15 Amazing Interesting Kangaroo Facts
Looking for some amazing kangaroo facts? Check out our list and see how much you never knew about these super marsupials!
Are you a fan of these amazing Australian animals? You will be by the end of this article! There's a lot more to kangaroos than you might think - from their place in Australian ecosystems to their pretty strange pouches. Kangaroos are big, small, cute, muscly, and everything in between! So read on to find out more!
1. They eat like cows, but with a difference
Kangaroos eat grass - the same stuff as cows - but have very different stomachs. Ths means they burp and fart a lot less! This might seem a silly fact to start off with, but it's important because cow farts are actually a big cause of climate change. So more kangaroos, please - and less cows!
2. Kangaroos are really good swimmers
They're so good in fact that if they're being chased by a predator they'll jump into the nearest bit of water. They're more confident they can escape that way - which is pretty weird for a land animal!
3. Not many animals eat kangaroos
Kangaroos don't need to worry too much though because there aren't many animals that'll have a go at them. Some eagles occasionally eat kangaroos, and so do dingos. The Tasmanian Tiger used to hunt kangaroos - until they were made extinct by that other big predator... you guessed it, humans.
4. Kangaroos have five legs
Well, not really! But they do have a very muscly tail which they use like a leg. In fact, scientists have worked out that when they're moving slowly, the tail actually pushes them forwards as much as their actual legs do. When they need to run fast though, the tail is mostly for balance.
5. Kangaroos can hop really fast!
When a red kangaroo gets up to full speed, it can hop at an incredible 36 miles per hour! They an also jump log distances too, and clear up to 8 metres in one leap!
6. A group of kangaroos is called a mob
Makes sense. Just look at them!
7. Most Kangaroos Are Left-Handed
Scientists used to think that preferring your right or left hand was only for primates like us, and that it's a marker of intelligence. But they've recently discovered that kangaroos do it too! 95% of kangaroos are actually left handed, and use their left paws for delicate tasks, and their right paw for things that need a bit more strength. Like boxing practise!
8. Newborn kangaroos are tiny!
Kangaroos are marsupials, which means they give birth to their babies when they're REALLY small, and then look after them in a special pouch. Newborn 'roos are actually only the size of a grape! They then get bigger over a few months until they're ready to leave.
9. Kangaroo pouches are pretty amazing
Kangaroo pouches have everything a baby roo needs. It's warm, has special milk glands, and the baby doesn't even need to leave to go to the toilet! That's right - baby kangaroos poo right there in the pouch, and the mum just cleans it out with her tongue every now and again. Bet you're glad you know that!
10. There are lots of types of kangaroo
There are four main species of kangaroo - the red kangaroo (the biggest), the antilopine kangaroo, the Western grey kangaroo and the Eastern grey kangaroo. But there are lots of animals in the same group of marsupials (that's animals with a pouch) that are pretty similar too. There are tree kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, quokkas and more. These sometimes get called kangaroos too!
11. Red kangaroos are massive
The biggest species of kangaroo is the red kangaroo, which can easily weigh as much as a BIG adult human. They've got a reputation for fighting, and they mostly deserve it! Males of the species will fight over females, but often wrestle rather than box each other. Either way you woudn't want to mess with one!
12. Mum kangaroos communicate with their babies using clicks
Kangaroo mothers have their own private language that they use to talk to their babies in - and their babies will recognise it for ther whole lives. The language is made up of little clicking sounds, and we don't really know what they mean. But we can guess they mean "be careful", "stop doing that" and "that's not food". You know, the usual stuff.
13. The western grey kangaroo has a strong smell
Probably not a huge surprise that some kangaroos smell - but this particular species smells like curry! Apparently! We'll have to take their word for it.
14. Kangaroos can't move backwards
This is why they're on the Australian emblem, because they symbolise progress. That's the official reason anyway - it's also because they're such a recognisable Australian animal. It's an obvious choice!
15. They don't just live in Australia
Kangaroos live in the wild in parts of South East Asia - like the tree kangaroo that lives in New Guinea. But there are also wild groups of feral kangaroos in UK, USA and France that have escaped from zoos! There was a group of escaped red-necked wallabies living in Staffordshire for over 40 years, for example. So keep an eye out when you're out walking - you never know if you might bump into one!