List of Popular Animals Native to Australia

Animals Native to Australia
Photo by judithscharnowski

Australia has a unique geography and climate making it home to some very unusual creatures. There are over 200,000 species of animals native to Australia, which means there are plenty of interesting creatures to see. And even though they aren’t always considered cute or cuddly, they are fascinating nonetheless.

The country also boasts diverse environments, from tropical rainforests to deserts, mountains, and beaches. Also, there are many exciting places to visit, such as The Pinnacles, Gold Coast, and the Blue Mountains, so you might want to add to your bucket list!

Animals Native to Australia

1. Koala

Koalas or Koala bears are large marsupials that live in trees. Their fur is brownish-grey with white fur on the bottom, chest, ears, and inner arms. There are two species of koalas: the northern or Queensland koala and the southern koala.

Koalas are herbivores and eat eucalyptus leaves containing flavonoids and other nutrients. They sleep 18 hours daily and spend time eating, sleeping, grooming, and playing.

Also, they use their back paws to groom themselves and get rid of ticks and their front claws for gripping and climbing. 

These animals are nocturnal and are active at night. They are solitary creatures and do not make any sound while sleeping. Lastly, koalas are protected under Australian law meaning anyone who harms or kills them can face fines and jail time.

2. Kangaroo

A kangaroo is a marsupial native to Australia. They are famous for their hopping ability, jumping from tree to tree. Meanwhile, they use their tails to balance themselves while they hop. These animals might look funny because they have long hind and short front legs. 

Kangaroos have a third eyelid, called nictitating membranes, that protect their eyes from flying debris and insects. Also, they are herbivores, meaning they eat plants, flowers, moss, and insects.

You can categorize them as social animals because they live in groups called mobs, where they groom and protect each other.

A female kangaroo gives birth once a year. They have a pouch at their rear end where joeys (baby kangaroos) live until they are about twelve months old. When the joey is ready to leave the pouch, it crawls onto the ground and begins eating solid foods.

Kangaroos are brilliant animals. They use sounds and gestures to communicate with one another. Also, they recognize humans and can communicate when they need help.

One interesting thing to know is that kangaroos’ skin is considered a luxury item for making shoes, bags, jackets, and sporting goods. Australia exports an estimated $17 million worth of kangaroos skin each year to Europe and the US.

3. Echidna

The echidnas are monotreme animals native to Australia. Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs rather than give birth to their young ones alive. The echidna has short legs, short limbs, and a long snout which they use to detect danger and search for food. 

Most times, echidnas are confused with hedgehogs because they have a similar look. They both have spikes around their body that protect them from predators; however, they’re two completely different animals. 

Echidnas are carnivores meaning they eat ants, termites, and other insects. They spend most of their time burrowing through dirt or digging tunnels. Finally, these animals can dig themselves into the ground, making them camouflaged by their spikes.

4. Dingo

The Dingo is a wild dog native to Australia. It is a member of the Canidae family and is famous for its intelligence, speed, agility, and hunting skills.

Their body structure is similar to a wolf’s, but they have broader heads and longer muzzles than a typical wolf. These animals are often solitary, while some live in groups of 10 and hunt together.

Dingoes are mainly nocturnal and spend much time resting in caves and hollow trees. They are carnivores and feed primarily on rabbits, rodents, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and carrion.

5. Wombat

Wombats are animals native to Australia. They have short hind legs and muscular front legs. Their fur varies from grey-brown, chocolate brown, glossy black, silver-grey, cream, and sandy.

Wombats are herbivores and eat grasses, leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds, roots, bulbs, bark, fungi, insects, and mosses. They have a special stomach gland that helps them digest these foods easily.

Another interesting thing about these animals is that they have a cubed poop meaning it has a dice-like shape.

Wombats are quite known to be very aggressive animals, and their bite can cause serious injuries. If you see a wombat, don’t approach it or try to pet it. Instead, call your local wildlife rescue service immediately.

6. Crocodile

Crocodiles are reptiles that have been around for over 200 million years. There are over 23 species of crocodiles, including the American alligator, black caiman, Chinese alligator, Cuban crocodile, gharial, and yacare caiman. They live in tropical climates and eat fish, frogs, lizards, birds, and mammals.

Crocodiles are known to have thick skin that helps them protect themselves from predators. Their skin is covered in scales that help keep their body temperature regulated. They excrete small amounts of urea, uric acids, and ammonia.

Crocodiles are cold-blooded animals because their internal temperatures do not change throughout the year. They regulate their body temperature by basking in the sunlight and moving to shaded areas at night.

Crocodile skin is a popular material used for many different products. In fact, crocodile leather is commonly used for shoes, handbags, wallets, belts, purses, and other accessories. Their skin is hard and scaly, making it ideal for use in these types of items.

7. Emu

Emus are large flightless birds native to Australia. They have been domesticated for meat, leather, and oil production since the early 1900s. In the past few years, they have become popular pets due to their docile nature and ease of care.

The emu is a bird similar to the ostrich in size, shape, and coloration. However, the emu is much smaller than the ostrich at around 2-3 feet tall.

Their feathers are brownish black and have a long neck, short legs, and a stiff tail. They also have a thick layer of fat underneath their skin, making them look plump.

Emus are omnivores; they eat fruits, seeds, flowers, nuts, and small vertebrates. They’re also pretty intelligent, curious, and playful. Again, they enjoy playing games with humans and often approach people if they feel threatened.

Emus are excellent pets for children, as they are friendly and easy to take care of. They require little maintenance and are relatively inexpensive to buy. However, you can only get them from a legal supplier and have proof of purchase.

8. Wallaby

The wallaby is one of the animals native to Australia. It is a smallish herbivorous mammal with large hind legs and short forelegs. This animal uses its tail for balance when moving, and its body is covered with fur.

The wallaby’s diet consists mainly of grasses, herbs, shrubs, fruits, ferns, and roots. They spend much time grazing and eating in open fields and plains. Most of them are solitary creature and lives alone except during mating season.

9. Platypus 

The platypus is a monotreme mammal native to Australia. Its name comes from the Greek word meaning ‘bird-like snout.’ It looks like a duck or a beaver, but it lays eggs instead of giving birth to live young.

Platypuses live in freshwater creeks, lakes, farm dams, and slow-moving rivers. Their body is dark brown with a light brown underbelly. They eat worms, larvae, insects, and other invertebrates.

10. Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders are small nocturnal animals native to Australia. They have long slender bodies, short legs, and large eyes. Their fur is soft and silky, which makes gliding easy. They weigh between 120 – 140g and measure approximately 16cm long. 

Sugar gliders have tails that are as long as their body. Their eyes are set close together, and their ears are high on their head. Also, they have a pouch at the end of their stomach where they carry their young.

The sugar glider’s diet consists mainly of tree sap, tree gum, pollen, insects, and fruit. They eat insects whole but consume fruits in pieces. These animals have long tongues, which they use to lick water, juice, and other sweet things.

Sugar gliders communicate using different sounds such as hissing, droning, buzzing, barking, yapping, and screaming sounds. Lastly, they do not make good pets because they’re wild animals, and you can’t domesticate them.

Conclusion

Australia is home to some of the weirdest and most incredible animals. These creatures aren’t always found together and don’t necessarily share habitats. Besides, they’re essential because they play a crucial role in maintaining their ecosystems. Thanks for reading!

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