Kangaroo Birth Video Kangaroo Baby Joey Birth Shown

Kangaroo baby joe crawling to mother's pouch

Photo: Kangaroo joey is only the size of a jelly bean

The baby kangaroo, referred to as a joey, is not born in its mother's pouch. Instead, it is born through the mother's birth canal ( cloaca) near her tail. Just before the baby's birth, the mother kangaroo licks the inside of her pouch clean. She also licks the fur leading from her pouch to the birth canal, providing a trail for the young kangaroo to follow.

Kangaroo baby compared to a jellybean

Photo: Kangaroo joey compared to a jelly bean

The young kangaroo is born blind, hairless, with stumpy forelimbs and hardly any trace of its hind legs. It is no larger than a jelly bean, at just 2 cm (0.79in) in size, and weighs less than one gram (0.035oz). Even though it is still very underdeveloped, the young joey has an excellent sense of smell and direction. Once it emerges from the mother's birth canal, the young kangaroo uses its tiny forelimbs in a swimming motion to slowly climb up its mother's fur to her pouch. This journey takes about three minutes. The joey's journey is made entirely by itself. The mother does not assist it in any way.

baby kangaroo joey compared to a jellybean

Photo: Kangaroo joey crawling to its mother's pouch

Once inside its mother's pouch, the joey quickly attaches itself firmly to one of four nipples in her pouch and stays hidden for about six and a half months.

What is a Kangaroo?