The largest island of Oceania is often called the fifth continent. His animal world is unique. In Australia, there are no ruminants, thick-skinned mammals, monkeys. Most of the fauna of this country are marsupial. On their stomachs there are deep skin folds, which are called bags. And the young of these animals are born quite tiny - their body length does not exceed 1.5 cm. These babies are born devoid of hair and blind. They are completely helpless and lack the ability to live independently. Immediately after birth, they climb into the mother's bag, where they feel great.
The state of Australia does not have a single animal or bird, which would be declared a symbol of the country. The country has an official flower. This is a golden acacia. And even there is a stone (opal).
Animals living only in Australia
The fifth continent is famous for its rare and unique animals found only on this earth. They attract the attention of not only ordinary tourists from other countries, but also researchers, prominent scientists from around the world. What are they Australian animals? What are their habits and habits? How and what do they eat? Where live? In this article we will try to answer these questions.
Australian animals, whose names sound unusual to us, are all very different. Our first hero is a clumsy, fur-covered animal. The length of its body is about a meter, its paws and tail are short. Wombat is slow, due to slower metabolism. But if necessary, it can run at a speed of up to 40 km / h.
And judging by the habits, this creature is something between a bear, a badger and a pig. Wombats are not afraid of a person at all, so they often become pets at home.
This is a marsupial Australian animal. Outwardly very reminiscent of a bear. This medium-sized animal, whose weight does not exceed fifteen kilograms, spends most of its life on trees, very rarely goes down to the ground. On the paws of koalas there are sharp claws that help him deftly climb the trunks. The animal's coat is dark gray on the back and light on the belly. Every day the koala eats more than one kilogram of eucalyptus leaves. For food, the animal chooses only the old foliage. It is interesting that parasites do not start koala's wool, probably because it smells strongly of eucalyptus.
This animal is active at night. Thanks to the tenacious tail, he climbs trees perfectly. It feeds on flowers, leaves, bark. Kuzu with pleasure eat eggs of birds. Usually they live in noisy colonies near people.
This animal, like a hedgehog, is unique in that it lays an egg and then carries it in a bag. Like the kangaroo, the echidna cub develops in its bag rather slowly. The needles of this animal are its natural defense. However, the echidna is regularly attacked and captured by the aborigines who eat its meat.
Australian marsupial animal, named after its habitat: it is found only in Tasmania. It is a nocturnal predator, very pugnacious, even if the enemy is superior in strength. Here they are funny - the rare animals of Australia. Some of them face complete extermination due to unreasonable human intervention in the environment. Many of them are ruthlessly destroyed by poachers.
The amazing nature of this continent is characterized by an abundance of rare animals, unique plants, beautiful birds. Many representatives of the Australian fauna, such as the Tasmanian tiger, have been exterminated recently. Therefore, the Australian authorities are developing effective measures to protect the flora and fauna of the country.
Despite the fact that the fifth continent has no official symbol, our next hero could well become one. Kangaroo is an Australian animal that is a herbivore. Many people know that it differs in a special way of movement. These are characteristic jumps on the hind limbs. The bag for carrying babies is only for individuals of the female sex. Of the entire family, the most famous is the giant kangaroo. It moves at a speed of 50 km / h. In this case, the tail is used as a balancer. In the numerous family of kangaroo there are 17 genera and 51 species. Consider some of them.
These Australian animals (tree kangaroos) spend a lot of time on the trees. Wallabies no more than half a meter tall, have a tail of the same length. Their front and rear legs are almost the same size. Representatives of this type of kangaroo are able to climb huge trees, more than 20 meters high. Wallabies are most common in northeastern Queensland. They feed on berries, leaves, ferns.
Big Rat Kangaroo
The body of these animals rarely reaches a length of 50 cm, the tail is about 30 cm. The animal is solitary, it is active at night. Usually settles in the steppes and semi-deserts of Australia.
Animals living in Australia, regardless of size and habitat, have a very bright, memorable appearance. For example, nambat - marsupial anteater. Small animal, no longer than 25 cm, tail shorter than the body. The weight of an adult individual does not exceed 0.5 kg.
