There are more kangaroos in Australia than there are Australian people.
Kangaroos are a popular Australian animal. They are so important that they feature on the Australian coat of Arms, postage stamps and even our 50 cent and $1 coins.
The Australian Coat of Arms has the kangaroo and the emu because these animals can’t move backward.
France has a small population of wild Kangaroos.
Kangaroos are often just called “roos”.
Male kangaroos are called bucks, boomers or jacks. Females are does, flyers or jills.
Baby kangaroos are called joeys. A newborn joey is only about 2.5cm long, that’s about the size of a grape! Once born, they travel through their mother’s thick fur to the safety of the pouch.
A group of kangaroos is called a mob, troop or court.
There are four different types of kangaroo species including the Red, Eastern Grey, Western Grey and Antilopine kangaroo.
Female kangaroos can determine the sex of their offspring and even delay gestation when environmental factors are likely to diminish the chance of their young surviving.
Kangaroos are left-hand dominant.
Kangaroos do not sweat; they lick their paws and then rub them on their chest for cooling.
Kangaroos use their tails to help them balance while jumping. Not only do kangaroos use their tail for balance, but it’s also like an extra leg.
They have a unique “walk” in which they push off the ground with their tail followed by jumping with their legs.
Kangaroos use their large feet and powerful hind legs to jump up to 9 metres long in one single leap!
A comfortable hopping speed of a kangaroo is around 21-26km per hour, however they can move up to 71km per hour over shorter distances. That’s faster than a racehorse!
Kangaroos can swim and normally do so to cross rivers or defend themselves and avoid predators. They keep their heads above the water to breathe and paddle with their legs, which move independently in the water. They use their tail to propel through the water and can even use their front paws to drown pursuers
Kangaroos have excellent hearing and can swivel their ears in all directions to pick up sounds. They have good eyesight but only respond to moving objects.
Kangaroos need very little water to survive and are capable of going for months without drinking at all. Kangaroos normally rest in the shade during the day and come out late in the afternoon or evening to eat when it is cooler.
Male kangaroos flex their biceps to impress females
Male kangaroos learn to fight by training when they are young. At first with their mum and later with other young males.
Kangaroos know how to use a chokehold when fighting other Kangaroos.
Males will often fight each other for dominance or win a mate. Balancing on their tail, they lean back and punch and kick out, trying to knock their opponent off balance. They sometimes wrestle too. Big claws on their feet and huge muscles in their legs ensure that the kick is painful and damaging. Male kangaroos have thickened skin around their bellies to protect themselves from these powerful kicks.
When pursued, kangaroos will retreat to bodies of water. So they can hold their pursuer under and drown them.
Scientists have found the fossilized remains of an ancient flesh-eating killer kangaroo that had wolf-like fangs.