Our Kids Video Book About Kangaroos
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All About Kangaroos
The kangaroo is a strange looking animal. With its long tail, powerful legs and built-in basinet, this creature is sure to draw more than a few looks. Let’s take a leap “down under” to learn more about this animal.
Kangaroos are indigenous to Eastern Australia where they can be found living in large groups, called troops or herds (mobs in Aussie). These groups can be as large as 50 members consisting of males, females and their young. Living in these large herds helps keep the kangaroo safe against predators such as the wild dogs of Australia called, Dingoes. Man is also a threat to these animals as they are hunted for their meat. Outside of these two predators, kangaroos are also facing the loss of their habitat.
In the wild most kangaroos will eat leaves, shoots, grass and fruit (when available). They like to eat in the early morning or the evening. The kangaroo also has the ability to regurgitate its food and re-chew it – much like the cow. The smaller kangaroo, like the musky rat-kangaroo enjoys a more varied diet of insects like grasshoppers, beetles and insect larvae, as well as seeds and fruit. With the kangaroo’s daily intake of fresh green leaves and grasses, it very seldom needs to drink water.
Fossils have been dug up that show there was once around 30 different species of the macropod in Australia. However, one species stood out among the rest – it measured 10 feet tall (3 meters)! With its powerful legs and tail this animal would have been a formidable foe.
Today Australia has around 60 different species of the kangaroo and macropod. They range in size from the 9 inch-long (23 centimeters) musky rat (which does look like a rat) to the Red Kangaroo that can tower up to 5.25 feet tall (1.6 meters) and weigh up to 200 pounds (90 kilograms.
Since the kangaroo is a marsupial it carries its baby (Joey) in its pouch. The joey is born about the size of a grape and is blind and hairless. Once out of the birth canal, the joey must find its way to the mother’s pouch. Here it is still helpless as it cannot suckle of swallow, so the mother kangaroo uses her muscles to pump milk down the joeys throat. At around four months-of-age the joey will emerge from the pouch for short excursions to feed on grasses and shoots. It is fully able to be on its own at about 10 months-of-age.
The kangaroo uses its strong feet for balance as well as speed. This animal can reach speeds of 30 miles-per-hour (48 kilometers) and jump 30 feet in a single leap (9.1 meters). When the kangaroo feels threatened it will thump its feet in a warning to the rest of the troop.
For more information on this fascinating Australian wonder, check out the internet, books or book yourself a trip down under to check them out for yourself.
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