Australia is well-known for having some incredible wildlife, often famous for the more dangerous species! However, this incredible land is home to some beautiful creatures, who have their own quirks and ways of living.
The red kangaroo deserves its place on this list, as it is the national animal of Australia!
There are actually 4 different types of kangaroo species, the red kangaroo, the western grey kangaroo, the eastern grey kangaroo, and the antilopine kangaroo. The red kangaroo is the largest of these types and can grow to be almost 90 kilos!
While not always a significantly red colour, and rather a red-grey, red female kangaroos protect their joeys (baby kangaroos) in a small pouch, where the joey is kept safe and warm until they have grown enough to leave.
A little known fact – kangaroo’s teeth are replaceable! As rows of teeth fall out, they are replaced by new teeth, so you will never see a kangaroo with an uneven smile!
Which animal can instill more fear than a crocodile lying in wait? And Australia has no shortage of these prehistoric beasts!
Australians refer to saltwater crocodiles as ‘salties’. This cute nickname is in no indication of the size of these crocs, as they can weigh up to a tonne, and grow to nearly 6 meters long!
Saltwater crocodiles are able to remain completely motionless when waiting for their prey, lying either underwater or submerged halfway under. Salties are able to hold their breath for an hour, and their transparent eyelids allow them to see underwater, perfectly spotting their prey.
Really cute in appearance, the wombat is another animal native to Australia. Aside from their adorable features, wombats can grow up to 36 kilos, which is quite a substantial weight. Many people think of them as small animals and are surprised by their size when they see them.
Wombats burrow underground to sleep and remain safe from predators. If you are wanting to spot a wombat in the wild, you will need to travel to the Blue Mountains National park, found near Sydney.
The wombat’s diet consists of the tips of shrubs, grass, and bushes, however, they are nocturnal and naturally only come out to feed in the safety of the dark.
One of the most feared animals found in Australia is the great white shark! These sharks are incredibly impressive in size and can grow to 7 meters in length – compared to even the tallest human, this is massive!
The good news is that great white sharks do not need to feed all that often, and can often go for three months on a full belly without eating.
Great white sharks hunt for their prey by detecting vibrations in the water, and have the ability to smell a drop of blood from up to 4.8km away!
Everyone has heard tales of the massive, and deadly spiders found wandering in homes throughout Australia, and while these stories are often exaggerated, there are some truths in them!
Australia is home to the funnel-web spider – which also happens to be the deadliest spider in the world. Once bitten by this species, death follows within an hour. Luckily, there is a very successful anti-venom that has proved life saving to bite victims.
Funnel-web spiders are commonly found in bushlands or gardens, mainly along the Sydney coastline and are difficult to spot. Their bodies are hairless, and as the name suggests, their body shape is similar to a funnel.
Looking very much like it should have lived with the dinosaurs, the cassowary is truly an Australian animal to behold. It is the heaviest flightless bird in the country. Their distinctive look features a colourful neck and head, with bright blues, reds, and yellows, contrasting against a black-feathered body.
The cassowary call is set at such a low frequency that it is often not heard by humans. The large bump at the top of the cassowary head is made from keratin and protects its vital head from any predators.
You do not want to anger a cassowary, as their kick is incredibly powerful, and the dagger-like claw on the toe can cause some serious damage.
The oceans off of Australia are full of interesting and beautiful creatures, however, none are more awe-inspiring than the box jellyfish.
Don’t be fooled by their beautiful appearance, the box jellyfish is the most venomous marine animal alive. The box shape head leads to long tentacles that have the ability to inject venom, and these tentacles can grow up to 3 meters long.
To make them more dangerous, unlike other jellyfish which float, box jellyfish can swim!
The kookaburra is the largest kingfisher species and can grow up to 46 centimetres tall. It has a very distinctive call, sounding very much like a human laugh. This makes it easy to find them in the wild.
The bird has an incredibly long lifespan and can live for up to 15 years in the wild, or 20 years in captivity.
Unlike other kingfishers who dive for fish, kookaburras are almost exclusively carnivorous and eat snakes, small reptiles, mice and young birds.
The coastal taipan happens to be one of the most venomous snakes in the world and can be found right on the coastline.
It can grow up to an impressive 4 meters, but they prefer their alone time and will only attack if threatened. They are distinctive thanks to their olive to dark brown colour, and an angular brow that has a lighter colour than the rest of the body, with ominous red eyes.
Sadly, the Tasmanian devil is an endangered animal. It can only be found on the island of Tasmania, due to excessive hunting.
A marsupial, it can have up to four young at once and carries them safely in a pouch for up to 4 months. Being nocturnal, Tasmanian devils, nearly the size of a small dog, can only be found at night-time, and look for prey, as they are carnivorous, using their sharp teeth and powerful jaws to snag their prey.