Australians eat the bag of kangaroos

Kangaroo: The popular marsupials of the 5th continent

The kangaroo is probably one of the best known and at the same time one of the most popular animals of the Australian fauna. Together with the emu (running bird) it even adorns the coat of arms of the 5th continent. Except in Down Under, the conspicuous marsupials only live in New Guinea (tree kangaroo). There are around 65 different species, four of which are now considered extinct.


Anatomy & reproduction

With the exception of the tree kangaroos, which do not hop around, all species have strong elongated hind legs and a muscular tail, which is usually hairy. The significantly smaller front paws have five fingers and are used for food intake and for support. In addition to patterned species such as the rock kangaroo, the fur is usually colored in reddish brown or gray tones (e.g. red and gray giant kangaroo). The head, which is disproportionately small compared to the body, is elongated and has large ears. There are significant differences in size and weight between species.

While the shaggy rabbit kangaroo is 31 to 39 cm tall and weighs 0.8 to 1.8 kg, the red giant kangaroo can reach a size of up to 1.8 m and a weight of up to 90 kg. The newborns are relatively underdeveloped after a gestation period of only 20 to 40 days. Immediately after birth, the young animal climbs into the mother's pouch (males, however, do not have a pouch) and hangs on a teat for the next two to three months. Usually only a single young is born. It leaves the pouch for the first time after about half a year, but is still suckled until it is one year old. The female can mate again immediately after birth. However, the development of the embryo is delayed until the previous young animal has finally left the pouch after about eight months. After about 15 to 24 months, they are finally sexually mature.


Habitat & way of life

Kangaroos live exclusively in Australia, on Tasmania in New Guinea. The individual species have adapted to different habitats such as steppes, bush and grasslands, deserts, mountains and rainforests. Most species are active at night and at dawn, but can usually also be observed during the day. Then they spend their time in water, in shady shelters or sunbathing. The marsupials do not develop any pronounced social structures, but there are occasionally loose associations of several animals.

When moving fast, they only jump with their strong hind legs and balance with their tail in the air. When moving slowly, however, they support themselves on both the front paws and the tail and pull the hind legs forward. The vegetarian marsupials can be roughly divided into grass-eating and leaf-eating species. In addition, they also feed on other parts of the plant and (be careful!) Are not averse to various foods in tents. Kangaroos are threatened very differently. While some species are already extinct or endangered, there are species like the red and gray giant kangaroo that can even be hunted.


All animals at a glance


First impressions in the video