Flora and fauna of Australia


Despite the fact that Australia is the oldest continent of the Earth, it was discovered much later than other continents. Therefore, the natural beauty is preserved here better. The location itself makes it unique.

Australia is located in four climatic zones. The waters of the Indian Ocean and the equatorial winds carry heat to its shores. Frosts from Antarctica reach the southern coast of the mainland.

Of particular interest is the Australian landscape. The coast is immersed in lush green thick trees, and the center of the continent is covered with savannas and semi-deserts. There is little rainfall in Australia, so there is little natural water.

In the east and southwest of the country, there are mountain ranges. Their height is not great. Despite the big name "Australian Alps", the mountains do not exceed 1300 meters. However, their peaks are covered with snow all year round, so the vegetation here is rather scarce.

Australia includes many islands, the largest of which is Tasmania, which was once part of the continent. The uniqueness of the local climatic conditions and relief had an impact on the flora and fauna, which are distinguished by their special diversity and unusualness. To date, there are more than 1,000 reserves in the country, in which animal representatives and wildlife vegetation live.

Flora of Australia (with photos)

Australia has an incredible originality of flora. It symbolizes its majestic eucalyptus. This huge tree with powerful roots, going down to an earthen depth of 20-30 meters, could adapt to the Australian drought. Eucalyptus trees growing near swamps are able to drain them, pulling out all the moisture. This method of drying wetland, for example, was used on the coast of the Caucasus. The narrow leaves of the tree are turned edge to the sun, so finding a shadow in the eucalyptus forest is very difficult. Eucalyptus trees grow almost throughout the Australian flora world. There is an incredible variety here: over 500 varieties.

The Australian mainland receives significantly less rainfall than in South America and Africa. The abundance of rain is characteristic only for the northern tropical forests in the summer at the end of the year. At this time, local plants develop particularly actively and rapidly, reaching two-meter heights.

Most Australian plants and trees have different adaptations for living in arid climate: wide trunks and powerful roots capable of accumulating large amounts of moisture. They are twined vines and epiphytes - winding flowers.

The east coast of the continent, washed by Pacific waters, sinks in dense bamboo thickets.

The north of the continent is covered with dense subtropical forests with mangroves and huge palm trees. It is characterized by the greatest amount of precipitation. Here grow ferns, horsetail, pandanus, acacia.

In the southern part of Australia, there are bottle trees, called for their fruits, which resemble a bottle. Locals collect rainwater from them. The forest in this part is increasingly thinning and goes into the savannah zone, which is a luxurious carpet of all kinds of herbs. In the summer it dries, turning into a bare desert.

The central part of the continent is covered with pastures. Cultivated plants in Australia brought the Europeans. After colonization, the cultivation of flax, cotton, wheat, as well as fruits and vegetables spread. Grain crops grow well in desert areas.

The northern part of the Australian flora is represented by tropical forests, which occupy only a couple of percent of the entire continent. Eucalyptus, habitual for local edges, adjoin to ficuses, palm trees and other exotic representatives of flora.

Australia's watersheds are surrounded by impassable, prickly evergreen shrubs. The characteristic Australian vegetation is the famous scrub - interlacing of wild, undersized eucalyptus trees.

Wildlife Australia (with photos)

The Australian fauna is no less diverse and rich than the flora. Its main feature is endemic animals, i.e. living in the wild only here. Local symbols - koalas and kangaroos - are known throughout the world. Among the 17 genera of kangaroos, there are over 50 species: kangaroo derby, arboreal and rock kangaroos, kangaroo rats. The largest of them grow more than 1.5 meters in height, and the smallest - about 20 centimeters. Australians themselves call “kangaroo” only two types of these marsupials: red and giant gray. The remaining representatives of the kangaroo genus are called wallabies.

