Everything You've Wanted To Know About A Kangaroo Skeleton! | Kidadl


Everything You've Wanted To Know About A Kangaroo Skeleton!

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Kangaroos are members of the Macropodidae family and Macropus genus.

Wallabies, tree kangaroos, wallaroos, pademelons, and quokkas are some of the other less popular members of the family. There are four kangaroo species, the red kangaroo, the western gray kangaroo, the eastern gray kangaroo, and the antilopine kangaroo.

This large animal was first discovered in South Australia in 1929. Kangaroos are the natives of Australia and New Guinea. The height, weight, and length of a kangaroo can vary depending on the species. Typically, all the members of this family have a deer-like skull. Kangaroos have a light skull. The skull of a kangaroo is only 3% of its total body weight. Kangaroos have 34 teeth. They have three pairs of incisors in their upper jaw and one pair in their lower jaw. This structure is well adapted to take up small food items. This animal mainly feeds on grass and insects. Kangaroos are one of the few animals that move by hopping. Their well-developed hind limbs, short forelimbs, and long-tail make this possible. Other animals would sustain injuries if they hopped around like kangaroos. They occupy a wide range of habitats, including plains, cliffs, and forests. We have curated a bunch of interesting facts about the kangaroo's skeleton. Do not miss out on them.

You can also check out our other articles on kangaroo muscles and how high can a kangaroo jump here at Kidadl.

How many bones does a kangaroo have?

The sternum of a kangaroo is made up of bones, seven pairs of ribs that articulate with cartilage, three fake ribs, and three floating ribs. Roos also have a clavicle, a radius, an ulna, a tibia, a fibula, seven cervical vertebrae, thirteen thoracic, six lumbar, two sacral, and 15-20 coccygeal vertebrae.

Kangaroos have a special set of bones called marsupial bones. There are two marsupial bones, and they are attached to the pelvis. The primary function of this bone is to support an adult kangaroo's pouch, within which the young kangaroo lives until it matures.

Does a kangaroo have a backbone?

Kangaroos are vertebrates, which implies that they have a backbone.

Seven cervical vertebrae, 13 thoracics, six lumbar, two sacral, and 15–20 coccygeal vertebrae are present in the kangaroo's spine. The backbone of a kangaroo is also long. Unlike human beings, kangaroos travel by hopping. They can jump up to 25 ft (7.6 m). While on land, the bones that form the backbone support the body. It also minimizes the pressure on the forelimbs, hind limbs, and tail.

The male red kangaroo in zoo.

Does a kangaroo have bones in its tail?

One of the strongest parts of the body of a kangaroo is its tail. The tail, apart from being strong, is also flexible.

Kangaroos have tails that are strong enough to carry 200 lb (90.7 kg). It would not make sense if the tail was made with muscles alone. Then it would be a loosely packed part with no firmness to it. A kangaroo has over 20 caudal vertebrae in its tail to provide support to the tail muscles and give structure to the large tail. According to scientists, kangaroos have exceptionally long and muscular tails to drive the kangaroo forward with the same power provided by their front and hind limbs.

Conserving Kangaroos

As per the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of kangaroos is not extinct. There are four major species of kangaroos. Though their status is Least Concern, the population appears to be declining steadily.

Several human activities, such as hunting kangaroos for their meat, pelt, fur, and other economic objectives, are the main reasons for the decline in the kangaroo population. For the above-mentioned reasons, around 90 million kangaroos have been slaughtered mercilessly. A good number of kangaroos are also killed in road accidents and due to habitat loss. Human interference has put pressure on the kangaroo species. Several countries, like Australia, are taking measures to control the reduction in kangaroo population by imposing laws that make hunting kangaroos illegal. Other countries, like the US, are considering making such laws effective if the situation persists.

Why is kangaroo conservation so important now? Kangaroos play an important role in the ecosystem. They help to manage pest and bug populations while also encouraging the regrowth of natural plants. As a result, they are an essential element of the food chain, and their disappearance will have a significant impact on other creatures, resulting in a food chain collapse.

Did you know?

Kangaroos and other members of the Macropodidae family have a special adaptation called Embryonic Diapause. This allows them to overcome drought and other unfavorable conditions.

Just like humans, kangaroos have a set of basic bones in their legs. However, these bones are slightly modified, which allows them to hop.

Except for tree kangaroos, all other kangaroo species have five clawed toes. The toes in the second and third places are fused together. This specialized feature aids in feeding, grooming, and fighting.

Kangaroos do not have knee caps. Instead, they have a set of short bones between the tibia, fibula, and metatarsus. These short bones act as shock absorbers.

Kangaroos have a special walking technique called 'crawl walking'. Instead of hopping, they use the method to move at a slower pace.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for kangaroo skeleton, then why not take a look at kangaroo vs wallaby, or kangaroo facts?

Written By
Joan Agie

<p>With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.</p>

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