What Is the Scientific Name of Kangaroos?

scientific-name-kangaroos Credit: Andrew Watson/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Each of the four main species of kangaroo, all belonging to the family Macropodidae, has a different scientific name based on the root Macropus. All species live in Australia, and one related species, the tree kangaroo, also lives in Papua New Guinea.

The red kangaroo, the largest surviving marsupial in the world, is known by its scientific name Macropus rufus. The eastern gray kangaroo, Macropus giganteus, is the kangaroo most often seen by travelers. The western gray kangaroo is called Macropus fuliginosus and is slightly smaller than its eastern counterpart. Finally, the antilopine kangaroo, Macropus antilopinus, shares behaviors with its larger cousin, the red kangaroo.