There are four species commonly referred to as kangaroos. These are: the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), the western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus), and the antilopine kangaroo (Macropus antilopinus).
More correctly, there are an additional 2 species of wallaroos that are also part of the kangaroo family. Wallaroo is a common name for several species of moderately large macropods, intermediate in size between the kangaroos and the wallabies. Incidentally, the word “wallaroo” is from the Dharug walaru, and not a combination of “kangaroo” and “wallaby”. Whilst the Antilopine Kangaroo is also known as the Antilopine Wallaroo, there are 2 other species of kangaroos that are also included in the term kangaroo: The common and the black wallaroo. The term kangaroo also generally includes the 14 species of wallaby.
However, in its broadest usage, kangaroo refers to any member of the family Macropodidae, which comprises about 65 species, including tree kangaroos and the quokka.
They are generally strict herbivores, preferring grass and low lying vegetation. However, here is a link to an interesting article about a kangaroo, killing and eating a bird.
Yes. Easily. An adult kangaroo can weigh up to 90kg (200lbs). They can jump 3m (10ft) high and 7.6m (25ft) long. Imagine that force being applied to your stomach when a kangaroo stands on its tail and pushes it against your stomach.
Yes. Not only can they swim, they are excellent swimmers. At times, they have been know to have drowned predators. Think of Michael Phelps or Ian Thorpe and how long their feet are. Moreover, kangaroos are macro pods (which means big foot).
There are often stories about the ferry operators who ‘save’ a kangaroo from drowning in the water. The truth is that in most instances, the kangaroo by no means needed saving.
Furthermore, kangaroos use this swimming prowess to their advantage and have been known to drown would be predators. Moreover, they use their powerful legs to propel themselves through the water and their tail becomes a rudder.
Kangaroos are found in every habitat in Australia. Moreover, they are found from the hottest deserts to the coldest snow covered mountains, from the northern most areas of Cape York to the southern most parts of Tasmania and from the east coast to the west coast of Australia. According to the IUCN List of Threatened Species, the Black Wallaroo, restricted to the sandstone country in the Northern Territory, is Near Threatened with extinction. All other species are widespread, common and considered of Least Concern. However, in many areas, kangaroos are referred to as pests.
A group of kangaroos is most commonly called a mob. It can also be referred to as a troupe (also troop) or court.
A male is a boomer or buck, a female is a jill or doe (and sometimes a flyer), and a baby is called a joey.
They can jump 3m (10ft) high and 7.6m (25ft) in length and travel up to 60km/h (40mph).
Generally, they are only aggressive when they are used to humans giving them food and then that is not forthcoming.
Furthermore, they are also dangerous at times when driving in remote areas (or areas with large kangaroo populations) as they are involved in car accidents and in such events can easily injure the occupants.
In the wild, many live to 12 years. In captivity, up to 20 years.
Dominant male kangaroos can look like bodybuilders with a ripped buff set of muscles. Incidentally, they are also the ones most likely to attack humans. No they don’t take steroids.
When travelling larger distances, a roo will always hop. For short ‘steps’, they use their tail as an extra leg, still moving their hind legs together and using their small forearms as well to pull them forward. Moreover, they cannot move backwards.
Yes. Initially at about one month, the jelly-bean sized embryo, blind and deaf and using two claws and its sense of smell, makes its way from the womb to the pouch following a saliva trail that the mother has left for it.
Then, it develops in the pouch attaching itself to one of the two teats and drinking the special milk that the mother has made for it. After a few months it will start to poke its head out.
Afterwards, at approximately 3 – 6 months, the joey will make short trips out of its mothers’ pouch, often jumping straight back in, quite often head first. When they are first come out of the pouch, you will see them feed on milk by sticking their head in the pouch and taking a drink, sort of like taking your own food cabinet with you. Finally, by 8-12 months the joey is independent and stays outside of the pouch.
A kangaroo is sexually mature and can become pregnant at two years of age. They breed year around. Furthermore, female roos are quite the impressive mothers and can raise three joeys simultaneously. Moreover, they can have one out of the pouch but still feeding from one teat, another in the pouch, and one in the womb. Moreover, she produces different milk consistencies, one with a higher fat content for each of the teats in the pouch. Additionally, she can also choose the gender of the offspring as well as the pause the development cycle in suspended animation and give birth at a more suitable time
The Psychiatric Hospital at Morriset closed to the public as a result of people feeding the kangaroos and people getting hurt quite badly after the kangaroos’ resultant aggressive behaviour.