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Female Eastern Grey Kangaroo with a joey in her pouch
Kangaroos in the Grampians National Park
A kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (macropods, meaning 'large foot'). In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, especially those of the genus Macropus, Red Kangaroo, Antilopine Kangaroo, Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Western Grey Kangaroo.[1] Kangaroos are endemic to the continent of Australia. The smaller macropods are found in Australia and New Guinea.
Larger kangaroos have adapted much better to changes wrought to the Australian landscape by humans and though many of their smaller cousins are endangered, they are plentiful. They are not farmed to any extent, but wild kangaroos are shot for meat, sport, and to protect grazing land for sheep and cattle.[2] Although there is some controversy, harvesting kangaroo meat has many environmental and health benefits over sheep or cows grazed for meat.[3]
The kangaroo is a national symbol of Australia: its emblem is used on the Australian coat of arms,[4] on some of its currency,[5] as well as by some of Australia's best known organisations, including Qantas.[6] The kangaroo is important to both Australian culture and the national image and consequently there are numerous popular culture references.



The word kangaroo derives from the Guugu Yimidhirr word gangurru, referring to a grey kangaroo.[7] The name was first recorded as "Kangooroo or Kanguru" on 4 August 1770, by Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook on the banks of the Endeavour River at the site of modern Cooktown, when HM Bark Endeavour was beached for almost seven weeks to repair damage sustained on the Great Barrier Reef.[8] Guugu Yimidhirr is the language of the people of the area.
A common myth about the kangaroo's English name is that 'kangaroo' was a Guugu Yimidhirr phrase for "I don't understand you."[9] According to this legend, Captain James Cook and naturalist Sir Joseph Banks were exploring the area when they happened upon the animal. They asked a nearby local what the creatures were called. The local responded "Kangaroo", meaning "I don't understand you", which Cook took to be the name of the creature. The Kangaroo myth was debunked in the 1970s by linguist John B. Haviland in his research with the Guugu Yimidhirr people.[10]
Male kangaroos are called bucks, boomers, jacks, or old men; females are does, flyers, or jills, and the young ones are joeys.[11] The collective noun for kangaroos is a mob, troop, or court. Kangaroos are often colloquially referred to as roos.[12]


A Tasmanian Forester (Eastern Grey) Kangaroo in motion.
There are four species that are commonly referred to as kangaroos:
  • The Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) is the largest surviving marsupial anywhere in the world. Fewer in numbers, the Red Kangaroo occupies the arid and semi-arid centre of the continent. A large male can be 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) tall and weigh 90 kg (200 lb).[13]
  • The Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) is less well-known than the red (outside of Australia), but the most often seen, as its range covers the fertile eastern part of the continent.
  • The Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) is slightly smaller again at about 54 kg (119 lb) for a large male. It is found in the southern part of Western Australia, South Australia near the coast, and the Darling River basin.
  • The Antilopine Kangaroo (Macropus antilopinus) is, essentially, the far-northern equivalent of the Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroos. Like them, it is a creature of the grassy plains and woodlands, and gregarious.
In addition, there are about 50 smaller macropods closely related to the kangaroo in the family Macropodidae.
Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus)
.Europeans have long regarded kangaroos as strange animals.^ Europeans have long regarded kangaroos as strange animals.
  • Kangaroo encyclopedia topics | Reference.com 14 January 2010 4:04 UTC www.reference.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ There is an urban myth that when European explorers first saw these strange hopping animals they asked a native Australian (aborigine) what they were called.
  • WWF - Kangaroo 14 January 2010 4:04 UTC www.panda.org [Source type: General]

^ The animal moves by long leaps, like a kangaroo, using its tail for balance and as a rudder for turning at high speeds.
  • kangaroo rat Facts, information, pictures | Encyclopedia.com articles about kangaroo rat 14 January 2010 4:04 UTC www.encyclopedia.com [Source type: Academic]

Early explorers described them as creatures that had heads like deer (without antlers), stood upright like men, and hopped like frogs. Combined with the two-headed appearance of a mother kangaroo, this led many back home to dismiss them as travellers' tales for quite some time. The first kangaroo to be exhibited in the western world was an example shot by John Gore, an officer on Captain Cook's Endeavour in 1770.[14][15] The animal was shot and its skin and skull transported back to England whereupon it was stuffed (by taxidermists who had never seen the animal before) and displayed to the general public as a curiosity.
Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head. Like all marsupials, female kangaroos have a pouch called a marsupium in which joeys complete postnatal development.


