Australia has some of the world’s strangest and most fascinating animals, including marsupials and reptiles. Kangaroos are expected to jump down the street, koalas to hang from a neighbor’s tree, and the occasional poisonous snake to lurk around the next corner. Here are some of the incredible animals in Australia.
These Australian creatures may be the first to come to your mind when you think of soft and cuddly. Typically, koalas have white and grey fur and enormous ears. Because of their poor vision, koalas must rely on their keen hearing and smell to keep them safe from predators.
They climb eucalyptus trees in quest of the succulent leaves that are their sole source of nutrition, using their powerful arms and claws to do it. Only a few hours are set aside for eating and climbing by koalas, who spend most of the day sleeping.
Koalas are about 25 to 35 inches tall and weigh no more than 30 pounds. Newborn koalas often measure less than 1 inch in length. The definition of a koala is “An animal that does not drink.” A koala rarely drinks water and instead consumes eucalyptus leaves. Typically, an infant koala spends around six months in its mother’s pouch. They can carry their young in their pouch, just like kangaroos can. In reality, they are in no way related to the bear family.
They are solitary creatures who don’t engage in much social behavior. Each male koala has a smell gland on his breast, which he rubs on trees to establish his territory. They belch after creating a sound close to snoring to communicate with one another. Each year, a female koala gives birth to just one cub. A cub that has just been born lacks all body fur and has closed eyes and ears.
In various locations, they have different types of fur. For koalas, gum trees serve as a food source and a home. In the fourth year of life, koalas reach adult size. They can spend hours perched on trees thanks to the comfort provided by their fluffy tail.
The kangaroo is undoubtedly among the first animals that come to mind when people think about Australian wildlife. They are the giant marsupials living today and are found all over Australia. Kangaroos can weigh up to 120 pounds and grow to heights of between 5 and 6 feet.
They hop while maintaining their balance with their tail and muscular hind legs. They move quickly, but they can also make quick jumps of up to 30 feet!
Although they may survive in various habitats and primarily eat grasses and other plants, kangaroos prefer flat, grassy plains, and open areas.
Although kangaroos don’t have many predators, people or dingoes may occasionally attack them. Kangaroos frequently lure the opponent into the water as a form of defense. The kangaroo will then attempt to drown the aggressor there.
Kangaroos can’t move their legs independently. Therefore you usually see them hopping around. They can’t use their legs to walk because of how their legs are built. Fortunately, it appears they wouldn’t need to, given they can hop at velocities of more than 35 mph! If not, the kangaroo will strike back against a tree with enough strength to kill a person.
Kangaroos have a brief gestation period (just 33 days! ), so joeys are tiny when they are born. After four months of development, they spend a short time outside the pouch before returning. They eventually leave the pouch for good at ten months! Kangaroos exceed people by a wide proportion across the Australian continent in the southern hemisphere.
Kangaroos are far more intelligent than people believe; they can even delay pregnancy and are left-handed. Kangaroos cannot walk backward, but that’s okay because they always travel forward and never turn around.
3) Funnel Web Spider
They are among the deadliest spiders on the planet and can kill a person in just fifteen minutes.
Some of the 35 species of funnel web can be found throughout Australia’s eastern coast, between New South Wales to Queensland. The Sydney funnel-web, which is the deadliest, lives in and around residential areas and wilderness.
4) Megabats/Flying Foxes
The largest species of bats in Australia can weigh up to one kilogram and have a wingspan of about five feet. Because they are so much bigger than the typical bat, they are also called flying foxes. However, it is one of the most incredible animals in Australia.
They are among the most brilliant Australian creatures and live in enormous colonies. Even though they appear bloodthirsty, they thankfully only consume fruit, flowers, and nectar. They snooze all day and search for food at dusk and night.
Be cautious if you see one because they could be carrying infections that are dangerous to people.
The Numbat, also called a banded anteater, gets its intriguing moniker from the 6 or 7 white bands that run across its back.
Numbats are only approximately 11 inches long, not including their 7-inch tail. They only weigh one pound and hunt for termites with their front foot while catching them with their long tongues. They have 52 teeth, every one of which is unique in terms of size and shape.
The IUCN Red List estimates that there are probably fewer than 1,000 Numbats worldwide. 50 people are living in Dryandra. Additionally, within the reserves, there are 500–600 reintroduced persons. Today, Numbat populations are generally declining, and the creature is included on the IUCN Red List as Endangered (EN).
They are housed in cages worldwide, but Australia is the only place you can see them flying freely in the wild. They are a lot of joy to watch doing what they do and munching on their preferred diet, seeds. They are cheeky and chirpy. However, it is one of the most incredible animals in Australia.
The majority of Australia’s interior west of the Great Dividing Range is home to what are essentially parakeets. Don’t try looking for them in Tasmania, Cape York, or the coastal regions of eastern, northern, or south-western Australia; they aren’t there.
This is one of the prettiest Australian animals you can discover, and it lives in the woodlands and bushlands. The common wombat is about the size of a pig and weighs about 60 pounds.
