Macropod Reproduction: How do Kangaroos Give Birth?

Alex Williams
7 Min Read

The kangaroo is the best sight to view if you have ever gone to Australia. Like all animals, female kangaroos have mammary gland-containing pouches that support the survival of their offspring. Although we are aware of where their babies are, how do kangaroos give birth, and how do kangaroo babies get in the pouch once they are born? In this article, all of these will be answered. Let’s begin.

1. How do Kangaroos Give Birth?

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Some years ago, people thought that kangaroos were born in pouch. But this myth was cleared when we understood that kangaroos climb separately into their mother’s pouch after birth. So, how do kangaroos give birth? Kangaroos give birth to baby joey by keeping themselves in the birthing position. The mother deepens the pouch and belly area until the newborn comes out of the birth canal. The baby kangaroo is blind at birth, it has no fur, it is 2.5 cm which is 1 inch tall, and it is only 1 gram in weight. It goes back to the mother’s pouch. The reproduction is called macropod reproduction. (See What Animal has the Longest Pregnancy?)

2. How do Kangaroo Babies get in the Pouch?

Once you are aware of the birthing process of kangaroos, you should know it is still underdeveloped when it is born. The newborn is called a joey. It is blind during birth however; it has an awesome sense of direction. The young kangaroo uses its tiny forelimbs in a swimming posture and slowly climbs up to its mother’s fur and then to the pouch. This would take about three minutes. The young joey does this all alone. Once it reaches the mother’s pouch, it attaches itself to the mother’s nipples and stays there for six months. (See What is a Herd of Moose called?)

3. Does Kangaroo lay Eggs or give Birth: The Birthing Process

No, Kangaroos do not lay eggs; they are mammals. They have a unique reproduction system. Most people do not know how they give birth to babies. They are marsupial animals. This means they start developing inside their mother’s uterus. The uterus provides the placenta, which is different from the placental mammals. The newborn takes birth at the early stages. This is why they are kept inside the pouches or a skinfold inside the mother’s body. Hence, the pouch contains nipples to feed milk to the baby. (See 14 Interesting Facts about Mammals)

4. How does the Mating Process undergoes for Kangaroos?

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Take a look at the following process to understand how do kangaroos give birth:

  • Before kangaroos mate, the male kangaroos need to fight with females. The strongest kangaroo will have to fight with the females in the group. The boxing fight is done before the intercourse. This is the ritual that happens with the kangaroos.
  • The males use their smell to identify the female kangaroo, which is sexually available. They become close and start mating. In comparison with other mammals, there are no placental connections done.
  • The kangaroos have a yolk-type placenta, and the marsupial egg takes the yolk. Once the yolk is absorbed the baby needs to be born.
  • This is the reason why marsupials have short pregnancies and the newborn is basically blind.
  • The development process of the newborn is completed inside the pouch that is attached to the mother’s teat. This means the pregnancy is for about 30 days.

5. Does Male Kangaroos give Birth?

The reason male Kangaroos cannot reproduce is that they cannot produce milk. This is why they cannot feed the newborn baby. The male kangaroos do not have pouches to make the newborn stay inside them. The males instead have testicles that are visible from the outside. This is how we can distinguish between males and females. (See What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Sexual Reproduction?)

6. Can Kangaroos Control their Birthing Cycle?

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Yes, female kangaroos can delay the pregnancy of their joey. This process is called embryonic diapause. This would help them to give birth only when there are the right conditions for the joey to be born. Must read Is Deer Shedding Velvet Painful?

7. How many Reproductive Organs does a Female Kangaroo have?

Female kangaroos have two uteri and three vaginas. This helps them to constantly get pregnant and continue the kangaroo family. There are a lot of species of kangaroos that have not been counted. The statistics say about 60 percent of the kangaroo species are found to date.

Macropod reproduction is the common name for kangaroo reproduction. Being mammals, kangaroos do not lay eggs. The female kangaroo experiences the same method of conception as humans. The average reproductive cycle lasts 30 days, during which the baby joey ascends to the mother’s pouch.  Hope this article clears all doubts regarding how do kangaroos give birth and the answer to does kangaroo lay eggs or give birth. (See 5 Name of Mammals that Lay Egg)

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