Kangaroos are the only large animals to use hopping as a means of locomotion. The comfortable hopping speed for Red Kangaroo is about 20–25 km/h (13–16 mph), but speeds of up to 70 km/h (44 mph) can be attained, over short distances, while it can sustain a speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) for nearly two kilometres.[16] This fast and energy-efficient method of travel has evolved because of the need to regularly cover large distances in search of food and water, rather than the need to escape predators.
.Because of its long feet, it cannot walk correctly.^ Because of its long feet, it cannot walk correctly.
  • Kangaroo encyclopedia topics | Reference.com 14 January 2010 4:04 UTC www.reference.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

To move at slow speeds, it uses its tail to form a tripod with its two forelimbs. It then raises its hind feet forward, in a form of locomotion called "crawl-walking."[16]
The average life expectancy of a kangaroo is about 4–6 years.[17]


An Eastern Grey feeding in native grassland
Different species of kangaroos have different diets, although all are strict herbivores. The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is predominantly a grazer eating a wide variety of grasses whereas some other species (e.g. the Red Kangaroo) include significant amounts of shrubs in the diet. The smaller species of kangaroos also consume hypogeal fungi. Many species are nocturnal[18] and crepuscular,[19] usually spending the days resting in shade and the cool evenings, nights and mornings moving about and feeding.
Because of its grazing, kangaroos have developed specialized teeth. Its incisors are able to crop grass close to the ground, and its molars chop and grind the grass. Since the two sides of the lower jaw are not joined together, the lower incisors are farther apart, giving the kangaroo a wider bite. The silica in grass is abrasive, so kangaroo molars move forward as they are ground down, and eventually fall out, replaced by new teeth that grow in the back.[16]

Absence of digestive methane release

Despite having a herbivorous diet similar to ruminants such as cattle which release large quantities of methane through exhaling and eructation, kangaroos release virtually none. The hydrogen byproduct of fermentation is instead converted into acetate, which is then used to provide further energy. Scientists are interested in the possibility of transferring the bacteria responsible from kangaroos to cattle, since the greenhouse gas effect of methane is 23 times greater than that of carbon dioxide, per molecule[20].


Kangaroos have few natural predators. The Thylacine, considered by palaeontologists to have once been a major natural predator of the kangaroo, is now extinct. Other extinct predators included the Marsupial Lion, Megalania and the Wonambi. However, with the arrival of humans in Australia at least 50,000 years ago and the introduction of the dingo about 5,000 years ago, kangaroos have had to adapt. The mere barking of a dog can set a full-grown male boomer into a wild frenzy. Wedge-tailed Eagles and other raptors usually eat kangaroo carrion. Goannas and other carnivorous reptiles also pose a danger to smaller kangaroo species when other food sources are lacking.
Along with dingos and other canids, introduced species like foxes and feral cats also pose a threat to kangaroo populations. Kangaroos and wallabies are adept swimmers, and often flee into waterways if presented with the option. If pursued into the water, a large kangaroo may use its forepaws to hold the predator underwater so as to drown it.[21] Another defensive tactic described by witnesses is catching the attacking dog with the forepaws and disembowelling it with the hind legs.


Newborn joey sucking on a teat in the pouch
Baby kangaroo
Kangaroos have developed a number of adaptations to a dry, infertile continent and highly variable climate. As with all marsupials, the young are born at a very early stage of development – after a gestation of 31–36 days. At this stage, only the forelimbs are somewhat developed, to allow the newborn to climb to the pouch and attach to a teat. In comparison, a human embryo at a similar stage of development would be about seven weeks old, and premature babies born at less than 23 weeks are usually not mature enough to survive. When the joey is born, it is about the size of a lima bean. The joey will usually stay in the pouch for about nine months (180–320 days for the Western Grey) before starting to leave the pouch for small periods of time. It is usually fed by its mother until reaching 18 months.
The female kangaroo is usually pregnant in permanence, except on the day she gives birth; however, she has the ability to freeze the development of an embryo until the previous joey is able to leave the pouch. This is known as diapause, and will occur in times of drought and in areas with poor food sources. The composition of the milk produced by the mother varies according to the needs of the joey. In addition, the mother is able to produce two different kinds of milk simultaneously for the newborn and the older joey still in the pouch.
Unusually, during a dry period, males will not produce sperm, and females will only conceive if there has been enough rain to produce a large quantity of green vegetation.[22]
Hindleg of a kangaroo
Kangaroos and wallabies have large, stretchy tendons in their hind legs. They store elastic strain energy in the tendons of their large hind legs, providing most of the energy required for each hop by the spring action of the tendons rather than by any muscular effort. This is true in all animal species which have muscles connected to their skeleton through elastic elements such as tendons, but the effect is more pronounced in kangaroos.
There is also a link between the hopping action and breathing: as the feet leave the ground, air is expelled from the lungs; bringing the feet forward ready for landing refills the lungs, providing further energy efficiency. Studies of kangaroos and wallabies have demonstrated that, beyond the minimum energy expenditure required to hop at all, increased speed requires very little extra effort (much less than the same speed increase in, say, a horse, dog or human), and that the extra energy is required to carry extra weight. For kangaroos, the key benefit of hopping is not speed to escape predators—the top speed of a kangaroo is no higher than that of a similarly-sized quadruped, and the Australian native predators are in any case less fearsome than those of other continents—but economy: in an infertile continent with highly variable weather patterns, the ability of a kangaroo to travel long distances at moderately high speed in search of food sources is crucial to survival.
A sequencing project of the kangaroo genome was started in 2004 as a collaboration between Australia (mainly funded by the state of Victoria) and the National Institutes of Health in the US.[23] The genome of a marsupial such as the kangaroo is of great interest to scientists studying comparative genomics because marsupials are at an ideal degree of evolutionary divergence from humans: mice are too close and haven't developed many different functions, while birds are genetically too remote. The dairy industry has also expressed some interest in this project.


