(See below for kangaroo and dog story)
COOL FACTS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW:
1) A female kangaroo can nurse two babies (joeys) of different ages through two teats, each with a different formula appropriate to that joey’s age?
2) The formula in a female’s milk changes weekly to suit the nutritional needs of the infant as it grows?
3) Kangaroos are the size of a jelly bean when they are born—and can grow to 6 feet?
4) A female kangaroo can slow the growth of her suckling young during drought conditions and hold a pregnancy in her uterus up to two years, until the food supply is replenished.
A baby is born only 4 weeks after conception and is not fully formed. It is eyeless, earless, all but skinless and with only buds where its hind legs will be.
It crawls about 4 inches to the pouch where it clamps onto a teat. It can’t even open its mouth for about a month.
THIS IS HOW THE MILK FORMULA CHANGES AS THE JOEY AGES:
At 2.5 months– the milk is low in fats and high in sugars and vitamins to help develop the nervous system. The joey is the size of a mouse.
At 5 months– the milk becomes higher in protein to support the growth of muscle tissue and tendons.
At 6 months– the milk is low in sugars and high in fats to support growth. The joey is the size of a squirrel. Its eyes are beginning to open and it’s starting to take in the world although it’s still firmly attached to the teat. Its vital organs are now complete.
At 7 months– the joey can feed when it chooses and can also begin to peek out of the pouch and leave its mother’s pouch occasionally.
At 9 months the joey leaves the pouch permanently, but continues to nurse until 18 months.
Kangaroos can jump up to 30 feet in a single leap, and move up to 40 mph.
A mom and twin joeys.
THIS DOG SAVED THIS JOEY’S LIFE
“By all accounts the baby kangaroo should have not survived the road accident that claimed its mother…but then along came Rex the wonder dog.
The pointer discovered the baby alive in the mother’s pouch and took it back to his owner.
“I’d taken Rex for a walk and we’d gone past the dead kangaroo that morning, and later I was working out the front and he started pointing,” his human, Ms Allan said.
“I was worried he’d found a snake and called him back, but when he returned he dropped the joey at my feet. He obviously sensed the baby roo was still alive in the pouch and somehow had gently grabbed it by the neck, gently retrieved it and brought it to me.” Amazingly, the 10-year-old dog had been so tender with the joey that it was both calm and unmarked.
“The joey was snuggling up to him, jumping up to him and Rex was sniffing and licking him,” Ms Allan said. The joey, to be named Rex Jr after his saviour, is now being cared for at Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary and when he is 18 months old will be released back into the wild.”