A kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (macropods, meaning ‘large foot’). In common use, the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, especially those of the genus Macropus, Red Kangaroo, Antilopine Kangaroo, Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Western Grey Kangaroo. Kangaroos are endemic to the country of Australia. The smaller macropods are found in Australia and New Guinea.
Larger kangaroos have adapted much better to changes brought to the Australian landscape by humans and though many of their smaller cousins are endangered, they are plentiful. They are not farmed to any extent, but wild kangaroos are shot for meat, leather hides, sport, and to protect grazing land for sheep and cattle. Although there is some controversy, harvesting kangaroo meat has many environmental and health benefits over traditional meats.
The kangaroo is a national symbol of Australia: its emblem is used on the Australian coat of arms, on some of its currency, as well as by some of Australia’s best-known organisations, including Qantas. The kangaroo is important to both Australian culture and the national image and consequently, there are numerous popular culture references.
The red kangaroo breeds all year round. The females have the unusual ability to delay birth, of their baby until their previous Joey has left the pouch. This is called embryonic diapause. Copulation may last 25 minutes.
The red kangaroo has the typical reproductive system of a kangaroo. The neonate emerges after only 33 days. Usually only one young is born at a time. It is blind, hairless, and only a few centimetres long. Its hind legs are mere stumps; it instead uses its more developed forelegs to climb its way through the thick fur on its mother’s abdomen into the pouch, which takes about three to five minutes. Once in the pouch, it fastens onto one of the two teats and starts to feed. Almost immediately, the mother’s sexual cycle starts again. Another egg descends into the uterus and she becomes sexually receptive. Then, if she mates and a second egg is fertilised, its development is temporarily halted. Meanwhile, the neonate in the pouch grows rapidly.
After approximately 190 days, the baby (called a joey) is sufficiently large and developed to make its full emergence out of the pouch, after sticking its head out for a few weeks until it eventually feels safe enough to fully emerge. From then on, it spends increasing time in the outside world and eventually, after around 235 days, it leaves the pouch for the last time. While the young joey will permanently leave the pouch at around 235 days old, it will continue to suckle until it reaches about 12 months of age. A doe, may first reproduce as early as 18 months of age and as late as five years during drought, but normally she is two and a half years old before she begins to breed.[23
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
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Size - Windows
Large – L 31 cm x H 25 cm x D 4 cm, Medium – L 25 cm x H 17 cm x D 4 cm, Small – L 17 cm x H 12 cm x D 4 cm
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