All About the Calf

The calf is a term for a baby cow.

While all baby cows are considered calves, there are different types of this animal, each with its own set of traits.

What You Should Know

Among baby cows, there are three main types of calves. There are dairy, beef, and veal calves.

The dairy calf stays with its mother to nurse for a short time. Most farmers choose to wean it and move it to the pasture within a few weeks. These calves eat grass by two to four weeks old. Beef calves tend to weigh more at birth. They will also drink up to a gallon of milk per day.

By the time they are six to ten months old, they are weaned. By this time, they typically weigh up to 450 pounds. Females are usually kept for future breeding while the males are sent to auction or slaughtered. The veal calves are Holstein cows. The females are kept for milk production while the males are sold as veal. They are usually killed between birth and three weeks old.

What Sound Do They Make?

Calves will communicate with their mothers through mooing noises. This is how they get to know one another. There isn’t much difference between the sound of a calf and the sound of a full-size cow.

You can listen to some of the sounds that baby calves make on this audio site.

Group Characteristics

Once the baby cow is born, it builds a strong bond to the mother. Cows even celebrate when a baby is born. They protect the mother and newborn to ensure both animals are safe and warm. Like most mammals, the mother cow carries the baby in her womb before birth. The gestation period lasts for nine months, but female calves typically take longer than the male.

Calves are born with teeth, but they are soft and small. That’s why the mother cow chews food before giving it to the baby.

How Many Are There?

There is no shortage of cows in the world. The World Atlas estimates over a billion cows around the globe. There aren’t a lot of threats to the calf, but they might suffer from some congenital abnormalities. The Akabane virus is one that affects the calf, primarily in the tropical and temperate regions of the world.

Pop Culture

The cow is used often in animation and as a mascot. It’s long been the symbol for dairy products, but the calf is rarely ever used. In some movies, you might find the calf as a supporting character, but rarely in a feature role. Some films that feature cows include Barnyard, Home on the Range and Annabelle’s Wish.

For businesses or as a logo, famous cows include Elsie the Borden Cow, The Laughing Cow, and the Turkey Hill Cow.

Interesting Facts

Most cows only birth one cow a year. Twins do occur about 10% of the time. There are more difficulties when twin calves are born. When one of the twins is a heifer and other a bull, in over 90% of the times, the heifer will be sterile.

Cows make more milk than the calf ever needs. On average, a mother cow will produce between five and 12 gallons of milk each day.

Newborn calves see, stand and walk immediately after birth.

The term calf is used to describe other animals. Other bovid species include the water buffalo, yak and bison. Calves also refer to the young of elephants, hippopotamuses, deer, dolphins, camels, giraffes and elk.

Pauline was the last cow to live at the White House. She belonged to President Taft.

All About Sambar Deer

Sambar Deer make up the largest group of the deer family.

There are seven subspecies of the sambar deer, but they may soon become endangered.

What You Should Know

Because the sambar deer depend on water, they are never located far from a water source. They live among a variety of forest habitats from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains through Asia to the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and Taiwan.

Sambar deer did make their way to the United States. It was introduced in Florida in 1908. By 1950, there were 50 sambar deer counted. While the white-tailed deer lives on St. Vincent Island as well, the sambar deer don’t enter their highlands. Instead, they live in the marshes and lowlands. To keep the sambar deer from hurting the native whitetails, hunting permits are issued since 1987 to help keep the population at bay. Three-day hunting permits are offered to 130 people each year. This maintains a population between 70 and 100 deer. These deer don’t herd but live in family groups of four to five animals.

The sambar deer have also been introduced into the populations of New Zealand and Australia.

The sambar deer is elusive. They spend a lot of time being active from dusk throughout the night. These deer eat bamboo shoots, leaves, fruit, and grass. Some species will eat 130 to 180 plant types. Because of their large size, they eat a lot of food each day.

What Sound Do They Make?

Typically, the sambar deer freezes when threatened. It will confront predators with a loud alarm, barking, and stomping. At the same time, its mane becomes erect to look more intimidating.

You can hear some of the sambar deer sounds through these audio clips.

