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Kangaroo


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WHAT IS THE KANGAROO?

HOW THE KANGAROO GOT ITS NAME:

When European explorers first saw these strange hopping animals they asked a native Australian (aborigine) what they were called.



He replied "kangaroo" meaning "I don't understand" your question.

The explorers thought this was the animal's name. And that's how the kangaroo got its name.













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A male kangaroo is called a boomer. A female is called a flyer. A baby is called a joey.

A Kangaroo is a marsupial mammal. It is a macropod which means "big foot". There are over 40 different types (species) of Kangaroo. The smaller ones are usually called Wallabies. The largest is the Red Kangaroo. It stands taller than a man and can weigh 85 kgs. It is the largest marsupial in the world.

The Kangaroo moves by hopping on its powerful hind legs. It uses its thick long tail to balance its body while hopping. A kangaroo can hop at up to 60kmh (40mph). It can also leap over obstacles up to 3m (10ft) high. Because of the unusual shape of its legs and its bulky tail a kangaroo can't walk or move backwards very easily.

Kangaroos need very little water to survive and can go months without drinking water. The kangaroo usually rests in the shade during the day and comes out to eat in the late afternoon and night when its much cooler. It eats mostly grass.

A kangaroo carries its baby in its pouch. The baby is born really tiny and crawls into its mother's pouch. The baby lives in its mother's pouch till its quite large. Even when its quite large it still drinks milk from a teat in its mother's pouch. It sometimes jumps into its mother's pouch head first when frightened.

The kangaroo fights by attacking its opponent with its front paws (which have sharp claws) or by kicking them with its powerful hind legs.

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