The kangaroo is one of the large species of Australian marsupials, and it has been famous for jumping on its hind legs without walking, and the word kangaroo refers to the eastern gray kangaroo species, the western gray kangaroo, the red kangaroo, and it also refers to all 14 species of the genus kangaroo (Macropus), and in general and more broadly, the word kangaroo refers to all species of the kangaroo family (Macropodidae), and includes about 65 species including tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus) and Coca (quokka).
The scientific name of the kangaroo (Macropus) is derived from the word (macropod), and this word means big foot in Latin.
Kangaroo specifications :
The kangaroo is one of the largest marsupial animals in the world, reaching a length of about 1-2. 5 meters, and may weigh between 18- 90 kilograms, and the eastern gray kangaroo is the heaviest and largest marsupials in the world, while the red kangaroo is the largest because it may weigh about 90 kilograms, and its length is about 1.8 meters, and the kangaroo has strong hind legs and large feet, and its tail is characterized as muscular, which helps keep it balanced during movement, and the kangaroo is the only animal of large size that uses jumping as a basic means of moving and going from place to place, and the male kangaroo can jump to large lengths and dimensions up to 9 meters with a height of up to 3 meters, the kangaroo can reach a speed of about 64 kilometers per hour.
The kangaroo has a chambered stomach similar to the stomach that cows have in order to help them in the digestion process, and its teeth are sharp and strong and it has incisors capable of chopping herbs and shrubs close to the ground, it has molars designed to grind food and it constantly falls out due to the damage that results from its diet, but it soon grows again and has modern teeth, kangaroos live together in large groups called mobs, the numbers of groups range from small numbers to up to more than 100 animals, and it is classified as social animals, and they share together in touching the nose and sometimes inhale it to build and increase cohesion within the group.
Types of kangaroos :
There are 4 main types of kangaroos, their names are as follows:
- Red kangaroo (Macropus Rufus): this species is the largest, so named because the males of this species are characterized by their red or brown fur color.
- Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus): it is the second largest species of kangaroo and is known as the large grey species.
- Western gray kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus): also known as the black-faced kangaroo; due to the coloring of its face with a characteristic shape.
- Antelope kangaroo (Macropus antilopinus): or kangaroo with fur, this species is characterized by being similar to Antelope and is found in abundance in northern Australia.
Scientists believe that there are 6 species of kangaroos, including the Wallaroo kangaroo (Macropus robustus), and the black wallaroo (Macropus Bernardus), and these two species are closely related to Wallabies and Kangaroos.
The homeland and whereabouts of the kangaroo :
Kangaroos can live and survive in a lot of different and diverse habitats, and this is what allowed the kangaroo to increase in numbers to reach this huge number of kangaroos, and these animals live in different environments; they can be found in wooded forests, in savannahs, in grasslands, deserts, and grassy plains, and the kangaroo is also found in Australia, Tasmania, and the surrounding part, and the four types of kangaroos live and exist in different regions of Australia, but the red kangaroo has the most widespread range throughout Australia.
Since the short-nosed kangaroo lives in burrows that are found in arid lands, and also lives in rocky walls in the southern desert, tree kangaroos are found high in the forests of New Guinea and Australia, and musky Kangaroos also live in humid and dense lower areas, and red-necked wallabies live in many habitats, including the ice caps that are in the mountains of Tasmania, and Cocos are found on two islands off the southwestern coast of Australia, this indicates the ability of kangaroos to adapt and acclimatize to the atmosphere and regions so different that the 3 largest species of kangaroos are sometimes found in parks Public, suburban parks, and even on golf courses.
Humans have benefited over the years and throughout the history of Australia from the kangaroo due to its numbers; it is a very important resource for the indigenous people, they used kangaroo meat, skin, tendons, and bones in many areas, and the kangaroo also benefited from the great changes that occurred with the settlement of Europeans in Australia, due to the availability of grazing land for livestock, which kangaroos consider an important vegetation cover to feed on, as the numbers of dingo decreased at that time, and at the same time the significant increase in their numbers caused traffic accidents and collisions just like what happened with deer white tails; the kangaroo becomes stunned when he hears the sound of the engine or sees the lights of the lamps This is what causes cars to collide with him, which leads to her being killed or injured, in addition to causing serious damage to vehicles.
Kangaroo food :
Kangaroos are classified as herbivores; they feed on large quantities and a wide variety of plants, and the large kangaroo is similar in the way it eats deer and cattle; it uses its hands to pull the branches down to be able to reach the leaves, and its stomach chamber works just like the stomach of ruminant animals, such as goats and sheep; after it eats and swallows food, it roars from the food chamber, then chews it again and swallows it to complete the final digestion process.