Group Characteristics

The sambar deer mates any time of the year, with the most popular time during the fall. Males watch their territory well and make loud noises to attract females. They will mate with about eight females during this time. Gestation periods tend to be around nine months. Typically, only one deer is born. This baby stays with its mother for two years before venturing out on its own.

In the wild, the sambar deer lives for about 20 years, but have lived for 26 years in captivity.

How Many are There?

According to the IUCN, the sambar deer is listed as Vulnerable. Over the past three decades, the population has decreased by over 50%. The main threat is how the population in Lao PDR, Vietnam and Cambodia uses the animal for antlers and meat. Natural predators include the dhole, Bengal tiger, and the Indian leopard. These populations will decrease if the sambar deer disappears.

Pop Culture

The deer is a common animal in films, especially animation. Everyone knows about Bambi, Open Season and The Yearling. Still, it’s much more difficult to determine when the sambar deer is used as the inspiration in a movie or TV show. According to Disney, there are sambar deer featured in The Jungle Book.

Interesting Facts

The sambar deer will reach 40 to 63 inches tall and up to 1,200 pounds of weight. Females are always smaller than the males. Their body is covered with a dark brown or yellowish-brown coat. The markings and spots are seen on both sides of the body. The males appear darker and end up with manes as they mature. All sambar deer also have long black tails.

Male sambar deer have 40-inch long antlers that divide into three branches. They shed these antlers yearly.

The sambar deer is an excellent swimmer and enjoys the water.

All About Red Pandas

The red panda has a kitten-like face and fluffy tail.

While most people think of the black-and-white variety when talking about pandas, this mammal shouldn’t be ignored.

What You Should Know

Red pandas live from northern Myanmar to the Yunnan Provinces of China. Some habitats in Tibet, India, and Nepal are also home to the red panda.

They prefer to live in the high-altitude temperate forests full of bamboo because this food makes up about 90% of its diet. 

Unlike the giant panda, red pandas prefer to eat the leaf tips and tender shoots. They grasp the stems with their forepaws and shear off the leaves with their mouths. When bamboo is scarce, they will feed on fruits, grubs, insects, birds or small mammals.

What Sound Do They Make?

Red pandas don’t make a lot of noise but have been heard making quacks and squeals. They sometimes grunt or hiss while the young cubs will whistle when in distress. You can listen to some red pandas with these sound clips.

Group Characteristics

The red panda prefers to remain in solitary unless it’s time to breed. In the wild, the range of each animal equals one square mile, while in captivity, they will live together.

Red pandas breed from January through March in the Northern Hemisphere, but the Southern Hemisphere sees breeding months between June to August. Gestation lasts anywhere from 93 to 156 days, as there might be a period of delayed implantation.

Females create a nest in hollow stumps, bamboo thickets, tree roots or tree holes. Litters consist of two cubs. They are born covered in fur which protects them from the cold. The offspring live with the mother for up to a year, which is when they are full grown.

How Many are There?

The IUCN lists the red panda as Endangered. Main threats to this animal include trapping. Typically, the traps are intended for deer or wild pigs, but the panda finds its way into them. They are also a target for poaching in Myanmar and China. In Bhutan, merchants sell the fur for hats and caps.

The two main predators to the red panda include the martens and snow leopards.

Pop Culture

The Firefox web browser is supposedly derived from the red panda, which is why it is called “firefox.” Another popular reference to the red panda is in the 2008 movie Kung Fu Panda. Master Shifu is the teacher who is an anthropomorphic red panda. Another anthropomorphic red panda is Retsuko from the Netflix series Aggretsuko.

Interesting Facts

When in captivity, the red pandas are active throughout the day, but most active at dawn and dusk. It’s estimated that they spend 45% of the day awake, but are more active when it is colder. If the temperature drops too low, the red panda will become dormant. Their metabolic rate lowers for the majority of the day. Then, it rises for a few hours, just long enough for them to find food.

This energy conservation mode allows the red panda to operate like a sloth. With the low nutritional value of their diet, it helps them to remain less active. They also have behaviors that help to regulate their body temperature. The red panda will curl up into a tight ball when it is cold. This keeps their energy and temperature loss to a minimum. On the other hand, they will stretch out and pant when the temperature is hot.