Eye disease is rare but not new among kangaroos. The first official report of kangaroo blindness took place in 1994, in central New South Wales. The following year, reports of blind kangaroos appeared in Victoria and South Australia. By 1996, the disease had spread "across the desert to Western Australia". Australian authorities were concerned that the disease could spread to other livestock and possibly humans. Researchers at the Australian Animal Health Laboratories in Geelong detected a virus called the Wallal virus in two species of midge, believed to have been the carriers.[24][25] Veterinarians also discovered that less than three percent of kangaroos exposed to the virus developed blindness.[26]

Reproduction and life cycle

Illustration of a typical Kangaroo
Kangaroo reproduction is similar to that of opossums. The egg (still contained in the evolutionary remnant of a shell, a few micrometres thick, and with only a small quantity of yolk within it) descends from the ovary into the uterus. There it is fertilised and quickly develops into a neonate. Even in the largest kangaroo (the red kangaroo) the neonate emerges after only 33 days. Usually only one young is born at a time. It is blind, hairless and only a few centimetres long; its hind legs are mere stumps; it instead uses its more developed forelegs to climb its way through the thick fur on its mother's abdomen into the pouch, which takes about three to five minutes. Once in the pouch, it fastens onto one of the two teats and starts to feed. Almost immediately, the mother's sexual cycle starts again. Another egg descends into the uterus and she becomes sexually receptive. Then, if she mates and a second egg is fertilised, its development is temporarily halted. Meanwhile, the neonate in the pouch grows rapidly. After ca. 190 days, the baby (called a joey) is sufficiently large and developed to make its full emergence out of the pouch, after sticking its head out for a few weeks until it eventually feels safe enough to fully emerge. From then on it spends increasing time in the outside world and eventually, after ca. 235 days, it leaves the pouch for the last time.[27]

Interaction with humans

The kangaroo has always been a very important animal for Australian Aborigines, for its meat, hide, bone and tendon. Kangaroo hides were also sometimes used for recreation, in particular there are accounts of some tribes (Kurnai) using stuffed kangaroo scrotum as a ball for the traditional football game of marngrook. In addition, there were important Dreaming stories and ceremonies involving the kangaroo. Aherrenge is a current kangaroo dreaming site in the Northern Territory.
Unlike many of the smaller macropods, kangaroos have fared well since European settlement. European settlers cut down forests to create vast grasslands for sheep and cattle grazing, added stock watering points in arid areas, and have substantially reduced the number of dingoes.
Kangaroos are shy and retiring by nature, and in normal circumstances present no threat to humans. Male kangaroos often "box" amongst each other, playfully, for dominance, or in competition for mates. The dexterity of their forepaws is utilised in both punching and grappling with the foe, but the real danger lies in a serious kick with the hindleg. The sharpened hind claws can disembowel an opponent.
There are very few records of kangaroos attacking humans without provocation; however, several such unprovoked attacks in 2004 spurred fears of a rabies-like disease possibly affecting the marsupials. The only reliably documented case of a fatality from a kangaroo attack occurred in New South Wales, in 1936. A hunter was killed when he tried to rescue his two dogs from a heated fray. Other suggested causes for erratic and dangerous kangaroo behaviour include extreme thirst and hunger.
In 2003, Lulu, an Eastern Grey, saved a farmer's life by alerting family members to his location when he was injured by a falling treebranch. She received the RSPCA National Animal Valor Award on 19 May 2004.[28][29][30]

Side effects of harvesting

There are some side effects of harvesting kangaroos that are undesirable and work against the stated goals of the harvest. These side effects lock managers into more intervention rather than addressing population concerns. Ecological resilience, exclusion of plant species, a destabilizing of an ecological system, increased instability between prey and predator populations, an increase in juvenile population survival and ultimately a change in the genetic structure of the population.[31]

Conflict with vehicles

A "kangaroo crossing" sign on an Australian highway
A kangaroo crossing a highway
A Wedge-tailed Eagle feeding on a kangaroo 'roadkill' in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
A collision with a vehicle is capable of killing a kangaroo. Kangaroos dazzled by headlights or startled by engine noise often leap in front of cars. Since kangaroos in mid-bound can reach speeds of around 50 km/h (31 mph) and are relatively heavy, the force of impact can be severe. Small vehicles may be destroyed, while larger vehicles may suffer engine damage. The risk of harm to vehicle occupants is greatly increased if the windscreen is the point of impact. As a result, "kangaroo crossing" signs are commonplace in Australia.
Vehicles that frequent isolated roads, where roadside assistance may be scarce, are often fitted with "roo bars" to minimise damage caused by collision. Bonnet-mounted devices, designed to scare wildlife off the road with ultrasound and other methods, have been devised and marketed.
If a female is the victim of a collision, animal welfare groups ask that her pouch be checked for any surviving joey, in which case it may be removed to a wildlife sanctuary or veterinary surgeon for rehabilitation. Likewise, when an adult kangaroo is injured in a collision, a vet, the RSPCA or the National Parks and Wildlife Service can be consulted for instructions on proper care. In New South Wales, rehabilitation of kangaroos is carried out by volunteers from WIRES.