Nambat has a sharp muzzle, and its tongue more than 10 cm long helps the animal to acquire termites. This is a rare marsupial species that does not have a bag. After birth, the babies stick to the mother’s nipples, cling to the fur, and so grow up. Nambat lives only on the ground, in nests, which it arranges in the hollows of fallen trees. It is found in southwestern Australia, mainly in eucalyptus forests.
Australia's poisonous animals
Many of our readers probably believe that Australia is the birthplace of kangaroos and other cute and harmless animals. However, in this country, not all animals are so safe. Anyone who is going to visit the fifth continent should know that there are:
- snakes (23 sea and 38 land, most of them are poisonous),
- 22 kinds of spiders
- 6 types of scorpions,
- 3 types of wasps and honey bee,
- centipedes and many other insects.
Poisonous Australian animals can cause not very serious harm to human health - basically you can get rid of fever, inflammation, fever. However, there are such formidable representatives of the fauna, the bite of which can be fatal.
These creatures in Australia are considered deadly. A light touch of their tentacles filled with powerful poison is enough, and the victim will experience very painful sensations, which may be followed by death.
If a person encounters the sea wasp jellyfish, and it stings him, death can occur in a few seconds. Her poison has a devastating effect on the heart.
No less insidious killer can be considered irukandzhi jellyfish. The size of her body is only 12 x 25 mm. But its tentacles reach a meter. Touching them can cause paralysis, quite often a “bite” leads to prolonged agony and painful death.
Among the many venomous animals in Australia, the Taipan snake is prominent. She is big and very poisonous. It can be found anywhere in the country. She is very fast and aggressive.
Taipan most often lives in thickets of sugar cane, avoids meeting people. If she was accidentally disturbed, she would defend herself fiercely and, most likely, would attack the offender. Taipan poison has such a strong concentration that in one bite it could kill about a hundred people. Despite the fact that today a vaccine has been created that helps to escape from the action of the poison of this snake, every second person dies from its bite. The fact is that the vaccine should be administered 3 seconds after the bite.
Rare animal of Australia
The short-tailed kangaroo, which is called a kvokka, at first glance resembles a wallaby or kangaroo, but its tail is rather short. The size of the animal is comparable to a large domestic cat or medium dog. Body length is about 50 cm, weight does not exceed 5 kg. The animal is herbivorous, especially active at night. This animal is completely defenseless in front of predators, therefore it has survived only on the small islands of Rottnest, Bald, Penguin and several continental sites of Western Australia, where foxes and cats are not found. It prefers to settle in dry grassy areas, which are densely overgrown with shrubs. During the drought, it can be found in the marshes.
After mating, one young cub is born in the Kvokka, but if it dies, a second embryo develops, without re-mating being required. Quokk is considered a vulnerable species. The plowing of new lands significantly reduced the natural habitat and, as a result, the number of this species. Breeding dogs and cats, draining marshes further aggravated the problem.
In the deserts of the continent there are a huge number of reptiles - these are geckos, monitor lizards, backs and unusual frilled lizards. These are very interesting animals of Australia. In case of danger, they throw “hoods” on their heads and thereby frighten their enemies by increasing the size of their bodies. Coniferous geckos are able to clear their big eyes of sand and dust, licking their tongue.
Another representative of the Australian fauna is also interesting. This is moloch. On his body spikes grow that scare off enemies. In addition, at night, condensation of water, dew, which then flows into the animal's mouth, settles on these outgrowths. Moloch is able to change its color depending on external conditions. This does not happen immediately, but gradually.
The amazing ability of animals to survive in difficult conditions is admirable. For example, frogs have learned to survive the drought in an original way. Interesting? Then read on!
The Australian desert frog accumulates in its body the necessary water reserves and buries itself in the mud in anticipation of rain. In this state, she is able to sit for about five years!
In the swamps and rivers located in the north of the continent, there are two types of crocodiles: the smaller narrow-anchored and the large and dangerous ridge. The latter often attacks people.
Representatives of all birds of Australia, we will not list, as there are more than 700 species. Let us tell you about the biggest flying bird - the point pelican. The length of his body is 1.9 meters, under a powerful beak there is a huge leather bag containing 13 liters of water. Pelicans settle on the sea coast, in lagoons and inland lakes of the continent.
