Photo by Pierre Pouliquin.

Animal lovers, listen up: I know critters are cute and everything, but you should know that nature is fucking weird. And nothing fucks weirder than kangaroos.

Science blogger to the stars Ed Yong watched a documentary about ‘roo junk so you don’t have to, and here’s what you need to know:

  • Kangaroo testicles are above the penis and “highly mobile.”
  • Kangaroos have three vaginas. The outside two are for sperm and lead to two uteruses. The middle one is for giving birth.
  • The urinary tract goes through the middle of the three vaginas, which may be why joeys are so small (40,000 times smaller than adult kangaroos) — there’s no room for a bigger birth canal with the urinary tract in the way.
  • To go with the two sperm-vaginas, male kangaroos often have two-pronged penises.
  • Because they have two uteruses plus a pouch, female kangaroos can be perpetually pregnant.
Annotated image by Ed Yong.

Also possibly important to marsupial sex lives: Kangaroos can unhinge their lower jaws.

Ed says that the most common response to the news of triplicate kangaroo vaginas has been “don’t tell the Republicans.”