Kangaroo Anatomy and Physiology
An adult Kangaroo can stand up between 5 and 6 feet tall. They also have an overall weight of anywhere from 50 pounds to 120 pounds. That is quite a difference but it really depends on where they live and the particular species that you are talking about. The males are usually larger than the females within a given species.
The body structure of the Kangaroo is unlike any other animal out there. That is part of the thrill and fascination that people have with them. The tiny limbs of them which are in place where human hands would be are short and they don’t have thumbs on them. The ends of these limbs have very sharp claws on them.
The legs of a Kangaroo are extremely powerful. The feet are quite large which does give them an awkward appearance. However, the size of these feet allows them to be able to leap many feet into the air. They have tendons that are elastic in nature in their legs and that helps them perform the amazing movements we see. Each foot has four toes on it.
The tail is very long and thick and this helps to keep the Kangaroo balanced as they move along. There are quite a few muscles in the tail which allow the Kangaroo to use it in different ways. For example they will disperse their weight differently when they want to take a small step versus a huge leap. The position of the tail will be different during these movements as well.
Taking a close look at the teeth of Kangaroos is very interesting. You see the sides of the lower jaw don’t close together. This is because they have sharp incisors to cut the grass they consume and then molars to chew it up. Grass is the main element of their diet and it contains large amounts of silica.
Due to their diet, their teeth often get worn down. Their bodies are designed to handle this though. As a tooth is ground down it will then fall out. New teeth that grow in the back of the mouth will then move forward into empty spaces.
To help regulate their body temperature, the Kangaroos have coarse hair that is very thick. It has a wooly like texture to it and is offered in various shades of gray and brown. Some of them even have a reddish tint to them as well. They have a small head that often looks out of place in comparison to the rest of the body.
They also have large ears and a very good sense of hearing. The ears are always in an upright position which does help them to pick up a variety of sounds. They also have a good sense of smell. Since they don’t have the best sight they do need to rely upon these other senses to help them survive.
Since Kangaroos are marsupials, the females have a pouch at the front of their bodies. This is where the young called joeys will stay until they are old enough to care for themselves. This is one of the easiest ways to be able to tell which sex any Kangaroo you see happens to be. As you learn more about the body of the Kangaroo, you will certainly appreciate all that they have to offer. They have a unique design that allows them to stand out from other animals in a variety of ways. Yet their overall anatomy definitely is suited to help them live in the terrain out there where very few other animals have been able to successfully call it home.