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A kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (macropods, meaning 'large foot'). In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, especially those of the genus Macropus, Red Kangaroo, Antilopine Kangaroo, Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Western Grey Kangaroo.Kangaroos are endemic to the continent of Australia. The smaller macropods are found in Australia and New Guinea.
Larger kangaroos have adapted much better to changes wrought to the Australian landscape by humans and though many of their smaller cousins are endangered, they are plentiful. They are not farmed to any extent, but wild kangaroos are shot for meat, sport, and to protect grazing land for sheep and cattle. Although here is some controversy, harvesting kangaroo meat has many environmental and health benefits over sheep or cows grazed for meat.
The kangaroo is a national symbol of Australia: its emblem is used on the Australian coat of arms, on some of its currency, as well as by some of Australia's best known organisations, including Qantas. The kangaroo is important to both Australian culture and the national image and consequently there are numerous popular culture references.
Kangaroos are the only large animals to use hopping as a means of locomotion. The comfortable hopping speed for Red Kangaroo is about 20–25 km/h (13–16 mph), but speeds of up to 70 km/h (44 mph) can be attained, over short distances, while it can sustain a speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) for nearly two kilometres. This fast and energy-efficient method of travel has evolved because of the need to regularly cover large distances in search of food and water, rather than the need to escape predators.
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2009-11-21 21:34:49 補充：
Because of its long feet, it cannot walk correctly. To move at slow speeds, it uses its tail to form a tripod with its two forelimbs. It then raises its hind feet forward, in a form of locomotion called "crawl-walking."
The average life expectancy of a kangaroo is about 4–6 years.
2009-11-21 21:36:48 補充：
A Tasmanian Forester (Eastern Grey) Kangaroo in motion.There are four species that are commonly referred to as kangaroos:
2009-11-21 21:37:01 補充：
The Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) is the largest surviving marsupial anywhere in the world. Fewer in numbers, the Red Kangaroo occupies the arid and semi-arid centre of the continent.
2009-11-21 21:37:05 補充：
A large male can be 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) tall and weigh 90 kg (200 lb).
The Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) is less well-known than the red (outside of Australia), but the most often seen, as its range covers the fertile eastern part of the continent.
2009-11-21 21:38:50 補充：
An Eastern Grey feeding in native grasslandDifferent species of kangaroos have different diets, although all are strict herbivores.
2009-11-21 21:39:02 補充：
The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is predominantly a grazer eating a wide variety of grasses whereas some other species (e.g.the Red Kangaroo) include significant amounts of shrubs in the diet.
2009-11-21 21:39:11 補充：
The smaller species of kangaroos also consume hypogeal fungi. Many species are nocturnal and crepuscular,usually spending the days resting in shade and the cool evenings, nights and mornings moving about and feeding.
2009-11-21 21:39:24 補充：
Because of its grazing, kangaroos have developed specialized teeth. Its incisors are able to crop grass close to the ground, and its molars chop and grind the grass. Since the two sides of the lower jaw are not joined together, the lower incisors are farther apart, giving the kangaroo a wider bite.
2009-11-21 21:39:28 補充：
The silica in grass is abrasive, so kangaroo molars move forward as they are ground down, and eventually fall out, replaced by new teeth that grow in the back.
2009-11-21 21:39:49 補充：
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- 1 decade ago