Due to island-nature of Australia, it was isolated for many, many years and now has very unique animals native to it.
Australia has a bountiful supply of unique animals that can’t be found anywhere else. Such iconic animals as the kangaroo, wallaby and koala can be found there.
Here I’ll run through just a couple examples and explain what makes them so unique.
Let’s start with the most iconic animal from the land down under, the kangaroo.
The most interesting fact about kangaroos, and indeed most of the particularly unique animals in Australia, is that they are marsupials. This means that they are born not fully developed and then carried and suckled in the mother’s pouch. This is why kangaroos are often depicted carrying their joeys around in pouches: it’s true to life!
Kangaroos are also the only animal of their size to travel by hopping as their primary method of movement. Once again another well-know fact but still very remarkable none the less. Their hopping is so impressive that they can even travel up to eight metres in a single hop. That’s four and a half times the height of an average human!
We have also found that kangaroos are left-handed about 95% of the time, using said hand for tasks such as grooming and feeding. Using a specific hand was a trait previously thought to be exclusive to humans.
Next up in our list of unique animals is the Tasmanian devil. Famous mostly because of looney tunes, Tasmanian devils are another marsupial native to Australia.
Despite being rather small and strangely proportioned, they are remarkably fast runners. Scientists believe they probably did a lot more hunting before cars were invented. This is because most of their food now comes from animals killed by cars, making their need for hunting basically non-existent.
Tasmanian devils have, in proportion to their body weight, the strongest bite of any living animal. That being said, their total length including tail is just under a metre, so they’re not exactly the most massive animal.
Platypuses are an interesting case, being the only mammal to lay an egg. It has a duck bill, beaver tail and otter feet. In general it’s a totally bizarre animal.
When giving milk to their young, instead of producing it out of a teat like most mammals they release the milk from their skin similar to sweat.
It has recently been discovered that, under an ultra violet light, platypuses actually glow! They appear as a more greenish blue hue rather than their typical brown shade.
Another insane feature unique to the platypus is its ability to produce venom.Using the spurs on its hind legs, they are able to ‘sting’ other animals with a venom that has been described as extremely painful. Despite this, the venom of a platypus is not lethal to a human.
I hope reading this has taught you some interesting facts about the unique animals native to Australia. I encourage you to do your own research about the many other cool and interesting animals that can be found there; believe me, there’s tons to learn about!
Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshops. You will be able to see, learn and interact with many wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more, perfect for an animal party. We can also come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about looking after animals and animal behaviour, and have fun too.