Occasionally, individuals take on the task of rearing a recovered joey themselves. The rule-of-thumb says that if the joey is already covered with fur at the time of the accident (as opposed to still being in its embryonic stage), it stands a good chance of growing up properly. Lactose-free milk is required, otherwise the animal may develop blindness. They hop readily into a cloth bag when it is lowered in front of them approximately to the height where the mother's pouch would be. The joey's instinct is to "cuddle up", thereby endearing themselves to their keepers, but after hand-rearing a joey, it cannot usually be released into the wild and be expected to provide for itself immediately. Usually wildlife sanctuaries are willing to adopt kangaroos when it is no longer practical for an individual to manage them or when they grow too large to be contained. Full-grown kangaroos need to be kept on grounds with at least 4,000 m² of space and with boundary fences at least 2 m high.

Emblems and popular culture

Kangaroos have been featured on coins, as well as being used as emblems, logos and mascots. They have also been used in the naming of sports teams. They are extremely well-represented in films, television, books, toys and souvenirs around the world.


Kangaroo meat is used in barbecues, stews and various other types of cooking. The meat is also a staple part of the Aboriginal diet.

See also


  • Dawson, Terence J. 1995. Kangaroos: Biology of the Largest Marsupials. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York. Second printing: 1998. ISBN 0-8014-8262-3.
  • Flannery, Timothy Fridtjof, et al. 1996. Tree Kangaroos: A Curious Natural History. Reed Books, Melbourne. ISBN 0-7301-0492-3
  • Underhill D. 1993. Australia's Dangerous Creatures, Reader's Digest, Sydney, New South Wales, ISBN 0-86438-018-6
  • Weldon, Kevin. 1985. The Kangaroo. Weldons Pty. Ltd., Sydney. ISBN 0-949708-22-4


  1. ^ Groves, C. (2005). Wilson, D. E., & Reeder, D. M.. ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 64 & 66. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3.  
  2. ^ "Kangaroo Industry Background Kangaroo Industries Association of Australia. July 2008". Kangaroo-industry.asn.au. 1997-07-31. http://www.kangaroo-industry.asn.au/morinfo/BACKGR1.HTM. Retrieved 2009-04-05.  
  3. ^ Steve Dow: "An industry that's under the gun". Sydney Morning Herald online, September 26, 2007.
  4. ^ Australia's coat of arms. Retrieved January 6, 2007.
  5. ^ The Australian currency. Retrieved January 6, 2007.
  6. ^ The Kangaroo symbol. Retrieved January 6, 2007.
  7. ^ Etymology of mammal names. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
  8. ^ "Kangaroo - Captain Cook's Journal". Project Gutenberg. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/8106/8106-h/8106-h.htm#ch8. Retrieved 2006-12-31.  
  9. ^ http://www.word-detective.com/110999.html#kangaroo"
  10. ^ Haviland, John B. (1974). "A last look at Cook's Guugu-Yimidhirr wordlist". Oceania 44 (3): 216–232. http://www.anthro.ucsd.edu/~jhaviland/Publications/HavilandOceania.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-13.  
  11. ^ Animal Bytes: Kangaroo and Wallaby. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
  12. ^ "Roo". Compact Oxford English Dictionary. Ask Oxford.com. http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/roo?view=uk. Retrieved 2006-12-31.  
  13. ^ "Red Kangaroos". http://www.red-kangaroos.com/. Retrieved 2007-01-07.  
  14. ^ Captain John Gore by Johanna Parker, curator at the National Museum of Australia (June 2006)
  15. ^ The La Trobe Journal, Vol. 66, pages 4 and 5, Spring 2000
  16. ^ a b c Penny, Malcolm (2002). The Secret Life of Kangaroos. Austin, Texas: Raintree Steck-Vaughn Puiblishers. ISBN 0-7398-4986-7.  
  17. ^ "Gestation, Incubation, and Longevity of Selected Animals". infoplease.com. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004723.html. Retrieved 2006-12-31.  
  18. ^ Archives. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
  19. ^ Columbus Zoo article. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
  20. ^ Radio Australia - Innovations: "Methane In Agriculture." 15 August 2004. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  21. ^ Canadian Museum of Nature - Kangaroo. Retrieved January 6, 2007.
  22. ^ Burnie, David; Don E. Wilson (2001). Animal. New York, New York: DK Publishing, Inc.. pp. 99–101. ISBN 0-7894-7764-5.  
  23. ^ Kangaroo hops in line for genome sequencing. Retrieved January 6, 2007.
  24. ^ Hooper, P (August 1999). "Kangaroo blindness and some other new viral diseases in Australia". Australian Veterinary Journal 77 (8): 514. doi:10.1111/j.1751-0813.1999.tb12122.x. http://www.ava.com.au/avj/9908/99080514.pdf. Retrieved 2006-12-31.  
  25. ^ "Viruses on the hop". Ecos (CSIRO Publishing) (87). Autumn 1996. http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=EC87p36.pdf. Retrieved 2006-12-31.  
  26. ^ "Unknown". National Wildlife Federation. http://www.nwf.org/internationalwildlife/kangaroo.html.  
  27. ^ Evolution of Biodiversity, BCB705 Biodiversity, University of the Western Cape
  28. ^ "Lulu the kangaroo hops to the rescue". The Age. 2003-09-23. http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/09/22/1064082926928.html?from=storyrhs. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  29. ^ Morse, Sherry (2003-04-10). "Half-Blind Kangaroo Saves Life Of Unconscious Man". Buzzle.com. http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/10-4-2003-46148.asp. Retrieved 2006-12-31.  
  30. ^ "Life-saving kangaroo wins award". BBC News. 2004-04-29. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3667733.stm. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  31. ^ Australia (2007-09-03). "Commercial harvesting of Kangaroos in Australia Department of Zoology, The University of Queensland for Environment Australia, August 1999 Side effects of harvesting". Environment.gov.au. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/trade-use/wild-harvest/kangaroo/harvesting/roobg-02.html. Retrieved 2009-04-05.  

