The female kangaroo’s famous pouch isn’t just a pocket where its baby roo can grow and ride. This pouch just might be “the ultimate nursery” for a kangaroo’s baby as it grows from an underdeveloped jellybean-size newborn to a furry, hopping joey.
Science Insider reveals the complexities of what’s inside a kangaroo’s pouch, a sort of second womb that can stretch, expand, contract, feed, and warm the baby for eight months of growth and eventual independence. From the video:
That rapid growth is thanks to the pouch’s four nipples, which spout milk that contains germ-fighting antibodies to keep the little roo from getting sick.
But that’s just the start. You see, the nutrient levels change to meet the baby’s needs as it ages. For example, sulfur, a major building block of hair, peaks around three months in. That’s the same time the baby starts growing fur.
The best part? Mom can produce multiple types of milk at the same time, each squirting from its own nipple. So she can suckle two babies in different age groups simultaneously.
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