The red panda lives up to 23 years, but begin to exhibit signs of older age around the time they are 12 years old.

All About Stallions

A stallion is an adult, uncastrated male horse.

A lot of young people wish to own a stallion, but don’t often understand this isn’t usually a tame horse.

Owning one requires more care and maintenance than having a regular horse. It also takes a lot of patience to ride one, which is why stallions aren’t often found as familiar childhood companions.

What You Should Know

A male horse comes into the world as a colt. When he reaches three years old, he is a stallion, although he might breed sooner. If he has his testicles surgically removed (gelded) he is known as a Gelding and can live among other horses. Otherwise, the stallion horse should be kept in an area by itself.

The main purpose of the stallion is to breed with the female horses. Because of this, most owners understand they will require more work and effort to deal with.

What Sound Do They Make?

The stallion makes all of the typical horse sounds, including a neigh and knicker. You can hear numerous horse sounds, including some from stallions with these audio clips.

Group Characteristics

Stallions should never be with other horses because they breed indiscriminately. They have also been known to attack the geldings. Without the proper fencing, it’s possible to end up with more horses than planned after unexpected breeding, especially since stallions will breed up to two or three times per day.

The majority of male horses are born with the ability to breed. Still, many worry about overpopulation and choose to inhibit their ability. In addition, horses born with bad temperaments or genetic defects are often stopped from breeding.

Older stallions are often gelded and put with the general horse population once their breeding purposes are complete. To board a stallion often costs more money because of the additional effort and time it takes to care for them.

How Many are There?

While some horse breeds are endangered, the majority of them are thriving. It’s estimated that America has more than nine million horses at any given time. This includes commercial and recreational horses. The United States has more horses than any other country but is followed closely by Mexico and China.

Pop Culture

The list of available horse movies is endless, but some stand out with a lead stallion. The Black Stallion is a book and film that inspires many. It’s about Alec, who is stranded on an island with an Arabian stallion. These two become friends and the story follows their rescue and ultimate racing adventure. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is an animated tale of a wild stallion that travels along the western frontier. Another popular option is The Derby Stallion. This starred Zac Efron when he was younger as a teenager with a passion for horses.

Interesting Facts

The term stallion first started back when Henry VII was a king. He passed laws regarding the exporting and breeding of horses, in hopes to improve British stock. It was forbidden at the time to allow the uncastrated horses loose in a field.

Every breed of horse has stallions. It is a term used for any mature male horse that can reproduce, no matter what breed it is. Because of this, stallions aren’t just black in color, as commonly thought. Any horse color can become a stallion.

The stallion follows a hierarchy. If there is more than one together, there will be a clear leader. Sometimes, there is a battle over the leadership position between males. If females are present, she determines which way the herd travels and ensures that the stragglers make their way with the pack.

All About Bulls

A bull is a male cow that has not been castrated. It’s muscular and more aggressive than the female cow.

The bull plays a significant role in dairy farming and beef ranching. Plus, bulls play a big part in today’s culture through various sports and activities.

What You Should Know

A cow is a female counterpart to the bull. In North America, the term is also used for a young bull, while Australians use it to define a draught animal. The word bull is also used for other bovine males, including water buffalo and bison.

Bulls eat alfalfa hay and other food that is high in protein. They have a four-compartment stomach, just like the cow. They swallow all of their food whole and then regurgitate it for chewing. They live for about 20 to 25 years.

The bull prefers to live alone, other than when it is reproducing. They don’t like to compete for food and prefer to live a solitary life.

What Sound Do They Make?

The cow has an easily recognizable moo, but the bull adds an angry bellow to it. You can hear some of the sounds with this page of clips. https://www.soundsnap.com/tags/bull

Group Characteristics

Bulls are ready to breed by seven months old. The bull will mate will multiple cows each year. Some ranches use on average two bulls per 100 cows.

If the bull isn’t present when the cow is ready to breed, it will wait up to another 21 days to reproduce. That’s why many farmers watch carefully for signs that reproduction is ideal; otherwise, they miss the opportunity to create offspring.

