The Amusing Kangaroo

Kangaroo’s are so pretty and interesting.

In Australia kangaroos outnumber humans, which is mostly due to the clearing of lands for pasture. Also, there is an increased availability of surface water. A full  grown kangaroo stands 6 1/2 ft. tall and can weigh as much as 200 lbs. Over short distances they can travel 44 m.p.h.

They can jump fences that are 5ft. high effortlessly, but have been known to jump up to 10 ft. with a running start, and have a leap as high as 26ft. Their most dangerous defense is to grab with their front paws, jump and kick with their back legs. They have extremely sharp toenails which can shred clothing and skin. They can also use their tail as a stabilizer and kick you.

Humans are usually not in any danger from kangaroos, but domesticated ones can become aggressive if they have too much sugar in their diets. If they gather together in groups, they are called “mobs”. In the wild, they have a lifespan of up to 18 yrs. Some of the nicknames for male kangaroos are bucks, boomers, or old man. Nicknames for the female kangaroos are does, flyers or jills. Baby kangaroos are always known as joeys.

If you are able to move forward to a kangaroo, they will let you get close but you have to freeze in place as soon as they look at you. When you are still, they see you as part of the landscape. If the conditions are unfavorable for a normal term pregnancy, kangaroos can slow down the development of the fetus. This is called embryonic diapause. A joey isn’t born fully developed, is under an inch long, and is forced to make it’s own way into the mother’s pouch where the teats are located. They stay there for 9 months during which they finish development.

Kangaroos do not need very much water for survival and, like the camel, can go for many weeks without drinking. Some of the moisture they get is gained from grass, young leave and shoots. They have a chambered stomach like a cow and chew regurgitated food (cud).

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One Response to “The Amusing Kangaroo”
  1. Thespeakman Says...

    On February 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    An excellet article Sheila

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