Australia know as : the land of Kangaroos
We all know that Kangaroo is a marsupial mammal that is famous for carrying their babies in their belly pouches. It is believed that Kangaroos were originated in the Australian continent when it was a part of the ancient super continent called Gondwanaland. There are proved fossil evidence showing that the giant creature existed even in the Pleistocene (2.58 million to 11,700 years ago) and the Pliocene (5.3 million to 2.6 million years ago) eras in the Australian continent. Being historically related to Kangaroos, Australia is known as the country of Kangaroos. Most of the species of Kangaroos are endemic to Australia and in fact, more than 65 species of Kangaroos are found in Australia. Kangaroo is also the national symbol of Australia.
Only some species of tree Kangaroos are found outside Australia in Papua New Guinea. For example, Tenkile species (A type of tree Kangaroos), a critically endangered species of Kangaroos is found exclusively in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea. Kangaroos are a social animal and like to live, travel and feed in groups also called “mobs”. Kangaroos are said to be generally active at night, however, they can also be found in daylight. They belong to the Macropodidae family.
You would be amazed to know that the leap of a full grown Kangaroo is about 25 to 30 feet long and that too in a single bound. This is due to the presence of very powerful hind legs. They also have the capability to travel about 48 kilometres in an hour. While hopping, they use their thick tales for balancing. The word “Kangaroo” has its origin from the “Gangurru”, a name used for Kangaroos by the Yimithirr people of Australia.
Species of Kangaroos :
The four commonly found species of Kangaroos in Australia are:
- The red kangaroo (Macropus Rufus),
- the western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus),
- the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and
- The antilopine kangaroo (Macropus antilopinus).
Size of Kangaroos
Kangaroos are found in various sizes. They are the tallest among all Marsupials. The red Kangaroo is the tallest of them all. It generally measures about 3.25 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) in height. However, the smallest Kangaroo measured is the Musk-rat or Musky-rat Kangaroo which measures only about 6 to 8 inches (15.24 to 20.32 cm) long. Newborn Kangaroo babies (called joeys) are only 1 inch long at the time of their birth. Usually, a female Kangaroos gives birth to a single baby at a time. After the birth of a kangaroo baby, the joeys (Kangaroo baby) slowly crawl to its mother’s belly pouch where it remains for the next nine to 12 months.
The government of Australia has allowed the restricted killing of Kangaroos for obtaining meat and leather. Their leather is very popular for making various leather accessories. Australia also exports the meat of Kangaroos which generates employment to their people. Kangaroos are herbivores and thus are mainly dependent on grass.
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