Kangaroos are vicious

In the February 1876 issue of Popular Science, it is mentioned that kangaroos, when threatened, will clasp their short, powerful fore-limbs around their antagonist, then will hop away with it to the nearest water-hole, and there keeping it beneath the water until drowned.

Was this something that was actually believed at the time, or was the author of the article pulling a fast one?

Sounds a lot slower and more dangerous (from the kangaroo’s point of view) than just kickboxing it to death on the spot.

Nah they will balance on their tail, jump up and rip your guts out with their back legs! I have seen this happen to a dog and it has anecdotally happened to people.

Their foreams are tiny.

Mean fuckers when they want to be!

It’s a misunderstanding.

A kangaroo pursued by dogs will often seek refuge in water. They do that because they are unassailable to dogs in water. Being much taller than dogs, roos can and do attempt to drown dogs in water by holding their heads under.

What they do not do is pick dogs up and carry them to water to drown them. That makes no sense at all. If a a roo can get a good enough grip on a dog to pick it up, the dog is dead. Roos are indeed vicious creatures, and those hind legs are equipped with a wicked claw. If a roo can get a grip on a dog, or a human, it simply brings the hind leg up and neatly rips the victim open, an then drops it.

Carrying a victim to water at that point is redundant.

Like hell they are. The forearms of a kanagaroo are massive.

While they are only about 3/4 the length of a human arm, they have a musculature that no human could hope to achieve even with extensive steroid use.

Because roos have large hindlegs and are designed bottom heavy, people who have never seen one up close seem to assume they have small fore limbs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Male kanagaroos are wretslers, and they are built like wrestlers, with huge muscular arms. If a roos gets a hold of you, you are not getting free in a hurry.

G-g-g-g-giant mouse!

I looked on Wikipedia and it claims only one confirmed human death by roo, a man who tried to get his dog out of a fight with a roo and lost. But yeah, looks like you want to avoid that hind claw. At least they aren’t poisonous like a platypus’.

Some morepicturesof kangarooarms.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

I don’t doubt that kangaroo forearms are more useful than I originally thought, but I have never seen a photo of a kangaroo lifting or grabbing something heavy with its arms.

It’s yer wallaby what has the small arms.


  1. The point I was addressing is the misconception that the arms are small. they are not, they are at least as large as human arms.

  2. Since this is your first post in this thread, I have no idea how useful you originally thought the arms to be. However if you think they are of limited utility, perhaps you should ask yourself this simple question: What are all those huge muscles for? Animals don’t develop huge, energy consuming muscles that have no utility.

  3. These are kangaroos, not primates. The arms are not designed to lift or carry. What does a kangaroo ever need to lift or carry? You won’t find many photos of a buffalo or an eagle or a wolf lifting or grabbing something heavy with its forelimbs either. Does that mean that buffalo, eagle and wolf forelimbs are tiny and less useful than you thought? Kangaroo forelimbs are designed primarily to push and swipe. If you want photos of them dong that with impressive force, well, here, knock yourself out. I personally like this shot to give some idea of the power involved. Or this oneshowing the aftermath

I misunderstood this sentence. When you talked about a kangaroo getting a grip on a dog, did you mean the kangaroo bending over and pinning the dog on the ground? On first reading I imagined a kangaroo lifting a dog, to get the belly exposed, and then kicking it.

I’m nor sure if this is a joke, but in case it isn’t, the reponse is no.

Wallabies have the same basic proportions as kangaroos. While most wallabies are smaller than most kangaroos, the arms are, if we can generalise, proportionally larger in relation to their bodies.

Everyone knows that enraged kangaroos put you in their pouch and then drown you - they keep their arms free to box off any potential rescuers as they leisurely make their way to the watering hole, often stoppping for a Foster’s on the way.

A dog, to a water-hole, for drowning.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Holy crap! Those arms are about fifty timers more powerful than I expected. And these are the shy herbivores??

Yeah they are muscular but compared the the back legs they are small, maybe not tiny but it was light hearted.

They are still mean fuckers though!


No, kangaroos fight by standing on their tails and swinging the hindlimbs. Against dogs they try to get their backs against a tree or a patch of thorny brush. The dogs can’t attack the low sections because of the reach of the legs, so they then forced to jump to get at the head or neck, and the roo then grabs the dog and kicks. This old illustration gives the basic impression of what happens when a kangaroo fights dogs.

They can certainly grab dogs (or humans) that are stupid enough to get within arms length, and when they do grab they will kick. But they would never reach down to grab an attacker. That is pointless when their own primary weapon is located at ground level. They rely on the attacker bringing themselves within reach of the arms and then holding them while the hindlegs are brought to bear.

And lest anybody think that kangaroos have useless arms and are incapable of inflicting serious injuries or drowning people or dogs: think again.


Of course!

Australian Clue:

Kangaroo, with its forearms, in the watering hole.