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Macropodinae, Macropodidae, Marsupialia kangaroo


What do kangaroos look like?

The kangaroo is a marsupial and belongs to the kangaroo family, of which there are more than 80 different species.

They are included in two different subfamilies, namely the real kangaroos, which also include the giant kangaroos or the Bennett kangaroo, and the rat kangaroos, which include the brush-tailed kangaroo.

All kangaroos have a typical appearance: long, strong legs attach to a round abdomen, with which they move around in a hopping manner.

They also have a long tail, which is mainly used as a support and balance. Small front legs sit on the slim front body.

Kangaroos can be of different sizes:

Bennett kangaroos are around three to four feet tall.

Giant kangaroos can grow larger than a human, and brush-tailed kangaroos are as small as rabbits.

Where do kangaroos live?

Kangaroos live in Australia and on the offshore islands like Tasmania and New Guinea.

Giant kangaroos prefer dry and hot areas. They live in semi-deserts, steppes and bushlands.

The Bennett kangaroos, on the other hand, live in the coastal regions of eastern Australia, in Tasmania and on the Bass Strait Islands.

They inhabit eucalyptus forests, bush landscapes and savannahs that are close to the forest or the bush.

They are also found in heathland near the coast.

What types of kangaroos are there?

Two subspecies of the Bennett kangaroos are known. One (Macropus rufogriseus rufogriseus) lives in Tasmania and on the Bass Strait Islands.

The other lives on the Australian continent. In their homeland they are called "Red-necked Wallabies".

There are eight different types of rat kangaroos. In addition to the brush-tailed kangaroos, these are, for example, the rabbit kangaroos and the red rat kangaroos. The giant kangaroos include the red and gray giant kangaroos. In addition, the mountain kangaroos and removed the wallabies.

The red giant kangaroos are the largest representatives of the kangaroos and thus also the largest marsupials in the world. When standing, they can reach a height of 1.80 meters.

There are two subspecies of the gray giant kangaroos - the names of which indicate their distribution area in Australia: the eastern and western gray giant kangaroos.

In total there are more than 80 different species of kangaroo.

They differ greatly in their size, their habitat and their behavior.

How old do kangaroos get?

Depending on the type and size, kangaroos live differently: The smaller ones live to be around eight years old, the larger ones up to 16 years old.


How do kangaroos live?

During the day, kangaroos hide and rest. At dusk they come out of their shelter and start looking for food.

Even at dawn you can often see them eating. Then they hide again.

Although kangaroos tend to be solitary, when foraging for food they often form groups that can be up to 30 animals in size.

When it's hot, kangaroos lick their hands and forearms to keep themselves cool. They also do that when they are angry or upset.

The small brush-tailed kangaroos are also nocturnal loners.

During the day they hide in hollows that they dig in the ground and in which they build a grass nest.

These nests are so cleverly hidden between the grass and undergrowth that they can hardly be found.

How do kangaroos reproduce?

When it comes to offspring, the subspecies of the kangaroos differ: The animals that live on the Australian mainland give birth all year round. In contrast, the offspring in Tasmania are only born between January and July. Most of the boys are born here in February and March. The gestation period for both subspecies is 30 to 40 days.

Usually only one cub is born that is tiny - about the size of a gummy bear - and weighs less than a gram.

The newborns are barely developed and resemble an embryo: the eyes and ears are barely developed, the body is bare and the hind legs are still very short.

Nevertheless, the newborn crawls through the mother's fur until it has reached the pouch on her stomach within a few minutes of birth. It finds the right path with the help of its sense of smell.

The mother left a trail of saliva from the birth opening to the pouch.

The newborn follows this trail. In the pouch, it sucks on the mother's teat. The teat then swells up so that the newborn cannot let go of it.

At first it is too weak to suckle, so the mother injects the milk into her child's mouth.

The newborn spends the next nine months exclusively in the mother's pouch. During this time it matures into a young, fully developed kangaroo.

Even after it has left the pouch, the mother will often suckle her young for a long time - until it is around 12 to 17 months old.


What do kangaroos eat?

Kangaroos are herbivores. Her favorite food is grass, herbs and leaves.

When it rains little, they also chew juicy roots against thirst.

Brush-tailed kangaroos primarily eat mushrooms, which they look for in the ground. They specialize in this food and have special bacteria in their intestines to digest the fungi.

They nibble on plants, tubers and worms by the way.