Marsupials are a group of mammals whose main characteristic is that females have a pouch called a marsupium in which the development processes of the embryos are carried out.
One of the large and most striking marsupials is the kangaroo, which has unique and peculiar reproductive characteristics. To start, you need to know a curious fact, and that is that female kangaroo has a structure of three vaginas and two wombs.
Do Kangaroos Have Periods?
The marsupium is the place where these mammals continue gestating the development of their young after their birth. But for this to happen, the female kangaroo had to show off in front of the males during estrus (rutting season). The courtship process usually lasts a few days during which the male tries to attract the female.
As with other animals, during this time, male kangaroos fight each other for the right to mate with the female in heat.
Once the female kangaroo has sex with a male, the gestational period begins. This period is the time between conception and the birth of the child. That means that during all that time, the baby kangaroo develops inside its mother’s womb.
Kangaroos usually have one of the shortest gestational periods in the animal kingdom. However, we must highlight the fact that how it develops and for this, we must divide it into two parts.
First, the time in which the fetus remains inside the mother’s uterus. This process contemplates a period with a duration that varies between 33 and 38 days. Depending on the female kangaroo, the time this process can take is 28 days and up. During that time, the mother gestates her young in the womb and later, it is born incompletely weighing 1 or 2 grams and 1 centimeter long.
Second, the period that the young kangaroo remains after its birth in the brood pouch. At this time, the baby kangaroo development process begins. The female makes a groove with her tongue so that her young goes up and gets into the pouch. The tiny creature instinctively attaches itself to its mother’s nipple, causing a membrane to form that will act as a placenta.
The baby kangaroo stays in the pouch for approximately 8 months. For the first four to five months, the little kangaroo feeds on blood until its mother starts producing milk. When that happens, the membrane dissolves. At 6 months, the young finally shows its head. A month later, this beautiful creature steadily emerges from the pouch on its own. In the last month, the kangaroo that has been in its mother for more than eight months can finally act independently and does not need to return to the pouch.
A curious fact about these marsupials is that they can give birth to two young at the same time. What does that mean? Female kangaroos go into heat again once they have their first baby. If the female becomes pregnant again, a fetus will develop in her uterus while her first young will remain in the pouch. Notably, the creature in the womb will not climb the brood pouch until the first baby kangaroo leaves this area.