Wildlife is filled with mammals of over 300 species. Many birds and animals were able to adapt to living in the Australian scrubs and jungles. In Australia, flying squirrels fly from tree to tree, with fierce lizards walking on two legs. Here live amazing platypuses and echidnas. Opossums and wombats live in the forests, valued by their fur. A very bloodthirsty form in flying foxes, despite their preference in feeding on flowers and nectar. For humans, they are dangerous the possibility of suffering a terrible infection. Australian bats, whose weight reaches 1 kg and wingspan - 1.5 meters, have received a terrible look.

The bizarre picture of the Australian fauna is complemented by flocks of extraordinary birds, forced to constantly migrate because of the arid climate. Most of them have a bright color and unusual appearance. Powerful emu-ostriches live on these lands from time immemorial. An unprecedented cry of forest thicket announces huge cockatoo. Twitter fabulous lyre-like birds playing musical instruments. In the Australian forests there are sounds that resemble human laughter. They are published, living in the holes of trees, kookabur. These are beautiful birds with large beaks, gray and blue plumage. Their nutritional diet includes small lizards and rodents.

From the Arctic to the south of the mainland brings penguins. Whales migrate to Africa with the arrival of cold in the ocean waters. Neighboring here and bloodthirsty sharks with friendly dolphins. Huge crocodiles lair in the Australian rivers. Corals, polyps, moray eels and stingrays reign in the great barrier reef.

Another distinctive feature of a unique continent is the absence of mammal predators. The only exceptions were wild dogs Dingo - something between a fox and a wolf.

As well as cultivated plants, domestic animals were introduced to Australia by Europeans. Over time, flocks of sheep, goats, cows, herds of horses began to roam the local expanses of the savannas, of course, cats and dogs appeared. Interestingly, the number of sheep here exceeds the number of people more than 5 times.

The history of the animal world can be divided into several stages. True Australian fauna have died out during the aboriginal habitat. Later, the continent was inhabited by Europeans, who struck another blow to the local nature. Today, many species of birds and animals are on the verge of extinction. Nevertheless, they still amaze the entire planet not only with its exoticism, but also with a wide variety and unsurpassed wealth.

The Australian world of flora and fauna, which has no analogues anywhere on the planet, is distinguished by such unearthly uniqueness, magic and wealth.

Now you know what animals and plants are in Australia.

Interesting answers

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Australian plants

Of the 12 thousand species of higher plants, more than 9 thousand grow only on the Australian continent. Among them are many types of eucalyptus and acacia, the most typical Australian plants. At the same time, such plants are also found here, inherent in South America, South Africa and the islands of the Malay Archipelago. This indicates that land connections existed between the continents many millions of years ago.

Since the climate of most parts of Australia is characterized by arid aridity, in its flora dry-growing plants dominate: special grasses, eucalyptus trees, umbrella acacias, succulent trees (bottle tree). Such trees suck moisture from great depths. The narrow and dry leaves of these trees are painted mainly in a dull gray-greenish color. In some of them the leaves are turned to the sun edge, which helps reduce the evaporation of water from their surface.

For the deserts of the central parts of the continent, where it is very hot and dry, thick, almost impassable thickets of thorny shrubs are characteristic.

Animals of Australia

A prominent representative of the family of tailless amphibians is the tree frog, or treegrass, a tree frog with a very bright color.

Also in Australia there are many different types of parrots.

One of the features of the fauna of Australia is that there are no large predatory mammals. The only dangerous predatory beast is the dingo dog. It was brought by the Austronesians, who traded with the Australian aborigines from 3000 BC. e.

Tasmanian devil - the largest of the modern marsupial predators. His black coloring, huge mouth with sharp teeth, sinister nightly cries and fierce temper gave the first European settlers reason to call this stumpy predator the devil.

This animal belongs to the genus Sarcophilus (derived from ancient Greek σάρξ - "meat" and φιλέω "-" love ", which can be translated as" lover of the flesh "). This is a small animal the size of a dog, but with a physique, habits and color rather resembling a dwarf bear. The length of its body is 50-80 cm, tail - 23-30 cm, height at withers - up to 30 cm, and weight - about 12 kg.

