Female kangaroos can determine the sex of their offspring. They can even delay gestation when environmental factors are likely to diminish the chance of young surviving.
Amazing Facts About the Kangaroo
- There are four species of kangaroo, the Red, Antilopine, Eastern Grey and Western Grey Kangaroo.
- Red Kangaroos are the largest marsupial and can grow up to 2 metres. They can reach a top speed of over 65km/h – out-pacing a top racehorse. In one leap they can jump 3m high and 7.6m long.
- On land kangaroos only ever move their hind legs together, however in water they kick each leg independently to swim.
- Kangaroos are the only large animal to use hopping as their primary method of locomotion. Hopping is a fast and energy efficient means of travelling which allows them to cover large distances in habitats where there is little food and water available.
- Female kangaroos can determine the sex of their offspring. They can even delay gestation when environmental factors are likely to diminish the chance of young surviving.
- Like all marsupials, kangaroos are born extremely early; the equivalent of the seventh week of pregnancy for humans. They travel from the birth canal as little more than an embryo by blindly propelling through the mother’s fur to the safety of the pouch, where they will spend several months developing before finally leaving to explore the world.
- Young kangaroos (joeys) will sometimes jump head first into their mother’s pouch when frightened.
- Kangaroos have excellent hearing, and like some other animals are able to move their ears in different directions without moving the rest of their head.
- Kangaroos are social animals which stay in groups of at least 3 or 4 individuals. Some groups can comprise of as many as 100 individuals.
- There are more kangaroos than humans in Australia. They are the national symbol of Australia and appear on postage stamps, coins, and aeroplanes.
- Type: Mammal (Marsupial)
- Diet: Herbivore
- Lifespan: Larger species live around 12-18 years, while smaller rat kangaroos live for 5-8 years
- Size: Head to body length ranges from 28.4 cm to 165 cm
- Weight: 0.5 kg to 95 kg
- Habitat: Wide range of habitat from deserts to rain forests
- Range: Endemic to Australia, some species also found in New Guinea, Tazmania, New Zealand and Hawaii.
- Scientific name: Macropodidae family