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Stylized illustration of two kangaroos facing each other.

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When the explorer James Cook and his crew first arrived in Australia in 1770, an indigenous tribe used the word ‘gangurru’ in referencing these strange creatures. The kangaroo would go on to become an emblem of Australia, appearing on the new nation’s coat of arms, air force, currency, and stamps and as logos for sports teams and a wide variety of companies.

Kangaroos are marsupials belonging to the macropod family, which means ‘big foot’ in Latin. This family includes the formidable red kangaroos, the smaller grey kangaroos, and the much smaller wallabies, potoroos, and tree kangaroos. 


National Museum Australia. (n.d.). Defining symbols of Australia- kangaroo. https://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/defining-symbols-australia/kangaroo

Catalog ID AR0235