Most kangaroos are grazing animals that rely on grass and cut it with their teeth while roaming the Australian Savannah forests, and although the kangaroo grazes all the grass it sees on its way, it eats only things that are useful to it, such as leaves, flowers, ferns, insects, and algae, and people who take care of the kangaroo at the San Diego Zoo give the kangaroo herbivorous pellets, a handful of high-fiber biscuits, in addition to vegetables as daily meals.
Kangaroo behavior :
Since the kangaroo is a marsupial, it means that it has a pouch at its belly in which it raises its children, and the newborn lives in this pouch and feeds on the milk it drinks from the mammary glands, and although the kangaroo gives birth to only one young per year, it is able to keep additional embryos in a dormant state called fetal apoptosis, and these embryos remain so until the first little one grows up and leaves the cyst and comes out of it.
The kangaroo has 4 nipples from which she breastfeeds her baby, and each nipple provides milk that varies depending on the stage the fetus is going through, and the kangaroo makes a whispering or grumbling sound when he is afraid or alarmed, while the females make sounds like aversion when they want to communicate with their sons, while the male makes a sound like chuckling when he wants to mate, and the kangaroo is at its peak of activity between dusk and Dawn, at this time he is looking for his favorite food and starts eating it, and the kangaroo is one of the animals that desperately need water to stay alive and when she despairs of finding water and searches a lot and does not find it, she digs holes in the ground up to one meter deep in which she is looking for Water.
The kangaroo is also exposed to predation from a few natural predators, such as the Dingo, the wedge-tailed eagle, the growth of the extinct Tasmanian, and finally, humans who threaten the numbers of these animals, and sometimes wild dogs and foxes eat kangaroo Cubs, and herbivores are also a strong competitor to Kangaroos due to their competition for food, the European settlement has been considered an ideal place for these kangaroos because it contains permanent water sources, such as cavities and dams, it also contains pasture grasses in abundance, and there are no tigers the extinct Tasmanian, the extermination of the Dingo, the spread of the landscape abound.
Kangaroo reproduction and life cycle :
The life of a kangaroo starts from sexual reproduction; a female kangaroo becomes pregnant and gives birth after only one month, which makes her pregnancy period classified as short, as he mates with a fertile female kangaroo and this egg fertilized by a male develop into a kangaroo embryo in his mother’s abdomen, but this embryo does not implant itself in the placenta to feed throughout the pregnancy, but the embryo comes out a month later to the mother’s sac, which is on her abdomen, and it also feeds inside the sac after a month.
The fetus at this stage is little mobile and barely moves, and its hind legs are only in the form of trunks; it uses its front legs to exit the birth canal through the mother’s thick fur to the bag, then it attaches to one of the nipples that supply it with food for several months, and moves between the nipples later; each of them fit a different stage and the fetus is breastfed one by one, then the fetus and the developing fetus live in the mother’s bag, and then she breastfeeds her young like various mammalian species.
But the life cycle of the kangaroo differs from the species of herbivorous mammals, such as the rabbit or deer, for example, the fetus lives and is raised in the mother’s pouch instead of the uterus and its connection in the placenta, and the little kangaroo is born blind and completely hairless, and its length is no more than about 2.5 cm, and the little kangaroo feeds on the milk secreted by the mother’s nipples from the mammary glands for 6 months as a minimum, and this period is enough for the fetus to grow and become a small kangaroo, and after about one and a half to two months from its with an average lifespan of up to about 6 years.
But after six months, the baby kangaroo starts to get out of this bag and practice grazing by himself, and he also stays for longer periods outside the bag, but in the end, he returns to this bag to breastfeed, sleep and when he senses the coming danger, and after another two months the Kangaroo comes out completely from the bag so that the mother can then have a new kangaroo, but in some cases, the egg is fertilized while the embryo is in the bag, which makes the egg lag in development and not gets pregnant quickly, the kangaroo lives on average 6 years in the wild, but it may live up to almost 20 years in protected captivity, most kangaroos they do not reach adulthood or maturity due to the exposure of young kangaroos and embryos to predation by many From animals.
Kangaroo is one of the world-famous animals, which is the first thing that comes to mind when mentioning the country of Australia, and it is one of the large species of marsupials, a long animal that reaches a length of about 1-2.5 meters, and there are several species of it, and it has an abdominal sac in which it carries its young, reproduces sexually, and can live for about 20 years.