Unique Australian Animals


So what are the unique Australian animals?

We all know that thanks to the isolation of the continent of Australia, a lot of animals developed here in a different way from the rest of the world.


Or more correctly, they got to keep their uniqueness since no other, more successful animals got to come here to outcompete them and take over.
 
The Duckbill Platypus (Ornithorhynchus Anatinusis)
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This is true, partly. Not all Australian animals are unique - there are also the introduced ones that are found elsewhere, but luckily just not enough to destroy the unique fauna.

The Short-Beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus Aculeatus) Is One of Three Species of Egg Laying Mammals
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The most unique Australian animals are of course the monotremes platypus and echidna. They are not only unique by Australian standards, in fact they are the most unique animals in the world.

Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs. Now this is really against the definition of mammals, but on the other hand how would you classify them as reptiles because they do produce milk and they do have fur. There used to be more of them, but platypus and echidna are the only survivors, and they are only found in Australia, except that two other species of echidna is also found in New Guinea. It cannot get more unique.

Juvenile Koala (Phascolarctos Cinereus). Brisbane, Australia
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The other group of unique animals are marsupials. Even though there are some marsupials also found in South America and New Guinea, Australia has by far the most and the species we have here are not found on other continents.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo (MacropusGiganteus) Joey and Mother, Wilson's Promontory Nat'lPark, Australia
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Marsupials are the animals with a pouch, they don't have a placenta like most other mammals, and their young is born tiny, then grows bigger inside the pouch. Kangaroos are the most obvious example as the pouch is well visible, however koalas, wombats, and possums all have a pouch too.

Dingo (Canis Familiaris) Drinking, South Australia
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Our dingo is also unique, although it is a placental mammal, it was introduced a very long time ago by Aboriginal People, and is not found anywhere else in the world.

Emu, Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia, Australia, Pacific
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The most unique of our birds is emu. There are other ratites (ostriches etc) found on other continents, but emu is native to Australia.

Saltwater Crocodile or Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus Porosus) Underwater
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Our most unique reptile is the saltwater crocodile - the largest crocodile in the world and a man eater. We also have many unique turtles, frogs and insects.

Clownfish Burrow in the Tentacles of a Magnificent Sea Anemone
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And finally, we have the world's largest coral reef with many unique species found nowhere else in the world.

















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