How Many are There?

Of all the cow population in the world, India has the largest inventory. They are followed by Brazil and China. The United States has less than ten percent of the world’s cattle.

Pop Culture

The bull might be best known as the inspiration behind the NBA Chicago Bulls team. Aside from sports and reproducing they are also popular for bullfighting and riding. You will find numerous festivals including the bulls, such as the Running of the Bulls. Even bull-leaping is a sport.

As far as film goes, one of the most popular bulls is Ferdinand. He was the main character in the animated film that was meek and didn’t want to be involved in bullfighting but was pressured by others to partake in the sport.

Interesting Facts

Most people assume that the bull is angered by the color red, but this is simply untrue. In fact, bulls are red-green color blind, just like most other cattle. The actions occurring in bullfighting simply happen because of the movement from the matador’s cape, not the color. This is what provokes the animal to anger.

Bulls feature more muscle than cows. They also have thicker bones and larger feet. This is what allows them to dominate a herd. The bull’s hair is shorter on its body, but the head features a curly mane where the hair is woolly. The bull might measure the same height as a cow, but because of the extra muscle, it will weigh much more.

Many activities involving the bull are considered to be inhumane. Bullfighting is one that sparks outrage from animal welfare advocates. They claim that the sport forces the bulls to suffer a slow and painful death. There have also been numerous protests against rodeos. The argument is that rodeos cause undue stress, injury, and death to these animals. Also, the same activists are against the Running of the Bulls. This is another activity that might cause additional injuries and stress to the bulls.

All About Foals

A foal is a term used for an equine up to a year old. Male foals are called a colt while the female is referred to as a filly.

Many people confuse the term foal with a pony, but a pony is simply a small horse that will never grow to be any larger.

What You Should Know

The foal is a horse under the age of one. It’s too young to be ridden and can’t be used for work. They look different than a full-size horse because of their smaller bodies and long legs. Their heads also exhibit characteristics of youth and are slender.

Foals can walk and trot shortly after birth, though they might seem weak-kneed at first. During the first week of its life, the foal only nurses. After then it might taste some grass.

What Sound Do They Make?

A foal neighs and makes the same noises that a full-size horse does. The mother and foal communicate without sounds and form a close bond.

If you enjoy listening to horse sounds, there are pages of them available at this site: https://www.audiomicro.com/free-sound-effects/free-animals/free-horses.

Group Characteristics

The mare carries the foal for about 11 months, but that varies by a few weeks. The foal gets up and starts nursing within two hours of birth. Often, the filly gets up faster than the colt. Within 24 hours, most foals are galloping.

The majority of foals are born during the night and birth occurs fast. In captivity, many owners report taking a bathroom break or getting a drink only to find the foal waiting when they come back. In the wild, this quick birth helps protect the newborn from predators.

Foals can be weaned by three months, but it’s generally expected that they stay with the mother longer. If the foal begins growing too fast, it’s wise to slow the weaning down. Otherwise, they start to experience trouble with their joints.

How Many are There?

2 million people own horses. As of 2016, there were more than 9 million horses in the United States alone. Also, 4.6 million people are involved with horses as either an owner, service provider, volunteer or employee.

Pop Culture

The majority of horse movies start by showing the main character as a foal. Then, the story follows them into adulthood. Other than that, there are few films dedicated to telling a story about this young horse. Popular movies such as Black Beauty, Secretariat, and Spirit all have foals as a part of the story line.

Interesting Facts

The foal’s legs don’t grow much larger than they are. They measure about 90% of the total length that they will be when they are full-grown.

Foals require more sleep than an adult horse. This helps them to grow. It will take them several months before they learn the art of sleeping on their feet.

Mares never leave the foal while it is sleeping. It’s a way of protecting her young from danger. If the mare must leave, another mare babysits the sleeping foal. The foal also sleeps much more soundly than an adult horse. Still, if danger arises, the mare knickers to alert the baby. Then, the foal springs to its feet in an instant, much faster than an adult horse can because of its lower bodyweight.

