Australia’s long isolation from other continents has helped evolution
to create some of the most
unique creatures in the world. We have
mammals that lay eggs, carry their young in the pouch
and don’t walk, but bounce across the countryside. If you like animals,
won’t disappoint you. Here is some information on
kangaroos, koalas and many other Australian animals (that are more interesting for travellers -
not every Australian animal is covered!).
Kangaroo. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to
Animals of Australia - Mammals
animals - the only mammals in the world that lay eggs - are only
found in Australia and Papua New Guinea. There used to be more of them
but nowadays only two species remain. PNG has echidnas while Australia
has both of the two species - the duck billed platypus
that lives in
freshwater streams and billabongs; and the hedgehog-looking ant eater echidna,
which is a land animal.
Platypus is found along the eastern coast of Australia, while echidna
is one of the very few species that has adapted to every habitat on
this huge continent, from snowy mountains to dry deserts and steamy
Platypus. Poster by AllPosters. Click
on thumbnail to buy
The second group of Australian mammals are marsupial
animals – so
classified because they carry their young in the pouch (although there
are a few exceptions). While there are some marsupials in PNG and even
South America, Australia has got the world's largest variety of them.
Koala. Poster by AllPosters. Click on
thumbnail to buy
Although the third group of mammals - placental
animals - doesn't originate in Australia, we do have placental
arrived air ways while dugongs,
and sea lions arrived water ways, and are all Australian native
animals. Dingoes were introduced so long ago that
they, too, are most often considered natives.
But then there are the introduced
placentals such as foxes,
rabbits, deer, buffalo, and feral cats, horses, donkeys, pigs, camels
and goats, which are not natives and which all in different ways cause
harm to our ecosystems. Some were wild animals that were released to
the nature out of stupidity, others - ferals - originate from domestic
animals that were brought to Australia as pets or livestock but went
back to the wild. It's impossible to get rid of introduced animals
because without natural enemies they thrive well in their new
Dingo. Poster by AllPosters. Click on
thumbnail to buy
Animals of Australia - Birds
Mammals are not the only interesting group of Australian animals.
Australian birds also amaze with their colours, size, sounds and
smartness. The most sizeable ones are the flightless emu
The largest flying birds are jabirus
while the heaviest ones are pelicans.
The most colourful ones are parrots,
and the smartest ones are cockatoos
- both quite common birds everywhere in Australia – from the streets of
cities to the
most remote outback. The most distinctive sounds are made by
kookaburras - Australia's largest kingfishers.
And Australia's owls
of prey are also large and impressive.
Emu. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy
Animals of Australia - Frogs and Reptiles
Our most famous reptiles are of course the
but we have also got some beautiful geckos,
lizards, dragons, monitors
and goannas. We have got turtles
living in freshwater creeks, swamps and billabongs as well as in the
ocean. And we have some interesting frogs
as well as the introduced cane toad.
Crocodile. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy
Animals of Australia - Insects and Spiders
are not as deadly as they are made to sound, and our insects
are harmless. Some of them grow impressively large, particularly in the
tropics. Cockroaches the size of your thumb, stick insects the size of
your hand, and some of the northern moths
and butterflies are
larger than small
Cairns Birdwing. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy
Animals of Australia - Fish and Coral Reef
Like elsewhere in the world we have plenty of fish, including sharks,
even whale sharks, and we also
have dangerous jellyfish
in northern Australia. But the most colourful fish is found in coral
reef, and Australia has got plenty of it.
Coral reef fish. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy
Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral
reef, which contains 1500 species of coral fish, 4000 types of
clams and snails, and countless other marine
species. And it is not the only coral reef in Australia.
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find words like "traveller", "harbour" and "realise", and they are all
correct in the language used in Australia.
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