With over 22 million inhabitants, Australia is one of the most developed and diverse countries in the world. It’s the sixth largest country on the planet and features more deserted places than any other state. In fact, two-thirds of its total surface is covered by desert areas.
Nevertheless, Australia is a fascinating continent with plenty of things and thrills to offer. From beautiful beaches to low temperatures during the winter, breathtaking landscapes and a diverse fauna, Australia is worth visiting.
And, speaking of its fauna, 83% of its mammals, 89% of its reptiles, 90% of its fish, and 93% of its amphibians can only be found in Australia. Here are some of Australia’s unique animals you should know about.
These cute marsupials are a trademark of the Australian fauna, alongside the adorable Koala bears. The kangaroo even appears on the country’s currency, making it the most popular face of the continent. Although there are four different species of kangaroos living there, the red one is the one we usually think of.
They are strong and powerful animals and can weigh up to 200 pounds. They are also extremely fast, managing to move as quickly as 44 miles per hour due to their long and fast legs.
Kangaroos are very social creatures and they usually prefer to live in groups called mobs. These mobs usually count for 10 or more kangaroos are meant to provide protection for the weaker members and the survival of the species. Fighting is very common for kangaroo males which usually battle for the recognition of females or drinking spots.
Another unique animal of Australia is the reputed Koala bear. Its particularities include a smooth and shiny grey coat, fluffy ears, a big nose, and large claws. The lives of Koalas are not very active, as they mainly eat and digest eucalyptus leaves. However, due to the lack of nutrients in these leaves, koalas tend to sleep for up to 20 hours per day in order to conserve their energy.
Although it is mainly referred to as the “Koala bear”, this animal is not related to bears in any way. It is a herbivorous marsupial and, similar to kangaroos, it is able to carry its newborns in pouches. Koalas were recently declared as a vulnerable species due to their decreasing numbers.
The dingo dog is another native Australian animal mainly found in the deserts of the continent. It is a fierce terrestrial predator that mainly feeds on smaller mammals such as dusky rats and the European rabbit but can also hunt kangaroos, birds, reptiles, and fish. The species was recently listed as vulnerable too.