Wombats are also found here, burrowing grass-eating animals that look like little bears.

The wildlife of Australia includes about 200 thousand species of animals, and among them - a huge number of unique, living only in Australia. 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 90% of fish and 93% of amphibians are indigenous to Australia and completely unique for the rest of the planet. The fauna of the continent is completely devoid of monkeys, thick-skinned mammals and ruminants.

Koala, or the marsupial bear, is another prominent representative of the animal world of Australia, known throughout the world. Koals spend almost all their life in crowns of eucalyptus trees. They have adapted to eat shoots and eucalyptus leaves, which contain little protein, but a lot of phenolic and terpene compounds, poisonous for most animals.

In nature, there are about 69 species of kangaroo. They can be divided into three groups:

  • the smallest are kangaroo rats,
  • medium - wallabies,
  • giant kangaroo. They are the most famous. It is a giant kangaroo with an emu depicted on the coat of arms of Australia.

More than 800 species of birds inhabit the continent. The brightest representatives are cassowary and emu, black swan, parrots and even penguins.

In Australia's fauna, there are about 860 reptile species.

The continental arid spaces of the continent are the habitat of the giant monitor lizard, moloch lizard, blue-tongued skink, carpet pythons and flesh-bearing lizards.

Australia has the largest number of venomous snakes in the world, among which the Taipan are the most dangerous.

Of marine predators, the undisputed leader in ferocity is the marine (or crested) crocodile, swimming along the rivers far inland and distinguished by its enormous size. His smaller brother, a freshwater crocodile, is not so dangerous.

The platypus is also found here - an egg-laying mammal that is found only in the east of Australia and in Tasmania.

More than 4,400 fish species have been found in the waters of Australia and the surrounding area, but only 170 of them are freshwater. There are many species of sharks in this region, among them there are dangerous for humans. It is not for nothing that Australia and Oceania are leading the rating of "shark-dangerous" regions of the planet.

The waters around Australia are rich in cephalopods and molluscs. Among the most well-known species are blue-necked octopuses, ranked among the most poisonous animals in the world, and giant Australian cuttlefish.

Geographical position and nature of Australia

Located at the junction of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Australia, in addition to the mainland, includes the island of Tasmania, located on the southern side of the continent, and many small islands. The relief of the continent was formed due to the Central Lowland, in which are located the depressions located below the level of the World Ocean.

In the western part of the continental platform is raised, and on it is located the West Australian plateau. The eastern part of the continent is distinguished by the Great Dividing Range, which stretches along the entire coast. Its eastern slopes abruptly break off, the western - more gentle, with a gradual decrease, they turn into hilly foothills, called Downsans.

Description of the mainland

Australia, whose nature is extraordinarily beautiful, is characterized by a mild climate and the same legislation. The immense expanses of the country (an area of ​​1,682,300 sq. Km), the ancient culture of the locals, harmoniously combined with the culture of the new world — this is what makes Australia unusual and creates an individually unique character for it. The population of the state is 19 million people, of which 94% are descendants of European immigrants, 4% are Asian and 2.0% are Aboriginal. According to religious beliefs in Australia, 75% are Christians, the rest are Buddhists, Muslims and Jews.

Australian population

On the planet Australia, perhaps the most unique continent. Separated about 50 million years ago from the Gondwana pracontinent, has since been in isolation. It is believed that the indigenous aborigines settled here from Asia about 50 thousand years ago.

Australia is a country of immigrants, is considered the most sparsely populated continent (2.5 people per square kilometer), with the majority of the population (85%) living in cities and descendants of immigrants. The first of those arriving on the mainland (in the 18th century) were the British, today representatives of almost all nationalities live in Australia.

Australia is in everyone's heart

The inhabitants of the country are very friendly, friendly with foreigners, easy to learn, cheerful, like Californians, they like to spend most of their time outdoors.

