-A marsupial residing from the family macropodidae, the family term is associated with big footed organisms. The word kangaroo comes from the word ganguruu, from the people of Guugu Yimithirr. The word was said to have come into existence when James Cook and Joseph Banks were forced to beach their ship in Queensland. They then came across the animal, and upon asking the local what it was called, the local responded with the Guugu Yimithirr expression for ” I don’t understand you” They then recorded the animal in their diaries as Kangaroo and spread the term. However, this myth was eventually debunked. The Kangaroos are very plentiful, population wise and will see no endangerment potential. As of 2011, about 34.3 million kangaroos are living in the vast Australian outback.
There are 4 common terms used when describing sizes of kangaroo, the wallabies, tree-kangaroos, wallaroos, and the kangaroos. The wallaby (45 to 105 cm) is the smallest size while it gradually increases to a size of an adult kangaroo (6 feet 7 In). The tree kangaroo lives in the new guinea tropical rainforests. Kangaroos are known for the extraordinary method of travelling, the infamous hop. This is a result of many adaptations including, strong hind legs, big tail for control and balance and huge feet for leaping. The females have a pouch for nurturing their joey’s (children).
The kangaroo’s have had astounding success with human development and agriculture, however, there are many smaller species of kangaroo which had more trouble adapting to human changes. Kangaroo’s play a role in the patriotism of Australia, the face of many organizations, currency and the country’s coat of arms. The kangaroo faces some human obstacles like hunting for leather or meat, as they are known for a very low fat percentage, thus making their meat healthier.Conservation/Population Control Efforts:The: “International Union for Conservation Of Nature” had listed the red kangaroo as a very low concern. They have thrived with their night time activeness, and the groups they meet in (Called mobs) in Australia. They usually do not fight, but commonly have an established leader (Biggest male) of the mobs.
They must face: climate change, invasive species, fires and habitat lossHunting Nevertheless they continue to thrive with a population of about 25 million (2018) Taxonomy: Domain: Eukaryote Kingdom: Animalia ? Phylum: Chordata ? Class: MammaliaOrder: Diprotodontia? Family: MacropodidaeGenus: Macropus? Species M. Rufus ? ‘Biological Name:’ Macropus rufus *Two kangaroos boxing* The 4 species noted as kangaroos are the antilopine, western grey, eastern grey and red kangaroo. The antilopine are northern kangaroos known for their antelope like coats and their nose swelling trait ( So they can let out more body heat in the summer). The western are a smaller species and developed a high resilience to the deadly plant sodium fluoroacetate. The eastern is known for taking up lots of area and being the most abundant species.
They live in eastern Australia and Tasmania. The red is the largest kangaroo (can weigh 200 pounds) which habitats in the more arid environments of Australia. There is a wide diversity of kangaroo-like animals (around 50 species) referred to as macropods, deriving from the macropodidae family.All Kangaroos come from the Phalangeridae during the mid-Miocene period, they are similar to Kangaroos and possums. They lived in the trees during a moister australian climate and ate tree stems. Once the climate began to get much drier during the late Miocene period, the forests began to diminish and animals with magnified size and ability to gain nutrients from poor-quality grass (Foregut-fermentation) began to populate.
They live in grasslands across Australia and mostly have a diet of green grass. They are mainly herbivores. As young joey’s, they face a threat of death by eagle or dingoes.Evolution: Phylogenetic Tree for MarsupialsThe marsupial lives only in Australia and comes in a variety of species, red kangaroo, western grey, eastern grey, they are all marsupials. All marsupial female’s carry their joey in a pouch until they are ready to thrive in the real world. They evolved their hopping due to its great efficiency in the dry infertile lands of Australia. Sexual selection played a role in the size of today’s kangaroos. The intrasexual selection battle for right to reproduce, caused males to overtime become bigger and stronger so they can fight better and produce offspring that would excel in the battle of sexual selection, thus passing their genes down.
