20 Top Facts About Australian Wildlife You Didn’t Know

Did you know that Australia is the smallest continent but has the most diverse habitats and animals that can’t be seen in other parts of the world?

Everything about Australia is unique. From the wildlife to the country. In fact, it is so unique that it’s also a continent and a country. Amazing right?

Additionally, in Australia, you can see the three groups of mammals which are; monotremes, marsupials, and placentals. Fun fact? You can rarely find these three groups of mammals in any other part of the world.

The unusual feature of this country/continent is one of the many factors that piques curiosity and draws visitors from all over the world. In fact, a new species that has never been seen or heard has been introduced in Australia.

Furthermore, the heart of the Australian continent is largely made up of desert and semi-arid areas, while the northeastern region is covered with subtropical rainforest, and the outside regions are surrounded by grasslands and mountain ranges.

And as such, it is recognized as one of the most vital continents on earth for biodiversity. 

In this article, we’d discuss comprehensively on the facts about Australian wildlife that you didn’t even know.

The Facts About Australian Wildlife

Marsupials

More than 330 different types of marsupials exist and Australia is home to about two thirds of them. Most of the remaining third’s residents are in South America.

When a  marsupial is born, they are still underdeveloped. So, they are tiny, blonde, hairless, and have slightly developed hindlimbs. Nevertheless, the forelimbs are fully formed, and the toes are equipped with pointed curved claws. They get to the pouch using these claws, which are often multiples of the length of the one-month-old fetus’s body.

The Australian marsupials can be divided into three groups based on what they consume. They include; Dasyurids, Diprotodonts, and , Peramelemorphs.

Dasyurids

These are groups of marsupials that eat meat. Mammals in this category may include; antechinus, quolls, numbats, dunnarts, Tasmanian devil,s and tigers.

Let’s look at the Tasmanian Devil as an example 

Tasmanian Devil

A marsupial can give birth to up to four young immediately, and it can safely carry them in a pouch for up to four months. 

The Tasmanian devil is nocturnal animals, hence only active at night. They hunt for their prey using powerful jaws and use their teeth to drag their prey.

Unfortunately, the Tasmanian devil is regrettably a threatened species as a result of overhunting.

Peramelemorphs 

This is another group of marsupials that feed on both plants and insects. Therefore they are omnivores. Examples of marsupials in this group are bandicoots and bilbies.

Bilbies

These bilbies are significant wildlife in Australia. They resemble a hybrid of different creatures, with snouts like bandicoots, legs like kangaroos, and ears like rabbits. They also have a lot of distinctive characteristics.

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For instance; unlike other marsupials, the pouch of a female bilby is faced backward. The opening of the pouch is faced toward the hind legs rather than the head in order to prevent dirt and other things out of the pouch when the animal is hunting or burrowing.

Diprotodonts 

The marsupials in this category are solely herbivores. They include; wombats, possums, kangaroos, koalas, etc.

Let’s find out some interesting facts about some of the marsupials in this category.

Wombats

Another animal from Australia that has a very charming appearance is the wombat. Wombats can weigh up to 36 kg.

Additionally, they burrow underground so that they can sleep and also avoid being eaten by predators.

Also, they are nocturnal animals and only go outside to graze when it’s safe. Their meal included grasses and bushes.

Kangaroos

Australia has dry weather and most times the climate here can be unstable. As a result, the kangaroos have learned how to effectively store water in order to survive.

They can even go for a long time without drinking water directly since they get most of their water from the plants they eat.

Another amazing ability of these kangaroos is that they can stay in an environment with a short supply of food. So, in times of scarcity, they can just go into a state of dormancy until there’s a better supply of food.

The Red Kangaroo

This species of kangaroo is the national animal of Australia. Though they are not entirely red per se but rather grayish red.

Do you want to know an amazing fact about the red kangaroo?

Okay!!! The female Red Kangaroo has the rare capacity to put a pregnancy on hold and postpone giving birth to a joey until the atmosphere is hospitable.

What!!

Moving on, there are four different species of kangaroo namely; the red kangaroo, the western gray kangaroo, the eastern gray kangaroo, and the antilopine kangaroo.

The red kangaroo is the biggest cause of these

Species as they can weigh approximately 90 kilograms.

Did you know that the teeth of the kangaroos are replaceable? Once a tooth falls off another set immediately grows back.

Egg Laying Wonders

These are mammals that lay eggs. They are also known as monotremes. There are just two types of mammals in Australia that lay eggs. They are the platypus and echidna.  

The platypus has a captivating duck-like bill and webbed feet. The males have venomous spurs on their hind legs.

Meanwhile, the echidna are very small animals

That can only be found in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea.  They can sometimes be referred to as spiny anteaters. We have two types of echidna; long-beaked and short-beaked echidna.

Furthermore, due to their extreme adaptability, echidnas can be found near the shore in forests, alpine meadows, and deserts. Echidnas cannot stand the heat and as such, they seek refuge in borrow or caves.

Also,  they do not have teeth, rather they have very long tongues that they can use to capture fills and break it down with their hard pads inside their mouth. They enjoy eating termites and beetle larvae.

Finally, when the pregnant female echidna lays eggs into their tiny pouch located in front of her belly, the infant hatches from the egg and feeds on milk patches since the mother doesn’t have nipples.

