Kangaroos and their Three Vaginas

The incredible diversity of Australian wildlife is one of the most fascinating things I find about living Down Under. Instead of pigeons making noise in the trees outside my urban apartment, there are tri-colored parrots and cockatoos. On a walk yesterday evening, I saw three of these possums in a tree downtown. Oh yeah, and you can see bats flying around above the parks at night. So. Cool.

The wildlife here is well-known for being different than elsewhere in the world, and kangaroos are no exception. This article by science writer Ed Yong describes how recent research has established that kangaroos and other marsupials have three vaginas and two uteri (As a side note, DO read the comments to the original article as many are LOLworthy). Besides being an awesome piece of trivia to throw around at parties, this fact has fascinating implications for kangaroo offspring. Because of this reproductive configuration, it’s possible for a kangaroo to be perpetually pregnant because of the second uterus. It’s also possible for her to care for the developmental needs of up to three joeys (AKA baby kangaroos) at a time. Talk about a multi-tasking mama.

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About Kate McCombs

Kate McCombs

Kate McCombs, MPH is a NYC-based sex educator + blogger. She's the founder of Sex Geekdom, a global community for sex educators, researchers, and other folks who love having geeky conversations about sex.