Wombats dig. Wombats can drill deep holes because of their powerful claws and legs. Hence, they have pouches that face backward to protect their young from dirt-filled pouches. They are nocturnal creatures; thus, they typically venture outside at night in search of food.
They favor moist, forested environments with slopes and primarily consume leaves, plants, and roots. These endearing animals can be found in Tasmania, southeastern South Australia, eastern New South Wales, and eastern and southern Victoria in Australia’s southeast coastal regions.
The fantastic and unusual birds must be included on any list of Australian wildlife. They lack wings, are an Australian native, and are enormous for birds! They weigh more than 45 kg and stand a whopping 5 feet tall.
They are swift but stay away from them because they also have a powerful kick. They can be found across Australia; however, they tend to stay away from more populated regions, like sclerophyll forests, savanna woods, and grasslands.
Emus are widespread and eat insects, seeds, fruits, plant shoots, small animals, and animal droppings. Emus are omnivores; they hunt for food throughout the day and consume plants and animals. Depending on the time of year, they consume many plants.
They use 9 to 18 liters (2.5 to 5 gallons) of water daily, a significant quantity. They can drink nonstop for ten minutes if left alone. In captivity, emus have been observed to consume glass fragments, marbles, car keys, jewelry, nuts, and other sparkling objects.
Emu eggs are equivalent to 10 to 12 chickens in weight and volume. The eggs have little pits on the top, bright green and glossy.
Dingoes are medium-sized animals weighing anywhere from 30 to 55 pounds on average. They might be reddish-brown, tan, black, sandy blonde, or a mixture of those colors. Most of Australia is home to these wild dogs, one of the more popular Australian species.
Although dingoes have been renowned scavengers, they mostly eat rodents, lizards, rabbits, possums, and occasionally even kangaroos. Pure dingo is quite rare today; most dingoes are crossbred. The expansive sand island Fraser Island is a fantastic location to observe these animals up close.
10) Thorny Devil
You’d be lucky to glimpse such amazing animals, also called mountain devils. They have those fantastic spiky spines and colors that blend in with their surroundings. However, it is one of the most incredible animals in Australia.
It gathers water by placing its feet in a puddle or patch of wet sand. Water then travels up its legs and along the surface of its body until it reaches its mouth.
The species is indigenous to Australia and lives in the harsh scrubland and desert of the interior, so keep an eye out for them if you’re heading through the Red Centre. Fortunately, they are tiny (up to 8 inches long) and only eat tiny black ants.
These cute creatures are not familiar in Australia, but over 10,000 can be found on Rottnest Island, a wonderful, protected wildlife reserve off the coast of Perth, Western Australia.
Because the species is claimed to be one of the happiest animals on the planet because they always appear to be smiling, many tourists come to the island to try and take a famous “Quokka Selfie.”
Because of the mischievous grin that is always there on their faces and the fact that they appear to be saying cheese when they pose for photographs, quokkas come off as unusually friendly. They can pant and cool off despite all of their smiling, which is fantastic for the furry residents of an island where the sun shines all year long.
When a quokka bowls up to you at a picnic, it can be tough to resist the impulse to throw it a cheeky cracker or piece of bread. However, “human” food can malnourish the tiny fellows, and fines may be imposed. Quokka handling is prohibited, and an animal cruelty conviction entails a five-year prison term and a significant fine.
One of the most remarkable Australian creatures is the kookaburra bird, famous for its endearingly humorous human-like chuckle. The average length of a kookaburra is 18 inches, and they have distinctive patterns. Their wings have a lovely scattering of grey and blue specks, and their bodies are a dark brown color on top and white underneath.
These native Australian species prefer tree holes for residence, and they can be found in woodlands and other wooded regions. Because it predominantly eats small snakes, lizards, insects, and rodents, the Australian people appreciate this bird for eradicating many known pests.
The kookaburra is sometimes referred to as the “bushman’s clock” because of the high-pitched laugh-like cries it makes at sunrise and sunset.
13) Saltwater Crocodiles
Whenever it comes to Australian wildlife, “salties,” the most prominent reptiles on Earth, are certainly the most feared. Males are typically about 14 feet long and substantially larger than females. Some have even grown to be 18 feet long. They can weigh between 1200 and 2200 pounds, and it’s best to watch them from a distance.
They mainly eat fish, birds, and other reptiles, although they have also consumed huge mammals like cattle and buffalo. Australian saltwater crocodiles have a lifespan of 60 to 80 years, and they’re a threatened species. However, it is one of the most incredible animals in Australia.
14) Inland Taipan
Australia is home to many dangerous snakes. The Inland Taipan is thought to be the most lethal snake in existence.
According to estimates, each bite from this snake contains enough venom to kill more than 100 men. Although this snake species has several advantages, it is relatively timid and unlikely to attack.
These snakes can be found in semi-arid regions of central and eastern Australia. However, it is one of the most incredible animals in Australia.
15) Giant Wrasse
You never know when you’ll run into Wally, the fabled huge humphead Maori Wrasse, who makes his home at a boat tour marine base during your trip to the Great Barrier Reef. He has a lengthy history of being a local star who is adored for his wonderful sense of humor and incredible selfie-taking skills. Being curious and playful like a sizeable underwater puppy, he is well-known for greeting swimmers who are divers and snorkelers. However, it is one of the most incredible animals in Australia.
