- Kangaroos are found in Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania. Some kangaroos have been introduced to Hawaii and New Zealand. The number of kangaroos is increasing in Australia.
- Kangaroos are mammals, and they are also marsupials. A marsupial is an animal that carries their young around in a pouch. The red kangaroo is the largest marsupial in the world. They can reach a weight of 200 pounds (90 kg).
- Kangaroos belong to the Macropodidae family. The Macropodidae include kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, pademelons, tree kangaroos and forest wallabies.
- The kangaroo moves by hopping. They hop on their powerful hind legs and use their tails for balance and for steering. Even though kangaroos jump with their legs moving together, they are able to kick each leg separately when swimming.
- Kangaroos cannot move backwards. They can hop at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour (60 km/h). A Red Kangaroo can leap as far as 25 feet (8 m) and 10 feet high (3m).
- Kangaroos have very good eyesight but only when an object is moving. They also have excellent hearing, and they have the ability to swivel their ears in all directions to pick up sounds.
- Kangaroos are grazing herbivores. They eat grass and leaves. Kangaroos need very little water to survive. An adult kangaroo is capable of going for months without drinking anything at all.
- Most kangaroos move about at night hunting for food. This makes them a nocturnal mammal. Most kangaroos spend the day resting in the shade.
- A male kangaroo is known as a buck, boomer, jack, or old man. The female kangaroo is the doe, jill, or flyer. The baby is called a joey.
- Kangaroos are social animals that live in groups or “mobs” of at least two or three individuals. The mob can sometimes be made up of 100 kangaroos.
- Kangaroos usually have one joey each year. The joey remains in the pouch for nine months and continues to suckle until twelve to seventeen months of age. When the joey is born it is not much more than a pink hairless tiny worm.
- Kangaroos can have 3 babies at one time. One becoming mature and just out of the pouch, another developing in the pouch and one embryo in pause mode. There are 4 teats in the pouch and each provides different milk for the different stages of development of each baby.
- Male kangaroos can be seen boxing when competing for the attention of a female. The tiny front legs aren’t much threat, but the powerful hind legs with their long sharp toenails are a dangerous weapon.
Australian Animals Unit
Australian Wildlife: Kangaroos
Defenders of Wildlife: Kangaroo
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Kangaroos
Kangaroo Pictures 1
Kangaroos and Wallabies
National Geographic: Red Kangaroos
NATURE on PBS: Kangaroos
Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium: Grey Kangaroos
Zoo: Kangaroo and Wallaby
Save the Kangaroo
Unique Australian Animals
Western Grey Kangaroo
World Almanac for Kids: Kangaroo