Some animals are symbols of their particular continent, like the Kangaroo for Australia. They belong to the Macropodidae family which literally means ‘bigfoot’. Though they look cute on the outside, they are certainly not to be messed up with, because when they fight, they punch and kick with powerful blows, and sometimes might even bite. The males are often seen fighting for the females.
Let’s get to know this creature more by reading some facts about Kangaroo listed below.
1. Variety of Names
The females are called flyers, males as boomers, and of course the baby kangaroos are called joeys. If they are in a group they will be termed as a mob, a troop, or a court. Generally, they are seen in a small group of 3 to 4 or a huge one of 100 as they are quite social in nature.
2. Can’t Go Backwards
Australia has emu and Kangaroo on their coat of arms. This is because both of them can’t move backward. The reason for Kangaroo for that is their huge muscular tail that doesn’t allow them to jump backward.
3. Don’t Sweat at all
They don’t have sweat glands, so they relax in shaded areas when it’s hot outside.
If they wish to cool down they will lick their forearms until their fur is soaked. They are also seen licking their paws and rubbing the moisture on their chest.
4. Three Legged Animal
The tail is not just used for its balance but it’s also like an extra leg. Their walk is pretty unique in that they push off the ground with their tail followed by jumping with their legs. The combined legs force is equivalent to that of their tail.
5. Face Several Accidents
On average 80% of the animals hit by cars in Australia are kangaroos. The majority of car insurance policies don’t cover you if you drive in the outback late at night because the chances of hitting a kangaroo are so high.
6. Kangaroo Meal
A kangaroo burger is quite usual to find on the Australian menu card. It’s one of the healthy options to have as it is high in protein and low in fat, this is an alternative to other meats. As the kangaroo population is pretty high, including it to the meals is not a threat to their existence.
7. Australian Kangaroos Outnumber Humans
It’s strange but true that there are 24 million people living in Australia and there are about 44 million kangaroos as per the 2015 census. The numbers are jumping quite high since in 2009 there were only 27 million kangaroos.
8. Mostly Left Handed
It’s not just the humans that have a dominant hand but the kangaroos do too. And for them, it’s the left hand that is most often used for grooming and feeding.
9. Pause a Pregnancy
The major reason why the kangaroo population is so high is that the female kangaroos are pregnant almost all the time. Once the newborn Joey reaches the pouch the female gets pregnant again. She even has the ability to freeze the embryo development until the current Joey is able to leave the pouch. And once it leaves, she can resume her pregnancy and the cycle continues.
10. They only Hop
They can’t move their legs independently and that’s the reason why they are always seen hopping. Their legs are structured in such a way that it’s impossible for them to walk.
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11. They Flex
Just like guys flex to impress the ladies, the male kangaroos do it too. They use their arms to fend off their rival mates. The females get wowed by the kangaroos with lather biceps.
12. Some may Sacrifice Their Little Ones
Fighting back against the predators would be less realistic for smaller kangaroos. Hence mothers are seen dropping their joeys and running off for life. This behavior is seen in the gray kangaroos.
13. Water is the Escape
Kangaroos might get attacked by humans or dingoes at times. To save themselves they often run toward the water. Once there, the kangaroo will make an attempt to drown the attacker. Or the kangaroo will back the predator against a tree and kick – this kick can even kill a human being.
14. Emit Less Methane
Scientists have found a special type of bacterium in the stomach of kangaroos that process their food without producing methane. This is wonderful for the environment as well as the health of the animal itself.
15. A Specie of Kangaroo Lives on Trees
If we spot these you wouldn’t think they are kangaroos. These kangaroos can’t hop like the usual ones, instead they walk on all four legs. These are native to New Guinea.
16. Newborn Babies are Small as a Lima Bean
Joeys are really tiny when they emerge. For 4 months straight, they stay in the pouch, at which point they leave the pouch for a short period of time. At 10 months they are finally ready to leave the pouch and face the world.
17. Buff Animal
They have the strongest and most muscular legs among all the hopping species. They are genetically predisposed to be muscular. 50% of their total weight comes from the muscles themselves. This makes them naturally buff.
18. Short Life Span
In the wild, a kangaroo can live about 15-20 years on average. But in captivity, they can survive a little longer than 20 years.
19. 4 Species in Australia
There are a total of four species of kangaroos in Australia– western grey kangaroo, red kangaroos, eastern grey kangaroo, and the Antilopine kangaroo.
20. Variations in Color
The varied species of kangaroos are of different colors. The fur of the Kangaroos can be either red or brown. Some of them might have dark grey to black color all over their bodies except bellies which are nearly white.
The more you read about these creatures, the more fascinated you are by the species. Their dissimilarities from the other kind are what makes them special and noticeable. Seeing a kangaroo for real would certainly be every kid’s dream.
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