science education resource

Is it true that Kangaroos can't walk backward?

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Kangaroos live out in open country. They have a mode of travel that is perfectly adapted for this open habitat. They jump! This is called saltatory locomotion and it's how kangaroos move. With huge back feet and a long tail as counter balance, they can jump up to thirty feet in a single leap. They are built to jump. They can also move quickly from side to side with amazing agility, but they cannot jump backward because of their thick, muscular tail. Their long feet and heavy tail also make walking impossible, forward or backward. Luckily, living on the open Australian outback they have room to move and are well adapted with their jumping gait.

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