The kangaroo /ˌkæŋɡəˈruː/ 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 Australia, and one genus, the tree-kangaroo, is also found in Papua New Guinea.
The word “kangaroo” derives from the Guugu Yimithirr word gangurru , referring to grey kangaroos.
The name was first recorded as “kanguru” on 12 July 1770 in an entry in the diary of Sir Joseph Banks; this occurred at the site of modern Cooktown, on the banks of the Endeavour River, where HMS Endeavour under the command of Lieutenant James Cook was beached for almost seven weeks to repair damage sustained on the Great Barrier Reef.
Cook first referred to kangaroos in his diary entry of 4 August. Guugu Yimithirr is the language of the people of the area.
A common myth about the kangaroo’s English name is that “kangaroo” was a Guugu Yimithirr phrase for “I don’t understand you.”
According to this legend, Cook and Banks were exploring the area when they happened upon the animal.
They asked a nearby local what the creatures were called. The local responded “Kangaroo”, meaning “I don’t understand you”, which Cook took to be the name of the creature.
This myth was debunked in the 1970s by linguist John B. Haviland in his research with the Guugu Yimithirr people.
Kangaroos are often colloquially referred to as “roos”.
Male kangaroos are called bucks, boomers, jacks, or old men; females are does, flyers, or jills, and the young ones are joeys.
The collective noun for kangaroos is a mob, troop, or court
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