Fun facts about kangaroos
Kangaroos are the only large animal to use hopping as their primary method of locomotion. Hopping is a fast and energy efficient means of travelling which allows them to cover large distance in habitats where there is little food and water available.
Kangaroos are herbivores.
Kangaroos have excellent hearing, and like some other animals are able to move their ears in different directions without moving the rest of their head.
There are four species of kangaroo: Wallabies (body length of 45-105 cm), tree-kangaroo (body length of 48-65 cm), wallaroos (body length 60-70 cm) and kangaroo (body length up to 2 m).
Like all marsupials, kangaroos are born extremely early - the equivalent of the seventh week of pregnancy for humans. They travel from the birth canal as little more than an embryo by blindly propelling through the mother's fur to the safety of the pouch, where they will spend several month developing before finally leaving to explore the world.
Kangaroos can weight up to 95 kg.
Red Kangaroos are the largest marsupial and can grow up to 2 meters. They can reach a top speed of over 65 km/h, out-pacing a top racehorse. In one leap they can jump 3 m high and 7.6 m long.
Kangaroos are social animals which stay in groups of at least 3 or 4 individuals. Some groups can comprise of as many as 100 individuals.
On land kangaroos only move their hind legs together, however in water they kick each leg independently to swim.
Young kangaroos (joeys) will sometimes jump head first into their mother's pouch when frightened.
Female kangaroos can determine the sex of their offspring. They can even delay gestation when environmental factors are likely to diminish the chance of young surviving.
There are more kangaroos than humans in Australia. They are the national symbol of Australia and appear on postage stamps, coins and aeroplanes.