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Did you know that newborn kangaroos don’t have hind legs?

Did you know that newborn kangaroos don’t have hind legs?

You can find all kinds of wonderful and strange animals in Australia, but some of the most famous Australian animals are the marsupials, or pouched mammals. These include the kangaroo, wombat, koala, possum, and wallaby. Marsupials are mammals, just like humans, but with one big difference: in humans and other mammals, a baby grows inside

You can find all kinds of wonderful and strange animals in Australia, but some of the most famous Australian animals are the marsupials, or pouched mammals. These include the kangaroo, wombat, koala, possum, and wallaby.

Marsupials are mammals, just like humans, but with one big difference: in humans and other mammals, a baby grows inside the mother’s womb until it is fully formed, but marsupials give birth very early in the pregnancy and the baby continues to grow inside a pouch on the mother!

Baby kangaroos don’t look much like a kangaroo at all. Mother kangaroos give birth after only 33 days. This is the same stage of development as a 7-week-old human embryo, and it takes 9 months before a human baby is ready to be born! At birth, the baby kangaroo, called a joey, looks like a tiny red lima bean. Its hind legs are still only nubs, but it uses its forelegs to crawl into the mother’s pouch. Once it reaches the safety of the mother’s pouch and the milk inside, it will grow and develop there for nine months before it’s ready to leave the pouch.

Wombats are another kind of marsupial, but their pouches face in the other direction! This is because wombats spend much of their time digging burrows using their sharp teeth and powerful claws, and if their pouches faced the same way as most other marsupials, they would fill with dirt! A pouch that faces the other direction, toward the wombat’s hind legs, ensures that the babies stay clean and dirt-free!

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