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Facts About Marine Wildlife

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Saltwater Crocodiles
  • Great White Shark

Great Barrier Reef

Australia is home to the Great Barrier Reef which is located on the northeast coast. It is a place of extraordinary beauty. 

Furthermore, it has the greatest collection of coral reefs in the world with about 400 types of coral, 1,500 different fish species, and 4,000 different types of mollusks, various sea turtles, sharks, and other marine organisms.

Saltwater Crocodiles

There are plenty of these ancient creatures in Australia!

The saltwater crocodiles are referred to as “salties” in Australia. These animals are so big that they can weigh up to a ton and reach lengths of around 6 meters.

When they are waiting for their meal, these saltwater crocodiles can lie underwater or partially submerged and remain perfectly stay still. 

Another amazing thing about these crocodiles is that they can hold their breath for an hour, and because of their translucent eyelids, they can see clearly underwater and easily identify their prey.

Great White Shark

This type of shark right here is one of the most dreaded wildlife in Australia. They are so big that they 

weigh about 7 meters in length which is huge if you want to compare it to the tallest human.

However, on the bright side, this shark doesn’t need to eat frequently. In fact, the great white shark can stay without eating for about three months (on a full belly though).

Additionally, the shark has the capacity to smell a drop of blood from up to 4.8 kilometers distant and can be able to find its prey by sensing vibrations in the water. Amazing right?!

Box Jellyfish

As stated earlier, Australia has lots of fascinating yet weird organisms, and this box jellyfish isn’t an exception.

There’s a saying that goes “ Do not judge a book by its cover”. This is applicable to this type of jellyfish. The box jellyfish might appear stunning and you’d think it can’t hurt anyone. This is one of the most dangerous species under water currently living.

The box-shaped head of the jellyfish is followed by long, venomous tentacles that can extend up to three meters in length.

What even makes them more deadly is the fact that they can swim compared to the other types of jellyfish that just floats.

Facts About the Fastest Animals In Australia 

The fastest Insect that can be found in mainland Australia is a kind of tiny insect known as Tiger Insect often referred to as Cidindela Hudson. This insect can run up to 2.5 meters per second 

Meanwhile, the fastest bird in Australia is the peregrine falcon which can fly up to 180 km/h. They are also the swiftest aerial hunters.

These birds can detect their prey from a distance of more than three kilometers thanks to their forward-facing eyes, glare-reducing black faces, the capacity to focus on an object quickly while in flight, and strong (full-color) binocular eyesight even eight times greater than ours.

Facts About Other Australian Wildlife 

  • Cassowary 
  • Web-funnel Spider
  • Coastal Taipan
  • Kookaburra 

Cassowary 

This is a genuinely magnificent Australian animal that seems like it belongs in the prehistoric era. It is also the Australian heaviest flightless bird. 

They have a colorful neck and head with vivid blues, reds, and yellows that stand out against a body covered in black feathers.

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Furthermore, humans cannot hear the cassowary call because it is tuned to such a low frequency. The cassowary’s huge keratin hump helps  to shield its crucial skull from any would-be predators.

Additionally, Cassowaries have a fierce kick and a claw that resembles a blade on their toe that may do considerable harm if they become enraged, so you wouldn’t want to provoke a cassowary. 

Web-funnel Spider

This kind of spider right here is the deadliest spider in the world and can only be found in Australia. 

Once someone is bitten by this spider, death occurs within an hour. Fortunately, victims that have been bitten by this spider can be saved using an effective anti-venom.

These spiders hide themselves in gardens or bushes, mostly around the Sydney coast, and are challenging to spot. In keeping with their name, they have funnel-shaped bodies that are hairless.

Coastal Taipan

This is one of the most poisonous snakes in the world and can be situated along the shoreline.

Also, These snakes can reach astounding heights of 4 meters, however,  they enjoy their alone time and will only strike if they feel threatened. Their characteristic olive to dark brown color, angular brow that is lighter in color than the rest of the body, and menacing red eyes help to identify them.

Kookaburra 

This largest species of kingfisher can reach a height of 46 centimeters. 

 It makes a call that is quite distinctive and remarkably similar to a human giggle. As a result,this makes locating them in the wild simple.

Additionally, the bird can live up to 15 years in the wild or 20 years in captivity, which is an exceptionally lengthy existence.

Kookaburras nearly exclusively consume carnivorous animals such as snakes, tiny reptiles, mice, and young birds. This is nothing compared to other kingfishers that eat fish.

Conservation Of Wildlife In Australia 

The need for conservation in Australia is very important as there are lots of wildlife that can be found in Australia for the benefit of future generations. It can be saddening if most of the animals that cannot be found anywhere in the world but only in Australia go extinct.

Most times, the result of these animals going on extinction can be a result of human activities. Therefore we can help conserve these animals by educating people. If everyone is concerned and knowledgeable about the threats to these wildlife, it’s possible to secure their survival.

Conclusion

Australia is renowned for its distinctive biodiversity due to the fact that it is the only place where some animals can be found.

The reason for this might be as a result of Its remoteness from the rest of the globe. Australia’s territory is remote from other land masses,  which has also contributed to the isolation of the species’ evolution there.

Even now, there are numerous new animal species being discovered in Australia. It’s amazing right?

Australia is a very adventurous location for scholars although it’s quite dangerous.

Therefore, with this article,, you can have an idea about this continent/country before you go for a visit.

 I hope this article was helpful.

What amazing Australian wildlife have you heard about?

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