A kangaroo (/keɪŋɡəruː/) is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (macropods, meaning 'large foot'). In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, especially those of the genus Macropus, Red Kangaroo, Antilopine Kangaroo, Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Western Grey Kangaroo. Kangaroos are endemic to the country of Australia. The smaller macropods are found in Australia and New Guinea.
Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head. Like most marsupials, female kangaroos have a pouch called a marsupium in which joeys complete postnatal development.
Larger kangaroos have adapted much better to changes brought to the Australian landscape by humans and though many of their smaller cousins are endangered, they are plentiful. They are not farmed to any extent, but wild kangaroos are shot for meat, leather hides, sport, and to protect grazing land for sheep and cattle. Although there is some controversy, harvesting kangaroo meat has many environmental and health benefits over traditional meats.
The kangaroo is a national symbol of Australia: its emblem is used on the Australian coat of arms, on some of its currency, as well as by some of Australia's well known organisations, including Qantas. The kangaroo is important to both Australian culture and the national image and consequently there are numerous popular culture references.
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