153 Australian Wildlife Facts: Uniqueness, Native Animals And More | Kidadl


153 Australian Wildlife Facts: Uniqueness, Native Animals And More

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Even though most of the Australian continent is semi-arid, it consists of a diverse range of habitats, from alpine to tropical rainforest.

Australia is one of the very rare places that is considered both a country and continent. It is the seventh-largest continent and the sixth-largest country.

It is habitat to about 2,00,000 - 3,00,000 different species of animals. Australia is the largest area in the continent of Australia/Oceania. The place consists of a wide range of beauty such as plateau with deserts, rangelands, and more. But what makes its wildlife so unique is its wide range of never-before-seen wildlife spread all over. As a matter of fact, it is so one-of-a-kind that a lot of people are unaware of some; some are not even discovered yet, and some are on the verge of discovery. This extraordinary thing about the place is one of the many reasons that induce curiosity and attract tourists from all over the world. It introduced species that had never been seen before.

Facts About Australia's Wildlife

Australia's position in the temperate zone is especially conducive to the existence of the varied fauna.

The Red Kangaroo is the national animal of Australia. Four different species of kangaroos can be found in Australia. The Red Kangaroo, the Western Grey Kangaroo, the Eastern Grey Kangaroo, and the Antilopine Kangaroo. Out of these, the Red Kangaroo is the largest marsupial and can weigh up to 90 lb (40.82 kg). They are found all over Australia but are mainly seen living in captivity.

The Australian Saltwater Crocodile is referred to as Salties. These Saltwater Crocodiles can grow up to 19.68 ft (6 m) long and weigh up to 1 ton (1000 kg). While searching for prey, Saltwater Crocodiles are able to lie completely still, underwater, or half submerged. The Saltwater Crocodile can hold its breath for an hour and they have transparent eyelids which allow them to find their prey underwater.

If we talk about native wildlife, the one animal that is a native species in Australia is the Wombat. Wombats can grow up to 79 lb (36 kg). Wombats are cute mammals who burrow and sleep underground to stay safe from predators. Wombats are nocturnal marsupials who come out only in the safety of the night to feed. Their diet mainly consists of shrubs, grass, and bushes.

The great whale shark that is found in Australia can grow up to 22.9 ft (7 m). They hunt their prey by detecting vibrations in the water and can sense a drop of blood even from 15.75 ft (4.8 m) away. These whale sharks are found in Western Australia.

Platypus, an egg-laying mammal, is found in eastern Australia. There are different species of Platypus and Echidnas found in Australia that also fall under the egg-laying mammals category.

The emu is one of the bird species in Australia that is recorded as the largest flightless bird and the Australian Bustard is the largest flying bird.

The Tasmanian devil is an endangered animal that can only be found in Tasmania. Some more threatened species other than Tasmanian Devils that are also found in Australia are Quoll, Wombats, Bettong, Woylie, and more.

Baby Koalas are small animals that are also found in Australia which are also known as joeys. They are very cute and people are often drawn to these cuddly babies. They are as small as the size of a jellybean who climb trees, usually with their mother.

The Tasmanian tiger or Thylacine is one of the extinct animals that were native to mainland Australia.

Australian animal Numbat is also one of the distinctive-looking animals that are found there.

Australia also introduced animals such as feral cats that threaten the survival of many animals, over 100 species all over Australia.

As a matter of fact, they have led to the extinction of several species throughout the place. Some of the mentioned animals such as Koala, Dingo, and common brushtail possum, sepia apama, southern right whale, flying foxes are found living in South Australia.

Native Animals To Australia

Australia has a one-of-a-kind range of animals spread all over the place. But there also are also species that are only native to the land and are only found in Australia. Such species that have been already mentioned before in this blog include Quoll, Koala, Platypus, Emu, Kangaroo, Wombat, Tasmanian devil, Echidna, the saltwater crocodile. Other than them more Native Australian animals only found there are Dingo, Quokka, Cassowary, Sugar Glider, Numbat, Bilbies, Cane Toad, and more.

Kangaroos are the first that come to mind when we think of Australian animals. One of the reasons for this is probably because it is the national animal of Australia. It is also the official symbol of Australia. It has a cultural and spiritual significance for many indigenous people of Australia and is hence known as the symbol and national animal of Australia. This native Australian animal falls in the category of macropods, meaning bigfoot are tall strong-built animals and are said to be the largest mammal in Australia.

Wallabies are like the exact replica of Kangaroos and are quite hard to differentiate at first glance. They are a little smaller in size than an average kangaroo. Their hind legs help in differentiating the two.

Tasmanian Devils might look like cute little creatures but are distinguishable due to their terrifying growls, obnoxiously high-pitched screeches, and otherworldly screams. Due to its appearances such as wide jaws, red ears, and sharp teeth, they achieved the name "devil" from the early European settlers.

