Kangaroos hoppity hop they go | Sunday Observer

Kangaroos hoppity hop they go

Kangaroos are amazing creatures and like the koalas is a very popular tourist attraction in Australia. Kangaroos are also found in New Guinea and Tasmania and have been introduced to New Zealand and Hawaii.

The Kangaroo is the largest and tallest living marsupial. A marsupial is an animal which has a pocket or pouch in front. They carry their babies in this pouch. A baby kangaroo is called a joey and is about the size of a grape when it is born.

As soon as they are born they make their way through the mother kangaroo’s thick fur to the pouch. They stay here till they are about six months old.

When they are about four months old joeys leave their mothers’ pouch to take short trips and graze. At around 10 months they leave the pouch for good.

Kangaroos are mammals which mean that baby kangaroos or joeys feed on their mother’s milk.

Kangaroos live in Australia. There are different types of kangaroos living in various areas of Australia. These enchanting creatures live in forests, rain forests and woodlands. Some kangaroos live on the ground while others live on trees.

There are four species of kangaroos and they are the red kangaroos, eastern grey kangaroos, western grey kangaroos and the antilopine kangaroos.

Kangaroos live in groups known as herds or troops or court. In Australia these herds or troops are called mobs. They can hop quickly on two legs or walk in four legs very slowly. But the kangaroo cannot walk backwards.

Kangaroos are herbivores. This means that they eat only different types of grass and leaves. They need very little water to survive and adult kangaroos can live for months without water.

Do you know that kangaroos are boxers? Believe it or not they do box. When boxing, kangaroos hold their opponents with their front legs and kick each other with their very powerful back legs. Their strong tails help kangaroos to balance while boxing and this gives them the chance to use both hind legs to kick their opponent.

When they sense danger kangaroos pound the ground with their feet to warn others.

Kangaroos are active during the night especially in foraging for food. During the day they generally rest in shady places. As they are active at night kangaroos are known as nocturnal animals.

Buck, boomer, jack and old man are the names for a male kangaroo while a female is known as a doe, ill or flyer. Kangaroos can only see and track well objects which move. Their sense of hearing is sharp and they can swivel their tall ears to pick up sounds from all directions.

The number of kangaroos have been increasing fast and steadily in the past decade or ten years. It was 27 million in 2010 and 42 million in 2016.

Kangaroos have few natural enemies. The dingoe or Australian wild dog may attack joeys or young kangaroos. So will foxes or eagles while man kills hundreds of kangaroos for meat. Kangaroos are excellent swimmers. The wallabies are the kangaroos relatives.

(Sources: National Geographic kids and Kiddie Encyclopaedia)

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