Joey, Mum & Dad
|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Chordates (Chordata) - Mammals (Mammalia)|
|Order:||Kangaroos & Wombats (Diprotodontia)|
|Family:||Kangaroo & Wallaby (Macropodidae) iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Black-faced Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus ssp melanops)|
|Other name:||Western Grey Kangaroo|
Thank you Sea-Kangaroo, Michal Sloviak & Karen Weaving for confirming the id of this species for us
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), the Adelaide Hills, the Flinders Ranges and elsewhere
Difficult to distinguish from the Red Kangaroo, as they vary in colour greatly and can have rufous tones. Colour cannot be used for identification.
The key we find easiest to spot is that the Red has a more dog like muzzle. The Grey has a finer, narrower muzzle.
The Grey also has fluffier ears.
It's a joy to be able to walk within 20m of feeding roos on Ellura and not have them run in fear. They sit back on their legs and watch, then continue grazing.
The reason the Grey's have a finer muzzle than the Red's is because the Grey's prefer to eat bushes (saltbush, westringia rigida, etc), where as the Red's eat grass. New shoots are a delicacy for the Grey's. The finer muzzle allows them to more easily get into the hard prickly bushes to find their tit-bits. The Greys do eat grass as well, along with the weed "Thread Iris".
Male roo's are called "Jacks", and females "Jills".
All the mainland Western Grey's have been put into sub-species melanops. The sub-species name "melano" means black; ergo "Black-faced". Those on Kangaroo Island have retained the Western Grey Common name and are the type species, ssp fuliginosus.
One suspects since the western invasion some of the KI sub-species would have been brought to the mainland & escaped?
The shot of the pair here highlights the size difference between males & females. You can see the very strong shoulders & forearms of the male compared with the female. The species varies greatly in size with adult females sometimes being only slightly larger than some larger joeys.
We usually have a couple of resident females grazing Ellura. Occasionally we'll get others visit as they pass thru and then a male will hange around for a few weeks when a female is on heat. The residents (which change over time) are much more placid. Males & visiting females are very timid and bound away without a moments hesitation.