The kangaroo is a marsupial mammal belonging to the macropod family . It lives in Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania. There are many species of kangaroos. Almost all live on the ground, but some spend their lives in trees. Their size varies from species to species : the Hare Kangaroo measures less than one meter and weighs 4 kg , whilst the Red kangaroo and the Grey Kangaroo , the largest species , measure 2.5 meteres and weigh 70 kg. These two species are also the most famous . All kangaroos are herbivores and are characterized by a disproportion between their upper and lower body. The head and front legs are much less well developed than their large hind legs , which the animal uses to move in leaps and to stand upright. The Grey Kangaroo can jump up to 10 meters in length and 3 in height at a speed of 50 km / h.
Their body terminates with a long muscular tail which the animal uses to maintain its balance both when it is running and when it is immobile. Kangaroos live in small herds that move in search of food , especially at night. Males compete for the attention of females by “boxing” each other with their front legs. Females give birth to a single pup after one month of gestation. At birth, the baby is in a semi - embryonic state and weighs only 1 gram. It takes refuge in its mother's pouch , a second uterus, where it is breastfed and protected for another 6 months. As a baby it will remain close to its mother for at least 18 months .
The kangaroo has become a symbol for Australia. When British colonists saw the creature for the first time they were impressed, and asked the Aborigines what the animal was called. The natives, however, did not understand the question and replied “Kan- ghu - roo", meaning “we do not understand". This miscommunication on the part of the British led to the animal being named Kangaroo .