The kangaroo – the unofficial symbol of Australia and the gold coins

Features and habitat of the kangaroo

There are many different animals on our planet, but without the kangaroo, life on Earth might be less interesting. The kangaroo is a marsupial and there are over fifty species in its genus. Kangaroos live in many dry areas of the world. There are very many of them in Australia. By the way, these animals have long ago adapted to life in countries where winters are quite cold and snowdrifts sometimes reach the waist.

The kangaroo is the unofficial symbol of Australia, and its image is included in the continent’s coat of arms along with the emu ostrich. Apparently, they were included in the coat of arms because these representatives of fauna can only move forward.

In general, it is impossible for a kangaroo to move backwards, as it is hindered by a thick, long tail and massive hind legs, the shape of which is quite unusual. With its huge, powerful hind legs, the kangaroo can leap distances that no other species on earth can.

In extreme cases, a kangaroo can jump up to three meters high and up to 12 meters far. It should be noted that these animals can reach a very high speed of about 60 km per hour, which is more than the current speed of a car in a city. The tail of the animal plays the role of balance, and helps to maintain balance in any situation.

The physique

The kangaroo has an interesting physique. The head, which somewhat resembles that of a deer, is very small compared to the body. The upper part is narrow, the front legs are short, covered with wool, weakly developed and have five toes with sharp claws. The toes are very flexible. Kangaroos can use it to grab anything they want to use for food. The body in the lower part of the animal is much better developed than the upper part of the trunk. The hips, hind legs and tail are massive and strong. The kangaroo’s entire body is covered in thick, short fur that protects it from heat and keeps it warm in cold weather. The color is not too noticeable and there are only a few colors, sometimes ash-gray, brownish and a muted red.

The size of the kangaroo varies greatly. In the wild there are large specimens that weigh up to a hundred kilograms at a height of one and a half meters. However, there are also kangaroo species that are the size of a large rat, a characteristic of kangaroos in the rat family, although they are commonly referred to as kangaroo rats. In general, the world of kangaroos as animals is very diverse, there are even tree-dwelling marsupials, so-called tree kangaroos.

Regardless of the species, kangaroos can only move with their hind legs. When the kangaroo eats plant food in the pasture, it keeps its body in an almost parallel position to the ground – horizontal. When the kangaroo is not eating, it has an upright posture.

It should be noted that kangaroos cannot move their lower limbs in succession, as is common in many other animal species. They move in leaps and push off with both hind legs at the same time. When a kangaroo sets a fast pace, it can’t keep it up for more than 10 minutes and then it’s exhausted.

The secret of bounce

The secret of the kangaroo’s incredible jumping power lies not only in its powerful, massive hind legs, but also in its tail, which, as already mentioned, is a kind of balancing organ. In a sitting position, it provides excellent support, and when the animal is sitting upright, leaning on its tail also relaxes the muscles of its hind legs.

Larger kangaroo species can fend off an attacker, but smaller ones cannot protect themselves or their offspring. Kangaroos usually run away from their pursuers.

But when cornered by a predator, they defend themselves very fiercely. It is interesting to watch a defending kangaroo strike back with a series of deafening blows to its hind legs while “gently” hugging its opponent with its front paws.

Kangaroos have been known to kill dogs with a single blow, while humans can end up in the hospital with various broken bones.

Character and lifestyle of the kangaroo

Kangaroos are classified as social animals. They usually gather in groups of up to 25. However, rat kangaroos and also mountain wallabies, relatives of the kangaroo family, are naturally solitary and do not live in groups. Smaller species prefer to be active at night, but larger species may be active at night or during the day. However, when the heat subsides, the kangaroos usually graze in the moonlight. Because of the primitive nature of animals and their underdeveloped brains, there are no leaders. However, kangaroos have a strong instinct for self-preservation. As soon as one of his relatives signals an impending danger, the entire herd disperses. The animal gives the signal with its voice and its cry is very reminiscent of the cough of an inveterate smoker. Nature has endowed marsupials with good hearing so that they can perceive even quiet signals from a reasonable distance.

Larger kangaroo species can fend off an attacker, but smaller ones cannot protect themselves or their offspring. Kangaroos are not what you would call foolhardy, they usually run away from their pursuers. But when cornered by a predator, they defend themselves very fiercely.

Kangaroos are known to kill dogs with a single blow, while humans can end up in the hospital with various broken bones.

Kangaroo reproduction and life expectancy

Kangaroos do not have an actual breeding season. They can mate throughout the year.

From time to time, the males engage in a mating contest from which the victorious animal emerges. The gestation period lasts only 40 days.

The most amazing thing is that the offspring is born as a practically undeveloped embryo, but instinct makes it find its own way into the mother’s pouch. His mother helps him a little on his first trip by licking his fur, but he does the rest on his own. Once the young reaches the mother’s warm pouch, it spends the first two months of its life there. The female is able to control the pouch by tensing her muscles. For example, it can close the pouch chamber when it rains so that the water does not wet the baby kangaroo.

Kangaroos can live an average of fifteen years in captivity. However, there are cases when the animal lived 25-30 years.

Australia Nugget / Kangaroo Gold Coins

The Australian Nugget is among the most popular gold bullion coins in the world along with Krugerrand, Maple Leaf, American Eagle, China Panda, Britannia, Vienna Philharmonic and Buffalo.

Kangaroo gold nugget

Original title: Australian Gold Nugget

Country: Australia

Issued by: Perth Mint

Start of production: from 1986

Fineness: 999.9 (24ct)


The obverse of the coin shows the name of the coin, the kangaroo, the year and the gold content.

Back cover:

The reverse features Queen Elizabeth II, the current monarch of Australia, the face value of the coin, and the words “Elizabeth II and Australia”.

The kangaroo on the nugget

The Australian Nugget is one of the most interesting gold bullion coins in the world. It is one of the few coins whose obverse is redesigned every year. The coin has the double name, because it originally contained a nugget. From 1990 until today it shows the kangaroo, the symbol of Australia. Every year the appearance of the kangaroo changes, which also increases the numismatic value of the coin. The appearance of the kangaroo can be different and the background also changes every year. The coin has limited circulation.

The Australia Nugget / Kangaroo Gold Coins was introduced in Australia due to the import ban on the Krugerrand bullion coin. Originally, the coin was called “Australian Nugget” because it featured a different nugget every year. Among them was the Welcome Stranger, the largest gold nugget found in the Australian town of Moliagool in 1869, weighing 72 kg. Since 1990 the coin shows a kangaroo and was renamed “Australian Nugget/Kangaroo”. From this point on, the coin began to gain popularity.

The Australia Nugget / Kangaroo gold coins come in a variety of sizes including the common sizes of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, ¼ oz , 1/10 oz and more exotic sizes such as 2 oz, 10 oz and 1 kilo.

Kangoroo at Sunset

In 2007, the Royal Australian Mint released the first “Kangaroo at Sunset” gold coin. Then in 2017, for the 10th anniversary, this Kangaroo at Sunset was released as a special edition.

The obverse shows the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley. The reverse shows a kangaroo in the distance while the sun sets in the background. A large kangaroo shadow appears in the lower half of the coin. The number “10” is on the right side of the coin, denoting the 10th year that the Royal Australian Mint has been producing the “Kangaroo at Sunset” coins.

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