Kangaroos

Frizz is up to tagged K … and what else could I offer but Kangaroos? Here we have Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), in company with other macropods Red-necked Wallabies, and that strange species known as Black Swamp Wallaby. These photos of Eastern Grey Kangaroos were taken a few days ago in front of the house on the newly top-dressed and regrown grass.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo with joey in pouch

Eastern Grey Kangaroo with joey in pouch

male kangaroo checking out the female

male kangaroo checking out the female

Here are some interesting facts about the Eastern Grey Kangaroo: The Eastern Grey Kangaroo, a large grass eating marsupial, is one of eight members of the kangaroo family found in Australia.

Kangaroos are the only mammal to move by hopping, and can cover up to 6m in one bound. As a Kangaroo’s speed increases, so does the distance of each hop! Kangaroos are able to maintain a speed of 20km per hour for long periods of time. For short periods, they can hop at speeds of up to 65km per hour.

“Skippy” the bush kangaroo was an Eastern Grey Kangaroo.The Kangaroo and Emu are on Australia’s Coat of Arms. It is thought they were chosen as they are the only two Australian animals that can’t move backwards. The Coat of Arms therefore symbolises a nation moving forward. Kangaroos give birth to under-developed young that are suckled in a pouch on the mother’s belly. Kangaroos belong to a group of marsupials called macropods, which means ‘great foot’. This group was named because of their large rear feet.

The female kangaroo is usually permanently pregnant, except on the day she gives birth; however, she has the ability to freeze the development of an embryo until the previous joey is able to leave the pouch. This is known as diapause, and will occur in times of drought and in areas with poor food sources. The composition of the milk produced by the mother varies according to the needs of the joey. In addition, the mother is able to produce two different kinds of milk simultaneously for the newborn and the older joey still in the pouch.

Eastern Grey Kangaroos can be up to 1.5m tall and weigh almost 60kg.

Their fur is grey brown in colour. Their underparts are pale grey or whitish.

They have long ears with a whitish inner fringe and dark eyes.

Males can weigh twice as much as females and have more developed chests and forearms.

Eastern Grey Kangaroos eat grasses, herbs and occasionally shrubs. Their food is well
chewed before it is swallowed and digested.

They mainly feed in areas where grasses are most plentiful. Areas with patches of trees for cover near open grassland provide perfect habitat for Eastern Grey Kangaroos. During the day they generally rest in the shade and sheltered areas. In the evenings and early morning, they move out into open areas to graze.

Kangaroos are shy and retiring by nature, and in normal circumstances present no threat to humans. In 2003, Lulu, an Eastern Grey which had been hand-reared, saved a farmer’s life by alerting family members to his location when he was injured by a falling tree branch. She received the RSPCA Australia National Animal Valour Award on 19 May 2004.[43][44][45]

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26 thoughts on “Kangaroos

        • yes, ticks and kangaroos have evolved together so the kangaroos don’t die from the toxin, unlike dogs and cats, and of course ticks make people very sick too … here we all get them because we have a high kangaroo population so we share our methods of removing ticks and treating the bites … last year a few of us became really sick from some nasty bacteria the ticks were carrying, like Lyme disease … however i am well again but not looking forward to further bites … and in the last few weeks the nymphs have begun hatching so if you are unlucky you can find hundreds of minute ticks feasting on your softer parts … yuk!!! (the downside of living in our paradise)

          • I’d heard of this, of course, but never experienced it. Is it only kangaroo country where the ticks live?

            When I first found a tick on Maggie I almost freaked in fear, but it appears that although we have them in abundance in wildish places, they’re not deadly like the Aussie ticks, except for the virus they carry, which can kill a dog.

          • it is only east of the great divide, so one answer is to move out west …but of course most of the population live on the coast … no ticks in canberra for example 🙂

          • exactly! and i remember having them when i lived in sydney but not when i lived in the country … although there was no bushland in our country town anyway and the only kangaroos were in the little zoo … sad 😦

  1. They sure are cute… especially the joey sticking out of the pouch! I wish that they would come up with a way to get rid of all the ticks! Here in the U.S., we have ticks too… and some do even carry Lyme disease, which can cause debilitating arthritis. One has to be very careful while photographing bugs in the wild!

    • i can just imagine you thomas, being careful as you get in close with the macro lens! here we try not to brush against the scrub, stick to the open tracks between us and the beach for example … that helps but is not foolproof 🙂

      • I use bug spray when I go out photo shooting. But that does not always help. Sticking your pants into your socks helps; but nothing works 100%. One just has to be careful! I wonder if wearing those dog collars (against ticks) would work temporarily around one’s ankles! Knowing where they are and aren’t sure helps!

        I know that Australia once had carnivorous, killer kangaroos with wolf-like canines! I can’t imagine that! Thank goodness that they went extinct! 😉

        • when man arrived here over 40,000 years ago all the big creatures gradually went extinct … they were just too tasty i guess … and i agree about the precautions … some people find that tea-tree oil is a repellent, and using tea-tree shampoo and soap helps …

  2. I had never heard that female kangaroos are almost always pregnant! That’s fascinating. I love the photo of mama and her joey…such a surprise to me to see them so very plentiful. They are such fascinating animals. 🙂

  3. I saw a tv program a while ago about a guy that rescues baby kangaroos, he was amazing and brave too because the big boys would kick! I couldn’t cope with the ticks I’m afraid!

    • yes the ticks are a trial … we mostly avoid them … the males do kick if in danger … they lure barking dogs into water to drown them, very clever … they are usually all so sweet and picturesque we can’t help but love them … yoga classes used to stop so people could gaze out of the window to see the mothers and babies on the lawn 😀

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