- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Recent studies have found that a kangaroo's tail provides more than just balance for the wild, Australian outback animal.
Recent studies have found that kangaroo tails have more muscles and a more intricate bone structure, which raises questions as to how active a role their tails play in their walking abilities.
Along with the larger muscles and bone structure, there is also a greater density of mitochondria - the powerhouse of the cell - within the tail's structure, reports Huffington Post. This may suggest that the tail is designed to do great amounts of work, much more than simply 'balancing' the kangaroo.
To conduct further research, Maxwell Donelan, a biomedical engineer at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada, and other colleagues filmed five red kangaroos. They watched as the kangaroos appeared to use their tails as "fifth" legs while travelling across the grass within the laboratory, reports Tech Times.
Male kangaroos have been seen as using their tails as counterbalances while fighting other males for reproductive dominance. This evidence, and the new research surrounding the use of their tails as they travel, helps researchers understand more of the natural adaptations that kangaroos, and other species have.