Animals in Australia - Unlike Any Other

Animals in Australia are so different.

They include marsupials and monotremes.

  • The marsupials give birth to under-developed babies and carry them in a pouch until they grow a bit.
  • The monotremes are mammals that lay eggs. They are also known as living fossils.

Kangaroos - the Most Popular Animals in Australia

Kangaroos are probably the most famous Australian animals. They are strong marsupials who hop rather than run. Their babies, called joeys, live in their mothers's pouch and drink her milk during their first year.

animals in australia - kangaroo

Kangaroos are night-time animals.

They feed on grasses or leaves in the evening or at night and rest during the day. They avoid the heat by resting in the shade.

Kangaroos are good swimmers but don't like the water. They would only get in and swim if chased.

The kangaroo and the emu are the two Australia animals that appear on the country's coat of arms.

Australian Wallaby

animals in australia - kangaroo

Wallabies are quite similar to kangaroos but smaller.

There are a lot of wallaby species, which include the red-necked and the rock wallabies.

They feed at night on leaves and grass. Just like kangaroos they like to rest in shade and lick their body to keep cool.

Red-necked wallabies don't necessarily have just their neck red. Some can be red all over.

Swamp wallabies have a darker fur to protect them in the wetter bush areas where they live.

The Agile wallabies, true to their name, move very quickly. They live in the tropical northern Australia.

animals in australia - rufous hare wallaby

The Rufous Hare wallabies look and move like a hare.

They live in western Australia but their numbers have declined due to predators (foxes and wild cats), and change in their habitat.

The Cute Koala

Koala is a family's favourite among Australian animals. It is always a winner if you take your kids to the zoo or wildlife parks. Koalas are small marsupials that live in gum trees. Their babies or joeys come out of the maternal pouch and start feeding on gum leaves when they are about 6 months old. But they stick around their mothers for another 6 months. Baby koalas love hanging on their mother's back.

animals in australia - koala

The adults can eat about 1 kilo of leaves per day. And they get their water needs from the moisture of these leaves.

Koalas have excellent abilities to climb, run, swim or leap but they are very lazy. They love eating and sleeping.

Koalas sleep between 18 to 20 hours a day. And they sleep in what any human would consider a very uncomfortable position: between two thin branches at the top of a tree.

The Tasmanian Devil - An Endagered Species

The Tasmanian devil is the "largest" carnivore marsupial in Australia. It looks like a small dog but it has strong teeth. Its screams are frightening.

However the Tassie devil is a shy animal. It was hunted by dingoes and disappeared from mainland Australia. Now it lives only in Tasmania and it is one of the protected animals in Australia.

Recently the devils have been hit by a fatal disease. To keep this endangered species alive, Taronga Zoo Sydney launched the Tassie Devil Appeal.

animals in australia - Tasmanian devil

The Big Tassie Devil

Here is a giant sculpture of the Tasmanian devil, built and decorated with recycled plastics and cans, each taking the shape of Australian wild flowers.

Many kids helped create the sculpture in Hyde Park in Syndey for the Sydney Festival in January 2009.

Other Animals in Australia

animals in australia - wombat

Wombats are marsupials.

Mothers keep their babies in the pouch for 2 years.

Nocturnal animals, wombats sleep during the day and search food at night.

They feed on grass and tree roots.

animals in australia - koala

Flying foxes are also known as fruit bats. During the night they eat the fruit and flowers of Australian native plants.

They look fierce when you see them wrapped in their dark wings hanging from trees upside down. But if you can take a closer look at their faces, the flying foxes are actually quite cute.

Babies drink their mother's milk and start flying when they are 2 months old.

Animals in Australia - Some are Living Fossils

animals in australia - koala An echidna looking for some ants

Echidnas are an unusual species of mammals who lay eggs - the monotreme. They keep their babies in a pouch. Echidnas have spines that protect them from predators. They feed on ants and termites.

The other monotreme who lays eggs is the platypus. It lives both in water and along the banks of the rivers as it needs to breathe air. The platypus feeds on crayfish and worms.

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