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

KANGAROO, the universally accepted, though not apparently the native, designation of the more typical representatives of the marsupial family Macropodidae (see Marsupialia). Although intimately connected with the cuscuses and phalangers by means of the musk-kangaroo, the kangaroos and wallabies, together with the rat-kangaroos, are easily distinguishable from other diprotodont marsupials by their general conformation, and by peculiarities in the structure of their limbs, teeth and other organs. They vary in size from that of a sheep to a small rabbit. The head, especially in the larger species, is small, compared with the rest of the body, and tapers forward to the muzzle. The shoulders and fore-limbs are feebly developed, and the hind-limbs of disproportionate strength and magnitude, which give the animals a peculiarly awkward appearance when moving about on all-fours, as they occasionally do when feeding. Rapid progression is, however, performed only by the powerful hind-limbs, the animals covering the ground by a series of immense bounds, during which the fore part of the body is inclined forwards, and balanced by the long, strong and tapering tail, which is carried horizontally backwards. When not moving, they often assume a perfectly upright position, the tail aiding the two hind-legs to form a tripod, and the front-limbs dangling by the side of the chest. This position gives full scope for the senses of sight, hearing and smell to warn of the approach of enemies. The fore-paws have five digits, each armed with a strong, curved claw. The hind-foot is extremely long, narrow and (except in the musk-kangaroo) without the first toe. It consists mainly of one very large and strong toe, corresponding to the fourth of the human foot, ending in a strong curved and pointed claw (fig. 2). Close to the outer side of this lies a smaller fifth digit, and to the inner side two excessively slender toes (the second and third), bound together almost to the extremity in a common FIG. 1. - The Great Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). integument. The two little claws of these toes, projecting together from the skin, may be of use in scratching and cleaning the fur of the animal, but the toes must have quite lost all connexion with the functions of support or progression. This type of foot-structure is termed syndactylous.
The dental formula, when completely developed, is incisors i, canines o, premolars 31 molars - on each side, giving a total of 34 teeth. The three incisors of the upper jaw are arranged in a continuous arched series, and have crowns with broad cutting edges; the first or middle incisor is often larger than the others. Corresponding to these in the lower jaw is but one tooth on each side, which is of great size, directed horizontally forwards, narrow, lanceolate and pointed with sharp edges. Owing to the slight union of the two halves of the lower jaw in front in many species the two lower incisors work together like the blades of a pair of scissors. The canines are absent or rudimentary in the lower, and often deciduous at an early age in the upper jaw. The first two premolars are compressed, with cutting longitudinal edges, the anterior one is deciduous, being lost about the time the second one replaces the milk-molar, so that three premolars are never found in place and use in the same individual. The last premolar and the molars have quadrate crowns, provided with two strong transverse ridges, or with four obtuse cusps. In Macropus giganteus and its immediate allies, the premolars and sometimes the first molar are shed, so that in old examples only the two posterior molars and the incisors are found in place. The milk-dentition, as in other marsupials, is confined to a single tooth on each side of each jaw, the other molars and incisors being never changed. The dentition of the kangaroos, functionally considered, thus consists of sharp-edged incisors, most developed near the median line of the mouth, for the purpose of cropping herbage, and ridged or tuberculated molars for crushing.
The number of vertebrae is - in the cervical region 7, dorsal 13, lumbar 6, sacral 2, caudal varying according to the length of the tail, but generally from 21 to 25. In the fore-limb the clavicle and the radius and ulna are well developed, allowing of considerable freedom of motion of the fore-paw. The pelvis has large epipubic or "marsupial" bones. The femur is short, and the tibia and fibula of great length, as is the foot, the whole of which is applied to the ground when the animal is at rest in the upright position.
The stomach is large and very complex, its walls being puckered by longitudinal muscular bands into a number of folds. The alimentary canal is long, and the caecum well developed. The young (which, as in other marsupials, leave the uterus in an extremely small and imperfect condition) are placed in the pouch as soon as they are born; and to this they resort temporarily for shelter for some time after they are able to run, jump and feed upon the herbage which forms the nourishment of the parent. During the early period of their sojourn in the pouch, the blind, naked, helpless young creatures (which in the great kangaroo scarcely exceed an inch in length) are attached by their mouths to the nipple of the mother, and are fed by milk injected into their stomach by the contraction of the muscle covering the mammary gland. In this stage of existence the elongated upper part of the larynx projects into the posterior nares, and so maintains a free communication between the lungs and the external surface, independently of the mouth and gullet, thus averting danger of suffocation while the milk is passing down the gullet.
Kangaroos are vegetable-feeders, browsing on grass and various kinds of herbage, but the smaller species also eat FIG. 3. - Skull and teeth of Bennett's Wallaby (Macropus ruficollis bennettii): i l , i 2, i 3, first, second and third upper incisors; pm, second premolar (the first having been already shed); m l, m 2, m 3, m4, last premolar and three molars. The last, not fully developed, is nearly concealed by the ascending part of the lower jaw.
roots. They are naturally timid and inoffensive, but the larger kinds when hard pressed will turn and defend themselves, sometimes killing a dog by grasping it in their fore-paws, and inflicting terrible wounds with the sharp claws of their powerful hind-legs, supporting themselves meanwhile upon the tail. The majority are inhabitants of Australia and Tasmania, forming one of the most prominent and characteristic features of the fauna of these lands, and performing the part of the deer and antelopes of other parts of the world. .They were important sources of food-supply to the natives, and are hunted by the colonists, both for sport and on account of the damage they do in consuming grass required for cattle and sheep.^ One Australian team has even suggested we wean ourselves from cattle and sheep altogether and eat kangaroo instead - they do not emit methane.
  • How kangaroo burgers could save the planet - environment - 25 December 2008 - New Scientist 14 January 2010 4:04 UTC www.newscientist.com [Source type: General]

