Fun & Easy Science for Kids


Kangaroos

 

Kangaroos are marsupials found only in Australia. They have muscular tails, large and strong back legs, short fur and long, pointed ears. Female kangaroos have a pouch on their belly to cradle their babies. Macropus is the scientific name for Kangaroos that means ‘big foot’. Their large feet help them to leap about 30 feet in a single bound. They cannot walk backwards. They live in Eastern Australia. There are four species of Kangaroo that are most popularly known: – the Red, Eastern Grey, Western Grey and Antilopine.

Quick Facts: –

  • Red Kangaroos are the largest marsupials as they can grow up to 2 metres. The musky rat kangaroo is the smallest.
  • Their springy hind limbs are much larger and stronger than their forelimbs.
  • They are herbivores and generally feed upon grasses, leaves, flowers, moss, ferns and sometimes small insects.
  • Female Kangaroos have a gestation period of about 21 to 38 days and litter size of 3-4 babies.
  • A baby kangaroo is called ‘joey’. It remains in its mother’s pouch for about 9 months after birth.
  • A female joey takes 14-20 months and a male joey takes 2-4 year to reach complete maturity.
  • Female kangaroos can determine the sex of their offspring. They can delay gestation if they find some environmental factor that is not suitable for the survival of their baby.
  • Kangaroo is the national symbol of Australia. The country has more kangaroos than human beings.
  • Kangaroos are social animals and prefer to stay in groups. These groups can comprise of 100 individuals.
  • They move at slow speed in a form of locomotion known as crawl-walking.
  • These creatures have excellent hearing and can move their ears in different directions without moving the rest of their head.
 

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