The kangaroo is one of Australia’s
most iconic animals, and most species
are endemic to Australia.
There are over 60 different species of
kangaroo and their close relatives,
with all kangaroos belonging to the
super family Macropodoidea (or
macropods, meaning ‘great-footed’).
The super family is divided into the
Macropodidae and the Potoroidae
(macropod) family includes
kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos,
pademelons, tree- kangaroos and
forest wallabies. Species in the
macropod family vary greatly in size
and weight, ranging from 0.5
kilograms to 90 kilograms.
The Potoroinae (potoroid) family of
kangaroos includes the potoroo,
bettong and rat-kangaroo, which live
only in Australia. Kangaroos of
different types live in all areas of
Australia, from cold-climate areas and
desert plains, to tropical rainforests
herbivorous, eating a
range of plants and, in
some cases, fungi. Most
are nocturnal but some
are active in the early
morning and late
kangaroo species live in
a variety of habitats.
Potoroids, for example,
make nests while tree-
kangaroos live above
ground in trees.
Larger species of kangaroo tend to shelter under
trees or in caves and rock clefts. Kangaroos of all
sizes have one thing in common: powerful back legs
with long feet.
Most kangaroos live on the ground and are
distinguished from other animals by the way they
hop on their strong back legs.
A kangaroo’s tail is used to balance while hopping
and as a fifth limb when moving slowly.
All female kangaroos have front-opening pouches
that contain four teats. This is where the ‘joey’, or
young kangaroo, is raised until it can survive outside
Most kangaroos have no set breeding cycle and are
able to breed all year round. Because they are such
prolific breeders, a kangaroo population can
increase fourfold in five years if it has continuous
access to plentiful food and