Fun Facts -- Did you know?


What does "Kangaroo" mean?


Kangaroos got their name in a funny way. When the first white settlers came to Australia, they asked the native aborigines what the new strange hopping animal was. The natives replied "kanguru", which meant "I don't know". So that is what they were called, and still are to this day. The "I don't knows" of Australia became known in the western hemisphere as Kangaroos!


How many kinds of kangaroos are there?

There are more than 60 species of kangaroos.


What size are kangaroos and how far can they jump?

Some are tall like the Red kangaroos that live here at the zoo, some are medium-sized like the zoo's endangered Tree kangaroos, and some are as small as a mouse.


Pop Quiz question #1:

One of the tallest Red Kangaroos was almost as tall as which of these famous NBA players? A) Yao Ming: 7' 6", B) Tony Parker: 6' 1", or C) Lebron James: 6' 8"

Not sure? Check your answer by scrolling down to the bottom of this page.

lebron_and_the_kangaroo_full_size1.jpg
NBA Player vs. Red Kangaroo

How far can kangaroos jump?

Those big legs can really help a Kangaroo get around. Some of them can jump up almost 10 feet high in a single bound -- that is higher than the average minivan by almost 3 feet!

They can also jump really far: almost 30 feet (which would be 2 minivans in length).


How fast can kangaroos hop?

When they hop on those big feet, they sometimes go over 40 miles per hour! (That would get them a speeding ticket in my neighborhood area!)


Are there any other names used for kangaroos?

Yes, there are some interesting names for Kangaroos! Boys, girls and babies have these names:

Male kangaroos: Bucks, Boomers, or Jacks
Female kangaroos: Does, Flyers or Jills
Baby kangaroos: Joeys (for both baby boys and baby girls)


Kangaroos have a special pouch to carry their babies until they get bigger. Having a pouch makes them Marsupials !

How do Joeys ride in the pouch?

The joey drops or dives into the pouch head-first, and then it shifts on to its back, laying in the pouch like it's a hammock.


Pop Quiz question #2:

How big do you think baby kangaroos are when they are born?

At birth, are baby kangaroos the size of one of these fruits or vegetables? A) A cherry or a lima bean, B) a tomato, or C) a watermelon

Not sure? Check your answer by scrolling down to the bottom of this page.


Want a little fun?

Check out this video

on making a kangaroo

in a Mold-a-rama machine!




Pop Quiz Answer #1:
One of the tallest Red Kangaroos was almost as tall as which of these famous NBA players?
A) Yao Ming: 7' 6" B) Tony Parker: 6' 1" C) Lebron James: 6' 8"
If you answered C, for Lebron James, you would be right!
One of the largest Red Kangaroos ever recorded was 6' 7" tall!

Pop Quiz Answer #2:
At birth, are baby kangaroos the size of one of these fruits or vegetables?
A) A cherry or a lima bean B) a tomato C) a watermelon
If you picked A, the size of a cherry or a lima bean, you would be right.

Image credits:
, . "LeBron James". . . <http://www.celebritiesfans.com/showCELEB.php?celebID=2183>. 31 July, 2008.

The "Standing Red Kangaroo" photo taken by our teammate, Marcia, at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

The "Kangaroo Mold-a-rama" video was also recorded by our teammate, Marcia, inside the Australia building at the Milwaukee County Zoo.