A male kangaroo is called a boomer
What is a Kangaroo?
There are over 40 different types (species) of Kangaroo. The smaller ones are usually called Wallabies. The largest is the Red Kangaroo. It stands taller than a man and can weigh 85 kgs. It is the largest marsupial in the world.
A female kangaroo carries its baby in its pouch. The baby is born really tiny and crawls up into its mother's pouch. The baby lives in its mother's pouch till its quite large. Even when its quite large it still drinks milk from a teat in its mother's pouch.
It sometimes jumps into its mother's pouch head first when frightened.
How Did the Kangaroo Get its Name?
When European explorers first saw these strange hopping animals they asked a native Australian (aborigine) what they were called.
He replied "kangaroo" meaning "I don't understand" your question.
The explorers thought this was the animal's name. And that's how the kangaroo got its name.
What Does a Kangaroo Eat?
Kangaroos are herbivores. They eat mostly grass. Some like the Red Kangaroo also eats the leaves off shrubs..
The Kangaroo has a chambered stomach similar to other herbivores like cattle and sheep. Like cattle they regurgitate their food and chew it again and swallow it. This extra munching breaks down the rough fibres of their diet and greatly improves their digestion.
The Kangaroo is well adapted to the dry hot Australian climate. It needs very little water to survive. It can survive without drinking for months.
How does A Kangaroo Hop?
The Kangaroo moves by hopping on its powerful hind legs. It uses its thick long tail to balance its body while hopping. It can hop at up to 60kmh (40mph). It can also leap over obstacles up to 3m (10ft) high.
Kangaroos' legs are specially designed for hopping and jumping. They can only move their legs together. This is perfect for hopping. That is to say that it can’t move their legs independently like we can. For this reason they can’t walk like other animals do. They only hop..
A Kangaroo's legs act like powerful springs. It jumps using its powerful long hind legs and when its toes touch down the tendons in its legs act like giant springs, part of this compressed energy is then used for the next jump. The kangaroo's legs works on the same principle as a Pogo Stick. In this way a Kangaroo uses very little energy to move itself.
Because of the unusual shape of its legs and its bulky tail a kangaroo can't walk or move backwards.
Kangaroos are also good swimmers.
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