Kangaroos are marsupials that are native to Australia and New Guinea (often called Papua New Guinea). Here are some interesting facts about kangaroos.
Facts About Kangaroos
- Some people hunt kangaroos for their meat. Farmers sometimes shoot them to stop them destroying grazing land. Harvesting kangaroos for their meat is much better for the environment than raising cows and sheep. Kangaroo meat is a staple part of the Aboriginal (Indigenous Australian) diet.
- The kangaroo is a national symbol for Australia. It’s picture is on some Australian coins and is used by the Australia airline Qantas.
- Early explorers to Australia were amazed by kangaroos. They described them as standing upright like men, having heads like deers (without the antlers, of course) and hopping like frogs. Many people back in England thought that the explorers were making up stories!
- Kangaroos can move at up to 70km/h (44mph) for short periods of time. They can sustain 20km/h (13mph) for many hours.
- Kangaroos live for about 4-6 years.
- All kangaroos are herbivores, which means that they only eat plant material and grass. Some species of kangaroos also eat fungi.
- The dingo is one of the only predators of kangaroos. The barking of a dog can send male kangaroos into a frenzy! Other introduced species, like feral cats and foxes, also prey on kangaroos.
- Baby kangaroos are called joeys. They stay in their mother’s pouch until they are 9 months old.
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