Foals learn about the world around them by tasting, licking and chewing. This is why they are often seen tasting fences and chewing unusual objects. They also learn some skills from the herd. If a foal is born to a tame mare, it usually grows up tame just because it acquires the same habits.

Featured Article

All About Lambs

The lamb is just a baby sheep.

In different parts of the world, it’s classified by various criteria, but it typically refers to a sheep under the age of a year.

What You Should Know

Each country uses the term lamb to describe the sheep at a certain, early stage of life. For example, New Zealand says that any sheep under a year old is a lamb, but Australians require that any sheep without permanent incisors is also a lamb.

When first born, the lamb contains a tail, but this sheds as they grow. Other than that, the lamb is fully developed at birth, but they never grow upper teeth.

Lambs require a large amount of space to graze in. They also want shelter from the elements. Their diet consists of pasture plants and grass. They take a long time to eat and often spend up to seven hours out of each diet grazing.

What Sound Do They Make?

The lamb makes the same sounds does. It is slightly more high-pitched than the sheep because of their voice changing as they grow. Listen to some of the baaings from lambs from these sound clips.

Group Characteristics

Sheep carry the lambs for about five months before giving birth. These lambs weigh five to eight pounds. These babies are at risk for predators and often experience a high mortality rate without good care.

The lamb is fed by its mother and doesn’t wean until between two to three months old. If the lamb is mis-mothered by a farmer or caretaker, it becomes weak and needs further assistance.

How Many are There?

It’s estimated that there are more than one billion sheep in the world. China currently has the largest number of these sheep.

Lambs are vulnerable to diseases including viral contagious ecthyma. This causes a sore mouth with ulcerations and stops the lamb from nursing properly. Without intervention, this lamb will starve to death. Pneumonia also targets lambs as well as diarrhea.

Pop Culture

Sheep are a common feature in animation and kid’s films. In these, you can also find lamb included. For example, in Shaun the Sheep, Timmy is the baby lamb that causes trouble. He became so popular that he also got his own show, Timmy Time.

The most notable example of a lamb in culture is in the well-known nursery rhyme, Mary had a Little Lamb. While this nursery rhyme originates from 1830, it is still recited by children worldwide. This poem is based on Mary Sawyer who kept a pet lamb, which traveled with her to school one day at the suggestion of her brother.

Interesting Facts

Sheep have a high level of intellect, even when they are babies. They can perform simple problem-solving tasks and are often evaluated to be as smart as dogs. They also have exceptional memories. Because of this, they remember humans and other sheep for years after seeing them last.

Sheep also express emotions. They will position their ears, make facial expressions and voice their emotions.

The Ancient Egyptians believed that the sheep was a sacred animal. That’s why they mummified it when it died, just like they did with humans.

The Egyptians weren’t the only people to revere the sheep. It’s an animal present in the Chinese Zodiac. If a person is born in the year of the sheep, it’s assumed that they have gentleness, righteousness, sincerity, and compassion.

The sheep is also a common animal used in the Bible to depict the followers of Jesus. In a common prey vs. predator illustration, the sheep are told to be careful of the wolves.

Learn All About Camels

Camels have been domesticated for more than 3,000 years and have become an integral part of transportation in arid environments.

With the ability to carry 200 pounds while traveling 20 miles, the camel is an animal that deserves profound respect.

What You Should Know

A dromedary camel, otherwise known as the Arabian camel is a domesticated animal. 90% of the world’s camels today are dromedaries. They are found in harsh, desert environments. With the ability to travel as fast as horses and endure long stretches without food or water, they are real survivalists.

As the camel stores less food, the hump size changes. The amount of time that a camel can go without eating or drinking depends on its activity level and climate. Some camels go longer than a week without water and several months without eating. Then, it can drink up to 32 gallons of water at once.

The camel isn’t picky about its diet. With its thick lips, camels eat items that other animals cannot. Because they are herbivores, you won’t catch them with meat in their mouth, but you might see one eating a thorny plant.

Humans use camels for transportation, leather, wool, milk, meat and dung for fuel.

What Sound Do They Make?

