I love Australian animals! especially marsupials. Not all marsupials live in Australia (we have opossums right here in California) and not all Australian animals are marsupials (they have lots of unusual birds, reptiles, and insects, too!), but if you are curious about these unusual animals, Australia is the place to go.
Marsupials are mammals with pouches, such as kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and bandicoots. Just saying those names make me smile. The big difference between marsupials and other mammals is that marsupials keep their developing youngsters in pouches.
An infant marsupial is known as a joey. The joey is born after only 4 or 5 weeks, when it is still essentially a fetus. The blind, furless, miniature newborn crawls across its mother’s fur to make its way into the pouch where it latches onto a nipple for food. It will not re-emerge for several months, during which time it develops fully. After this period, the joey begins to spend time out of the pouch, feeding and learning survival skills. However, it returns to the pouch to sleep, and if danger threatens it will seek refuge in its mother’s pouch for safety.
Want to see more marsupials, and learn about these marvelous creatures? Come to the next Thursday Kids’ Activity for an Australian Walkabout. We’ll be visiting our friends Down Under at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 16th. All ages are welcome!
Posted by Nancy, who hasn’t been to Australia—yet.