From the Outback to the woodlands, Australia is full of amazing wildlife. Thousands of unique species can be found in “the land down under.” Here’s a look at a few species you won’t find anywhere else!
While they may resemble pet dogs, dingoes are one of Australia’s most abundant species of wildlife. They are one of the oldest species of wild dog. Often compared to wolves or coyotes, dingoes roam the Australian landscape, sometimes nomadic, and sometimes in packs.
Dingoes are a very adaptive species and can be found in a variety of habitats across Australia, from deserts to rainforests. Like other species of wild dogs, dingoes tend to howl rather than bark, rear their young together, and establish pack territories. They prey mainly on small mammals but have been known to take down larger prey such as kangaroos at times.
While dingoes and even dingo mixes can be found in other parts of the world (usually in a zoo or wildlife rescue), the only place to find these unique canines in the wild is in Australia.
4. Tasmanian Devil
A creature of unusual sights and sounds, the Tasmanian devil is one of Australia’s most interesting animals. Known for their short temper, high-pitched growls, and fierce facial expressions, Tasmanian devils pretty much scream “stay away.” However, they are often far less dangerous than they are perceived. Not that you should ever try to handle one though!
Native to Tasmania, the Australian island state for which they were named, Tasmanian devils are marsupials. Relative to many other famous Australian animals like koalas, wombats, and kangaroos. However, differing from the pack, Tasmanian devils are carnivores. Their strong jaws and razor-sharp teeth are capable of ripping through flesh and even crushing bone. While they can and do hunt, Tasmanian devils are mostly scavengers, consuming any and all carcasses they can find!
The Tasmanian devil may often be seen in cartoon form on Looney Tunes or as the mascot of countless high schools, but the only place to find these feisty, fascinating creatures in the wild is in Australia!
Another of Australia’s famous marsupials, the wombat is known for several unique characteristics, including its stocky body, inquisitive looks, and raspy screams. But perhaps most famous of all, the wombat is known for its unique poop. Particularly the shape and abundance of it. Wombats defecate in cubes, up to a hundred of them a day! Wombat poop has been a hot topic in the scientific community. It was recently discovered that wombats have a very unique digestive process that contributes to this phenomenon.
Wombats are found in Southern Australia, in forests and other woodlands. They spend most of their time grazing on grasses or in underground burrows. They are expert diggers, often constructing complex tunnels that reach deep underground. Other animals are also known to use wombat tunnels for safety and shelter, making them gracious little public servants.
Whether enamoring people with their adorable looks, baffling scientists with their poop, or providing shelter for another species, wombats are certainly one of the most beloved among Australian wildlife.
Second only to the kangaroo, the koala is at the very top of the list when it comes to Australia’s famous marsupials. These fuzzy, gentle, tree-dwelling creatures are found throughout Eastern Australia’s eucalyptus forests. They spend most of their time sleeping, up to 20 hours a day. When they are awake, koalas move slowly through the trees, munching on their favorite food, eucalyptus leaves.
Sadly, koalas are endangered and have suffered significant habitat loss in recent years. Numerous threats, including land development, wildfires, and predators, have all taken their toll on the koala population. Conservationists are working tirelessly to preserve and protect remaining koala habitats.
Koalas are featured prominently throughout Australian advertising and in pop culture. Statues with their likeness adorn parks, while koala stuffed animals are a popular souvenir. Along with the kangaroo, they are one of the most recognizable symbols of the country. While you may find koalas in zoos around the world, you won’t find them in the wild anywhere else but in beautiful Australia!
One of Australia’s most famous residents, the kangaroo needs no introduction! These happy, hopping creatures are considered a national symbol, appearing on the country’s coat of arms and inhabiting almost every state or territory. They are known for their powerful hind legs and tail, which they use to propel themselves over great distances. Kangaroos can leap impressive lengths of nearly 30 feet and reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
Kangaroos are the largest species of the marsupial family, which includes other mammals such as koalas, wombats, and opossums. Like all marsupials, kangaroos carry their young in a specialized pouch called a marsupium. It’s not uncommon to see female kangaroos hopping around the Outback with the adorable faces of their babies, known as “joeys,” peering out of their pouches.
Outside of a zoo, you won’t find these impressive creatures anywhere else. Kangaroos remain one of the most unique and beloved animals of Australia!