Incredible Kangaroo facts, Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Iconic Australian scene at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Iconic Australian scene at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

No image of modern Australia’s landscape is complete without a mob of kangaroos hopping across the horizon. They really are a fascinating animal in all aspects off their ecological evolution, as they have specialized to Australia’s harsh environment throughout time.

Quick reaction at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Quick reaction at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Easily spooked and generally very shy in nature, they are rather tame at Woody Head.

Kangaroo sunset pose at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Kangaroo sunset pose at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

They even seem to pose in front off me. This gave me the opportunity to observe these iconic marsupials with my camera. OM-D, how cute are they?

Too cute, Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Too cute, Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

These are some of the kangaroo’s amazing facts.  Kangaroos belong to the Macropodidae family, meaning ‘bigfoot’ in Latin, in reference to the species’ unusually large hind feet. They are not related to the mythical Bigfoot in Northern America though. 

Kangaroo painting, Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Kangaroo painting, Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

The name kangaroo originates from the Guugu Yimithirr people of Far North Queensland and was first recorded on paper by Captain Cook.  Kangaroos are of cultural and spiritual significance to Aboriginal people across Australia. Plus, their meat was, and continues to be, a staple protein source; pelts were used for clothing and rugs, and their skin crafted into water bags.

Airplane symbol at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Airplane symbol at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

In modern Australia, they appear on planes of the Royal Airforce and Australia’s largest airline. Kangaroos can’t move backward. It’s for this reason that the Australian coat of arms features the emu and the kangaroo: two animals that can only move forwards as symbols of national progress. In contrast, meats of both animals can be found in butcheries.

Aperture double vision at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Aperture double vision at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

The difference between kangaroos and wallabies is distinguished by size and goes down to wallaroos, pademelons on Tasmania and quokkas in Western Australia.

Up in the air at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Up in the air at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

All kangaroos have short hair, powerful hind legs, small forelimbs, big feet, and a long tail.

What’s that Skip? Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

What’s that Skip? Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

They have excellent hearing and keen eyesight.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Eastern Grey Kangaroo at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Depending on the species, their fur coat can be red, grey or light to dark brown.

Long jump champions at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Long jump champions at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Kangaroos are famous for their means off locomotion. They are the only hopping large animal in the world and can reach quick burst up to 70 km/h, jumping up to 8 meters with a single leap. Whilst cruising for a few kilometers at only 40 km/h. Their long and powerful tail is what the trunk is to elephants; a multifunctional tool.

Twisting and turning at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Twisting and turning at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

It keeps their balance when moving at high speed and they can, therefore, change direction almost immediately.

Moving in slow motion at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Moving in slow motion at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Whilst grazing, their long tail acts like a tripod with their front paws.

Tri pod action at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Tripod action at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

A more casual dinner approach it seems.

Sitting up at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Sitting up at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

In breeding season or in attacking mode, kangaroos ‘sit’ on their tail and kick their muscular hind feet against an opponent. Their sharp claws can rip through thick fur.

Pouch with a view at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Pouch with a view at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Like all marsupials, kangaroos have pouches where the joeys are reared, drinking milk from mammary glands. Females have one young annually however they’re able to keep extra embryos in a dormant state until the first joey leaves the pouch.

To young for grass at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Too young for grass at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

They can have a joey at their feet, one in the pouch and another in diapause all at the same time. Incredibly, each of the female’s four teats provides different milk for the different stages of the joeys’ development.

Skippy...? Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Skippy…? Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Kangaroos hiss and growl when alarmed, females make clicking noises to communicate with their offspring, and males ‘chuckle’ during courtship.

Itchy and scratchy at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Itchy and scratchy at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

They appear to spend a lot of time scratching as parasites are easy to come by in the bush.

Sunset dinner at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Sunset dinner at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Kangaroos are most active between dusk and dawn, as they search for their favourite foods:

Green, green grass off home, Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Green, green grass of home, Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

grass, as well as leaves, ferns, flowers, fruit, and moss.

What chew looking at? Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

What chew looking at? Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Like cattle, they regurgitate their food, chewing it twice before it passes through their chambered stomach. 

Boomer rang? Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Boomer rang? Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Dominant males, called bucks or boomers, keep an eye out for potential danger or rivals.

Family Feast at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Family Feast at Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Whilst mothers, called flyers, doe or jills are grazing with their offspring, called joeys, side by side. Joeys can spend up to 7 months in mom’s pouch, before leaving the pouch for the last time.

No, you’re not getting back in! Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

No, you’re not getting back in! Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

It appears to be more a case for mom kicking the youngster out. 

Oh it’s nice to lie down, Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Oh it’s nice to lie down, Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Nice to have a break too.

Oh look! Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

Oh look! Woody Head, New South Wales, Australia

What’s that Skip? There are more kangaroos on the paddock?  Oh no….

. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s