Kangaroo Facts



  • Kangaroos are big Australian mammals that hop around on their hind (back) legs.
  • A kangaroo’s tail can be over 1.5 m long. It is used for balance when hopping, and to hold the kangaroo up when walking.
  • Red kangaroos can hop at 55 km/h for short distances.
  • Red kangaroos can leap forwards 9 m in one huge bound.
  • There are two kinds of kangaroo — red and grey.
  • When they are first born, kangaroos are naked and look like tiny jelly babies — just a few centimeters long, with two tiny arms. But straight away they have to haul themselves up through the fur on their mother’s belly and into her pouch. Here the baby kangaroo (called a joey) lives and grows for 6 to 8 months, sucking on teats inside the pouch. Only when it is quite large and covered in fur will it pop out of the pouch to live by itself.
  • Koalas drink very little water, and their name comes from an Aboriginal word for ‘no drink’ Newborn kangaroo climbing up its mother’s belly Entrance to pouch Inside the pouch, the baby sucks on its mother’s teat kangaroos and grey kangaroos. Red kangaroos live in the dry grasslands of central Australia. Grey kangaroos live in the southeast, in woods and grassland.
  • Kangaroos are marsupials — animals whose babies are born before they are ready to survive in the outside word and so live for a while protected in a pouch on their mother’s belly.
  • Koalas are Australian mammals that look like teddy bears, but which are not related to any kind of bear.
  • Like kangaroos, koalas are marsupials. A koala baby spends 6 months in its mother’s pouch and another 6 months riding on her back.
  • Koalas spend 18 hours a day sleeping. The rest of the time they feed on the leaves of eucalyptus trees.
  • Other Australian marsupials include the wombat, several kinds of wallaby (which look like small kangaroos) and bandicoots (which looks like rats).