A few species are found in New Guinea, and the adjacent islands, which belong, in the zoological sense, to the Australian province, beyond the bounds of which none occurs.
The more typical representatives of the group constitute the subfamily Macropodinae, in which the cutting-edges of the upper incisors are nearly level, or the first pair but slightly longer than the others (fig. 3). The canines are rudimentary and often wanting. The molars are usually not longer (from before backwards) than the anterior premolars, and less compressed than in the next section. The crowns of the molars have two prominent transverse ridges. The fore-limbs are small with subequal toes, armed with strong, moderately long, curved claws. Hind-limbs very long and strongly made. Head small, with more or less elongated muzzle. Ears generally rather long and ovate.
FIG. 2. - Skeleton of right hindfoot of Kangaroo.
The typical genus Macropus, in which the muzzle is generally naked, the ears large, the fur on the nape of the neck usually directed backwards, the claw of the fourth hind-toe very large, and the tail stout and tapering, includes a large number of species. Among these, the great grey kangaroo (M. giganteus, fig. i) deserves special mention on account of having been discovered during Captain Cook's first voyage in 1770. The great red kangaroo (M. rufus) is about the same size, while other large species are M. antilopinus and M. robustus. The larger wallabies, or brush-kangaroos, such as the red-necked wallaby (M. ruficollis) constitute a group of smallersized species; while the smaller wallabies, such as the filander (M. muelleri) and M. thetidis, constitute yet another section. .The genus ranges from the eastern Austro-Malay islands to New Guinea.^ Under new owners, and with skipper Gus Mere in charge, ran aground in Windmill Bay, under Cape Willoughby, eastern tip of Kangaroo Island.

Nearly allied are the rock-wallabies of Australia and Tasmania, constituting the genus Petrogale, chiefly distinguished by the thinner tail being more densely haired and terminating in a tuff. Wellknown species are P. penicillata, P. xanthopus and P. lateralis. The few species of nail-tailed wallabies, Onychogale, which are confined to the Australian mainland, take their name from the presence of a horny spur at the end of the tail, and are further distinguished by the hairy muzzle. 0. unguifer, 0. fraenatus and 0. lunatus represent the group. The hare-wallabies, such as Lagorchestes leporoides, L. hirsutus and L. consepicillatus, constitute a genus with the same distribution as the last, and likewise with a hairy muzzle, but with a rather short, evenly furred tail, devoid of a spur. They are great leapers and swift runners, mostly frequenting open stony plains.
More distinct is the Papuan genus Dorcopsis, as typified by D. muelleri, although it is to some extent connected with Macropus by D. macleyi. The muzzle is naked, the fur on the nape of the neck directed more or less completely forward, and the hind-limbs are less disproportionately elongated. Perhaps, however, the most Fig. 4. - Skull and teeth of Lesueuir's Rat-Kangaroo (Bettongia lesueuiri). c, upper canine. Other letters as in fig. 3. The anterior premolar has been shed.
distinctive feature of the genus is the great fore-and-aft length of the penultimate premolar in both jaws. Other species are D. rufolateralis and D. aurantiacus. In the tree-kangaroos, which include the Papuan Dendrolagus inustus, D. ursinus, D. dorianus, D. benetianus and D. maximus, and the North Queensland D. lumholtzi, the reduction in the length of the hind-limbs is carried to a still further degree, so that the proportions of the fore and hind limbs are almost normal. The genus agrees with Dorcopsis in the direction of the hair on the neck, but the muzzle is only partially hairy, and the elongation of the penultimate premolar is less. These kangaroos are largely arboreal in their habits, but they descend to the ground to feed. Lastly, we have the banded wallaby, Lagostrophus fasciatus, of Western Australia, a small species characterized by its naked muzzle, the presence of long bristles on the hindfeet which conceal the claws, and also of dark transverse bands on the lower part of the back. The skull has a remarkably narrow and pointed muzzle and much inflated auditory bullae; while the two halves of the lower jaw are firmly welded together at their junction, thus effectually preventing the scissor-like action of the lower incisors distinctive of Macropus and its immediate allies. As regards the teeth, canines are wanting, and the penultimate upper premolar is short, from before backwards, with a distinct ledge on the inner side.
.In the rat-kangaroos, or kangaroo-rats, as they are called in Australia, constituting the sub-family Potoroinae, the first upper incisor is narrow, curved, and much exceeds the others in length; the upper canines are persistent, flattened, blunt and slightly curved, and the first two premolars of both jaws have large, simple, compressed crowns, with a nearly straight or slightly concave free cutting-edge, and both outer and inner surfaces usually marked by a series of parallel, vertical grooves and ridges.^ Also organic, more or less by definition - they're hunted, not grown (there's a serious surplus of roos in Australia).
  • How kangaroo burgers could save the planet - environment - 25 December 2008 - New Scientist 14 January 2010 4:04 UTC www.newscientist.com [Source type: General]