Many have argued that deers are a common ancestor of kangaroos, due to their similar structural traits, but this can be attributed to convergent evolution, they shared a similar environment but not a common ancestor. Close Relatives to KangaroosGenus:The kangaroo’s closest relatives are the macropods, essentially smaller versions of the kangaroo. They reside in New Guinea, Australia. They all have the similar structure of enlarged feet and getting around by hopping.
The tree-Kangaroo is an exception, it is also a close relative, but it gets around by climbing rather than hopping, It has smaller hind legs and bigger forelegs because they climb. Order:Diprotodontia-117 species and 10 families -All syndactylous (Toes are fused together) and herbivores -Diprotodont (Incisor teeth on lower jaws)-All originated from Australasia Common species include: Wombats, Koalas, Marsupial lions, pygmy possums and rat-kangaroos Adaptations By KangaroosKangaroos must have readily available adaptations, conditioned to the dry non fertile country and extremely variable climate they reside in. The kangaroos are uniquely born at around 6 weeks of age, so they may grow and develop in the pouch of the mother for 17 months, at birth they are the same size as a lima bean. They’re limbs are proportionally undeveloped at birth so they can make their way to the pouch. The female almost always has a joey in her pouch. She is able to pause the development of an embryo until her current joey is ready to leave the pouch. The female will usually do this in periods of drought or other unfavorable environmental conditions, this is called diapause. The mothers have adapted to provide two types of milk for their babies, one suited for younger joeys and one for older joeys.
Both genders of kangaroos have adapted to become sterile or infertile if there is a drought. In their hind legs, they have massive elastic tendons. This allows them to take advantage of a spring mechanism in their legs rather than use any muscular effort, to support their hop.
The kangaroo hop is a multistep process. Firstly, once their feet jump in the air, they exhale, then once they land, they inhale air, this is a very efficient process, they are able to increase their speed using minimal effort. They use this ability to travel long distances at speed, this is essential for an organism to survive in such an infertile country. The kangaroo also utilizes their tail as a propelling and balancing force, almost like a third leg.Genetics: “Scientists are interested in the possibility of transferring the bacteria responsible from kangaroos to cattle, since the greenhouse gas effect of methane is 23 times greater than that of carbon dioxide, per molecule””Kangaroos are adept swimmers, and often flee into waterways if threatened by a predator.
If pursued into the water, a kangaroo may use its forepaws to hold the predator underwater so as to drown it”Traits:-Powerful hind legs-Big front teeth-Ability to cool and moisten oneself-Chambered stomachs-Ability to regrow molars-Big feet-Powerful tail Red kangaroos boxing ?Acquired Traits: Social behaviour (Mobs) Nose sniffing and touching Analytical skills based on smells of another kangarooMales stalking skills (Follows female, taste tests their urine, then moves in if interested)Fighting (So they don’t have to stalk females)Fighting etiquette (Two kangaroos fight only if they both consent, a tap to the others neck being an acception of battle) Fun fact: The smaller males tend to fight a lot near the water holes to impress females, while the big males do not involve themselves, and almost always a big male will decline the battle offer of a smaller male, alpha kangaroos are mature!!Dominant Traits in KangaroosEars that can twist directionsFemales have big pouchesPowerful hind legsHind Legs and forelegs Kangaroo using powerful legs to hop ?Birth at 6 week markRecessive Traits: BlindnessAlbinismBrown and white coatAdaptation To Environment:The main physical advantage the Kangaroo has developed is its powerful hind legs which allow it to escape (They are shy in nature and do not usually confront predators)Ability to swim/ lure predators into water, then drown them with their forelegsKangaroos predator defence: They stand on their powerful tails and use their critical leg power along with their massive feet to kick their predators. Also they stay in large mobs to increase reduce chances of ambushes, safety in numbers.Predators of Kangaroos: range from: Dingos, Tasmanian devil, foxesBody Systems: Digestive System ?Digestive System (of Kangaroo)1.) First food enters the Kangaroo’s mouth and mechanical and chemical digestion initiate2.) Then the greenery triggers the salivary glands which sends the food down the pharynx 3.) When it passes through the pharynx the food goes to the esophagus and moves the food from the pharynx to the sacciform (First stomach set)4.
