Information about: Kangaroo

Index | Kangaroo

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Kangaroo. A family of pouch-bearing animals. They are the most highly developed members of the order, and are peculiarly suited for the conditions of life in Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and some of the adjacent islands. The family comprises no fewer than forty species and of these Macropus giganteus may be taken as a type. The fore limbs are small; the hind limbs very large and thick; the head small, with rather long ears, and a long, dusky-brown muzzle; the body long, with the fur short but thick, and of a gray-brown tint. Full grown specimens are about four feet high and attain a weight of 200 pounds. The female carries her young in a pouch on the under side of the belly. When moving quickly the hind limbs alone are brought into action, and by means of these the animal bounds along in great leaps of from fifteen to twenty feet, the body being carried in a nearly horizontal position, and the tail extended to balance it. The fore limbs are chiefly used in handling, and with these the female lifts her young, and places them in the pouch. The kangaroos are vegetable feeders, delighting in grasses, leaves, and herbs.