Research Shows Kangaroos Have Five Legs
World’s Deadliest – Kangaroo Kickboxing
Kangaroos are known for their powerful hind legs. While they have a tendency toward quadrupedal movement when grazing, which is a majority of the time, their weaker front legs come off the ground when danger is eminent. When outrunning predators and fighting each other for mates, kangaroos reach speeds of 45mph hopping in bursts and 12 mph jumping at a steady pace. Did I mention their kicks are literally known to kill?
In a recent study published by the Royal Society, a team of researchers found that a “kangaroo’s tail propels and powers pentapedal locomotion.” Simply put, a kangaroo’s tail is its fifth leg.
“The measurements showed that the tail, far from serving as a mere prop, acts like “a motor to lift and help accelerate the kangaroo’s body,” says study co-author Shawn O’Connor of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. That role makes it a leg in all but its name, O’Connor and his colleagues argue,” said National Geographic.
It is an amazing feat for an animal whose ancestors most likely used their lengthy tails for more arboreal pursuits, but the idea that kangaroos are pentapedal is more widely accepted than not.
“The study ‘confirms what I would’ve expected,’ says Harvard University’s Andrew Biewener. ‘They are five-legged animals when they’re using their tail.’”