) In the sacciform, protozoa, fungi and other bacteria begin the process of food fermentation.5.) The Kangaroo will then regurgitate the greenery and repeat this process, only this time the food travels to the Tubiform, this is where the digestive acids and enzymes break down the food, waste is then disposed of6.) Then the food travels to the small intestine where absorption of water from the broken down greenery is absorbed. 7.
) Once in the small intestine, there a special type of surface called the microvillar, which is used for absorbing all the nutrients in the food8.) The small intestine is attached to the colon which is then used for water reabsorption in the alimentary canal9.) Lastly, the Kangaroo’s food reaches the rectum and stays there until the food is completely digested. Respiratory System ?Kangaroos require oxygen because it allows them to begin exhalation of carbon dioxide out of the body, and stabilizes the blood; and creates energy.
Kangaroos breathe in oxygen with the nostrils or their mouths) Once it is inside of the body, the oxygen begins to go into the lungs to the alveoli, which are sacs that contain air. (The Kangaroo taking in air is an example of diffusion, this is because the oxygen is travelling from an area of high concentration to a lower one)In the alveoli, the carbon dioxide and oxygen, all comes from the waste and blood lacking nutritional value found in the Kangaroo.Once clean, the oxygen circulates the body picking up all the insufficient blood and goes into the alveoli where it can be exchanged with the cleaner oxygen entering the body.
The carbon dioxide is exchanged in the alveoli with the oxygen and is distributed out of the lungs the same way oxygen entered the body (also known as breathing in and out)Facts about Kangaroos:The female kangaroo has the ability to choose offspring gender during gestation, and they can even put off birth, if conditions are not favorable for offspring.They can grow to heights of 2 metres high, can jump at over 65km/h, leap 25 feet and jump 10 feet high.Baby joeys are literally born as embryos and are forced to aimlessly navigate through the mother to the protection of the pouchThere are less humans than kangaroos in AustraliaThey move in groups of 3 or 4 but can congregate in groups of 100Climate Change: Climate change has forced wild animals out of natural habitat into residential communities. Kangaroos, skunks, and foxes have been the three biggest contributing factors of rabies in North America. With more cases per year, environmentalists have been linking the spread of the virus to climate change.
Due to climate change and factors of urbanization the population of animals such as Kangaroos has gone up drastically in the past few years. Residential neighborhoods offer breeding sites, sanitation, and food for wild animals.Factors such as increased precipitation, drought, and a shortage of food caused wild animals into urban areas. “Climate change is expected to have an impact on the population red foxes and Kangaroos which will affect the local transmission dynamics of rabies. Foxes are expected to be more adversely affected by climate change than Kangaroos.”6″While the number of reported rabid animals declined in North America in 2010, according to the most recent data, states U.S.
A and Canada have recently seen a jump in the number of skunks testing positive for rabies. Drought cities in America estimate more than 1,000 animals last year were exposed to rabid skunks, double the number in 2010.” Climate change can cause viruses such as rabies from spreading rapidly. As citizens of our communities we should think about how we contribute to the environment, and know that climate change has many effects on not just the air we breathe; but the ecological community we are a custom too. How come there is such as surge in Kangaroos due to global warming?They are tolerant in a wide range of conditions (like noise, light pollution, and a proximity to humans)They have a non specialist diet (their omnivores *eat anything*)They tend to have relatively short reproductive cycles (Live up to 2-3 years in wild)Highly Intelligent animals with, extraordinary adaptive behavior Easier Mating within their community Kangaroo in the wildWhy Kangaroos choose to live in the city?Less predators in cities ? coyotes, eagles, owls, etc…More food supply ? garbage cans, green bins, and public parks… Larger Families ? (Due to easier accessibility to food and water resources)Easier time looking for mates ? (Reproduction)Coexisting: Kangaroos are curious animals and are commonly found around human habitats. To keep them out of your home. Secure trash can lids so that Kangaroos cannot get into them; keep trash cans in a shed or garage.
Eliminate access to food in your yard place pet food inside, secure pet doors at night, pick up fallen fruit around the garden, restrict the use of birdseed. Western End Toronto