The Tasmanian devil is a stocky predator with a very severe disposition. Although the size of the Tasmanian devil is comparable to the size of a small dog, it looks more like a tiny bear. The size of a large male Tasmanian devil reaches a maximum of 12 kilograms.
Now the Tasmanian devils can only be found on the island of Tasmania, although they used to live on the mainland.
Tasmanian devils had few enemies, they could have been the prey of the marsupial wolf, which people had exterminated by 1936. Their main enemy is humans and viruses, they are very susceptible to the DFTD virus.
Now the Tasmanian devil is threatened by the dogs of the dingo, the speckled quiver can kill the young Tasmanian devil. In 2001, Foxes appeared on the island of Tasmania, which also make them competitive.
Speckled marsh marten
The next animal of Australia is the speckled marsupial marten or Kvoll, a predator the size of an ordinary cat. This is a type of spotted marsupial marten, also called crawl.
Mottled marsh marten - Kvoll.
Like the Tasmanian devils, the Capwalls in our time disappeared in Australia, and remained in Tasmania.
Mottled marsh marten - Kvoll.
In nature, speckled marten competes with the Tasmanian devil, feral cats and dogs. Recently a fox has been added to these animals.
Mottled marsh marten - Kvoll.
Currently, the Quoll is marked as "In a state close to the threatened."
Another unique inhabitant of the Australian region, more precisely New Zealand, is the kiwi bird.
Looking at the photo of a kiwi bird, you might think that this is not a bird, but a bun on its paws and in wool. The kiwi bird has practically no wings, and the feathers are very similar to wool.
Kiwi bird is looking for food.
These birds are record holders in life expectancy, they can live up to 60 years.
The wedgetail eagle lives on the mainland itself, as well as on the islands of Tasmania and New Guinea. This is a large species of eagle with a wingspan of up to 2.3 meters.
Wedge-tailed eagle in flight. Wedge-tailed eagle.
It hunts mostly not large animals, but can eat carrion. Very rarely attacks calves or young kangaroos.
9 marsupial anteater
This marsupial mammal, as the name implies, feeds on termites and ants. During the day, he eats about ten thousand termites. He earns his food thanks to a good sense of smell, as well as his tongue, which is adapted to catch these insects. He also has claws, specially adapted for tearing the earth.
Wombat is a marsupial animal that lives in Australia. He leads an underground lifestyle. With the help of his clawed paws, he breaks the tunnels in the ground, in which he lives. They are predominantly nocturnal. It is at night that they go in search of food.
What live only in this country?
- Emu - A large representative of the ostrich family, the size of this animal can reach two meters. Most often, these birds live in flocks that regularly change their location to search for food and water. Females of ostriches lay rather large eggs of dark green color, the weight of which reaches 500 g, but it is necessary for them to incubate for males.
Kuzu - marsupial nocturnal animal, inhabiting mainly on the branches of trees. It has an unusually tenacious tail, thanks to which the animal can move from branch to branch. He eats kuzu with leaves, bark and flowers, although he is also not averse to eat bird eggs.
Echidna - the marsupial animal, strongly resembling a hedgehog, actually has quite a lot of differences with it. Females of echidna usually lay only one egg that is hatched in their bag.
Due to its sharp needles, the echidna is invulnerable to predators, but its meat is a delicacy of the local aborigines.
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Tasmanian (marsupial) devil - a hunter, known to many by the same cartoon. Animals are predominantly nocturnal, and during the day they gain strength in the shade of shrubs. The marsupial devil is an aggressive animal, often fighting with more powerful rivals.
Kangaroo - an animal whose appearance is unique. It has short front and massive hind legs, which help the animal to move around by jumping. The tail of the kangaroo is unusually strong and long. There are a huge number of species of these animals, however, the red kangaroo is considered the most common. Red kangaroos live in groups and are willing to make contact with people.
Platypus - a mammal with a beak, like a bird. Despite their belonging to the family of mammals, the female platypus lay eggs. After that, the female incubates them for ten days.
Platypuses are born completely defenseless and therefore they spend their first weeks next to their mother, feeding on her milk. When the young become stronger and grow up, the female carries them to the water, where they learn to hunt small fish.
