How Do Kangaroos Hop?
The large, stretchy tendons in a kangaroo’s hind legs act like giant springs. As these tendons strain and contract, they generate most of the energy needed for each hop. The tail is also important, acting both as a balancing aid and a counterweight, propelling the animal into each leap. And there’s the added bonus that, while hopping, kangaroos barely need to waste effort on breathing. The jumping motion drives their gut up and down, which inflates and deflates their lungs for them.
Why do they hop? Kangaroos usually hop at about 25kph, though they can reach 70kph over short distances, covering as much as 9m in a single hop. This energy-efficient way of travelling means they can cover vast distances in search of food and water, allowing them to thrive in the harsh climate of the Australian outback.
How far can a kangaroo hop? According to the Indianapolis Zoo, one of the longest hops measured was 40 feet. Kangaroos only sweat while they are hopping. When they stop exercising, they pant, just like dogs do. Strangely, kangaroos burn less energy the faster they hop… up to 20 miles per hour. For a long time, people thought the word kangaroo meant “I don’t know” in an aboriginal Australian language. Probably, the word comes from gangurru, a native name for one kind of kangaroo.
What is kangaroo? Kangaroo is a marsupial (pouched) mammal living in the forests and on the plains of Australia. There is also a tree kangaroo which lives in New Guinea. kangaroos are placed in the family Macropodidae, which means big-footed, and with their huge feet and long legs Kangaroos are able to jump great distances. Some species can cover 6 m (20 ft) in one leap.
A group of kangaroos is called a mob. A male kangaroo is called a buck, a boomer, or an old man. A female kangaroo is called a doe or a flyer. A kangaroo mother may have a newborn joey and a much older baby (called a yearling) nursing at the same time. Each one will get milk that is formulated to suit him best nutritionally.
Kangaroos also have long tails and slightly mule-shaped heads. Kangaroos rest in the grass by day, but become active at dusk. They are herbivores, pulling grass towards their mouths with their forelimbs. The musky rat kangaroo of the Queensland rain forests also eats small animals, and it is the smallest kangaroo, 40 cm (16 in) in length. The largest are the red and gray kangaroos of the open bush, which stand 2 m (6 ft) high.