Which is the largest marsupial?

A marsupial is a mammal that carries its young in a pouch on its body. Marsupials include koalas, wombats, opossums and kangaroos among others. Of these the largest marsupial of all is the red kangaroo which is found in the open plains of inland Australia. It can grow to a length of 1.6 m with a tail that measures 1.2 m. It weighs about 90 kg.

It belongs to the family Macropodidae which means ‘big foot’ in Latin. It is so named because of its unusually large hind feet. Its feet play a big role in its life, serving as a launch pad to take terrific leaps into the air while running from a predator, or as a weapon to plant powerful kicks at an enemy!

Its predators are mostly wild dogs called dingoes. Kangaroos have an interesting getaway technique if threatened. It will lead its would-be predator to water and dive in. If the predator follows, the cunning kangaroo will suddenly turn around, grab it with its hands and drown it! The hunted becomes the hunter!

But it doesn’t always need to use such extreme tactics. Kangaroos can run at 70 km/hr. They can cover 7.6 metres in a single jump and leap as high as 1.8 metres! At such speeds very few predators can keep up with them. Kangaroos are the only animals in the world that use hopping as a means of locomotion! It also uses its tail as a fifth leg using it to balance and provide extra power.

Another interesting fact about them is that they have been observed to be left-handed. Their young are called joeys. When a joey is born, it is only the size of a jellybean! It climbs from its mother’s birth canal into her pouch and remains there, drinking milk and growing for nearly 6 months! Now, wouldn’t you agree that the kangaroo is an interesting animal?

Picture Credit : Google 

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