^ How exactly will viewers benefit from other VOD services - all of which are subscription based - rather than the free ad-supported offering from Kangaroo?
  • Project Kangaroo blocked by Competition Commission | Media | guardian.co.uk 14 January 2010 4:04 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

Molars with quadrate crowns and a blunt conical cusp at each corner, the last notably smaller than the rest, sometimes rudimentary or absent. Forefeet narrow; the three middle toes considerably exceeding the first and fifth in length and their claws long, compressed and but slightly curved. Hind-feet as in Macropus. Tail long, and sometimes partially prehensile when it is used for carrying bundles of grass with which these animals build their nests. The group is confined to Australia and Tasmania, and all the species are relatively small.
In the members of the typical genus Potorous (formerly known as Hypsiprymnus) the head is long and slender, with the auditory bullae somewhat swollen; while the ridges on the first two premolars are few and perpendicular, and there are large vacuities on the palate. The tarsus is short and the muzzle naked. The genus includes P. tridactylus, P. gilberti and P. platyops. In Bettongia, on the other hand, the head is shorter and wider, with smaller and more rounded ears, and more swollen auditory bullae. The ridges on the first two premolars are also more numerous and somewhat oblique (fig. 4); the tarsus is long and the tail is prehensile. The species include B. lesueuiri, B. gaimardi and B. cuniculus. The South Australian Caloprymnus campestris represents a genus near akin to the last, but with the edge of the hairy border of the bare muzzle less emarginate in the middle line, still more swollen auditory bullae, very large and posterially expanded nasals and longer vacuities on the palate. The list is completed by Aepyprymnus rufescens, which differs from all the others by the hairy muzzle, and the absence of inflation in the auditory bullae and of vacuities in the palate.
.Perhaps, however, the most interesting member of the whole group is the tiny musk-kangaroo (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus) of north-east Australia, which alone represents the sub-family Hypsiprymnodontinae, characterized by the presence of an opposable first toe on the hind-foot and the outward inclination of the penultimate upper premolar, as well by the small and feeble claws.^ Ashore in strong winds, a few miles north east from Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, 15 May 1884.

^ Wrecked ashore, north east of Cape St. Albans on Kangaroo Island, 3 March 1976.

.In all these features the musk-kangaroo connects the Macropodidae with the Phalangeridae. The other teeth are like those of the ratkangaroos.^ I think it very remiss of NS to make methane sound like it is the real problem, without at least some mention of these other considerations.
  • How kangaroo burgers could save the planet - environment - 25 December 2008 - New Scientist 14 January 2010 4:04 UTC www.newscientist.com [Source type: General]

(W. H. F.; R. L.*)

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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!


Developer(s) Sun Electronics
Publisher(s) Atari
Release date Arcade:
1982 (NA)
Atari 2600:
1983 (NA)
Atari 5200:
1983 (NA)
Genre 2D platformer
Mode(s) Single player
1-2 players alternating
Age rating(s) N/A
Atari 2600
Platform(s) Arcade
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Input Atari 2600 Joystick
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough
Kangaroo is an arcade game released in 1982. It was ported to the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200.


Mama Kangaroo must save Kid Kangaroo from an entire gang of nasty monkeys. She must climb up ladders, jump onto platforms, leap across gaps and so on to rescue him. The monkeys will oppose her by throwing apples at her, either overhand or underhand. If they throw apples at her underhand, Mama Kangaroo must jump over them, but if they throw them overhand, she must duck. The monkeys will also drop apple cores and Mama Kangaroo must either avoid them or punch them to score points. Mama Kangaroo can also collect fruits and vegetables (including strawberries, pineapples, cherries, tomatoes, etc.) to score points. Mama Kangaroo can also ring a bell to make more fruits and vegetables appear.
Whenever Mama Kangaroo is close to a monkey, she can punch the monkey and knock him out. There is also a boxing gorilla called Big Ape who will occasionally appear on some levels and will try to deprive Mama Kangaroo of her boxing gloves and leave her defenseless, but she can punch Big Ape to knock him off the screen. If Mama Kangaroo is disarmed of her gloves, she must reach Kid Kangaroo before the dangers increase.
There are four different levels. The first level just has three floors connected to three long ladders. The second level is the same as the first except that on each floor, there are platforms that Mama Kangaroo must jump onto to get to each short ladder on each floor. On the third level, the cage in which Kid Kangaroo is imprisoned is held up by an entire stack of monkeys and there is an entire horde of apples that the monkey will unleash if five of them climb up there. On this level, Mama Kangaroo must punch each monkey in the stack several times until the cage is lowered and when the cage has been lowered enough, Mama Kangaroo must climb to the next floor to get to Kid Kangaroo before the cage is raised again or before the monkeys have the horde of apple cores unleashed. On the fourth level, there are odd connections of floors, platforms and ladders and the monkeys will throw apples and drop apple cores more unpredictably.
On each level, Mama Kangaroo must rescue Kid Kangaroo in order to proceed to the next. Everytime Kid Kangaroo is rescued, he says "MOM" while "Oh! Susanna" plays. After all four levels are completed, the game starts over again and with increased difficulty.
Jumping is kind of tough in this game because you have to make a quick direction change. The game play would be improved if a jump button had been added to the original control panel. The graphics in this game have a lot of glitches.


