The kangaroo is the largest known feline in Australia and New Zealand. It is arboreal species with a muscular body built predominantly for speed. It’s short (length) tail helps it stay on balance even when running. While swimming it uses its powerful tail for balance, much like a horse.
Unlike most other marsupials, kangaroos have evolved into a solitary species. Their natural habitat of the bush is what has helped them to evolve into such a solitary species. Kangaroos are large-sized (averaging close to 25 pounds) and stockily built, often carrying an impressively thick coat of fur.
They occur in dark brown, black, chestnut, or gray coloration, but their color can vary greatly from individual to individual. Most kangaroos are carnivores, using their muscular tail to lure and catch prey. However, they are also herbivores; their main diet consists of trees and leaves, as well as seeds, fruit, and vegetables.
Kangaroos also consume small fish and birds and may be briefly taken on by omnivorous bats, such as the blue kangaroo, which pierce its lower abdomen to suck its blood. Finally, kangaroos are nocturnal, sleeping during the night and only waking briefly to feed once a day.
Unlike other types of marsupials such as the platypus, echidna, and the emu, the kangaroo has not been widely studied. Few studies have compared the size and weight of male kangaroos with that of their female counterparts, even though they share similar characteristics with both genders.
The few studies that have compared kangaroos with other marsupials have found them to be genetically quite similar, with slight reproductive differences between pairs of animals. One of the only differences in the pattern of markings on their chests and limbs.
This, along with their general behavior, appears to have little to do with their genetic structure and is more likely the result of the selective breeding of specific parents to produce the desired mating mate. One distinctive feature of the common red kangaroo is its voice.
A male kangaroo will roar like a bull when excited or feeling threatened, and his deep chest slapping serves to make him look larger. As he grows, his calls become deeper and more vibrating. These high-pitched sounds are unique to the red kangaroo and most other marsupials and reptiles sound similar.
It is unclear why males of this species produce such high-pitched roars. Kangaroos, like all other species of Australia, are diurnal, which means that they sleep during the daylight hours and hunt and eat at night.
Their digestive tract is different from that of other animals in Australia, and no one is sure why this feature exists, but it appears to help them digest food more quickly. Unlike most Australian animals, which have long and varied feeding habits, kangaroos feed exclusively on insects, small invertebrates, and carrion.
Their mouths are lined with a thin, pre-grown layer of hair, called keratin, that is held in place by a single strand of collagen. This allows the kangaroo to “brush” (or suck) each tiny critter into his mouth without having to make any kind of physical contact. This type of digestion makes the kangaroo’s diet rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as protein.