Australian Animals Facts

Amazing Australian animals you should know about

Australia is known for its exciting and diverse wildlife. There are so many incredible animals in Australia. Due to million-year isolation from the rest of the world, allowed an amazingly diverse group of the animal to evolve in Australia.

Interestingly, more than 80% of Australian animals are native to Australia; in other words, these animals are only found in Australia. Australia has almost 400 mammal species and about 140 species of marsupials. A marsupial is an animal that carries the young in her pouch.

Let's explore some incredible animals in Australia

1. Cane Toad

  • Average Length : 0–15 cm (4–6 inches)
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds (1.3 KGs)
  • TYPE: Amphibians (cold-blooded vertebrate typically living on land but breeding in water)
  • Diet: Omnivorous (that eats food of both plant and animal)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-15 Years in the wild
Australian animals
Cane Toad
The scientific name of Cane Toad is the Rhinella Marina. The cane toad is native to South and mainland Middle America. To fight with sugarcane beetles that were causing harm to sugarcane agriculture and were devouring sugarcane fields, in 1935, Cane toads were released into the Australian ecology.
There was an assumption that the cane toad will help in controlling the destructive cane beetle population, but this resulted in failure at controlling beetle. These Cane toads have successfully mushroomed their numbers, and today they spread over 1 million square kilometres of Australia. The cane toad has poison glands, and the tadpoles are highly toxic to most animals if ingested.

2. Animals in Australia - Kangaroo

Another one of the native animals to Australia, New Guinea is the Kangaroo. It is a very interesting fact that the human population is Australia is around 25 million, whereas the population of Kangaroo is 50 million. The Kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae. “Marsupials have a special pouch where they carry their babies.”

Australian animals
  • Life Expectancy: 6 Years in the wild
  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Macropus Rufus
  • TYPE: Mammals
  • DIET: Herbivore
  • GROUP NAME: Mob
  • AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: Up to 23 years
  • SIZE: Head and body: 3.25 to 5.25 feet; tail: 35.5 to 43.5 inches
  • WEIGHT: 200 pounds
  • A group of kangaroos is called a MOB.
  • Babies of Kangaroos are known as ‘JOEYS
There are four different species of Kangaroo –
  1. Red Kangaroo
  2. The Eastern Grey Kangaroo
  3. The Western Grey Kangaroo
  4. The Antilopine Kangaroo.

3. Australian Animals - Thorny Dragon

The Thorny Dragon, also known as the MOUNTAIN DEVIL, THORNY LIZARD, THORNY DRAGON, and MOLOCH. The scientific name of Thorny Dragon is “Moloch horridus”. Thorny devils are species of small lizards and are native animals to Australia. They live in the arid shrubland and desert of the interior of the continent.

Australian animals
Thorny Dragon
The thorny dragon can grow up to 21 cms in length, and they can live up to 15 to 20 years. Their heads and bodies are covered in densely-packed spikes, and these spikes also help to defend themself from predators.
Thorny devils have a number of defences against predators and specializations for living in the desert. The Thorny Devil feeds on ants, positioning themselves along an ant trail and picking them off with their tongues.
Their method of drinking is even more interesting. They can also absorb water through any part of their body. The tiny channels between the scales of the lizards act like capillaries, bringing water from the ground up to the corner of the mouth (against gravity). This adaption allows them to drink from damp sand and dew from plants on cool, early mornings.

The interesting fact of the thorny dragon is they can change the colour of their body. In warm weather, the thorny dragons are usually pale yellow and red, but they can change rapidly to darker colours in cold weather or when alarmed.

They undergo this colour change daily as the sun rises and they become more active. In the cool morning, thorny lizards are a drab olive-brown and get lighter as the temperature increases.

4. Sydney Funnel-Web Spider

The Sydney funnel-web spider is the Most Venomous of all Spiders. They are native to eastern Australia. These spiders prefer to make a home in shady, coll, and humid places. The natural habitats are rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests.

Australian animals
Sydney Funnel-Web Spider
There are over 40 species of funnel-web spiders. The Sydney funnel-web has a body length ranging from 1 to 5 cm (0.4 to 2 in)and colour ranging from black to brown. The Sydney funnel-web spider’s diet consists mostly of insects, although items as large as frogs and lizards may also be taken.
Unlike many other spiders where the most toxic venom lies within the female, the male Sydney Funnel-web spider holds venom up to six times more toxic. Male Sydney Funnel-web has a component in their venom called Robustoxin (d-Atracotoxin-Ar1) which the females lack.
This toxin is the chemical that makes these spiders so dangerous to humans. Though there is one interesting fact that for some unknown reason, this chemical affects primates (humans and our relatives the monkeys and apes) severely, but has relatively little effect on other mammal species.