In terms of health, Australia ranks second in the world after Japan, and it can also be called the country of literate people. The capital of Australia is Canberra.

In its geological age, Australia, whose nature has preserved all the signs of an ancient civilization, is the oldest continent, the lowest, most arid, and flat of all inhabited. 95% of the territory is occupied by the plains, most of which are lifeless immense deserts and swamps. At the same time, the continent is rich in groundwater, forming at a depth of 20 m to 2 km artesian basins of enormous size.

Rivers mainland Australia

The largest rivers of Australia, not rich in water resources of the continent, are Darling, Murray, Fitzroy, Hunter, Bourg-dekin, feeding on the waters of the melting snow of the Australian Alps, therefore they are constantly flowing. Most rivers are filled with water from time to time: under the influence of a specific climate with its small amount of precipitation, they simply dry up.

In the headwaters of the river, Australia looks impressive, farther downstream they lose their magnificence, turning into ideally dry flat valleys, whose borders are marked by straight rows of trees. After the rains they will turn into full-flowing flows, but this is only a temporary phenomenon.

Australia: the wonderful world of flora and fauna

Australia, the nature of which is capable of constantly surprising, is characterized by a unique flora and fauna inherent only in it, its singularity is due to an isolated existence. Not in vain, out of 700 species of birds, 500 are considered endemic (typical of this particular area).

Australian wildlife is different from any other, only in this country are found marsupial animals, of which there are 160 species: kangaroos, koalas, squirrels, anteaters, wolves and bears living in trees. The most rare representative of marsupials is the Tasmanian marsupial devil. The wild dog dingo, echidna, platypus, crocodiles, sea and river turtles, 150 species of snakes and 450 species of lizards - not a complete list of unusual inhabitants of an amazing continent.

Необычный живой мир континента

Живая природа Австралии примечательна плащеносными ящерицами, которые при возникшей опасности надевают на голову «капюшоны», устрашая врагов резким увеличением в размерах. Frightens off enemies with thorns growing on the body, the Australian lizard Moloch, able to change colors in accordance with environmental conditions. It is interesting to observe how the cone-tailed geckos clear their huge eyes with tongue.

Australian frogs are just a separate topic of conversation. Having managed to adapt to the inhospitable conditions of the continent, these amphibians accumulate a body of water in the body, burrow deep into the mud, where they are able to sit waiting for precipitation for about 5 years.

The wild dog dingo is a predator and feeds on everything that comes its way: from an insect to a kangaroo. Able to attack the flocks of sheep, for which it is subjected to prosecution of herdsmen. In some regions of Australia, special fences have been built that prevent the spread of the wild dingo dog.

Features of the nature of Australia: it is black birch and swans. The world of insects is striking in its number, size and species. Some types of butterflies can reach 25 cm in size, by the way, they are the favorite food of the aborigines of the northern side of the continent.

The desert world of Australia gives rise to such unique specimens as the cuscus trunk, a true gourmet of floral nectar, which it collects with special brushes arranged in the tongue.

Australian birds

In the coastal southern waters inhabited by whales, and in some places seals. Australia has a large number of aquatic predators: sharks (more than 70 species), sea snakes, blue octopuses, sea wasp (Australian jellyfish), warty fish. An interesting feature of the Australian mainland is the absence of those animals and birds on it, which are common on other continents.

Australia, whose nature and animals can only amaze, is rich in bird species, of which there are more than 700 species. These are kazaur, emu ostrich, cockatoo, fine-billed petrel, emu ostrich, kookabarra, lyretail.

Australia even hunts on the yellow-crested cockatoo, because flocks of these birds destroy entire fields, depriving the country of crops.

The cassowary bird used to be widespread on the continent, but hunting for it and uprooting forests led to a sharp reduction of this species of birds. Cazuar, whose height reaches 1.5 meters with an average weight of 80 kg, usually lives in forests and feeds on berries, fruits and small animals.