The Atari 2600 versions of both this game and Jungle Hunt were used in an ad promotion for an "Atari Safari" contest held by Atari in 1983.

This article uses material from the "Kangaroo" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

File:Kangaroo and
Female Eastern Grey Kangaroo with joey
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Suborder: Macropodiformes
Family: Macropodidae
Genus: Macropus
in part

Macropus rufus
Macropus giganteus
Macropus fuliginosus
Macropus antilopinus

A kangaroo is an animal. It is a kind of mammal. It belongs to the genus Macropus. It is common in Australia and can also be found on nearby islands. Kangaroos hop to move around quickly, and walk on four legs while moving slowly. They cannot walk backwards but they can hop or jump as far as about three times their own height. They can also swim if necessary. The kangaroo is a herbivore, eating mainly grass, but some species also eat shrubs.

Kangaroos are marsupials because they carry their young in special pouch on their bodies. Baby kangaroos are called joeys. Kangaroos live in large groups, called a mob.[1] Each group is made up of breeding females, their young and several adult males. One of the males is the dominant male, he is the only one that breeds with the females in the mob.[1]

Because it is mostly found in Australia, Australians see it as a national symbol. The kangaroo is featured holding the Australian coat of arms. The Australian airline, Qantas, uses the kangaroo as its emblem. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) also a has a kangaroo emblem.

Kangaroos can be dangerous in some situations. They have powerful legs, and can lean back on their tails to deliver powerful kicks. In 2009, a man went to save his dog which had chased a kangaroo into a farm dam. The kangaroo was able to hold the dog underwater and nearly drowning it. The kangaroo gave the man several big kicks before he was able to grab his dog and escape from the dam. He needed hospital treatment for his injuries.[2]

The name

The word kangaroo is an Australian Aboriginal word from the Guugu Yimidhirr people of north Queensland. The word was recorded by Captain James Cook in August 1770.[3] It was the name for the grey kangaroo, Macropus robustus.[4] Cook's ship, the HMS Endeavour, had been damaged on coral on the Great Barrier Reef. it took seven weeks for the ship to be repaired on the banks of a river, now the Endeavour River, at the site of the town of Cooktown. This gave Cook, Joseph Banks and other crew members time to explore the area and the plants and animals. The skin and skull of a kangaroo was taken back to England to be put on show. In James Boswell's book "Life of Johnson" he describes Dr. Samuel Johnson in 1793 hopping around the room to explain to people how a kangaroo moved. When Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet arrived in Sydney in 1788, they were surprised that the Aborigines did not know the word "kangaroo." It took them a while to realize that Aborigines at Sydney spoke a different language to those from Cooktown.[4]

Kinds of kangaroos

There are four species of kangaroos:

  • The Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) is the largest marsupial anywhere in the world. The Red Kangaroo lives in the arid and semi-arid centre of Australia. A large male can be two metres (6 ft 7 in) tall and weigh 90 kg (200 lb).
  • The Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) is less well-known than the red (outside of Australia), but the most often seen, as its range covers the fertile eastern part of the continent.
  • The Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) is slightly smaller again at about 54 kg (119 lb) for a large male. It is found in the south part of Western Australia, South Australia near the coast, and the Darling River basin.
  • The Antilopine Kangaroo (Macropus antilopinus) is similar to the Eastern and Western Greys. Like them, it lives on the grassy plains and woodlands. It lives in large groups.

There are also about 50 other smaller macropods in the macropodidae family.

A kangaroo hopping


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Kangaroos (Department of Environment and Resource Management)". derm.qld.gov.au. 2011 [last update]. http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/wildlife-ecosystems/wildlife/living_with_wildlife/kangaroos.html. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  2. Millar, Paul (November 24, 2009). "Rogue too a fearful combatant in dam attack" (in English). The Age. pp. 3. 
  3. "ANDC - For Schools". anu.edu.au. http://www.anu.edu.au/ANDC/res/forschools/classtopics/aboriginalborrowings.php. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "ANU - Australian National Dictionary Centre - ANDC". anu.edu.au. 2011 [last update]. http://www.anu.edu.au/andc/res/aus_words/vocab_aussie/borrowings.php. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 

Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 27, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Kangaroo, which are similar to those in the above article.

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