Kangaroos are the most common of Australian native fauna (animals) and it belongs to the Macropodidae family. The kangaroo is the largest marsupial mammal. The kangaroo is also a very social animal and it lives in a group called a ‘mob’. A ‘mob’ is a group of at least two to three kangaroos and up to about one hundred kangaroos in total.
The kangaroo has large hind legs, which it uses to bounce with, and this is how it travels around. It has a large tail, which it needs for balance and steering and can move at about 40mph/60mph. When it moves slowly the kangaroo uses its tail as an extra leg and it supports it while it is on its back legs. However, most kangaroos can’t move one leg at a time; they can only move both back legs once?
A male kangaroo is called a buck but is sometimes called an “old man” or a “boomer”. A baby kangaroo is called a Joey and a female is a doe or a flyer. The female has a pouch to carry the young joey and can have up to three joeys at once. Kangaroos also have paws instead of feet or hands, a snout and longish ears. A kangaroo has pretty good eyesight but can only respond to a moving objects.
There are a number of different species of kangaroo. The most common ones are the large Western Red and the smaller Eastern Grey, but there are others (such as the tree Kangaroo). There are also wallabies that look a lot like small kangaroos but they are different.
Kangaroos eat grass, leaves, healthy plants, young shoots and grass trees.
The kangaroo needs very little of water to survive and they can last for months with out drinking at all.
The kangaroo can be found in Tasmania, Australia and New Guinea. They live in bushy areas and sandy areas at the edge of deserts and sometimes they have been to known to travel through the deserts in search of water. The only places where you won’t find them are in the centre of the deserts and in large, busy cities.
An interesting fact
For the Australian coat of arms the kangaroo and the emu were chosen as symbols of Australia to reflect the progress of Australia as a country. This was because these animals are always moving forward, and can’t move backwards, so the message is that Australia will always be moving forward and not backwards.