Australia: nature (flora)

The flora of the mainland has more than 22 thousand species of green plants, of which 90% are endemic. However, the rapid development of civilization caused serious damage to the flora of the continent: 840 species are on the verge of extinction, 83 completely destroyed.

The most common plants on the island, numbering hundreds of species, are acacias and eucalyptus trees, the latter can reach a height of 100 meters. Such specimens have a very powerful root system, extending deep into the ground for 20-30 meters. The eucalyptus forest does not give a shadow due to such an interesting feature as narrow leaves angled to the sun. The slopes of the Great Dividing Range on the east and southeast side are covered with dense forests consisting of grass trees, horsetails, eucalyptus, ferns. In the southwest, along with eucalyptus trees, there are bottle trees, a feature of which is the accumulation of water in the trunk during the rainy period.

From savannah to the humid tropics

Along the coasts of the continent, deciduous and tropical forests grow, composed of all the same eucalyptus trees, pandanuses and palm trees, within the state the climate changes to continental, and the nature of mainland Australia - to savannas and light forests. The arid regions are a savannah zone and are characterized by thickets of low-growing prickly bushes, growing in separate groups, and grassy pastures drying up in the hot season. Often there are areas covered with spherical gray bushes, which is the famous Spinifex - the most unpretentious plant on the continent.

Australian woods are characterized by solid wood that can resist insects and the corrosive effects of salty sea water, it does not rot, and is of great value as a building material.

Flora of Australia

In the wonderful world of the Australian flora, eucalyptus is present almost everywhere. There are more than 500 species of them in Australia.

In the Mediterranean climate of the northwestern tip of the continent are the possessions of tropical forests. They occupy only two percent of the entire area of ​​the continent. These are eucalyptus trees, but in common with palm trees, ficuses and other exotic representatives of the local flora. In percentage, this is 80% of the species presented.

In the desert regions, the climate is extremely aggressive and therefore only cereal crops feel good there. Among the representatives of high plants in Australia, the main part consists of trees that have a long root system, up to 30 meters deep. The local large forms of flora and other plants have adapted to the arid climate. This is indicated by thick powerful roots, a wide trunk that accumulates moisture and the ability of leaves to turn away from the sun. Thanks to these features of the plant I protect the moisture inside them from evaporation.

Trees with wide trunks entwine vines and various winding flowers, which are also called epiphytes. Very often on one tree you can count up to 50 different types of epiphytes.

Against the background of eucalyptus with gray bark, high-powered ferns seem to be green fountains, which makes the organic world of the continent even more mysterious and unique.

The largest amount of precipitation falls on the northern coast; therefore, acacias, pandanuses, horsetails and ferns grow here.

Fig. 2. Ferns.

Close to the coast are mangroves and bamboo groves.

Symbol of the green continent

The vegetation of the Australian south is replete with acacias and eucalyptus trees. A distinctive feature of the plants in these areas is their squat, which is explained by the aridity of the climate.

Eucalyptus are endemic among the plants that dominate the continent.

List of the most common plants for the mainland:

  • eucalyptus trees
  • thorny evergreen shrubs,
  • acacia,
  • ferns.

Eucalyptus is considered the plant symbol of Australia. The tree perfectly adapted to the arid climate. Trees that grow near swamps are able to absorb moisture from the swamp water and drain the water.

The continent is characterized by the presence of thorny bushes, which are completely devoid of foliage.

Along the watersheds are impassable, evergreen shrubs, from which animals often suffer.

Another feature of the flora and fauna of Australia is that the fauna of the continent does not include a single predator. However, this does not mean that there are no carnivorous animals on the continent.

What have we learned?

We found out what types of plants grow in specific territories of the mainland. Established the reasons why only part of the land of the continent is suitable for growing cereal crops. Identified a growing area of ​​evergreen thorny shrubs. We found out which factors influence the size of plants and the structural features of their foliar and root systems.