151. Boxer with Big Feet!

Kangaroo is a “macro pod”, meaning “big feet”. Europeans regarded Kangaroo as a weird animal. It had a deer’s head, hopped like a frog and stood upright like a man! In addition, a mother Kangaroo had two heads on her body!

Kangaroo has a small head, powerful hind legs, large feet and a muscular tail for balancing itself. A Kangaroo can hop at the speed of 20 to 25 K. M per hour. It can travel a distance of 2 kilometers at the speed of 40 K.M. per hour. It can dash at 70 K.M. per hour over short distances. It need not run away from predators, but has to travel in search of food and water.

Strangely the large-footed-leaper has difficulty in walking at slow speeds. It forms a tripod using its two short forelimbs and its tail. Raising the two hind legs off the ground, it crawl-walks on the tripod. Its life span is 4 to 6 years.

Kangaroo eats grass, shrub and fungus. It is nocturnal, rests during the day and eats during the night. Its lower jaws are not joined together, giving it a wider bite. The worn out molars are replaced by new set of molars.

Female Kangaroo has a marsupim where the young joeys complete their post natal development. Born just after 31 to 36 days of gestation, the Joey is of the size of a lima bean! It crawls into the pouch and attaches itself to a teat. After 9 months, it starts leaving the pouch for short intervals. Mother feeds the baby till it is 18 months old. The milk is just right for the young one, at the various stages of its development.

Kangaroo stores elastic strain energy in the tendons of its large hind legs. It hops using this spring action of the tendon rather than the muscular force. Aborigines hunted Kangaroo for its meat, hides and bones. Kangaroo is shy by nature.

Male Kangaroos box for fun, dominance and winning a mate. A powerful kick with its hind leg can tear open the opponent’s flesh! Kangaroos are dazzled by the headlights and roar of the engines and leap in front of the moving cars. Due to the collision, the Kangaroo may get killed. Small cars get destroyed while the engines of larger cars get damaged. Kangaroo crossing signals are quite common in Australia.

Kangaroos have been featured on coins, emblems and logos. They are used as mascots and in the naming of sports teams. Kangaroos feature in films and television. Kangaroo toys and souvenirs exist all around the world.

Visalakshi Ramani


2 Responses to 151. Boxer with Big Feet!

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