Kangaroo

The kangaroo is an animal from the family Macropodidae (large foot). The common species of the family are: eastern grey kangaroo, red kangaroo, antilopine kangaroo, and western grey kangaroo. Kangaroo lives only in Australia and one genus can be found in Papua New Guinea. According to the Australian government, from the 2011, there are more than 34 million kangaroos in Australia. One year earlier, in 2010, their number was 25 million.

Kangaroos are unique animals. They have powerful legs, adapted for leaping, a small head and long tail, which is used for balance. Female kangaroos have a pouch (a bag), which is used for postnatal development. These animals are an unofficial symbol of Australia. They are hunted for meat and for protecting farmer’s crops. This is important, because their number must be controlled!

There are four species of kangaroos. The red kangaroo, is the largest of all other species. The grown male can reach a height of 2 m and weight of 90 kg! The eastern grey kangaroo is much smaller, but well known than other kangaroos. The antilopine kangaroo is the equivalent of the western and eastern grey kangaroos, but it lives in the far north of Australia. The western grey kangaroo, a grown male, can reach a weight of 55 kg.

The unique characteristic of kangaroos is their reproduction. A female kangaroo can be pregnant, have one cub in the pouch and a larger cub, which still feeds. It has the capability to choose when the birth will occur, so it can wait until the temperatures are a bit lower, and there is plenty of food. Kangaroos aren’t aggressive, but if they feel threatened, they can attack humans. Their attack is known as ‘’boxing’’.
 

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