99 Kangaroo Facts for Kids

Are you ready to learn about one of the most fascinating animals in the world?

Kangaroos are not only the largest marsupial on the planet, but they also have some incredible adaptations that make them unique and unforgettable! From their powerful legs that allow them to hop great distances, to their huge and flexible pouches with cute joeys inside, kangaroos are full of surprises. So, get ready to hop into the world of kangaroos as we explore the most fun and interesting facts about these amazing creatures!

drawing of a kangaroo on a beach

Get ready to jump into the world of kangaroos with these 99 mind-bouncing facts that will leave you hopping with excitement!

  1. Kangaroos are marsupials, which means they carry their babies in a pouch.
  2. They are native to Australia and they are the country’s national symbol.
  3. Kangaroos are members of the macropod family which literally means “big foot”.
  4. They are known for their large hind legs and feet, which are adapted for hopping, and for the pouch in which females carry and nurse their young.
  5. Kangaroos can only move forward and cannot move backwards.
    eastern grey kangaroo at Murramarang National Park
  6. Only female kangaroos have pouches.
  7. The legend tells that Lieutenant James Cook and Joseph Banks encountered a kangaroo during their exploration of Australia and asked a local what the animal was called. The local responded with "Kangaroo," which the explorers thought was the animal's name, but in reality, it meant "I don't understand you" in the local dialect.
  8. Kangaroos are a national symbol of Australia and appear on the country’s coat of arms, currency, and many other forms of media.
    1/4 oz kangaroo gold nugget and 1 oz kangaroo silver coin
    1/4 oz kangaroo gold nugget and 1 oz kangaroo silver coin
  9. They have powerful legs that work like springs that help them jump long distances, up to 7 meters (15 feet) in a single bound!
  10. Kangaroos can run up to 70 km/h (43 miles per hour) when they need to escape danger.
  11. In some areas, it is illegal to touch or disturb kangaroos, as they are protected by law. By respecting their space and observing them from a safe distance, children can help ensure the safety of and well-being of these unique and important animals.
  12. They have large tails that they use for balance and support when jumping.
  13. The red kangaroo is the largest kangaroo species with a tail length of up to 1 m (3.2 ft).
    red kangaroo with joey in pouch
    a female red kangaroo with a joey in her pouch
  14. Kangaroos can become up to 27 years old.
  15. Kangaroos have excellent eyesight and can see in color.
  16. They are social animals and live in groups called mobs or troops.
  17. There are typically 3 - 20 kangaroos in a mob.
  18. There are 73 species of kangaroos which are divided into kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, pademelons, tree kangaroos, rat kangaroos, bettongs and potoroos.
  19. The four largest species of kangaroo are: the red kangaroo, the eastern grey kangaroo, the western grey kangaroo, and the antilopine kangaroo.
  20. The red kangaroo is the largest marsupial and can grow up to two meters (6.5 ft) tall.
  21. The musky rat-kangaroo is the smallest kangaroo and can grow up to 0.35 meters (13.7 inches) tall.
  22. Kangaroos communicate with each other through grunts, growls, and bark, and bumping noises using their large feet.
  23. Large kangaroos are herbivores and eat mainly grass.
    drawing of two happy kangaroos
  24. Some smaller species also eat bugs.
  25. Kangaroos have a unique digestive system, similar to cows, that allows them to extract the most nutrients from their food.
  26. They can go without drinking water for long periods of time because they get moisture from the plants they eat.
  27. Female kangaroos are called flyers, while male kangaroos are called boomers.
  28. A baby kangaroo is called a joey.
    western grey kangaroo joey
  29. A baby kangaroo is not born in its mother’s pouch.
  30. When a joey is born, it is only about 2.5 cm (1 inch) long and weighs only 1 g (0.03 oz).
  31. When a joey is born, it is blind and hardly recognizable as a kangaroo.
  32. They joey crawls without any help into its mother's pouch where it will nurse and grow for several months.
  33. Kangaroos have a gestation period of around 30 days.
  34. Kangaroos can breed year-round and a female kangaroo can have up to three joeys at once, each at different stages of development.
  35. A kangaroo can only have one joey in its pouch.
    a kangaroo joey pops its head out of its mothers pouch
    Source: Ethan Brooke
  36. Kangaroos have powerful hind legs and can use them to deliver a powerful kick to defend themselves.
  37. They have sharp claws on their forelimbs that they use to grasp objects and dig burrows.
  38. Kangaroos are wild animals and may become aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered. If a child tries to touch a kangaroo, they may inadvertently provoke the animal and put themselves in danger.
  39. They use their strong tail to help them stand up.
  40. They have big, round ears that can move independently to pick up sounds from all directions.
  41. Kangaroos can swim and will often enter the water to escape from predators and other dangers.
  42. When kangaroos are hot, they will pant and lick their forearms to cool down.
  43. They are nocturnal animals that are most active at night.
  44. Kangaroos are excellent jumpers and can clear obstacles that are twice their own height.
  45. They only use their forelimbs to move around when grazing or moving slowly.
    eastern grey kangaroo grazing in NSW national park
  46. Kangaroos have powerful muscles that allow them to make sudden changes in direction when they are jumping.
  47. They have a good sense of smell that they use to locate food, water and escape from dangerous situations such as wildfires.
  48. They have thick fur that helps them insulate them from extreme temperatures and protects them from the sun.
  49. Some kangaroos change the color of their fur with the seasons, from a lighter color in the summer to a darker color in the winter.
  50. Kangaroos are excellent at conserving energy and can slow down their metabolism when food is scarce.
  51. The red kangaroo can travel long distances in search of food and water, covering up to 40 km (25 miles) in a single day within its territory which is 20 - 800 ha (50 - 2000 acres) in size
  52. Eastern grey kangaroos are less migratory and tend to stay in the same area all year round.
