If you are planning on travelling with us on one of our tours, you might see some animals that you have never seen before. Australia has many native species of animals, which are all unique and marvellous in their own way. Look out of the window and see if you can spot one of these animals!
The Echidna is a monotremes egg-laying mammal. They are animals with a very low body temperature and a low metabolism, for this reason the Echidna is estimated to live up to 50 years. Echidnas are most commonly known for their spines on their back and their long tongues. The Echidna eats ants, termites and other soil animals and they do not have any teeth. Because of this, they crush their food between their tongue and their mouth. Echidnas can be found all over Australia
- Laughing Kookaburra
The Laughing Kookaburra is one of the most recognizable birds in Australia, as soon as you hear their laughing call you know these kookaburras are around. The Laughing kookaburra is in the Halcyonidae family and is known as the Dacelo novaeguineae species of the family. The Laughing Kookaburra has over the years gotten very used to living alongside humans and this is the reason why you often see them in cities and suburbs. The song kookaburra sits in the old gum tree is a popular children’s song, which refers to the Laughing Kookaburra.
Brolga’s are very large grey cranes and they are easily spotted due to their featherless red heads. The Brolga is most well known for its iconic dance. This mating call is one of the most spectacular sights. The Broglas will stand opposite of each other and start jumping in the air, with their wings wide spread and trumpeting calls to each other. These birds live in open swamplands of coastal and tropical Australia.
Koalas are beautiful iconic animals that live in the Australian eucalyptus trees. Koalas developed a digestive system called cecum to eat the poisonous leaves of the eucalyptus tree, which also contains enough moisture to ensure that the Koala is hydrated. Koalas love to sleep, they sleep on average 18 hours a day and combined with their low metabolism rate enables them to stay up in the trees for most of their lives. A baby Koala is called a Joey and stays in the mother’s pouch for about 6 months. After this period the small Joey will still stay with its mother for a period of time until it decides to venture off on its own.
The Platypus is a strange animal that looks like a combination of a duck, beaver and an otter. This spectacular mammal is able to swim very fast in the water due to their webbing between their toes. They will use they two front feet to create propulsion and use they beaver like tail and back feet to steer while in the water. Furthermore, Platypus are carnivores, meaning they eat meat and not plants. However, they do not have any teeth in their bills, they use gravel and dirt to mash their food.
- Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
Sulphur- Crested Cockatoos are easily recognizable due to their white chest and their distinctive sulphur-yellow crest. It is common to see cockatoos live in urban areas as they have gotten used to living alongside humans over the years. These birds are also popular to be kept as pets because of their ability to mimic sounds and words. However, these cockatoos can live up to an average age of 70 years. Therefore, keeping a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo is a long-term commitment if you want to keep one as a pet.
Emus are the Australian version of the ostrich, they are tall and can run really fast. The female emu lays between 5 and 15 eggs after which the father will sit on the eggs for 55 days without eating or drinking to incubate the eggs. Emu’s feet and 3 sharp toes are optimized for running forwards, up to a speed of 50kph. This means that emus can only run forwards are not capable of walking backwards. Emus are a flightless bird which is why they have evolved to be such great runners.
Wombats are a mix between a bear, pig and a gopher. These animals are very adept diggers, they can dig tunnels up to 200m long. Moreover, they are very resilient because of their thick skin and dense bone structure. When a wombat gets threaten it will run in its burrow while facing their backside towards the threat. Due to their thick skin and bone structure predators have a very difficult time getting wombats out of their burrows. The most common seen wombat is the northern hairy-nosed wombat.
Kangaroos are one of the most recognizable marsupials of Australia. These unique animals reach speeds of 60kph and can clear more than 8 meters in on jump! Kangaroos use their muscular tails to balance their bodies while they walk, jump or kick. Kangaroos are powerful animals and they use their powerful kicks and sharp claws to fend of any danger that may come their way. Baby kangaroos are also called Joeys like other marsupials, these joeys stay in their mother’s pouch for 120 to 450 days after which the joeys will be big enough to wander around on their own.
Cassowaries are one of the heaviest birds in Australia. Cassowaries are very distinctive looking birds, with their blue neck, black feathers and their bony structured casque that sits on the top of their head. We still do not know the purpose of the casque on the cassowary’s head. There are many theories about it, on of them is that the casque acts as a resonating chamber to help create their deep bellows, cassowaries have one of the lowest frequencies bird calls in the world.
Lyrebirds are amazing sounds mimics. These ground dwelling birds usually grow to be around 75cm up to 100cm in length and are capable of mimicking almost any sound. They have been known to recreate sounds as chainsaws, car engines, human voices and the sounds of other animals. In fact, they are so good at recreating sounds that it sometimes even fool animals that it is imitating.
ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY Shmily Newborn Photography Melbourne