Beauty Of Animals | The Beauty Eastern Gray Kangaroo |Kangaroos are the gentle ambassadors of Australia, and seamlessly blend into the laid-back society down under. Scientists call kangaroos macropods, which means "big-feet," and they certainly live up to their name. The feet of large gray kangaroos can be 18 inches long. The faster a kangaroo moves the less energy it uses, causing the strides to move further and further apart as their speed increases.
Not endangered. As urban cities spread, the eastern gray kangaroo competes with sheep ranchers, resulting in kangaroos being hunted as pests.
Found throughout most of eastern Australia, northern Tasmania, and Kangaroo Island, this kangaroo is the most commonly seen marsupial in Australia. In eastern Australia, annual rainfall produces plenty of vegetation, resulting in larger areas of human habitation.
All kangaroos are herbivorous. The eastern gray kangaroo predominantly grazes on grasses, but also eats herbs and shrubs. Eastern grays tend to graze nocturnally, from dusk to dawn, when the weather is cooler. During the heat of day they usually rest in the shade.
Besides their huge feet, kangaroos also have a large, muscular, tapered tail that acts as a rudder for balance when hopping, and is strong enough to support the entire body. Males can stand over six feet tall and the species is dimorphic, meaning the males are notably larger than the females. A long gap between the front teeth allows space for the tongue to pass food back to the molars for chewing. The molars would normally wear down quickly due to the abrasive nature of grass and browse. However, the kangaroo's teeth are replaced in a forward sequence so that as one set of molars wears down, another set advances from the back. The degree of molar progression is used to determine the age of the animal.
Pouches of Protection
Kangaroos are marsupials, meaning the females have some form of pouch to help the embryonic (not fully formed) infants mature. At two years of age, females can give birth. Gestation is approximately 35 days, and usually one embryonic young is born weighing a 1/32 of an ounce. The inch-long baby must climb unaided into the pouch where it attaches to one of four teats. It is still able to swallow and breathe. Eastern gray kangaroos have the longest known pouch life in marsupials. The young kangaroo continues to suckle the same teat for the next 18 months. The joey will begin to leave the pouch for short periods at about nine to ten months.
Adult males are called “boomers,” females are “does.” The rambunctious teenagers are named “fliers” and the babies are “joeys.” They form social groups called "mobs," dominated by a matriarchal female, other female members, and their young. A dominant male resides with the mob when the females are fertile, but only stays in close proximity during the winter when females are less likely to breed.
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