Travel the internet and learn. There is a wealth of information at our fingertips and I stumbled upon some pretty amazing information regarding kangaroos and their cousins. Did you know that there are some 50 different species?
At Yahoo! Education we learn that marsupials are any of various nonplacental mammals of the order Marsupialia, including kangaroos, opossums, bandicoots, wombats, and Tasmanian devils found principally in Australia and the Americas. There are 50 some species, some of which are small like rabbits and some which can climb trees.
Kangaroos – Flourishing for millions of years
The kangaroo, one of the many types of marsupials, still flourishes, but only in Australia, as they have for millions of years, housing their babies in outside pockets. While many other animals have adapted over the years, the kangaroo has remained relatively unchanged. There are 50 some species, some of which are small like rabbits and some which can climb trees, living in Australia, Tasmania, northward to New Guinea and also in some neighboring islands.
From a “worm” to a joey
The new born kangaroo is less than an inch long and semi-transparent like a worm. Three could easily fit in a teaspoon. The only part of the baby that is fully developed is its tiny front paws which are very similar to hands. The tiny baby grips a hold of mom’s fur and makes the journey to his mother’s pouch. Once there he attaches himself to her milk gland and she pumps milk into him, as he does not have the ability to feed himself. In order to keep him safely inside she has special muscles which keep her pouch securely around him.
Another amazing thing about joeys is that they are equipped with an elongated part of their larynx directly connected to the back portion of their nasal passage allowing for oxygen to pass directly into their lungs.
One kick can kill
At the age of four months old the joey has grown his own fur coat and has started to peek out from mother’s pouch. Occasionally he will graze with his mother, quickly scampering back inside the safety of the pouch at any sign of danger. When mother is in danger she will quickly stash her young only coming back to get him once the fracas is over. The mother kangaroo is a worthy opponent. One kick of a kangaroo’s powerful leg can kill a menacing dog or a man.
Full grown, a kangaroo weighs approximately 200 pounds and is taller than a man. They love to play box or tag with one another and will play for hours.