Last Reviewed and Updated on June 30, 2022
Most people know that kangaroos are excellent jumpers, but can a kangaroo swim as well? Let’s take a look at what kangaroos are capable of in the water and find out if they’re natural swimmers or not.
Do kangaroos swim?
Yes, kangaroos are able to swim in the water. They have been known to swim for long distances and even across rivers. While they are not the strongest swimmers compared to some other mammals they are still pretty good at it.
They have a swimming reflex and diving reflex as well, if their head is submerged, they will hold their breath and not inhale the water. Kangaroos will maintain their head and necks above the water surface.
They are able to stay afloat and move through the water quite well and they will use their tails to help them propel and better navigate the waters. They will move their tails left and right horizontally, parallel to the water surface.
When they swim, they use their hind legs similar to how dogs use their legs to swim. Their front legs help them in keeping their balance.
They will swim to escape predators, but will also swim in the water on other occasions – either to cross them or to cool down.
Kangaroos will swim both in shallow and deep waters.
Their leg movement is different in water than it is on land
It is worth noting that the leg movement of kangaroos when they swim is completely different to that on land. Underwater a kangaroo will move each foot independently as they paddle forward. On land both hind legs move simultaneously.
How fast can a kangaroo swim?
The speed at which the kangaroos can swim is estimated to be about 3 feet per second / 1 meter per second (from How kangaroos swim). This speed was measured by timing them in a swimming pool, so we can assume if need be they can swim faster.
They can drown other animals
What is more surprising than a kangaroo’s ability to swim is its ability to drown other animals. They will flee into the water if predators chase them in order to escape the predator. But if the predator follows a kangaroo might drown the predator.
Want to learn more about these amazing creatures? Read through this list of fun kangaroo facts.