How Do Kangaroos Mate?


The social groups of kangaroos revolve around the “mob,” which has 10 or more members. Mobs are led by the largest male kangaroo. Kangaroo mating practices can vary based on species, but there are some commonalities.

Mate Selection

  • The most dominant kangaroo in a mob, known as a “boomer,” has first pick of the female kangaroos in the mob. The boomer will check each female in the mob and sometimes intimidate any male that tries to mate with a female. What often happens is that a male kangaroo will check a female kangaroo to see if she is suitable by looking at her cloaca. Females will then choose to accept or reject the male kangaroo, often based on his size.

Mating Practices

  • The female will often urinate when the male is checking her, so that the male kangaroo can smell her urine to determine her health and suitability. If the male is satisfied, mating will then begin once the female kangaroo raises her tail to indicate that she’s responsive. Another common part of this process is tail scratching, which is a type of kangaroo foreplay. Additionally, male kangaroos sometimes give female kangaroos backrubs during the event.

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