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name for a variety of hopping marsupialsmarsupial
, member of the order Marsupialia, or pouched mammals. With the exception of the New World opossums and an obscure S American family (Caenolestidae), marsupials are now found only in Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and a few adjacent islands.
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, or pouched mammals, of the family Macropodidae, found in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. The term is applied especially to the large kangaroos of the genus Macropus. Kangaroos have powerful hind legs designed for leaping, long feet, short forelimbs, and long muscular tails. The hind legs are also used to deliver blows at enemies when the animal is cornered; the feet are sharply clawed. The tail serves as a balance when the animal leaps and as a prop when it stands; the usual posture is bipedal. The handlike forepaws are used for grasping. As in most marsupials, females have a pouch surrounding the teats. The single young is born in an immature state after a gestation period of about 40 days and is suckled in the mother's pouch for about six months. After it begins to graze it returns frequently to the pouch for shelter and transport until it is too large to be carried. Kangaroos feed on grass and other vegetation; they are the chief grazers of the Australian plains. Day-active animals, they move about in herds called mobs and sleep on the ground at night. Males are called boomers, females flyers; the young are called joeys. Because many types of kangaroo have valuable hides, and because they compete with domestic livestock for grazing land, kangaroos have been extensively hunted and are now extremely reduced in numbers.

Types of Kangaroos

The largest kangaroo, and largest of all marsupials, is the great red kangaroo, M. rufus, which inhabits the inland plains of Australia. Males of this species may be over 7 ft (210 cm) tall and weigh over 200 lbs (90 kg). They are bright maroon in color, with white faces and underparts. Females, called blue flyers, are blue-gray; smaller and faster than the males, they may achieve speeds of 30 mi (48 km) per hr. The great gray kangaroo, M. canguru, is almost as large; it is found in open forest areas of E and W Australia and in Tasmania. A related kangaroo, M. robustus, is known as the wallaroo and inhabits rocky hills throughout most of the continent.

Smaller, but quite similar in appearance and behavior, are members of the kangaroo family called wallabies and pademelons, of which there are many species, classified in several genera. Some of these are plains dwellers, others live among rocks or in scrub country; most are about the size of a rabbit. Of similar size are the tree and rat kangaroos. Tree kangaroos, species of the genus Dendrolagus, are the only arboreal members of the family. Found in the rain forests of New Guinea and N Australia, they climb well and can leap from branch to branch. Rat kangaroos are omnivorous animals of ratlike appearance. They feed largely on roots and fungi; members of many species live in burrows. They are classified in several genera and are distributed throughout the Australian region.


They are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Marsupialia, family Macropodidae.



an island off the southern coast of Australia. Area, 4,351 sq km. The island has a flat surface. (Elevations of up to 200 m prevail.) The climate is subtropical; annual precipitation is approximately 600 mm. Xerophytic shrubs (mallee) and dry eucalyptus forests predominate.


(vertebrate zoology)
Any of various Australian marsupials in the family Macropodidae generally characterized by a long, thick tail that is used as a balancing organ, short forelimbs, and enlarged hindlegs adapted for jumping.


any large herbivorous marsupial of the genus Macropus and related genera, of Australia and New Guinea, having large powerful hind legs, used for leaping, and a long thick tail: family Macropodidae


Depending on the details of the dream, dreaming about this interesting animal may have several different connotations. The kangaroo is a strong and powerful animal. It has huge feet that it uses for mobility and self-protection. Your dream may have to do with issues of strength, freedom to move, and grounding. Additionally, since we are all intrigued with a kangaroo’s parenting style, this dream may be bringing up issues regarding your mother or your mothering. Superstitionbased dream interpretation books say that seeing a kangaroo in your dreams foretells unexpected and exciting trips.
References in periodicals archive ?
The report from YouGov and Huddle Insurance found that more than 7,000 drivers are involved with collisions with kangaroos every year.
Tree kangaroos are found only in the rainforests of Australia, West Papua, and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Then my son came out to try and help me and hit him over the head with a shovel.' Despite their placid appearance, kangaroos can be fierce fighters, rearing up on their tails and raking the stomachs of opponents with their back feet which have big claws.
Australia has roughly 45 million kangaroos and it is not rare for them to be seen in backyards in cities such as the capital, Canberra, that are surrounded by bushland.
Mike Jordan, collections director at Chester Zoo, said: "Many people associate kangaroos with Australia but the Goodfellow's tree kangaroo actually comes from Papua New Guinea.
The other major reason for killing kangaroos is that farmers regard them as a pest, eating grass that the farmers want to use to feed more profitable cattle and sheep.
ICELAND has withdrawn kangaroo meat from sale after pressure from animal welfare activists.
ICELAND has pulled kangaroo meat from its shelves after a campaign by animal activists.
-- A kangaroo named Paul has become the oldest living tree kangaroo in the country.
Singer Luke Bryan has been slammed by animal rights organisation People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) and his fans on social media for gifting his wife Caroline Boyer two baby kangaroos.
The ancestors of modern kangaroos may have fought off some prehistoric vampires to get where they are today - scientists say the Australian marsupials could have won an evolutionary battle with another type of kangaroo that had fangs.