Kangaroos are a type of mammal known as the Macropodidae family. Kangaroos live in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and nearby islands. There are also related to wallabies, pademelons, and tree kangaroos. Females carry babies at the front of their bodies in pouches. They are herbivores and eat grass, shrubs and leaves with their sharp teeth. Thick fur protects them from the heat. Kangaroos have large back legs and small front legs. Their strong back legs and tail help them hop forward. The average kangaroo weighs about 110 pounds and around 5 feet tall and they travel about 13-16 miles per hour.
Can you think of other animals that have pouches?
- Kangaroos cannot jump backwards! To jump, kangaroos use their strong back legs and balance with their tails. Although this helps them balance, it also keeps them from moving backwards.
- Kangaroos live in groups called mobs.
- Female kangaroos are called a Jill or doe. Male kangaroos are called bucks, Jack, or an old man and do not have pouches like the females do.
- Macropod is a Latin and Greek word that means “large foot”.
- For short distances Kangaroos can travel up to 44 miles per hour.