Common names (Eldridge and Coulson 2015)
Other colloquial or local names
Fossil history and evolutionary relationships
Closest known extant relatives
Note: The information on this page describes kangaroos in a general sense, unless otherwise noted as being specific to gray (or western gray) kangaroos.
Changing public perceptions of kangaroos
Culture and folklore
Television and film
Class: Mammalia (Linnaeus, 1758)
Order: Diprotodontia (Owen, 1866) – koalas, wombats, possums, and macropods (kangaroos, tree kangaroos, wallabies, etc.)
Family: Macropodidae (Gray, 1821) – kangaroos, tree kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons, etc.
Genus: Macropus (Shaw, 1790)
Subgenus: Macropus (Macropus) (Shaw, 1790)
Species: Macropus fuliginosus (Desmarest, 1817) - western gray kangaroo
Subspecies: M. f. fuliginosus (Desmarest, 1817)
Subspecies: M. f. melanops (Gould, 1842)
**Note: Some researchers recognize M. f. ocydromus as a third distinct subspecies, although current genetic evidence (e.g., Neaves et al. 2013) seems to have overturned this formerly recognized subspecies.
Sources: Jackson and Groves (2015); Integrated Taxonomic Information System (2017)
Illustration by John Gould of two Western Gray Kangaroos.
Plate 3; by Gould J. The Mammals of Australia, 1863. Biodiversity Heritage Library. Public domain.