Camels make many sounds, including grunting and bellowing. Often, they resemble a lamb or goat noise, but can also be known to roar loudly.

Hear the strange and unusual sounds that come from a camel.

Group Characteristics

Camels prefer to stay in a group or herd. A dominant male leads the herd. Other males move on and form what’s known as a bachelor herd. The camel is a social animal and is often seen greeting others by blowing in their faces.

A wild camel will migrate across vast distances to find salt water and graze. They survive extreme temperature fluctuations from -29° Fahrenheit to 120° Fahrenheit.

The female camel endures a gestation of 12 to 14 months. When the mother is ready to birth her young, she finds a quiet, private location. Typically, the female only births one live baby, but there are occurrences of twins. The baby camel is known as a calf. Within 30 minutes, this calf walks, though the baby and mom don’t rejoin the herd for two weeks. When the camel is seven years old, it’s considered fully mature and it will live to around 17 years old.

How Many are There?

The wild camel is considered endangered with only about 950 left in Mongolia and China. As far as the domesticated variety, there’s an estimated 1.4 million in the world.

Natural predators do exist to the camel, including the wolf. Wild camels face more danger from human hunters and will go extinct if people continue to kill them.

Watch a Video

There’s a great documentary available to learn more about the camel.

In this video, you can learn more about the Dromedary Camel & Bactrian Camel.

Pop Culture

Camels have an important role in movies that take place in the desert. You will see featured in popular movies such as The Mummy, The Scorpion King, Sahara, Jarhead and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Joe Camel (was the advertising mascot for Camel cigarettes from 1987 until 1997.

Zoos across the country feature camels on display for the purpose of educating and conservation.

Interesting Facts

A dromedary camel features one hump while the Bactrian species has two. To remember the names easily, simply think of the letter D on its side – it has one hump. The letter B on its side has two humps.

Camels do spit and it’s not a pleasant experience to be around. Because of their size, camel spit is more like vomit. Everything in its stomach comes up with the saliva. You can tell the camel is about to spit when it bulges its cheeks.

Learn All About Pigs

Despite popular belief, the pig is not a dirty animal.

In fact, they keep themselves remarkably clean. Their reputation is earned because of how messy it looks after it rolls in the mud to cool off.

What You Should Know

Pigs, otherwise known as swine or hogs, are found throughout the world, except Antarctica. The male pig is called a boar while a female is referred to as a sow. Pigs provide valuable resources to humans, including pork products, glue, leather, lard, medicines and fertilizer.

When in the wild, a pig eats anything it can find. This includes small reptiles, rodents, fruit, roots and leaves. Farm-raised pigs in the United States eat diets made of mostly corn. The European pigs feast on barley instead.

A wild pig lives in wetlands, grasslands, savannas, rain forests, temperate forests and scrublands. Any chance the pig can, it gladly wallows in the mud. This helps them to regulate body temperature and keeps the parasites at bay.

Pigs are social creatures. They will travel in a tight group, referred to as a sounder. This usually consists of two females and all of the young.

What Sound Do They Make?

Most people think a pig makes an oink sound – that’s what we learned in Old MacDonald. Instead, pigs do most of their communicating by making a squeak or grunting noise. When they produce a more extended growl, a loud roar or short grunt, they are warning the other pigs of danger. 

Pigs have been heard screaming up to 115 decibels. That’s louder than the sound a jet engine makes when it takes off.

Watch these adorable pig pictures while listening to their typical sounds.

Group Characteristics

A well-fed sow produces a minimum of ten piglets per pregnancy. Sometimes, this occurs twice a year. This litter is called piglets. The sow nurses her piglets for up to five weeks. Once the piglets are weaned, they are called shoats.

When born, the baby pig weighs about 2.5 pounds. Within a week, that weight doubles. A fully grown pig weighs up to 700 pounds, and sometimes more.

How Many Are There?

Currently, about two billion pigs are domesticated worldwide. 85% of the world’s pigs live in China (50%), the European Union and the United States. More than a billion pigs are killed each year, averaging 23 million per week.

Watch a Video

Here’s a fascinating documentary on pigs.

