On the Australian coat of arms the Emu and the Kangaroo were selected as symbols of Australia to represent the country progress because they are always moving forward and never move backwards. Kangaroos are the largest marsupial mammals. They belong to the Macropodidae family.There are 47 varieties of kangaroo, ranging in size from the two-pound rock wallaby to the 6-foot, 300-pound red kangaroo. Here are the list of interesting kangaroo facts:
1. The largest living kangaroo, the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) is also the largest living marsupial. Males are up to 1.8m (6 ft) tall and weigh up to 84 kg (187lbs). Kangaroos grow duirng all their life, which can be up to 20 years. Giant short faced kangaroos (Procoptodon), extinct 40,000 years ago, were 3 m (10 feet tall) and weighed 200 kg. The smallest living kangaroo (Darcopsulus) is a lesser forest wallaby from New Guinea,as big as a rat.
2. Tree kangaroos live in northeastern Australia and New Guinea! They sleep during the day in the trees, but at night they get down to graze just like the other kangaroos.
3. Large kangaroos have no other predator (except humans) than dingos and crocodiles. When a kangaroo is attacked by a dingo pack, it tries to escape in the water, where it can drown its attackers, or it defends itself with powerful kicks and tearing with the claws of the fore limbs.
4. Kangaroos live in groups made of 8-25 individuals, called mobs. A mob is made up of a male (the leader), several females and the young. Kangaroos are solitary in the rainy season and gregarious during the dry season.
5. The stomach represents 15 % of the kangaroo’s weight. The digestion of the cellulose takes place in the stomach by symbiont bacteria (cows and deer do the same, but they also ruminate). Kangaroos graze in the morning, evening and during the night. Kangaroos can resist without water 2-3 months.
6. On a warm weather, to cool themselves, the kangaroos moisten their limbs with saliva. At temperatures of 45o C, kangaroos can take refuge in caves.
7. Kangaroo’s back feet are made of two joined toes (syndactily). The fourth toe is extremely long bearing a large nail that makes kangaroo’s kick extremely dangerous for dogs and even humans. The tail (long up to 1.1 m or 3.6 ft in large kangaroos) is used for leaning and for balancing during the jumps. The length of the “sole” of a large kangaroo can be 26 cm (10.5 in).
8. Western grey kangaroo looks much like the Eastern grey kangaroo, and for many years was treated as subspecies. They vary in color, being anywhere from greyish-brown to chocolate brown. The muzzle is covered in fine hair. The western group is slender and greyish-brown in color, and the southern group is stockier and brown in color.
9. Female kangaroos enter into heat within a few days after giving birth they mate and conceive, but after only one week’s development the microscopic embryo enters a dormant state that lasts until the previous young leaves the pouch. The development of the second embryo then resumes and proceeds to birth after a gestation period of about 30 days.
10. A kangaroo factsthat they carries its baby in its pouch. The baby is born really tiny and crawls into its mother’s pouch. The baby lives in its mother’s pouch till its quite large. Even when its quite large it still drinks milk from a teat in its mother’s pouch. It sometimes jumps into its mother’s pouch head first when frightened.
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