His species, which can reach 230 cm and weigh 190 kg, is badly threatened.
This bird inspired the slur “you are burning galah,” even though it is rather lovely. You may hear it as you travel around Australia.
The galah is a well-known social bird with high human friendliness. It’s a common bird found all around Australia, and it has a beautiful rose-colored breast and a grey body. They are not just friendly but also renowned for being incredibly affectionate animals. They are highly receptive and constantly eager to play. Additionally, with a bit of training, they can mimic anything you say and quickly learn the language. However, they do require a lot of focus and playtime.
When Galah cockatoos adhere strictly to a nutritious diet, they have been observed to live up to 72 years in the wild. However, it is uncommon for a Galah to live past the age of 20 in most instances. Usually, they are preyed upon by other predators or due to different agricultural practices.
Galahs might require a lot of upkeep as pets. They are affectionate and kind, but they also need a lot of care most of the time. Galahs require maintenance, but they also need to engage in a reasonable amount of play or exercise to stay happy and healthy. Finally, they need a sizable amount of area. Even though they are not particularly large birds in size, they require a 5-foot-long cage to feel secure.
17) Box Jellyfish
The medusa of a box jellyfish often has a cubed shape. Only a few of the 51 species in the world of box jellyfish have been described. Their medusas are small pendulums that hang from each of the four corners of a square, bell-like structure. The bells’ rims are folded inward to form velarium or shelves. The sting of the deadly box jellyfish is exceedingly painful and has the potential to be fatal. These organisms are widespread in the tropical waters off the coasts of the Northern Territory, Exmouth, and Bundaberg in the north of Queensland.
Despite being much smaller, wallabies resemble kangaroos quite closely. The two, however, are members of the identical taxonomic family. Any macropod smaller than a kangaroo is referred to as a wallaby. Wallabies come in 30 different species, including the red-necked and agile varieties. These creatures have a length range of 18 to 41 inches. The tail is around 30 inches long and has a lengthy tail. Wallabies are divided into groups based on their preferred habitats; some species live in the bush, while others favor rocky terrain. They primarily eat grass and plants. However, it is one of the most incredible animals in Australia.
Echidnas are monotremes that lay eggs and are descended from a monotreme that resembled a platypus more than 20 million years ago. The word “Echidna” comes from a mythological Greek monster described as a half snake and half lady since it was thought to possess characteristics of both reptiles and mammals. Their bodies, typically brown or black, are covered in coarse hair and spines. They primarily eat termites and ants and have tiny mouths. The claws on the small, powerful limbs of echidnas are employed for digging. One of Australia’s most common natural mammals, echidnas, can thrive everywhere, from deserts to mountains covered in snow.
This is one of the most incredible animals in Australia because it’s so unusual, intense, and dangerous.
The Maluku Islands, New Guinea, East Nusa Tenggara, and northeastern Australia are all home to the Cassowary. The southern Cassowary, which is the most prevalent species, is one of three cassowary species, the other two being the dwarf and the northern.
The Cassowary is the giant bird on Earth, ranking behind the ostrich and emu.
Furthermore, their size can be identified by their red and blue neck and the big horn, or casque, that grows on the top of their heads.
A cassowary has a top speed of 50 km/h (30 mph), can jump 1.5 m (5 ft), and is a skilled swimmer navigating large rivers and the ocean. However, it is one of the most incredible animals in Australia.
21) White Shark
Since the Australian Government deemed the great white shark to be threatened, it is now a protected species in Australia.
It is one of the world’s largest shark species and may reach lengths of 7 m (23 ft).
They have a strong scent and can locate blood up to three miles away or five kilometers. When looking for food, they track vibrations in the water if they cannot detect any smell.
A fully nourished great white shark can stay alive for up to three months without food. It’s a tiny chamber inside their noses, crammed with nerves, surrounded by a gel tube with a pore leading towards the surrounding ocean. Great white sharks mainly use this sense to find nearby prey.
Despite what you may have heard, great whites cannot see blood from a mile away. But they can only locate one drop of blood in 100 liters, or about 26 gallons, of water. 5 Higher up the food chain, they typically find additional sharks, seals, sea turtles, whales and dolphins, sea birds, sea lions, and other species.
The white sharks are quite powerful, have a sensor that recognizes electricity, and have a great sense of smell. A system in sharks can detect the electrical signals of other animals’ hearts. It is referred to as the Lorenzini Ampullae. However, it is one of the most incredible animals in Australia.
How Many Species Are Unique to Australia?
At least 93 percent of Australia’s species of conifers, flowering plants, amphibians, and reptiles are exclusive to that country. That equals 18,000 species of endemic plants and 3,000 species of endemic vertebrate animals. Fifty percent of the country’s birds and 87 percent of its animal species are only found in the wild in Australia.
The fact that over 80% of the mammals and reptiles discovered in Australia are unique to the planet provides for some incredibly fascinating animals. However, the following are several animals that belong to Australia, with their unique characteristics, you should know about.