Kangaroos are an iconic marsupial species that can be found inhabiting Australia and its nearby islands.
They are unique creatures with strong hind legs and muscular tails, allowing them to hop along at incredible speeds of up to 40 miles per hour!
Although their appearances may seem familiar, there is still much to learn about these fascinating mammals.
Here are some interesting facts about kangaroos that you may not have known.
Fact #1: Kangaroos are marsupials.
Kangaroos are a type of marsupial, a large family of mammals whose reproductive system includes both a pouch and an external placenta.
The kangaroo’s pouch is located on the front side of its body, between its forelegs.
This pouch houses and stabilizes the young joey while they nurse and grow.
As the joey grows, it will begin to venture outside of the pouch for short periods of time and eventually leave it completely.
Fact #2: A baby kangaroo is called a joey.
A baby kangaroo is called a joey.
Newborns are the size of a lima bean and crawl from their mother’s birth canal into her pouch, where they latch onto one of four nipples.
For the first few months, the joey will remain in its mother’s pouch, feeding off her milk and growing in size.
When it is ready to explore the outside world, the joey will begin to poke its head out of the pouch and eventually leave completely.
Fact #3: Kangaroos are social animals.
Unlike many other marsupials, kangaroos are highly social creatures who live in large groups called mobs or troops.
These mobs typically consist of a dominant male, several female kangaroos, and their joeys, although the group may also contain younger males.
Fact #4: Kangaroos are native to Australia.
Kangaroos are native to Australia and its nearby islands, where they inhabit a wide variety of habitats ranging from grasslands to woodlands.
They can survive in these areas due to their ability to consume vegetation and small animals.
Kangaroos have also been introduced into New Zealand, Hawaii, and parts of the United States, although they are not considered native to these places.
Fact #5: There are four species of kangaroo.
Kangaroos are divided into four different species, each with its own unique appearance and behavior.
The red kangaroo is the largest of the species, reaching an average height of six feet and weighing up to 200 pounds.
The eastern grey kangaroo and western grey kangaroo are two other species found across Australia, while the antilopine wallaroo is found in northern Australia and nearby islands.
Fact #6: The red kangaroo is the largest kangaroo species.
The red kangaroo, the largest of all kangaroo species, can reach an impressive size of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) tall and weigh up to 90 kg (200 lbs).
This species is known for its ability to cover large distances at incredible speeds of up to 65 kilometers per hour (40 mph), with its strong hind legs and muscular tail.
It is also an incredibly adaptable species, surviving in various habitats such as deserts, woodlands, grasslands, and more.
Fact #7: Kangaroos can jump up to 30 feet in a single bound.
Kangaroos are known for their impressive jumping abilities, which allow them to cover large distances quickly.
This movement also helps them evade predators, as they can leap up to 30 feet in a single bound!
In addition, kangaroos can also swim and use their tail as extra limbs for support.
Fact #8: Kangaroos are herbivores.
Kangaroos are strictly herbivorous and feed on grasses, shrubs, and leaves.
They obtain most of their water from the plants they eat and can survive for long periods without drinking additional water.
Despite this, kangaroos will still travel to watering holes or rivers to drink when necessary.
Fact #9. The antilopine wallaroo is the smallest of all kangaroo species.
The antilopine wallaroo, the smallest of all kangaroo species, can grow up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) tall and weigh up to 30 kg (66 lbs).
This species is found in northern Australia and nearby islands, inhabiting woodlands and grasslands.
Unlike other kangaroos, the antilopine wallaroo is solitary and typically only seen alone or in pairs. Its diet consists mostly of grasses, leaves, and shrubs.
Fact #10: Kangaroos have powerful hind legs.
Kangaroos have powerful hind legs, which they use for hopping and bounding over long distances.
These legs are also used in self-defense, as kangaroos can deliver a powerful kick to ward off potential predators.
This defense mechanism is especially useful against large predators, such as dingoes, who may be intimidated by the size and strength of a kangaroo’s kick.
Fact #11: Kangaroos have long tails that they use for balance while hopping.
Kangaroos have long tails, which they use for balance while hopping. They also use their tail as extra limbs to help them navigate obstacles and climb trees.
The tail is also useful in social situations, as it can communicate with other kangaroos and indicate mood.
Fact #12: Female kangaroos have a pouch in which they carry their young.
Female kangaroos have a specialized pouch used to carry their young, known as joeys.
The joey will stay in the pouch for up to nine months before emerging and beginning to explore its environment.
This unique adaptation helps keep the baby kangaroo safe from potential predators and provides a source of warmth and protection.
Fact #13: Kangaroos can live up to 20 years in the wild.
Kangaroos can live for up to 20 years in the wild, although this is usually shorter for females due to their reproductive cycle.
In captivity, kangaroos may even reach the age of 30 – a testament to their hardy nature.
Fact #14: Kangaroos have excellent vision and hearing.
Kangaroos have excellent vision and hearing, enabling them to detect potential predators from far away.
They are also capable of seeing in color and have the ability to focus on objects that move quickly.
This is especially important when they spot and outmaneuver predators on the run.
Overall, kangaroos are an incredibly fascinating species and their unique adaptations have allowed them to thrive in a variety of habitats.
From their impressive jumping abilities to their powerful hind legs, these animals truly are remarkable!