Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Kangaroos Are Marsupials

February 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 145

Kangaroos and all macropods, belong to the sub-class (group) of mammals known as marsupials. Kangaroos are the largest living marsupials.

Mammals have several characteristics, one of them being that the mother feeds milk to her young from her mammary glands. There are 3 groups of mammals - marsupials, monotremes and placentals (which includes humans).

The main characteristic of marsupials is that the mothers give birth to a tiny baby who is naked, blind and not developed, it is still an embryo.

Sometimes it is said that the main characteristic of a marsupial is that the mother has a pouch but this is not quite correct. Sometimes the baby does not live in a pouch but only has a fold of skin for protection. Also in some species, the pouch may be a temporary arrangement, only formed during the breeding season and it disappears again when the young has finished with it.

Kangaroos do have a pouch - only the mothers, not the fathers. The pouch opening is on the mother's front. If she doesn't have a joey in there it can sometimes be quite difficult to see, being disguised by her fur. The pouch opens forwards. The mother can relax the outer wall, so that when she leans forward the joey can tumble out or can jump in again.

Inside the pouch are 4 teats, which are down at the base with 2 teats on each side. When a joey is born it finds its way from the mother's cloaca on the outside of her body, up through her fur to the pouch opening and then down inside the pouch to one of those teats where it latches on. The joey uses that same teat until he (or she) is weaned. The next joey who is born to that mother will use one of the teats on the other side of the pouch until he is weaned. The mother is able to feed milks of different compositions to each of her joeys at their different stages. The at-foot joey continues to drink for at least 4 months but it is often for longer.

The time a joey spends in the mother's pouch varies from species to species. For instance the joey of a Red Kangaroo exits for the last time at 8 months old. The mother then usually gives birth again within hours and then re-mates. The Eastern Grey joey finishes with the pouch after about 10 - 11 months, the Western Grey is just a couple of weeks less than that. The Greys are slower to develop than the Reds.

It is rare to see a Kangaroo with twins in her pouch. This is not because she cannot have twins but she cannot carry 2 joeys to full maturity. So if she does give birth to twins, she has to evict one. Unfortunately that one is too young to survive but the mother does not have another option.

As an aside - some marsupial pouches open towards the back - like that of a Wombat or a Bilby. Both these species are burrowing animals so Nature has made certain that the pouch does not fill with dirt while they are digging.

Since 1990, Susie has been raising baby kangaroos (joeys) whose mothers have been killed. In 1998 her husband and she bought a 1700ha (3000acre) farm in NSW with suitable habitat for Red and Grey Kangaroos where they could have a sanctuary and be safe and free. The farm is certified organic and until 4 years of drought, they grew grain crops. Now they only grow organic lavender and distil the flowers for lavender oil.

Susie's passion is kangaroos. She has raised hundreds of joeys and through having lived with kangaroos and having studied them up close and in the wild, she has learnt a lot about them. In 2001 she established her website as an educational site. Through Sponsoroo people can sponsor (adopt) a kangaroo and learn about him/her through stories, photos and email with Susie. She has recently created another website which is a site to sell her special lavender oil and also as another information site about kangaroos. Please visit both sites for many photos of kangaroos in Susie's care and for more information.

Susie is also a Teacher of English as a Second Language to adults (her students enjoy her joeys coming to class!) and has Online Business.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Pouch Opening










Red Kangaroo


Grey Kangaroos


Twin Joeys



For gaining entrance in coveted fields in a reputed University, the entrance examinations are the gateway. The purpose of these entrance examinations is to test the potential of a candidate and how

By: Sarkariexam l Reference & Education > Science l December 23, 2012 lViews: 518

Competition is increasing at an alarming level in every sphere. The students have to focus completely on their studies to ensure that they get admission in the line of their choice. What more, the

By: Sarkariexam l Reference & Education > Continuing Education l December 14, 2012 lViews: 1443

'How hard is a PhD'? Many PhD holders have been asked this question millions of times, but there is never any definite answer. We look at those who walk around proudly with a 'Doctor' title with

By: onlineedublog l Reference & Education > Continuing Education l November 11, 2012 lViews: 283

In this fast paced world which is sadly recession struck, it is indeed a good idea to work while acquiring further education. A master’s degree is obviously better than a bachelor’s in almost

By: onlineedublog l Reference & Education > Online Education l November 04, 2012 lViews: 262

An Online Degree Program in Finance is gaining popularity as it helps students to develop a lucrative career. It helps in a competitive business world. This has resulted in more number of students

By: Matthew l Reference & Education > Online Education l October 31, 2012 lViews: 287

Supporting justice is one of the reasons many people get into a career in the legal field. All-inclusive Online Associate’s Degree in Legal Studies assists many in the beginning stage of employment

By: Richard l Reference & Education > Online Education l October 26, 2012 lViews: 221

The Bluebird is among the most popular of all backyard bird watchers. Even non-bird watchers love to see them because of their beautiful blue feathers. However, not everyone is familiar with a lot of

By: Jackl Reference & Education > Wildlifel October 17, 2012 lViews: 194

Largest of the lizards that frequent the territory outside our house is a member of the Goanna family, named the Lace Monitor. A mature individual can reach a length of close to five feet from nose

By: Dorothy Gauvinl Reference & Education > Wildlifel July 04, 2012 lViews: 187

At our place, the Rainbow Skink is the most populous type. The local Kookaburras will snack on these small lizards but prefer a larger mouthful of gecko or tree snake. Last Sunday began with...

By: Dorothy Gauvinl Reference & Education > Wildlifel July 02, 2012 lViews: 205

Forest School Level 3 Training is designed to provide the necessary tools to individuals already working with young people in setting up and running Forest School programmes. Outdoor teachers

By: Cristopher Laguna Abanill Reference & Education > Wildlifel July 01, 2012 lViews: 175

Every Eden needs a serpent. My personal paradise in Tropical North Queensland is host to the eight most venomous land snakes on the planet. It also is the home of several species of Python, growing

By: Dorothy Gauvinl Reference & Education > Wildlifel June 28, 2012 lViews: 177

Of the more than forty snake species living in my corner of the world - Tropical North Queensland - eight have the dubious honour of being the most venomous on the planet. They include the fearsome

By: Dorothy Gauvinl Reference & Education > Wildlifel June 28, 2012 lViews: 209

Did you know that a baby kangaroo is born as an embryo and that it is only about 2cm long? Did you know that the little tiny baby makes its journey, in about 3 minutes, all by itself without help

By: Susie Rowel Reference & Education > Wildlifel February 19, 2012 lViews: 132