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5 Utterly Wild Fun Facts About the Kangaroo

Jump into Amazement: Unveiling 5 Wholly Wild Fun Facts About the Kangaroo

By Olivia L. DobbsPublished 25 days ago 4 min read
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5 Utterly Wild Fun Facts About the Kangaroo
Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

Ah, the kangaroo — those adorable creatures renowned for their cute little hops, have always been considered quite the charismatic animals. Yet, beyond being fun to observe wandering about in zoos, they hold a world of scientific fascination! Get ready to be amazed as we delve into five incredible facts about the kangaroo. From their unique reproductive methods to astonishing adaptations for survival, each revelation adds a layer to the wonder that is the kangaroo. Join me on this journey into the scientific marvels of these marsupials, and you’ll discover that there’s much more to them than meets the eye!

Female Kangaroos are almost always pregnant

One of the main contributors to the high populations of kangaroos is their strange reproductive behavior. Namely, female kangaroos are nearly constantly pregnant. As soon as a joey is outside the uterus, a female kangaroo can immediately get pregnant again.

Fascinatingly, the female can freeze the embryo (called embryonic diapause) in development while she raises her newborn Joey. She does this to hedge her bets against the potential loss of her current joey. Should the tiny, delicate baby be lost, she’ll be able to quickly replace it with the next offspring. This adaptation has caused a rather unusual anatomy in the female kangaroo, each having two distinct uteruses and, when they’re pregnant, 3 total vaginas.

Kangaroos Employ Drowning as a Method of Self-Defense

Just because kangaroos are vegetarians, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re gentle. In classic Australian fashion, this animal has deadly adaptations that make them formidable foes in the wildlands. One of these adaptations, in particular, paints them in a much more terrifying light.

When threatened by predators like wild dogs (and nosy domestic ones), kangaroos have been observed running to the water to gain an advantage. Should their pursuer continue, the kangaroos then use their strong arms and massive claws to hold the dangerous animal underwater until, well, it’s no longer a danger to them.

There are More Kangaroos Than There are Humans in Australia

95% of the land in Australia is uninhabited by humans. With the expansive, harsh outback taking up a massive proportion of the center of the continent, Australia’s population of nearly 27 million primarily lives near the coast, sticking to the regions that have fertile land. That leaves a lot of room for kangaroos, who have an incredible selection of adaptations for extreme heat conditions.

Kangaroos, as a result of their ability to regulate their temperature so well, have flourished in the outback, numbering nearly 50 million. There are, actually, so many kangaroos in Australia that the people and government are considering culling their populations to help the environment and other at-risk species in the Australian outback.

The “Kangaroos Don’t Fart” Fact is a Myth

Much like sheep, cows, and goats, kangaroos are almost completely herbivorous, eating a variety of flowers, grasses, moss, and other plant materials that grow in their environment. In the 1970s, research suggested that, despite this, the kangaroo was unique in that it didn’t release methane into the environment as do other herbivorous creatures. Because of this research, many believed that the creatures didn’t fart at all.

The gentle kangaroo does indeed pass gas, but the way they do so is technically much more eco-friendly than most other plant-eating mammals. Due to a specific type of bacteria that resides in their digestive tracts, much of the methane that they produce from their diets is absorbed and processed before it’s released into the environment. As such, some microbiologists are studying this phenomenon to reproduce it in our livestock. In the future, this bacteria may lead to an incredible reduction in the methane production of our herbivorous farm animals.

Male Kangaroos Fight Each Other to Win Over the Right to Breed with Females of Their Group

In any ‘mob’ of kangaroos, only a single male is given the right to breed with females at a time. Kangaroo society only allows the fittest, strongest male to mate, making their competitions particularly dramatic. To determine who among the mob is the “alpha” kangaroo, the male members engage in battle during mating season. The fights are brutal, full of punching, kicking, and clawing at each other. As the female members of the mob refuse to mate with any of the losers, the males truly give it their all in this annual, violent competition.

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Kangaroos are undeniably fascinating creatures, with insane adaptations and quirks that make them particularly captivating. From strange anatomy to odd behaviors, they’re an unending delight. These remarkable marsupials are not only a symbol of the Outback but also essential players in the Australian ecosystem, contributing to the delicate balance of nature. It’s no surprise that these creatures are beloved worldwide, as they embody the wild and untamed spirit of Australia.

Which fact was your favorite?

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Crossposted from Medium. Follow and Subscribe for new science articles every Friday!

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About the Creator

Olivia L. Dobbs

Science Enthusiast, Naturalist, Dreamer.

Check out my science! -> bit.ly/DobbsEtAl

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Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (2)

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  • L.C. Schäfer25 days ago

    My favourite kanga-fact is not listed here. The females have three vaginas (sort of) and the males have two-pronged penises!

  • Kale Ross25 days ago

    This was awesome, and extremely informative. Thank you for sharing!

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