Kangaroos are a special breed of animals. They are popular for having pouches in their bellies where they carry their young ones until they can fend for themselves. Their young ones are called joeys. Secondly, the kangaroos are unique in that their movements are characterized by hopping. In addition, kangaroos are herbivorous and chew cud. That means that they regurgitate their food, and re-chew it before the food is finally digested and absorbed. About 60 species of kangaroos exist. However, there are four main species: the antilopine kangaroo, the western gray kangaroo, the red kangaroo, and the eastern gray kangaroo. All these types of kangaroo belong to the genus Macropus. A large percentage of kangaroos have their habitat in Australia. However, a few of them inhabit other parts of the world.
Origin Of The Kangaroos
Although most kangaroos have their habitat in Australia, the origin of kangaroos was in South America. At the time all continents were part of the super continent known as Gondwanaland. However, 180 million years ago, the continents split away occupying their present locations. Consequently, most of the kangaroos became natives of Australia. Therefore, the original home of the kangaroos was South America. The kangaroos have adapted well to their present habitat in Australia where they exist in their millions.
Habitat Of The Kangaroos
Traditionally, kangaroos inhabit bushlands and woods. However, with the existence of man they have presently adapted to other habitats. These habitats include forests, coastal heatland, grasslands, and forests. The kangaroos feed on a wide variety of vegetation including grass, shrubs, and young shoots and leaves of plants. Kangaroos take very little water for their survival. In fact, they can go for months without drinking water. The rat-kangaroos like to make their abode in little nests in the rainforests in northeastern Queensland. However, the gray kangaroos live in the forests of Tasmania and Australia. Antilopine kangaroos, on the other hand, have their habitat in the eucalyptus woodlands located far north of Australia. As for tree kangaroos, they live in the rainforests of Queensland. Kangaroos predominantly exist in Australia. Those that are found outside Australia were introduced to those parts by humans.
Other Parts Of The World With Kangaroos
Kangaroos live in a few other countries apart from Australia. These countries include Papua New Guinea which is a state located north of Australia and New Zealand. There have also been rumors of “errant kangaroos” existing in America. However, this has not been easy to prove since the kangaroos are said to grow in secret. Decades ago, kangaroos were sighted in Nebraska, Kansas, and Minnesota according to a book written by Loren Coleman entitled “Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide to the Nation’s Weirdest Wonders.”
Summarily, other than a few kangaroos that live in Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, most kangaroos live in Australia. According to the Australian government, approximately 34.3 million kangaroos lived in Australia in 2011. Kangaroos are a national symbol of Australia found even on its coat of arms.