Australia, the land down under, is host to the best hopping animal on the planet, the kangaroo. Often mistaken for a wallaby, the kangaroo is much larger and taller than its little relative. Kangaroos have prominent hind legs that wallabies don’t have. As a matter of fact, the wallaby can weigh anything from 5 to 50 lbs, while the kangaroo can reach the size of 200 lbs. So that is enough difference for anyone not to confuse the two anymore.
The kangaroo is a herbivorous marsupial
This means that the mother carries the baby in a pouch in her stomach, and she eats only grass and vegetables (herbivore). The kangaroos eat in the early morning and at the time of sunset, and they will forage for tender shoots of the native shrubs. Often, they will regurgitate their food to chew it. Not a very pleasant thought for those of us who chew our meals quietly.
Fruits and leaves
They are also fond of leaves and fruit, if they are available. They will graze for hours and chew a bit here and a bit there until they have satisfied their hunger pangs. Some kangaroos that have been held in captivity eat corn and grains, and seem to thrive on that diet.
How about water?
Kangaroos need water, but if they have access to lush, green, foliage they can get enough moisture from those plants to keep them going for a while. The smaller kangaroos, such as the musky rat-kangaroo, are omnivores and thus eat seeds, fruit, grasshoppers, insect larvae and beetles. This is a much more varied diet than the regular kangaroo eats.
A kangaroo’s nickname
Kangaroos are also known familiarly as “roos” and the males are called “bucks”, “old men”, “boomers” or “jacks”, while the females are known as “does” or “jills”. Kangaroos live in mobs or troops, consisting of ten or more animals in each mob. Living this way offers protection for the less hardy members of the troop.
Every kangaroo feeds himself
While they tend to live in mobs, the kangaroo usually forages for his food alone. Each animal collects enough for himself and is not expected to take food back to the mob. In Australia, there are many wild places where the kangaroo can look for food in peace and there is no lack of vegetation for everyone.
Keeping a kangaroo as a pet?
If you are thinking about a kangaroo for a pet, your will need to plant a forest and some delicious plants for the jumper’s meals. Realistically, it would be better just to visit him at the local zoo and watch him as he eats his grasses in peace.