  53. Western grey kangaroos have a more varied diet and will eat a wide range of vegetation compared to red kangaroos.
    western grey kangaroo at Lucky Bay
  54. Antilopine kangaroos are found in Northern Australia and have a different fur color than other kangaroo species.
  55. Kangaroos have a high reproduction rate and their populations can quickly bounce back after a severe drought or other environmental disturbances.
  56. Kangaroos are an important part of the ecosystem and play a role in maintaining the balance of vegetation in their habitats.
  57. Kangaroos have few natural predators, with the main threat of their survival being lack of food and water, habitat destruction, and predation by eagles, dingoes, foxes, and humans.
  58. They have a low body fat content and require huge amounts of food to sustain their high metabolism.
  59. Kangaroos are shy animals and will often try to escape from danger by jumping away.
  60. They have a unique adaptation in their huge hind legs called “splay-footedness” that helps to absorb shocks and prevent injury when they are jumping.
  61. Kangaroos have a high rate of reproduction, with female kangaroos usually being always pregnant.
  62. A female kangaroo will only give birth when the current joey has left the pouch.
    kangaroo joey at twilight beach
  63. Baby kangaroos will continue to nurse from their mother for up to a year after they have left the pouch.
  64. Kangaroos have a highly developed social structure, with dominant males defending their territories and groups of females and their young living together in harmony.
  65. They can regulate their body temperature by opening and closing blood vessels in their forearms that help them cool down their whole body. The animals lick their arms until they're soaking wet, then their whole body temperature is lowered.
  66. Kangaroos can jump up to 3 m (9 ft) high and cover up to 9 m (30 ft) in a single jump.
  67. For animals they have a relatively slow rate of growth and can take up to 2 years to reach full maturity.
  68. Kangaroos have been hunted by indigenous communities in Australia for thousands of years and are therefore an important food source.
  69. Kangaroos have a competitive mating system, with multiple males competing for the attention of females.
  70. The winner of the competition is the dominant male that will mate with the female and defend her from other males.
    male eastern grey kangaroo
    eastern grey kangaroos are the second largest kangaroo species
  71. Kangaroos have a special adaptation in their teeth that allows them to tear out grass to extract the maximum amount of nutrients.
  72. Kangaroos have a low body temperature and do not have a lot of excess fat, making them well adapted to survive in hot, arid environments.
  73. They have a great adaptation in their eyes that allows them to see in the dark and detect movement from a distance.
  74. Kangaroos have strong tails that they use for balance and support when they are jumping.
  75. They are great swimmers and have been seen crossing rivers to escape from danger such as dingos and foxes.
    cute kangaroo with pouch beach illustration
  76. Kangaroos have a slow heart rate and can conserve energy by slowing down their metabolism when food is scarce.
  77. Kangaroos are important seed dispensers, spreading the seeds of native plants through their droppings.
  78. They have strong hind legs with sharp claws that allow them to kick and defend themselves from predators.
  79. Kangaroos have a highly efficient respiratory system that helps them to minimize the energy usage when moving.
  80. They have a slow rate of metabolism and do not need to eat as often as other animals of their size.
  81. Kangaroos need less than half the food intake compared to sheep and goats.
  82. A typical female kangaroo needs a food intake of roughly 500 g per day.
  83. Kangaroos have a strong social bond. Especially females and their offspring will often groom each other.
  84. They have a unique adaptation in their tails that allows them to store fat, giving them energy reserves for times when food is scarce.
  85. Kangaroos are important indicators of the health of their ecosystem and the presence of kangaroos can indicate a healthy, balanced ecosystem.
  86. They have a highly specialized jaw structure that allows them to chew tough vegetation efficiently.
  87. They have a slow rate of digestion and can extract the maximum amount of nutrients from their food, making them highly efficient at using energy.
  88. Kangaroos have a highly developed sense of hearing and can detect the approach of danger from a long distance.
  89. Kangaroos have a strong social bond and will often warn each other when predators have been watched.
    mob of eastern grey kangaroos
  90. They need a highly specialized skeleton that is designed for jumping and is strong enough to support their weight.
  91. Kangaroos have specialized eyes that allow them to see in both the light and the dark, making them highly adaptable to different environments.
  92. There is often a life long bond between a female kangaroo and its female offspring.
  93. Kangaroos have a strong immune system and are resistant to many diseases.
  94. Kangaroos in captivity often suffer from Lumpy Jaw Disease.
  95. Kangaroos are herbivores and feed primarily on grass, but will also eat leaves, flowers and bark if necessary.
  96. Quokkas are well-known all around the world as the cutest kangaroo species.
    A female quokka with her joey
  97. They are found only on a few islands off the coast of Western Australia, including Rottnest Island and Bald island.
  98. Quokkas are known for their unique smile, which is caused by the shape of their mouth and teeth.
  99. Kangaroos are basically harmless animals as long as you follow a few simple rules of behavior and keep a safe distance.

In conclusion, kangaroos are truly remarkable animals with many fascinating adaptations and behaviors. From their powerful legs and unique reproductive system to their social behavior and amazing hopping ability, there are so many things to learn and appreciate about these incredible creatures.

So, the next time you see a kangaroo, remember these 99 amazing facts and take a moment to appreciate their beauty and complexity. And if you ever get the chance to visit Australia, make sure to keep an eye out for these iconic marsupials and experience the wonder of these amazing creatures firsthand. Thank you for hopping along with us on this kangaroo adventure, and keep exploring the incredible diversity of life on our planet!