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29 Aug 2018 14:14:19
Did you know, it is estimated that there are more kangaroos than humans in Australia? Here at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, we have beautiful Kangaroo Island Kangaroos (a sub-species of the Western Grey Kangaroo) and Eastern Grey Kangaroos.
If you’re as hopping mad about kangaroos as we are, then read on to find out some interesting facts about our springy friends...
Kangaroos are known for their hopping, using their powerful hind legs to spring forward, they can clear up to 8 metres in a single hop and can jump 1.8 metres high. These powerful legs not only allow them to cover great distances, but also give them speed, reaching up to 60 km/h, faster than a car travels in the city. When they aren’t hopping around, you can generally find kangaroos lounging in the shade and sheltered areas.
The boxing kangaroo is an iconic Australian image in pop culture, this is an image (a cartoon usually) of a big red wearing boxing gloves, but this has some meaning behind it. Kangaroos live in ‘mobs’, which consist mainly of females and their joeys. Each mob has a dominant male, also known as a 'boomer'. The male takes it upon himself to prevent other males from mating with the females in his mob, and competitions can usually lead to fights, where male kangaroos lean back on their sturdy tails and ‘box’ with each other.
Kangaroos are the largest living marsupials in Australia, but they are tiny when born, usually around the size of a jelly bean. Similar to koalas, a baby kangaroo is called a joey and is carried around in their mother’s pouch before venturing out to explore.
Male kangaroos can weigh up to twice as much as females and tend to have more developed chests and forearms, this difference in size between the sexes is referred to as sexual dimorphism.
Fossil evidence has shown that several different species of kangaroo once roamed Australia. This included a giant that stood over 2 metres tall and weighed 2.5 times the weight of the largest kangaroos found today.
Want more? Get to know the kangaroos that call WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo home.