Mammal Stereotypes - Kangaroos - 18 - Page 1

Boxing, lovable

The idea of a boxing kangaroo originates from the animal's defensive behavior, in which it will use its smaller forelegs (its "arms") to hold an attacker in place while using the claws on its larger hind legs to try to kick, slash or disembowel them. This stance gives the impression that the kangaroo appears to be "boxing" with its attacker.

The image of the boxing kangaroo has been known since at least 1891, in which a cartoon titled "Jack, the fighting Kangaroo with Professor Lendermann" appeared in a Sydney newspaper. The image was inspired by late 19th century outback travelling shows which featured kangaroos wearing boxing gloves fighting against men. American animated shorts The Boxing Kangaroo (1920), Mickey's Kangaroo (1935) and Pop 'Im Pop! (1949) helped establish the concept of a boxing kangaroo as a popular culture cliché.

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