Are Kangaroos Nocturnal or Diurnal? (Answered)

Kangaroos love to be in the sheds during the daytime. This could be after a long time of grazing or foraging the grasslands and woodlands. However, their day character is much different when compared with the night. If you drive on most Australian roads during the night, the chances of spotting a kangaroo are very high. So, are kangaroos nocturnal?

You could find kangaroos both day and night time grazing. So, determining when they are more active could be very challenging. However, under close observation, you’ll get your answer. Here in this article, we’ve broken down the most difficult question concerning kangaroo behavior and provided you with valid answers.

Read: Are Kangaroos Lazy?


Are Kangaroos Nocturnal or Diurnal?

Kangaroos are nocturnal. They are much more active during the night. However, you can also spot them grazing or playing during the day. But you’ll find most of them relaxing under trees during the day. This is because they spend most of the night hours grazing while spending the daytime relaxing under trees. They only come out when it is cloudy.

Most predators are active during the day, with only a few hunting at night. This increases the chances of survival for the kangaroos. Besides, kangaroos love a calm environment away from disturbance.

Night hours are a good fit for that because there is minimum locomotion from humans and other animals. Kangaroos can forage longer miles in the dark, searching for both water and good grazing grounds.

Do Kangaroos Move at Night?

Kangaroos move at night, searching for nice grazing grounds and water. They can travel for hours, covering longer miles. This could be due to the fact that they are more active during the night. They have well-developed senses and can notice any foreign being near them.

Also, kangaroos move at night to escape dangers like forest fires and other dangerous animals which prey on kangaroos. If you love driving in the dark on Australian roads, the chances of coming across a group of kangaroos are very high.

How Do Kangaroos Sleep?

Kangaroos sleep while lying on their back with its head raised above the ground or can sleep on their chest with the forelimbs supporting the chest. This chest sleeping position resembles that of a human. They love sleeping during the day because they spend most of the night hours grazing and foraging in the grasslands and dry woodlands.

They take short naps in day time but will depend on the energy level of the sun. When it is cloudy, they become active.

Because most of the Australian regions occupied by the kangaroos are hot all year round, they love resting under shades of trees and bushes. When the temperature is too high, kangaroos dig shallow pits where they’ll cool themselves.

They are very vigilant and will respond quickly to disturbance even when asleep. They are much aware of their habitat and will respond quickly in case of danger.

Where Do Kangaroos Sleep?

Kangaroos sleep in the habitat they live in. They sleep mainly in shelters like open caves and shade trees and shrubs. Because they are nocturnal animals, they sleep mainly during the day and become active the night and late morning. Kangaroos do not have a home or build a nest. They survive in the wilderness with nowhere to call except the grasslands and dry woodlands in the plains.

Generally, the resting time during the day is the sleeping time for these animals. They’ll find shelter under trees or in open caves even when it rains. The day temperature in most Australian regions is very hot; therefore, kangaroos will become inactive and find reasons to sleep. When dark enters, they become active until late morning when they again look for shades.


Are Red Kangaroos Nocturnal?

Red kangaroos are nocturnal and crepuscular, resting in the shade most of the daytime. However, they do not sleep all day long; sometimes, they move about in the daytime. During sunny days, they rely mainly on trees and bushes rather than caves or rocky outcrops for shelter. They spend less time sleeping but take most of the other hours on grazing.

Red kangaroos occupy most of central and western Australia. They occupy the grassland, scrubland, and deserts. These regions have scattered trees, if not bushes.

Read: Do Kangaroos Eat Meat?

If you’re to venture these places during the day, you’ll find most red kangaroos relaxing and some sleeping under the shades away from the scorching sun. They have a better survival mechanism; their bodies store water. They also make most of the fresh vegetation as their main diet, thus increasing the amount of water in their bodies.

How Many Hours Does a Kangaroo Sleep?

Kangaroos sleep approximately 6 hours if there is no disturbance or threat. However, this figure is not quite common in most kangaroos simply because they are always on their senses and ready to respond to intruders. For this reason, they take short naps and open their eyes to check the surrounding.

Kangaroos have a well-developed sense of hearing, eyesight, and even smell. They are capable of noting a foreign being near their territories. Besides taking short naps, they become active when it is cloudy during the day and go out of the shade to graze.

So, it is hard to come up with a concrete answer as to how long the kangaroos sleep. It all depends on the nature of the surrounding.

Do Kangaroos Sleep Standing Up?

No, kangaroos sleep lying down. Like humans, most wild animals will need time to rest and regain their lost energy. Kangaroos can sleep lying on their backs facing upwards or resting on their chest while supporting themselves with their forearms. They have a sleeping position resembling that of a man.

During the night, kangaroos can travel greater miles searching for better feeding grounds and water. And also spend some of the day time grazings. Therefore, they become exhausted, and they’ll need time to rest lying down so that the muscles and other body parts can reduce fatigue.

Do Kangaroos Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

No, kangaroos sleep with their eyes closed. Most wild animals sleep with their eyes closed, except a few. Generally, animals with eyelids will sleep with their eyes closed. Closing eyelids help to clean off dust and other solid debris possibly entered during foraging.

Animals with eyes closed are mainly fish and insects. These animals have no eyelids. They either have simple or compound eyes. However, they both take time to relax after a long day of finding food. Exhaustion is a common thing the almost animals here on earth.

What Do Kangaroos Eat?

Kangaroos are generally herbivores, meaning they only eat plants and plant materials. They have a specialized digestive system that allows them to digest useful plant nutrients for their body’s growth and protection against diseases.

Kangaroos mainly feed on flowers, shrubs, grasses, ferns, bush leaves, insects, and moss. They have two stomachs. These stomachs have useful fungi and bacteria which help in fermenting food.

The kangaroo always spits the fermented plant materials from the first stomach to grind it into finer food and later swallow. This food is taken to the second stomach to complete the process of digestion. Its diet is mainly high in silica which mainly keeps them from clumping.

How Does a Kangaroo Get Its Food?

A kangaroo gets its food by foraging in the forest and grassland, looking for a good food source. Kangaroos are known to travel about 13 miles searching for food. They normally get down on four limbs to reduce energy loss and slowly walk when foraging.

When drought strikes, they normally constrict to one area where there is food. During this time, there were plenty of mass deaths, and the population slowly declined.

To survive, kangaroos are known to pick the carcasses of their fellow kangaroo to find out if they’ll get anything for sustenance. Australia is sunny almost all year round, with only a few places receiving plenty of rainfall. When drought strikes, it becomes too heavy, and its impact could be unbearable for most species, including kangaroos.

What Does a Joey Eat?

A joey sucks milk from its mother. The pouch of the mother has three teats. Soon after birth, the joey travels up the pouch searching for the teat and locates it using instincts. The mother’s teats inside the joey are too small to fit the baby’s mouth. As soon as it locates one, it is tightly hung to suck.

The inside of the pouch is favorable for the growth of the joey. The mother usually ensures the pouch is clean from waste by leaking.

Final Verdict

Kangaroos are nocturnal, meaning they are active mainly during the night. Although you could find them grazing in the daylight, they are much more active at night. Kangaroos love spending most of the daytime resting and napping in the shade, mainly trees and shrubs.

However, under extreme temperatures, they can go under open caves or dig shallow holes to cool their bodies. Because they have eyelids, they sleep while closing their eyes. Kangaroos are among the largest marsupials animals and feed mainly on plants and plant products.

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.