Inside Nature's Giants: Kangaroo
The vast expanse of the Outback is home to millions of these bounding giants – some stand two metres tall - but sadly, every year thousands are fatally injured in traffic accidents. Veterinary scientist Mark Evans and comparative anatomist Joy Reidenberg take the opportunity to delve inside these bizarre animals.
They uncover the kangaroo’s lower jaw that splits in two and a massive Achilles tendon that enables it to hop like a frog. But it’s the reproductive anatomy they find most surprising: the male genitalia is back to front, whilst females boast three vaginas and a pouch in which they grow their young from jelly-bean sized embryos.
Meanwhile, Simon Watt heads into the Blue Mountains, just outside Sydney, to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin. Back in 1836, when the young naturalist visited Australia, he wondered why the animals there where so different to those back home. Joined by Darwin’s great, great grandson, Christopher - Simon goes in search of some of these other creatures - a bird which decorates its nest with an assortment of blue ornaments – from clothes pegs to bottle tops - and a primitive mammal that lays eggs like a reptile. Christopher explains how these animals and the great island they live on played a crucial role in developing his ancestor’s heretical ideas on evolution.