Some Things About The Kangaroo

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Some things about the kangaroo you probably do not know



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Most of you know the kangaroo: it is a quaint animal that hops instead of runs, carries its offspring in its belly pouch instead of its back and kickboxes like any martial artist in the ring when fighting for anything. It is the national symbol of Australia, and its image is famous in many parts of the world as distinctly Australian, carried even by Qantas, Australia’s national airline. The kangaroo is a marsupial and is rarely found outside the Australian continent. But after that info, there is very little known about the animal. Some of these may include:
A single dog bark can induce some kangaroos into a frenzy of escape. Due to the long-time predation of dingoes ---which are erstwhile tame dogs gone feral--- kangaroos fear them so much. Many dingoes hunt in packs, so there is little chance of escape for kangaroos when they get cornered.
The previous predators of kangaroos are now extinct. They include the thylacine ---better known as the Tasmanian tiger---, marsupial lion which looks more canine than feline, megalania that closely resembles the monitor lizard but larger than the Komodo dragon, and wonambi, the giant snake of Australia. Fossil remains indicate these long-gone animals would have lived on the kangaroos, wallabies and other fauna of ancient Australia, which were also giant ones by today’s standards.
Female kangaroos (does or jills) are permanently pregnant except at the time of giving birth. Kangaroos produce offsprings only one at a time, so reproduction should be relatively faster to keep up the population of the species. Joeys are born so small they look like newborn mice. Newborn joeys do not have fur, are blind, and small, just about the size of the lima bean. After birth the joey crawls to the pouch and attaches itself to one of the teats there. The kangaroo has 50 (or more, as some count up to 63) other relations in its Family that includes the wallaby and other smaller macropods (large footed).
Joeys live inside the pouch for as long as nine (more often just eight) months. Once attached to a teat, joeys do not leave the pouch –in fact stay there connected to the teat--- until they are about six months old. Then they look at the world for short moments at a time until they get the confidence to look out most of the time. The joey leaves the pouch permanently when he is about eight months old. Mother kangaroos can produce two kinds of milk. Once in a while, the female kangaroo gives birth to another offspring while the earlier one still lives in her pouch. So to feed both, the mother must produce an infant formula and a growing up milk. However, most of the time the mother kangaroo delivers of a new offspring only after the previous one has departed from the pouch. She can hold her pregnancy in abeyance to do this. Now that you know more about the kangaroo, don’t you feel it is special and unique? Thank God there are kangaroos and their likes. The world is much richer for them, right?
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