Animals have no teeth, two horny hillocks are located in their tongue, with which they grind food. For a considerable part of their lives, platypus live in burrows, leaving it only for hunting. Mammals feed on insect larvae, worms, small fish.
Tiger cat - predatory animal inhabiting eucalyptus forests. Paws of tiger cats are well developed, thanks to them they easily climb trees. Cats feed on birds and their eggs, rabbits, herons, small kangaroos. Cats are able to track down their prey for a long time, choosing a better moment to attack.
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Marsupial mammals: why are they only found here?
In Australia, marsupial mammals quantitatively superior placental group of animals. However, the rest of the world is the opposite; placental animals have great advantages over their rivals - marsupials.
Due to the isolation of the continent and the years of evolution, the marsupials became the main representatives of the fauna of Australia and occupied this position for quite a long time.
The situation began to change with the advent of civilization, the appearance of people and imported animals reduced the population of marsupials. Due to the invasion of the human factor A large number of species of marsupials have disappeared from the face of the earth. Currently marsupials animals are under special protection and inhabit special reserves and national parks.
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Who else is here?
- Sulfur-crested Cockatoo - a large parrot that lives not only in Australia, but also in New Guinea and Melanesia. Питается птица плодами фруктов, семенами и мелкими насекомыми. Находится на грани истребления.
Птица Казуар – птица, достигающая до 1,5 м в высоту. Средний вес казуара – 80 кг. На голове животного находится костный шлем, защищающий ее от нападения хищников. The bird lives in dense forests, eats mainly fruits, berries and small rodents. In ancient times, the bird was subjected to hunting, which significantly reduced its population at present.
Arbor birds or shalashniki got their name for a reason. Most bird species have a bright, female-appealing color.
However, gazebos birds remained deprived of appearance, therefore, in order to attract the opposite sex, they learned to build peculiar huts or turrets. The male, whose hut turned out to be particularly successful, received as a reward the location of the female.
Birds often decorate their buildings with flowers, shells and feathers, the juice for them is the juice of wild berries.
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List of unusual and interesting inhabitants of the state
- Wombat - The herbivore, which looks like a large rodent, or a small bear, but they are not related to the first or second. Like most of the animals in Australia, wombats belong to the family of marsupials, in the way of life animals strongly resemble ordinary rodents.
Wombat is the largest animal living in burrows. Animals have good protection from enemies: their skin is hard, in the back of the body there is a “shield”, which helps to fight off attacks on the hole.
Another unusual feature of the wombat is the metabolism: the animal takes the second place after the camel to preserve fluid in the body, the food of the animal is digested for a long time, and the excrement resembles cubes.
Koalas rank second in terms of fame, after kangaroos, causing affection by their appearance and peaceful nature. Koalas are relatives of wombats, but the former live in trees, feeding on eucalyptus leaves.
The koalas spend most of their lives in a calm state, “embracing” their branches with their tenacious paws. Eating koalas allows you to absorb a lot of protein, so the digestion of food is slow, which allows the animal to barely budge.
Also, koalas have practically no need for water, they absorb moisture from the leaves of eucalyptus and dew on them. Koalas are extremely good and gullible animals. They boldly make contact with people, allowing them to take themselves in their arms.
Wongo - animals, kind of ningo. Australian marsupial predators. Appearance is like a harmless mouse, however, Vongo has nothing in common with it. The marsupial is only 13 cm in length, so the Vongo can be dangerous only for small insects, which are its prey. The teeth of the Vongo do not resemble those of rodents, and its tail covers the spindly hair.
An unusual feature of the Vongo is that it is capable of sinking into spontaneous hibernation in a situation of food shortage.
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Mosquitoes from the Kusaki clan - deadly insects that are carriers of three dangerous diseases: tropical fever, encephalitis of the Murray valley and fever of the Ross River. The germs of the virus enter the bloodstream of a person at the moment of a bite that injects a mosquito along with saliva.
Great White Shark. Akin to the sea monster, the shark's jaws are incredibly large and strong, they can easily see through a person. White sharks exist not for the first millennium, and during this time they almost did not evolve, remaining the same “killing machines”.
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