Every species on earth has some fascinating facts that make them unique. That brings me to my question: What do Kangaroos and Elephants have in common? Answer: They are both perfect examples of the ingenuity of the Creator of All.
I recently came across an article about some interesting facts a Columbus Zoo and Aquarium docent learned while spending time with the animals each day. I’ve chosen to share some fascinating facts about two species, kangaroos and elephants.
Kangaroos — Moms and Joeys
Mommy Kangaroo does what we call embryonic diapause. That’s a pretty fancy term for a fascinating ability to have more than one baby kangaroo, or joey, developing at once. She can have an embryo in her womb and put its development on hold until she is ready to give birth. At the same time, she could have a newborn in her pouch, suckling on one nipple, and an older joey attached to another nipple outside of the pouch. Joeys are tiny at birth — measuring only about 2.5cm or 1 inch.
GET THIS! Each nipple can provide a different strength of milk as required for each joey’s nourishment requirements for its stage of development.
Kangaroos have their own strange mode of transport. Most people are familiar with the way kangaroos hop rather than walk. However, there’s a whole lot more to it. They have strong hind legs, which they use to propel them forward in their hopping gait.
Most interesting, though, they cannot use their legs independently. As they hop along, they appear to have a third leg. That is actually a powerful tail that they anchor on the ground to support and balance them while they swing their legs forward. Each leap could be over 9m or 30 feet while traveling at 56km/h or more — 35 mph. They can’t use their legs independently on land, but they use their legs separately when they swim.
Elephants are equally fascinating
Most animals do not recognize themselves when they look in a mirror. However, elephants and a few other species know the reflections are themselves. Some of the other species that passed the mirror test include orcas, dolphins, some of the higher primates, and get this, magpies! But how did researchers test elephants to check their reactions when they looked at their own reflections?
The mirror test
For the elephant’s mirror test, researchers placed a colossal mirror where the elephant moved about. The massive animal could see the reflection of its entire body. She spent a lot of time parading and checking herself from all angles, using her trunk to explore the mirror view and then herself. Then, researchers made a white chalk cross on the side of the elephant’s forehead.
She stood in front of the enormous mirror and spotted the white cross immediately. However, she did not try to touch the cross on the elephant in the mirror. Instead, the elephant used her trunk to touch and explore the mark on her own forehead. She knew perfectly well that the reflection in the mirror was hers. She used the mirror to help her navigate her trunk to the cross on her forehead. How amazing is that?
Did you know?
Of all mammals, elephants are the only ones that can’t jump.
Elephants can swim long distances, and they walk at a speed of about 40km/h or 25mph. When African elephants run, their top speed could be as high as 25km/h (15mph). Asian elephants are faster. They can run at speeds of 40km/h or 25mph. However, technically, elephants don’t run because they always have one foot on the ground. So, they’re actually just very fast walkers.
When last have you spent time exploring the magnificence of God’s creations?