Kangaroos are particularly interesting creatures, and perhaps one of their most recognizable attributes is the pouch on mothers’ bellies that provide a warm and cozy home for young joeys that aren’t big enough to survive on their own.
The kangaroo’s pouch is extraordinary because it works almost like a secondary womb after birth. Once the (extremely) tiny baby joey comes to be, the mother keeps it inside of her pouch, ensuring that it receives the proper warmth and nutrients that it needs until it grows big and strong.
The pouch contains several milk nipples that excrete certain types of milk depending on the baby joey’s age, and another intriguing fact is that the mother can excrete different milk types for two different baby joeys of different age groups. Another fun fact about the kangaroo’s pouch is that it offers the baby joey protection from viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
Baby joeys will use their mother’s pouch until they’re strong enough to stand and hop on their own. The mother ultimately knows when that time comes, and she’ll use specialized muscles inside her pouch to prevent the baby joey from falling out prematurely.
While it doesn’t look like much more than just a sack for a baby joey, the pouch on a mama kangaroo’s belly is much more than that. It’s like a full-fledged nursery.