WILDLIFE DISCOVERY : The hopping Kangaroo

A kangaroo is a marsupial from the family of macropods, which means ‘large foot’. Kangaroos are common in the continent of Australia, the smaller ones are found in Australia and New Guinea. There are different species of Kangaroo’s; the Red Kangaroo, Antilopine Kangaroo, Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroo.

A kangaroo is a marsupial from the family of macropods, which means ‘large foot’. Kangaroos are common in the continent of Australia, the smaller ones are found in Australia and New Guinea.

There are different species of Kangaroo’s; the Red Kangaroo, Antilopine Kangaroo, Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroo.

A male kangaroo is called a boomer, a female is called a flyer while a baby kangaroo is called a Joey
The name ‘Kangaroo’ has an interesting origin.

It was discovered when European explorers first saw these strange hopping animals and asked a native Australian (aborigine) what they were called. He replied “kangaroo” meaning, “I don’t understand” your question.

The explorers thought this was the animal’s name. And that’s how the kangaroo got its name.

Female Kangaroos or flyers have abdominal pouches (small bags) in which the growing young ones continue their development after birth.

Kangaroos usually give birth to one baby annually. The young kangaroo, or Joey, is born alive at a very immature stage, when it weighs only about 2 cm long and weighs less than a gram. Immediately after birth it crawls up the mother’s body and enters the pouch.

The baby attaches its mouth to one of four teats, which then enlarges to hold the young animal in place. After several weeks, the Joey becomes more active and gradually spends more and more time outside the pouch.

It completely stops staying in the pouch between 7 and 10 months of age.

The Kangaroo moves by hopping on its powerful hind legs and it uses its thick long tail to balance its body while hopping. A kangaroo can hop up to 60kilometres per hour. It can also leap over obstacles up to three metres high.

Because of the unusual shape of its legs and its bulky tail a kangaroo cannot walk or move backwards very easily. Kangaroos are found in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea.

They are grazing animals that eat grass, young shoots and leaves on plants. Kangaroos need very little water to survive and are capable of going for months without drinking at all.

The kangaroo usually rests in the shade during the day and comes out to eat in the late afternoon and night when it’s much cooler.

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