Wombats that are also native to the Australian lands look like small fluffy bears that grow up to 3 ft (91.44 cm) long and weigh up to 44-77 lb (19.95-34.93 kg). These animals like Kangaroo, Wombat, Koala, Wallabies, Tasmanian Devil, and more all have their own pouches attached to their body known as "marsupium" for their little ones.

Dingo is an Australian animal that looks like a small dog is a controversial species as its origin is quite debated. It is Australia's wild dog that is said to be evolved from an ancient breed of domestic dog that was introduced to Australia. Its origins have been traced back to breeds of domestic dogs in South East Asia.

Similarly, Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos, Ocellaris clownfish, thorny devil, leafy sea dragon are some which have evolved to adapt to the geographical conditions gradually over years in Australia.

The Platypus, as mentioned before, are mammals that lay eggs and are found in the Eastern part of Australia. One fun fact about Platypuses is that it is the only representative of their family and genus, which is Ornithorhynchidae. They are usually found on the banks of Australian coastlines and riverbanks.

Quokkas are another cute-looking animals that have bear-like ears and doe-like tiny eyes that are stated to be the happiest animal found in the Rottnest Island in Western Australia. The size of a Quokka is as big as a house cat. They also possess a pouch in which their little ones grow for six months.

The Emu, the largest bird in Australia, has a very unique diet varying from grasses and leaves to fruits and insects. Sugar gliders that are small arboreal omnivores, nocturnal marsupials that stay in trees are found all over Australia.

Thorny devil dragon is another only species of devil lizard found in Australia. They are a small thorny species of lizard that are famous for their defenses against predators.

Devil lizard also goes by the name of Mountain Devil.

Largest Animals In Australia

Some of the known largest animals in Australia, as some have been mentioned before, are Kangaroo, Emu, Saltwater Crocodile.

Some other animals that also need to be mentioned are Diprotodon, Megalania, Procoptodon, Meiolania, among others.

There are about 55 different species of kangaroos, all varying in size. There are some species that are small while some are large and weigh as much as 198 lb (89.8 kg).

Emu is the largest flightless bird that is as large as 13 ft (3.96 m). Due to its height, it is also one of the fastest creatures on the planet.

Saltwater crocodiles in Australia are the largest living reptile that grows up to the length of 17 ft (5.18 m).

Diprotodon is also stated to be the largest marsupial to ever exist, growing up to 10 ft (3 m) and especially found in New South Wales.

The Megalania is another lizard that has been extinct and was the largest in its family and a giant goanna.

The Procoptodon is a species of kangaroo and is one of the largest known species to have ever lived on the surface of the earth, which grew up to 7-10 ft (2-3 m).

Meiolania is a species of tortoise that grows up to the length of 8.2 ft (2.5 m) and is also another large species in Australia that went extinct quite a long time back as well.

Other than these animals, there are a lot of big-sized insects. These include Earth Worms, Spiders, Ants, Bats, and Cockroaches. The average size of these arthropods is different and larger in size in Australia than in any other part of the world.

Earthworms in Australia are as big as 3-9 ft (0.9-2.7 m) long, spiders have a leg span of 1 ft (0.3 m) across, and ants are as long as 0.5-2.0 in (1.27-5.08 cm). Bats are so big that they can hover around your heads and are known as flying foxes. Cockroaches in Australia are as big as 3 in (7.62 cm).

Australia would be a challenging place for all the Entomophobes out there.

Unique Australian Animals

Australia is known for its unique wildlife because they are found in no other place other than in Australia itself.

The reason for this uniqueness is because of its isolation from the rest of the world. The land of Australia is far from other landmasses which led to the evolution of the animals in isolation in that particular area.

In other places, plant and animal lives intermix with each other to form a new group or to evolve in some ways. Due to the isolation, Australian fauna didn't get the opportunity to do so. And hence it is very one-of-a-kind.

But sometimes these exotic species could be a threat to the Australian wildlife due to their predator-like nature which results in killing the other Australian animals.

In the Australian mainland, there is a species of little beetle known as the Tiger Beetle, also known as Cicindela Hudson, that is the fastest living animal living there. On the other hand, the fastest bird living in Australia is the Peregrine Falcon, which is a bird of prey whose speeds go up to 186.4 mph (300 kph).

It is also the only land to have a spider season. This time of the year some areas of the continent are covered by massive blankets of spider webs that look like snow.

Other than spiders, there are several types of insects that are found in the land of Australia that is beastly beautiful.

Australia is a place where new species of wildlife are discovered every day even now. Some are discovered although there might be a little less information about those, while some are yet to be found. It is quite an adventurous place for researchers but also can be a little risky. So it would be great to learn a lot about this place before visiting and this blog might arm you up for a future visit.

Written By
Srija Chanda

<p>An aspiring media professional, Srija is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication at St. Xavier's University, Kolkata, after completing her degree in journalism. With experience in PR and social media, she has also honed her leadership skills through her participation in a youth parliament. Srija's interests include devouring books, watching movies, and exploring new places through travel.</p>

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