KANGAROOS A kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae. The term is used to describe the largest species from this family, the Red Kangaroo, the Antilopine Kangaroo, and the Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroo of the Macropus genus.
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A kangaroo is a marsupial from
the family Macropodidae.
is used to
from this family,
the Red Kangaroo,
and the Eastern and
Western Grey Kangaroo
of the Macropus genus.
The family also includes many smaller
species which include the
wallabies, tree kangaroo, wallaroos, pademelons and the Quokka.
The word kangaroo derives from the Guugu Yimidhirrword gangurru, referring to a grey kangaroo.
Kangaroos are endemic to the continent
of Australia, while the smaller macropods
are found in Australia and New Guinea.
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.
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.
This fast and energy-efficient method of travelling has evolved because of the need of regularly cover large distances in search of food and water, rather than because of the need to escape predators.
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, but speeds of up to 70 km/h can be attained, over short distances, while it can sustain a speed of 40 km/h for more than a mile.