To brighten your day, try not to smile while watching these cute pig videos.

Pop Culture

The list of pigs in pop culture is never-ending. Here are just a few you probably know about.

  • Piggly Wiggly supermarket in the Southern United States
  • Hamm, the piggy bank from Toy Story
  • Pumbaa, Timon’s best friend in The Lion King
  • Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web
  • Peppa Pig
  • Miss Piggy, the self-centered puppet on The Muppet Show

Pigs in America can be found at most any farm and zoo. It’s a common animal found at petting zoos for children as well.

Interesting Facts

Pigs are one of the smartest domesticated animals there are. Studies find that they might even be more intelligent than dogs.

Adult pigs can drink up to 14 gallons of water in one day.

Pigs have been used by police to sniff out drugs, just the same way they use dogs. In addition, pigs have been utilized during war times to find landmines.

The pig’s tongue contains around 15,000 taste buds. In comparison, our taste buds only contain about 9,000 taste buds.

The first record of a pig coming to America was in 1539 with the Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto.

Learn All About Kangaroos

Kangaroos are one of the best-known marsupials in Australia.

They feature muscular tails, pointed ears and strong back legs. The female has a pouch where she keeps her young baby until its old enough to come out.

What You Should Know

Because of their large feet and strong legs, the kangaroo can jump 30 feet in a single bound. In one hour, they can travel over 30 miles. The tail is used for balance during jumping.

Kangaroos are found in Eastern Australia. They stay in smaller groups referred to as herds or troops. In Australia, their group is called a mob. Typically this herd consists of 50 or more kangaroos. If they feel threatened, they join together and start pounding on the ground with their feet. Kangaroos can be extremely dangerous, often kicking threats and biting them when necessary.

The kangaroo is a herbivore. It will eat flowers, grass, leaves, moss, insects and ferns. Just like a cow, the kangaroo regurgitates food and then re-chews it before it can be digested fully.

What Sound Do They Make?

Some kangaroos make a soft clucking noise, especially when interacting with a female. Mothers also make this sound when communicating with their young (joey). The most notable noise that a kangaroo is known for is the noise of it thumping away while bouncing.

Listen to these kangaroo sounds while watching some cute pictures.

Group Characteristics

The kangaroo is probably most known for how it carries its young in a pouch. The female kangaroo is pregnant for just 21 to 38 days. Then, she gives birth to up to four little ones at once.

When the joey is born, it only measures 0.2 inches to 0.9 inches or the size of a grain of rice. It stays safely in the pouch for another 120 to 450 days. While in the pouch, the joey receives protection and nurses. It also defecates and urinates directly in the pouch, but the lining absorbs most of it. The mother kangaroo cleans out the rest of the contents with her tongue.

Joeys don’t waste time growing. By the time a female is 14 to 20 months, she will be completely mature. Males take longer at two to four years.

How Many are There?

In 2016, Australia estimated a total of 45 million kangaroos, which was only 27 million back in 2010. Still, 16 species of rat kangaroos and tree kangaroos remain on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Global warming might kill off some of the smallest kangaroo species, but the four great kangaroo species aren’t at risk of becoming endangered.

The only predators that kangaroos face are wild dogs (dingos) and humans. Other than that, drought, heat and hunger seem to be their biggest dangers.

Watch a Video

Watch this fascinating documentary on kangaroos.

Here’s also some amazing footage of a kangaroo fight.

Pop Culture

There have been countless kangaroos in pop culture. Here are just a few you might remember.

  • Roo and Kanga from Winnie-the-Pooh
  • Sour from Horton Hears a Who!
  • Joey from The Penguins of Madagascar (complete with an Australian accent)
  • Hopper the Dish Network mascot

Interesting Facts

When on land, the kangaroo only moves both their hind legs together. However, when the kangaroo is in water, it will swim with each leg kicking independently. In addition, the kangaroo cannot walk backward.

Australia has more kangaroos than humans. It’s a national symbol which means it often appears on airplanes, coins and postage stamps. Even Australian airline Qantas uses the kangaroo as their logo.

The red kangaroo is the biggest marsupial found in the world.