Red Kangaroo

By Karey Burek

When I think of Australia, I think of the Great Barrier Reef and all of the wonderful fish and creatures that fill the oceans surrounding that awesome continent. However, the most amazing place on the continent of Australia is the desert that lies in the center of the land mass. It has constant arid weather and can reach temperatures that make it the hottest place on earth. There is sparse food, water and hiding places. But, the Red Kangaroo has made this habitat its home.

These large mammals know that there is hardly any food or water available, so they rarely move fast enough to sweat. They feed in the early mornings and in the evenings, so for most of the day they find shady spots and sleep. A trick they learned to cool themselves is to wipe saliva on their forearms. Their capillaries are closest to the surface of their skin on this area of their body and the saliva evaporates, which cools their body. Pretty Cool!! Another neat thing about the Red Kangaroo is that if they are running at full speed, they can outpace a racehorse—that is pretty fast. Marsupials are the only mammal species that have developed this way of getting around, bouncing.

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