Kangaroo is a marsupial from Australia that belongs to the family Macropodidae, which means “large foot”. About 50 different species are part of kangaroo family and their weight range from 0.5 to 90 kilograms. All female have a pouches in which the young kangaroo is raised. The Kangaroo is used as Australian National Symbol and as an icon for different brand.
KANGAROO: the most characteristic animal of the Australian wildlife.
Kangaroo is a marsupial mammal from the islands of Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea. Although mainly species are native of Australia, a few of them are from South America.
Red Kangaroo. (image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo)
Kangaroos belong to the super family Macropodidae that means ‘large foot’. The super family is divided into the Macropodidae and the Potoroidae families.
The Macropodidae family includes Red Kangaroo, Grey Kangaroo, Antilopine, Kangaroo Wallabies, Wallaroos, Quokka, Pademelons, and Forest wallabies, while, the Potoroinae family includes many smaller species the Bettong, Potoroo, and Rat-kangaroo.
Tammar Wallabies. (Image source: http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/1290)
Kangaroos are herbivorous given that, they eat several plants. They vary greatly in size and weight, ranging from 0.5 kilograms to 90 kilograms.
All Kangaroo species have a distinctive feature from other animals in their long feet and powerful back legs and the typical way they hop on their strong back legs, moreover, they use the tail to balance themselves while hopping.
All female possess a front-opening pouches with four nipples, in which the young kangaroo, is raised until it can survive outside the pouch.
Female Eastern Grey Kangaroo with joey. (image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo)
These marsupials live in a diversity of habitats, for example, Potoroids make nests, while tree-kangaroos live above ground in trees. Larger species of kangaroo have a propensity to refuge under trees or in caves and rock clefts.
Most kangaroos are able to breed all year round since have no set breeding cycle. A kangaroo population can increase fourfold in five years, as they are such prolific breeders, the only problem could be lack of food and water.
1. In the Australian desert there is not car speed limit. It is very harmful for kangaroos, since they can reach speeds of around 50 km/h (31 mph) and are quite heavy, the force of impact with a vehicle can be severe. A collision with a car is able of killing kangaroo and its occupants. As a consequence, “kangaroo crossing” signs are frequent in Australia.
Kangaroo crossing sign and a kangaroo crossing a highway in Australia. (image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo)
2. The Kangaroo is used as Australian National Symbol and as an icon for different brand, including Qantas, the Australia’s national airline.
3. Kangaroo meat contains very little saturated fat relative to other meats and is high in protein, iron and zinc. Kangaroos have been hunted from Australia’s Indigenous peoples for both the meat and the skins. Nowadays, Kangaroo skins and furs are exported to a large number of markets in Europe, the USA and Asia.
Kangaroo steak. (image source: www.ezycook.com/meat_kangaroo.html)
4. Kangaroos have developed as element of the Australian ecosystem and, with their soft feet, cause no environmental degradation when they are at natural population levels. However, kangaroo populations have increased considerably due to the use of European farming methods.
Kangaroos in the bush. (image source: www.sydney-australia.biz/victoria/gippsland/)