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Quirky facts about Australian animals

March 7, 2018


Quirky facts about Australian animals

Isolated on an island many a millennium ago, Australia’s animals have become unique. They bring curiosity to many visitors that venture to this far and distant island down under. Here are some unusual facts about Australian animals:

1-The Emu and the Kangaroo
Both feature on the Australian coat of arms but neither animal can walk backwards. Australia is the only country in the world that eats both the animals on its coat of arms.

More than 750,000 camels roam the Australian deserts (some say it’s over a million). They are understood to be the largest herds of purebred camels in the world.

3- Dingo
The dingo, or wild dog, is the largest Australian carnivorous mammal. The ‘dingo fence’, more correctly called the Wild Dog Barrier Fence, is the longest fence in the world at 5,530km. It is about twice as long as the Great Wall of China and is still patrolled daily by ‘doggas’ who check the fence protecting southern sheep flocks.


4- The smallest
Australia is home the smallest mammal in the world – the Feathertail Glider. It is a mere 6-8 cm long. Its feather-like tail fringed with long stiff hairs which act like a rudder glide it metres in one leap.

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5- Is it a bear?
The Koala is not a bear. Australian koala numbers have dropped by 90% in less than a decade. This cute Australian marsupial should never be approached in the wild, though. While they look cuddly, the koala has very sharp teeth and very, very sharp claws. For the best close-up and intimate experience, visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Queensland or Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast.

6- Did you know?
No native Australian animals have hooves.

7- Mammals that lay eggs
The only two mammals in the world that lay eggs are found in Australia, they are the cute platypus (whose venom is strong enough to kill a small dog) and the prickly echidna – a delicacy for indigenous Australians.

8- There are more than 32 million kangaroos
There are over 60 different species of kangaroos found in Australia. The kangaroo, a marsupial belongs to the macropod family which means “large foot”. It is estimated over 32 million kangaroos live in Australia. A large male can stand 2 m (6 ft 7 in) tall and weigh 90 kg (200 lb).

9- Snakes and Spiders
Australia is home to 10 of the world’s 15 most poisonous snakes plus a few venomous spiders.

10-Below the water
Venture below the water as Australia’s oceans are said to be some of the richest and most diverse oceans on planet earth. Southern Australia has over 80% of all marine species living in the temperate oceans which occur nowhere else on Earth. Whales, turtles, sea lions, southern Bluefin tuna and great white sharks are just a few of the underwater animals you may encounter.

Coral are a living species and the waters of tropical Australia boast over 1,700 different species of coral. Coral spawning is often referred to as an underwater snow storm and only occurs at night. Corals on the Great Barrier Reef usually spawn in late spring and early summer – perfect for snorkelers and divers.

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Papilio ulysses, the Ulysses butterfly.
It’s a large swallowtail butterfly with a wingspan of about 10.5 cm.


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