What’s the inside of a kangaroo’s pouch like? © Getty Images

What’s the inside of a kangaroo’s pouch like?

All female marsupials have pouches which house their baby 'joeys' during the foetus' post-birth development stages.

Asked by: David Simpson, Bedgebury

Advertisement

Newborn joeys, also known as ‘jellybeans’, quickly scale a wall of fur to climb into the warmth and safety of their mothers’ cosy pouch. This fleshy pocket is stretchy and slightly sticky, and opens horizontally upwards to lessen the chance of the young falling out. The pouch is hairless inside and contains teats that produce milk of different types to feed joeys of different ages – a clever adaptation to enable offspring to be cared for at different stages of their development.

Every now and then, mothers have to clean their babies’ nursery to ensure it doesn’t become smelly and unhygienic. They do this by licking inside the pouch to remove dirt, poo and urine – a true labour of love.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.