Readers’ wildlife photos

May 21, 2019 • 7:40 am

Reader Duncan McCaskill from Canberra sent us a series of photos, à la Eadweard Muybridge, of a kangaroo hopping, and three lagniappe ‘roos. His notes are indented:

Here is a sequence of 7 photos of an Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) hopping. They were taken at about 10 frames per second, so the sequence covers about 0.7 seconds. It is only in contact with the ground in two frames. The photos were taken in open woodland near Canberra, where Eastern Greys are abundant. It looked like it was going at a relaxed, near effortless pace, not flat out. They are beautiful to watch in motion.

1.) Mid flight:

2.)  Coming down – legs forward at full stretch, tail up.

3.) On the ground, legs compressed, tail coming down:

4.) Just about to leave the ground, legs powering off, tail down.

5.) Airborne:

6.) Airborne, legs coming forward, tailing going up:

7.) Mid-flight again:

And here are a few more Kangaroo photos. First, a classic female with joey in her pouch pose:

And a more awkward, but perhaps more typical pose, of a joey that has probably outgrown the pouch but gets as much of itself as it can in anyway:

Finally, a large beefed up mature male:


15 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. It looks like the roo’s tail is used to store energy from the downward path and apply it to the next jump.

    1. Not quite ” Long elastic tendons in the legs store energy as they stretch and then release it to help catapult the animal forward into the next bound.” According to where that came from, they can hop for hours without the high demand for oxygen.
      “locomotion of the kangaroo is a hind-leg hop, also known as a bipedal ricochet”
      bipedal ricochet! oh yeah!

      1. Good link. In the kangaroo section, it says: “The long, heavy tail is used to control balance and propulsion”. Perhaps the balancing is the main thing. It doesn’t say how it influences propulsion.

        1. Weight forward momentum, cornering lol at acute angles? i have seen footage of this as they bound away at high speeds…qi think that tail is part of their mating armory as well, why would you not…

  2. Did you know that a kangaroo can jump higher than a house? There are two reasons. One is that kangaroos have incredibly strong leg muscles and elastic tendons. The second is that houses can’t jump.

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