Kangaroos – Symbol of Australia
It is a well-known fact that Kangaroos are symbol of Australia; they are presented in the Australian coat of arms. The first image, which springs into someone’s mind when he is thinking about Australia, is one of a cute Kangaroo. They have been featured on coins. Furthermore Kangaroos have been used as emblems, mascots and logos of various Australian universities, sport team and companies. Kangaroos have participated in many fictional movies, advertisements and documentaries. Given their popularity it will be interesting to know some facts about those fascinating animals.
Kangaroos are marsupials from the family of Macropods (which means “large food”). The name Kangaroo is derived from “gangurru” – a word from the language Guugu Yimidhirr (aboriginal Australian language), which refers to the Gray Kangaroo. The word “Kangaroo” was written down for the first time by James Cook in 1770.
One of the most distinctive features of the Kangaroos is the way they walk: They hop, balancing their body with their tail. This allows them to reach a maximum speed of 55 km/h, although the most comfortable speed for a Kangaroo is around 25 km/h. The natural habitat of the Kangaroos is the whole Oceania. They are mainly present in desert and in grass areas. The aridity of the Australian Climate provides them protection from predators. The biggest danger for the Kangaroos nowadays, however, comes from humans. Many Kangaroos are killed by cars every year when trying to cross intercity roads or highways. Some of them might attack car drivers in order to protect themselves when they are scared. Other factor that serve as a catalyst for the decreasing population of the Kangaroos is the fact that sometimes they tend to refuge in farms where they find fresh grass to eat, as a consequence of which they get killed by people, who want to keep the grass free for the cattle. Last but no least, Kangaroos are hunted for their meat, which is favorite food for millions of people around the world.
In conclusion, even such a cute animal as the Kangaroo becomes victim of human activity, which affects its environment. At the same time the Kangaroos do not represent any danger to humans but live separately from them and may attack people only if they feel threatened. Actually Kangaroos are said to be very amiable. The fact that they are indigenous to Oceania made them the greatest symbol of Australia and the Australian culture, which every year attracts millions of visitors from all over the world.