Unable to run or walk, the Australian kangaroo hops and jumps from 15 to 20 feet at a time at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. The kangaroo's thick muscular tail helps keep the marsupial animal balanced when airborne.
Kangaroos are marsupials, which denotes that the females have a pouch in which their young, or joeys, develop. The animal is a symbol of Australia and important in the country’s culture. The kangaroo uses its fast, efficient means of hopping to travel as it searches for food or water, and to escape natural predators. To move at slower speeds, the kangaroo uses its thick tail as a tripod along with its forelimbs, then moves its hind feet forward. A red kangaroo hops comfortably at about 15 miles per hour and can move at almost 44 miles per hour over short distances.