February 21, 2011

Jumping For Joy ~ The Kangaroo Hi Horse Pals ~ I thought the kangaroo would be a fun animal to highlight, so here are some fun facts about the Kangaroo. Fact #1 The Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) is the largest surviving marsupial anywhere in the world. Fewer in numbers, the Red Kangaroo occupies the arid and semi-arid centre of the country. A large male can be 6 ft 7 in tall and weigh 200 lbs. Fact #2 Kangaroos are the only large animals to use hopping as a means of locomotion. The comfortable hopping speed for the Red Kangaroo is about 13–16 mph, but speeds of up to 44 mph can be attained, over short distances, while it can sustain a speed of 25 mph for nearly 1 1/4 miles. This fast and energy-efficient method of travel has evolved because of the need to regularly cover large distances in search of food and water, rather than the need to escape predators. To move at slow speeds, it uses its tail to form a tripod with its two forelimbs it then raises its hind feet forward. Fact #3 Eastern Greys can jump as well as the big Reds: up to 29 feet in one bound, and can reach speeds of nearly 30 mph. Fact #4 Kangaroos are the only large animals that move by hopping. Fact #5 The large and strong tail is used for balance when hopping, and as a fifth limb when moving about on all four legs. Fact #6 All kangaroos are herbivores. The grazers or browsers eat only plant matter. Fact #7 Kangaroos can survive on very little water; sometimes going for many weeks without it - most of the moisture they need is gained from their food - grass, young shoots and leaves from certain trees. Fact #8 The Red Kangaroo has long distinctive ears, powerful back legs with long feet and a long thick muscular tail. Its front legs are smaller. The female has a pocket of skin called a pouch on the lower part of her stomach to carry her young. Fact #9 Kangaroos are sociable and move in groups of 10-12 up to 100. There is usually one dominant male in the group. He will fight outsiders and younger males trying to take over the group. Fact #10 When a kangaroo is born it is blind and has no fur. The 3/4 of an inch long Joey takes three minute to climb, without help, through the fur on its mother's belly into the her pouch. Once inside, the Joey clamps onto one of her four teats and sucks her milk. For the first four months it doesn't let go of the teat. Once it has a covering of fur the young Joey leaves the pouch for short exploring trips. The Joey stays out for longer periods returning only for milk, until it becomes independent. I hope you learned as much as I did!

Araya & Avery

Araya and Avery are young equestrians and entrepreneurs with a passion for life!

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