greater too – entry to one of the best grass had given him muscle tissues like Arnold Schwarzenegger. However the youthful male was decided. He fought his approach up once more and attacked exhausting.

For 30 minutes we watched, unable to pull ourselves away. The 2 males fought on and on. They have been drained and their chests have been stained with blood.

The younger male went down repeatedly, however all the time returned to the combat stronger and extra decided. You needed to admire his braveness. He was unstoppable.



How does it finish?

Lastly, after hours or days, one male will give up. He makes this apparent by coughing. It sounds similar to a human cough. He might have to cough a number of occasions earlier than the winner will settle for his submission.


In time the older male began to falter. He was compelled down, and although he fought exhausting, the younger male didn’t let him up. He coughed, however the younger male saved at him. He coughed once more, attempting to creep away. He was completed, he was damage. He had misplaced every little thing however his life.

The younger male was additionally damage, however his testosterone was surging. He adopted the older male as he backed away, attempting to combat him. Nevertheless it was over. He lay down, relieved and sore, surrounded by the females that have been now his.

The older male retreated so far as he may handle, then fell over, exhausted. We’ll by no means know if he survived, however his days of glory have been over.



Some males die on account of a combat of this magnitude – in a research cited by Jarman* two of six males died after a giant combat. Accidents sustained are each inside and exterior.

That is how kangaroos combat to make sure that solely one of the best – the strongest and fittest, essentially the most decided and clever – produce the longer term generations.

Be taught extra and watch how kangaroos combat on our Sundown Koalas & Kangaroos IN THE WILD tour.

For a full checklist of all of the Kangaroos & Wallabies (Macropods) of Australia click on right here. 


Jarman, P. J. (2000). Males in macropod society. Primate Males. Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge, 21-33.

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