Friday, May 27, 2022

What Do Kangaroos Keep In Their Pockets?

have you ever wondered what's inside of a kangaroo's pouch maybe they're saving some snacks for later maybe it's for their house keys or perhaps they're used to their part-time job transporting people to work every day the short answer is kangaroos use the .

Pouch to carry their young or joey they need the bag because after a short gestation period of up to 36 days the joey is born and crawls into the pouch for their continued development where other mammals would not once he is born it's the size of a jelly bean although he is deaf and blind it has an acute sense of smell and finds .

Its way into the warm and protected pouch the joey will then attach itself to the mother to drink milk where it receives nutrients and from there it will live grow and develop for the outside world for the next four to six months once the joey develops enough it can leave the pouch and stretch its legs to .

Adapt to the world outside but it will still go back to feed inside the pouch for a further 6 to 12 months these time frames vary depending on the types of species of kangaroos there are four different types the red kangaroo the largest of all the kangaroos and all terrestrial animals in australia is found throughout the .

Mainland though generally in deserts and open grasslands nicknamed the big red it can stand as tall as six feet and weigh up to 200 pounds the eastern gray is mainly typical of the eastern coasts these are the second largest with a .

Height of five feet tall and a weight of up to one hundred and eighty pounds the antilipin kangaroo the smallest of the four is located in the far northern tropical regions their height reaches up to four feet tall and they can weigh as much as 110 pounds and lastly you'll find the western gray .

In the southwestern and southern areas of the continent weighing up to 120 pounds while standing up to four feet tall of all the different sizes their most notable ability is to leap forward in a bouncing motion covering vast distances the big red can cover up to a staggering 30 feet in just one bounce .

Although what makes the kangaroo so unique isn't uncommon in australia they share evolutionary traits with other classifications of macropods wallabies wallaroos cuakas and patamelons are distant cousins of the kangaroo with several species in each classification they all come in many different sizes .

And live in the unique areas that they've adapted to throughout australia and new guinea although marsupials were once more common throughout the rest of the world it's unclear where they originated the old fossils of marsupials were found in north america but it is clear that the marsupials slowly made their way .

Down under and came through south america across antarctica until finally into australia of course we're keeping in mind that this was when the continents were all still attached once making it to australia they quickly adapted without competition from the other animals some other mammals made it .

To australia around the same time the bat family and the rodent family it's not surprising that mites and rats had managed to make it to australia before humans although australia's climate would have been very different from what we know of it today marsupials had adapted quickly to the changes .

There has been some debate about the unique characteristics of the marsupial were better suited for the drastic changes in weather as opposed to other animals the smaller gestation period allows their young to feed on milk a lot sooner marsupial milk has growth and immunity factors greater than other mammals milk .

Which could be beneficial in a harsher environment which is why marsupials are more prominent in australia the kangaroo has explicitly adapted over the ages their success in adaptation reflects on their current population of around 48 million throughout australia easily outnumbering the human population although their success is not entirely .

Due to their unique traits it's mainly due to the lack of predators the dingo the mammal migrated to australia approximately 8 000 years ago but their numbers are controlled around most of australia and then there was also the thylacine also known as the tasmanian tiger which slowly disappeared from the mainland since humans arrived .

Around 50 000 years ago and it's estimated they disappeared completely around 4 000 years ago allowing marsupials like the kangaroo to thrive the fascinating thing about thylacine is that it provides an excellent example of convergent evolution it is the process where animals not closely related independently evolve similar traits .

The thylacine and the gray wolf come from entirely different parts of the planet and only share a common ancestor that existed at least 160 million years ago yet they evolved similarly other marsupials fit the category of convergent evolution the marsupial sugar glider which is like the placental flying squirrel the hopping mouse which .

Is like the north american kangaroo rat there are types of marsupials and other moles the tasmanian devil is like the hyena and wolverine and the wombat has resemblances to the groundhog and marmot the possums and their cousin the opossum in north america has evolved to have opposable thumbs a feature found in primates .

Hedgehogs and porcupines mammals completely unrelated to australia have their unique spikes but share this similarity with the echidna the echidna is another mammal altogether and not a marsupial it is of the monotreme order the echidna is one of the only two left in the monotreme mammals .

Unlike other mammals monotremes don't produce live young but lay eggs of which their young or puggle hatches just 10 days after being laid but like all other mammals the puggle will drink milk from their mother a further example of convergent evolution is with the koala which has evolved to have fingerprints like .

Primates the koala has adapted through the warming of the weather in australia as the climate became drier there was a distinct change in the fauna throughout the continent eucalyptus trees became more prominent as they more easily adapted to drier climates over 70 percent of native forestry in australia is currently eucalyptus .

The eucalyptus leaves or gum leaves are deficient in nutrition they are so low in nutritional value that they shouldn't be the main diet but the koala took advantage of this uncontested food and adapted over time and now they only eat them and they'll gorge themselves up to six times per day it ensures that they need to sleep up to .

20 hours each day but although they sleep a lot they're very safe high above the eucalyptus trees the animal world in australia is strange as it is diverse but even those natives in this land have their own stories that make them even more bizarre indigenous australians have stories from the dream time telling tales of weird .

Animals that existed one mythological animal was the bunyip it has been told in tales as a beast that lurked within the swamps rivers and lakes although commonly known as the bunyip it's also referred by many different names throughout the country before europeans arrived in australia .

There existed around 250 languages within the native population each language has a similar story of a beast that lived within the water which would provide a valuable lesson to young children to be careful around swamps and rivers the bunips various forms scales fur or feathers .

Sizes as small as a dog and as large as a buffalo some are unimaginably strange in appearance but others weren't too dissimilar to actual animals like the crocodile a precursor to how mythological creatures like the bunyip were created had likely originated from bones and fossils of existing animals .

For example in europe stories about dragons are argued that they probably originated from finding dinosaur fossils fossils are the likely foundations for the stories based around the infamous bunyip animals from the megafauna period which around 2.5 million years ago saw the largest of them all this period ended about 20 000 years ago .

Variations of the bunyip coincide with animals that once lived during this period the thyla solio also known as the marsupial lion was a large and powerful carnivorous marsupial the diprotodon which resembled a giant wombat weighed around six thousand pounds and was ten feet long .

A further version was of a beaked bunyip covered in feathers related to the dromornithide a bird standing at ten feet tall each of these was from a time when megafauna was more common and humans lived among them for a short period although the age of megafauna in australia has long passed there are .

Still animals that adapted to the changes in the drying continent the new species introduction and even the involvement of humans the four kangaroos the red eastern the western grey and the attilipine are still living reminders of the age of megafauna

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