Friday, September 18, 2009


A kangaroo is a marsupial mammal in the family Macropodidae. Typically, It has greatly enlarged hind eggs, a strong, muscular tail, small head, and large ears. It usually moves in a hopping gait. The fore part of the kangaroo's stomach has been modified for the bacterial fermentation of plant cellulose, which makes that material digestible. Female kangaroos have an abdominal pouch for carrying their young, which are born in a rather underdeveloped state. Although the period of gestation, or pregnancy, may be short, generally ranging from 27 to nearly 40 days, the young may spend a long period in the pouch; in the case of the red kangaroo, Macropus rufus, they remain nearly 8 months.

The 50 or more species of kangaroos are distributed from Tasmania and Australia proper to New Guinea and adjescent islands, and some have been introduced into New Zealand. The Macropodidae family is divided into two subfamilies, Macropodidinae, containing the large and small kangaroos (wallabies and wallaroos), and Potorinae, containing the small and primitive rat kangaroos.

The Largest kangaroo, and the largest marsupial, is the gray kangaroo, Macropus giganteus, also called M. major or M cangaru, which inhabits open forest or bushland in eastern Australia and Tasmania. It may stand more than 2 m (7 ft) tail, be 2.9 m (9.6 ft) long, including its tail, and weight nearly 80 kg (200 lb). It can leap 1.5 m (5 ft) when moving at a slow pace and more than 9 m (30 ft) at high speeds. For short distances a gray kangaroos feed on grasses and other herbaceous material. The smallest kangaroo is the musky at kangaroo, Hypsiprymnodon moschatus of northeastern Australia, which grows to 33.5 cm (3 in) long, has a 17 cm (6.7 in) hairless tail, and weighs about 500 g (1 lb). Its limbs are nearly equal in size, and its foot structure is quite different is quite different from that of the other species.

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