The Kangaroo

The Kangaroo is the most recognizable symbol of Australia it is an animal that is unique to Australia.

It is on the Australian coat of arms, it is the logo of Qantas, Australia’s major airline.

It is found on Australia’s money, its passports and the Boxing Kangaroo flag is seen at many International sporting events at which Australia is represented.

It is the worlds largest marsupial and most species are found only in Australia However there are some smaller species found in Papua New Guinea.

It moves by hopping and is one of the only animals to do this.

It also can only go forward and it has been said this is one of the reasons it is on the Australian coat of arms.

This motion is representing the fact that the new country could only go forwards and not backwards.

The most common of them are the reds which are found on the dryer plains and desert areas.

They can get up to 90 kgs and 2 meters tall and at top speed can reach 60km covering 8 meters in a single hop.

They are capable of jumping 3 meters high but much less than that at normal hoping speed.

kangaroo, by kirkman, personnally-secelected-aboriginal-art.com

The Western and Eastern greys inhabit the scrub and wood lands and are a little smaller than the big reds and grow up to 60kgs in weight.

There are also wallabies which are a smaller about 25kgs and several other species of rock wallabies, wallaroos, tree kangaroos, and kangaroo rats However it is the Big Reds and the Greys that are most associated with Australia.

The male is called a buck the female a doe and the young is called a Joey.

The males are called jacks the females jills and are also called Roos and Boomers.

They live in mobs of up to 100 and in each mob there is a dominant male. The males “box” for dominance using their shorter front paws to hold on to each other and their longer back legs to strike out, the talon on the back legs can rip skin and flesh and can disembowel an opponent.

All marsupials have a pouch in which they raise their young the Joey is only a few centimeters long when the doe give birth. She licks a track on her fur for the Joey to follow to her pouch and the Joey stays there for 9 months.

It then leaves for short periods and still suckles for up to 18 months and stays close to the mother and bounds into her pouch if it senses any danger.

They are herbivores and eat grasses and shrub plants they can be regarded as pests by farmers and graziers as they can destroy crops by eating them and also by knocking them down by bounding thru them.

Because of their increasing numbers they are culled and can only be hunted and shot by licensed hunters. They are shot for their meat and hides.

The meat is regarded as high in protein and low in fat and is becoming a more common choice in the Australian diet.

There is no commercial farming of Kangaroos and all the animals are hunted in the wild .

There are strict condition for the meat to be passed by inspection to be used for human consumption.

Nevertheless Australia would be one of the few countries to eat their national emblem.