Our native animals include an extremely large number of species. And while the marsupials and monotremes are the ones that make the country's biodiversity so distinctive, there are also the birds and the dingo.
Emu is a native bird of Australia, and its largest one. It cannot fly.
It feeds on insects, seeds and grass.
In the emu world, it is the father who raises the family. The female lays the eggs and walks away.
The father sits on the eggs and then cares for his off-springs. He teaches them to look for food, run and swim and protects them from airborne predators or those on the ground.
The Southern cassowary is a bird that lives in Queensland. It is smaller than the emu but still a very large bird and does not fly.
Its preferred food consists of flowers, fruit, seeds. But it is not a vegetarian bird. It also eats insects, small animals such as frogs, birds, rats.
Unlike most other animals, the females are bigger and more colourful than the males. Some can be up to 1.75 metres tall and can weigh up to 60 kg.
Cassowaries are good runners and can swim in rivers or in the ocean. They do not like to hang in groups, they are quite lonely.
Females lay several eggs but it is their partner who takes care of the eggs for 7 - 8 weeks. Dads feed the young ones and are very protective of them.
With a declining number of rain forests in Queensland the number of cassowaries is going down too.
The birds are shy but also dangerous. Their feet have three toes with strong claws. The middle claw is particularly long and sharp...don't get too close to a cassowary.
Check out this website about Cape York to find more information about the cassowary bird and its natural habitat.
Kookaburra - the laughing bird
Their call sounds like a burst of laughter.
Kookaburras are perfectly adapted to the bush where they live. With their brown and white feathers they are hardly visible.
But you can hear their distinctive loud laugh.
They like a good piece of meat, so watch your steak if you are having a barbeque in the park or bush. The kookaburra can easily steal it from your plate.
The Australian Dingo is a wild dog similar to a wolf. They have short brown, reddish hair and are generally nocturnal animals. They eat small kangaroos, wallabies, rats, possums. They are also scavengers and feed on carcasses.
Dingos live in small packs and are very territorial, chasing and killing members of other packs.
Breeding season happens once per year, usually in autumn (between March and up to June). The couple leading the pack have about 5 pups who are raised by the whole pack.
Click the images below to learn more about animals, native or not, and see where you can have close encounters with them.