The venom of these spiders is used to create anti-venom, and that is why after 1981 no human death has been reported due to the bite of Sydney funnel-web spider.

5. Australian Animals - EMU

The Emu is the tallest native bird in Australia and the second tallest bird in the world after the ostrich. EMU has TWO eyelids. One eyelid is used for blinking, while others prevent dust and sand to enter the eyes.

Australian animals
EMU
  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Dromaius novaehollandiae
  • TYPE: Birds
  • DIET: Omnivore
  • AVERAGE LIFE SPAN: 10 to 20 years in the wild
  • SIZE: 5.2 to 6.2 feet high
  • WEIGHT: 66 to 100 pounds
  • Emu eggs are dark green.
  • Once the eggs are laid, it is up to the male Emu to sit on them for roughly eight weeks.

6. Australian Animals - Koala

Australian animals
Koala
  • Koalas are native to Australia.
  • Koalas are found in the Eucalyptus forests of the east coast of Australia.
  • Although Koalas are often called bear just because they look like a cute teddy bear, but actually they are not bear.
  • Like kangaroo, Koala are also marsupials.
  • Food: Koala’s favourite food is eucalyptus leaves, and they can eat up to 1 kg of leaves every day.
  • Average Lifespan: 20 years in the wild.
  • Size: 2-3 feet
  • Weight: Around 20 pounds
  • Because of low energy, Koala sleeps a lot. They can sleep up to 18 hours a day.
  • The 2019–20 Australian bushfire, also known as the Black Summer, severely affected the overall number of Koala in Australia. Even many Koalas that survived the flames died from smoke inhalation, dehydration, starvation, and other hazards
australian_animals

7. Eastern Blue Tongued Lizard

Blue tongued-lizard are native to Australia. They are found in Australia and New Guinea. This lizard is a subspecies of large skink.

Blue tongued lizards are famous for the tongue that can range from bright to dark blue. When they are threatened by their predator, they stick out their large blue tongue and hiss loudly to surprise and confuse the predator.

Australian animals
Eastern Blue Tongued Lizard
  • Length: up to 60 cm
  • Weight: 280-510 G
  • Lifespan: maybe in access of 20 years.
  • Habitat: rainforests, grasslands, forests, and deserts
  • Diet: They are omnivorous, and they eat a wide variety of animals and plants

8. Australian Animals - Dingo

Dingo is known as an Australian wild dog. Dingos are considered as a subspecies of the wolf. Dingoes breed once in a year usually between March and June and like domestic dogs, their gestation period is approximately nine months.

Dingoes are Australia’s largest terrestrial predator. Unlike dogs, Dingoes rarely bark. Like the wolf, dingos also communicate with each other through howling.

Due to the crossbreeding with domestic dogs, their pure genetic strain is gradually being compromised.

Australian animals
Dingo
  • Type: Mammals
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Size: 3.5 to 4 FT.
  • Weight: 22-35 Ponds

9. The Inland Taipan Snake

The Inland Taipan Snake is found in Australia, and this snake has the most toxic venom of any land snake in the world. It is estimated that one bite of the Inland Taipan snake possesses enough lethality to kill at least 100 fully grown males. This snake is not considered as the deadliest snake in the world because it lives in remote locations, and seldom comes in contact with people.
Australian animals
The Inland Taipan Snake
  • Genus Oxyuranus
  • Species microlepidotus
  • Length Up to 2.5 meters
  • Weight 1 – 2 kilograms
  • Diet Carnivore
  • Incubation Approx. 60 days

10. Australian Animals - Echidnas

Echidnas, sometimes known as SPINY ANTEATERS. They are the only monotremes in the world, which means that they are egg-laying mammals. Echidnas are actually toothless mammals, but they use their long, sticky tongues to feed themselves.

Their tongues work very quickly, enabling them to slurp up ants, worms, and insect larvae. When frightened, the echidna rolls into a small ball to protect itself.

Australian animals
Echidnas

Hope you enjoyed this Australian Animals facts article.

Resources: 1 , 2, 3

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