Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Kangaroo Info.

As a follow up to yesterday's post I thought that you might like to know that:

The word kangaroo comes from the aboriginal word gangurru meaning Grey kangaroo.

Males are called bucks, jacks or boomers, while females are named does, jills or flyers.

Babies are referred to as joeys.

A group of kangaroos is called a mob, a troop or a court.

Eastern Grey and her Joey

Kangaroos belong to the large family of macropods - meaning giant footed

My kangaroos are Eastern Greys. The largest is the Red kangaroo which can stand at 6-7 feet and weigh 200lb.

There are over 60 species of kangaroos, the smaller ones you may be familiar with are called wallabies.

The early explorers said of the kangaroo:

"He has a head like a deer (without antlers)
stands upright like a man
and hops like a frog."

He can hop over short distances at 70kmph, (44 mph), and over a 2km distance the kangaroo can travel at 40 kmph, (25mph).

He lives 4-6 years and is a strict herbivore, many are nocturnal.

The huge tail has three functions:
  • for balance when hopping
  • as a third tripod leg when sitting
  • and as a 5th limb when moving slowly

A kangaroo neonate

The kangaroo is a marsupial - the female has a pouch. The fascinating thing about marsupials is that the female has two lateral vaginas and a third birthing canal! The male has a two pronged penis which inseminates the female through the two vaginas which lead to two uteruses.
The female can be permanently pregnant, except the day she gives birth. The embryo develops for only 33 days before being born and making the great walk to the pouch - which actually only takes about three minutes.

The kangaroo baby is born blind, hairless and only a few cms long. His back limbs are just buds but his stronger front limbs allow him to climb through the furry abdomen of the mother up to the pouch where he latches on to one of the four teats and begins feeding. The mother can produce two different types of milk. One for a newborn and the other to suit a bouncing young joey. The young can inhabit the pouch together.

After 190 days the neonate has become a little joey and can leave the pouch.

And after 235 days Mother kicks him out for good! Farewell Skippy...

The Skippy TV series was made in Australia between 1966-1968. The segments were filmed in colour, to increase marketability, even though Australian TV was black and white until 1975.
The series aired in the US and was also dubbed into Spanish and shown in spanish speaking countries.

Oh, and that clicking noise that Skippy made: "thck,thck,thck" is not made by kangaroos.

Information from Wikipedia


  1. Thanks for all the information. They're so cute to my eye, though I am partial to marsupials. The world is so huge and now so small that I can sit here in urban Washington DC and look at images of Skippy and other 'roos in your son's back yard.


  2. Delwyn,
    When I was a sweet young thing, I did my student teaching in a first grade classroom, with 22 delightful six and seven year olds. In the spring, we were doing a field trip to the zoo and studied animals and wrote about them as handwriting and creative writing practice. One child wrote, "Kangaroo babies are called joeys. Kangaroos love in Australia." I suspect he meant to say that kangaroos live in Australia, but given his intro, I couldn't help laughing (out of his presence, of course).

  3. What great abundance of information and interesting kangaroo facts! Thank you for sharing and for educating me on a creature I've always been curious about.

    I've tagged you for a meme over at my blog. Play along if you feel inclined... Ciao

  4. Reya,
    That's what I love about blogging...views to die for all around the world...and insights shared all over the globe...

  5. Meri,
    That's a cute story, thanks for adding it today
    happy days

  6. Lola,
    how come you are still hopping about the blog world?

  7. i totally learned something here! basically gestation continues in the pouch? that's amazing. and being perpetually pregnant, well that just sounds like a nightmare...when do mommy kangaroos get a glass of wine? ;-)

    i love that they can be a mob, a troop or a court. does it just depend on one's mood?

  8. When I was traveling up in Arnhem land We stayed in a Aboriginal community,little Joey's hopping around very cute,one found my sleeping bag and stayed with me for a while till I started too smell funny!..little Joey's pee's in mum's pouch ,in my sleeping bag...

  9. Fascinating and informative post. I didn't know that the neonate kangaroo was so very undeveloped, almost an embryo.

  10. Julie,
    I'd balk at that too...The mother can halt the pregnancy in a drought as there will not be enough grass to feed on later and she can also halt it with a joey in her pouch.
    Maybe the collective name reflects the watchers more than the kangaroos.

  11. Hello Mona,

    Oh yuk, did the joey adopt you?...

    I wonder how mum cleans out the pouch. She can't really turn it inside out to shake out the mess!
    Maybe its like cleaning the lint out of your belly button!!!!!

  12. Dan,
    yes it's a tiny little embryo really only 4-5 weeks old, and so amazing that it can find it's way up to the pouch in 3 minutes.

  13. I am very surprised to read that they only live for 4-6 years. I thought that they lived a lot longer than that.

  14. Alden,
    oh it is so nice to see your face regularly old friend...

    I agree it doesn't seem a long lifespan, though I can understand if mother is perpetually pregnant she would be knackered...

  15. Alden,
    I did a quick search:
    wikipedia says 4-6 years
    wikipedia questions says 7-15 in one place, averages 7 in another,
    and in captivity up to and beyond 20 years...
    and the smaller species live shorter lives.

  16. Hmmm, well on that basis I think I may choose (that's if the karma is up to it) the life of a wandering albatross or another human form - (if a human form I have a huge amount to learn about the perils of looking like Brad Pitt and being filthy rich - these are lessons I so, so need to learn)- ah roll on reincarnation :-)

  17. Alden,(aka Mr Pitt #2)
    gotta lotta livin to do yet I hope!

  18. 'And after 235 days Mother kicks him out for good! Farewell Skippy...'

    I think some parents/carers reading this might think that 235 is way too long still :-).

    Thanks for the info and the memories.

    Greetings from London.

  19. Hi Mr Cuban,
    she'd be hopping slowly after 235 days of joey on board...not much skip left in her bounce!

    Happy days

  20. Just came by to read your post once more..and pee is yak but imagine poeh!

    goodnight Delwyn!

  21. I need to travel to Australia...Your pictures of the beautiful nature have enchanted me!

  22. Tulsa,
    it's a very easy 8 hours direct to Brisbane from Osaka.... cheap too with Jetstar...

  23. A kangaroo lives only 4 to 6 years old? I had no idea. Seems like a short life span.

  24. Welcome bb mcclain

    It's nice to meet you
    take a look above to my response to Alden - it seems to vary
    Thanks for adding to the chat
    Happy Days

  25. Fascinating Kanagroo facts - thanks for sharing those, Delwyn.

  26. Kangaroos and Kaola are the jewels of Australia. I really love their cute, friendly character.
    I even have so many of them in my rooms. (Toys)

  27. Yoon see,

    They do have that appeal especially as toys!


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