Due to the isolated location of Australia some endemic archetypes of the fauna have been preserved. There are many rare animals in Australia.
The best known animals are the kangaroos (short: called “Roos”). Of these there are 45 species. They belong to the genus of marsupials. The different sized kangaroo species have adapted to the most adverse living conditions in an optimal way. In all species, the pups are born as embryos. The 3-8 cm tall boys are born incompletely developed and fed on a teat in the mother’s breastplate for eight months. The kangaroo is next to the emu the heraldic animal on the flag of the Commonwealth. The smallest kangaroos are the kangaroo rats with only about 23 cm in size. The biggest ones are the “red giant kangaroos”. They grow up to 2 m tall and can jump up to 10 m. An independent group represent the Wallabies dar. They reach a size of 45 cm to 1.20 m. Then there are the tree kangaroos that live on trees. It is best to observe the kangaroos in the wild at dawn and dusk. Not infrequently, they are also on campsites of the national parks to see.
When driving at night outside of cities you should be careful, as kangaroos are attracted by the light of the headlights and often land in the radiator of the car. The same goes for grazing cattle. The Aussies have so-called roo bars or bill bars on their car as an additional ramming protection.
The Koala, despite its appearance, is not a bear, but a marsupial. He is one of the best known and most popular animals in Australia. The word “koala” comes from the Aborigines and means “no water”. Koalas drink very little water and doze most of the day in the eucalyptus trees. The eucalyptus leaves are the preferred food source. They are said to have a narcotic effect. Koalas rarely leave the trees. Their claws make them good climbers. The number of up to 60 cm large animals should be around 308,000 animals.
About half of Koalas is infected by the infectious disease Chlamydia. Through them the animals can become blind or unable to produce. The “national mascot” Koala also suffers from the decline in its natural habitat.
The wombat is also a marsupial. The animals living in Western Australia are up to 1 m long and are not welcome because of their laborious work with farmers.
The Tasmanian devil, also a marsupial, is a carnivore. He looks like a little black dog.
Possums (also Opossums) are small bag animals, which live primarily and in many ways on trees. Because of their proliferation and herbivorousness, they are extremely unpopular.
Other small marsupials, such as the nocturnal Numbat, are hard to find in the wild. Like many other small animals (insects, lizards), they are threatened with extinction because they are often the victims of imported species such as cats and foxes.
The flightless Emu, the second heraldic animal of Australia, is like the African ostrich. The fast-running emus are up to 1.60 m tall and live mainly in the dry savannas of Australia. The male takes over the rearing of the boys.
Unique in the animal world is the platypus. The very shy animals are found in rivers and lakes in Eastern Australia, Tasmania and Kangoroo Iceland. Features are the duck-like beak, the webbed claws and the seal-like fur.
The Australian Greyhound is the dingo. He was probably introduced to Australia by the natives. He can not bark and is usually shy. Sometimes you see him on campsites while browsing waste. The Dingo does not exist in New South Wales and southern South Australia due to the Dingo Fence. The fence with a length of 9,600 km is to protect the sheep breeding in the south.
The reptiles found in Australia include two species of crocodile, the smaller of which, the Australian crocodile, lives in the inland freshwater. The larger grouse crocodile is at home in the marshes and estuaries on the north coast and can reach a length of up to six meters. It can be dangerous for humans. Other lizard species include geckos, skinks, agamids and monitor lizards, including the giant monitor. In addition, the Australian fauna includes 100 species of poisonous snakes, the most dangerous of which are the native Taipan in the north of the country and the Death Eaters. The tiger-otter, the copper-head and the black-otter are further venomous snakes.
The colorful Australian bird life is unique. One of the most famous birds is the kookaburra. With his typical sounds he remains in the memory of the visitor for a long time.
The Lyrebird, a ratite, is known as a good voice imitator. There are over 300 species of parrots that populate the trees in large swarms and in all colors, even in the cities. The most common species are budgerigars and cockatoos. The black cockatoo is rather rare. But he can also be observed in the wild with a little luck. Not to be missed is the multitude of waterfowl, pelicans and swans in the coastal regions. Inland, numerous birds of prey such as buzzards, falcons and eagles can be found.
Particularly noteworthy is the fantastic underwater world of Australia. Dive and snorkel safaris on the Great Barrier Reef and Ningallo Reef (Western Australia) give you an idea of the incredible diversity of fish. The most famous freshwater and food fish is the Baramundi, a perch that occurs in several species. In the southern waters some whale species are native and on the islands of Bass Street and in Tasmania seal colonies are present. Edible fish and shellfish exist in large populations. In addition, there are also about 70 shark species native. Lung fish, sometimes referred to as the “living fossil”, breathe through a lung and not via gills like other fish. Penguins and seals live on the coasts of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Also in the field of invertebrates there are a variety of species in insects, spiders and earthworms. Most insect species from this evolutionary period are found in Australia and include flies, beetles, butterflies, bees and ants.
The giant dermis in the north of Australia build huge termite mounds that reach a height of up to six meters. Earthworms occur in great variety; Particularly striking are the giant worms in Victoria.
Many Australian spider species are poisonous, as well as the widely known funnel web spiders and red spiders.