Lush green forests, secluded Outback, and pristine waters of Australia are home to some of the most amazing and beautiful, sometimes hilarious, and other times dangerous endemic species. Given Australia’s convenient geographic location and welcoming climate, the country’s ecosystem has been developing undisturbed for centuries. Today we bring you top seven Aussie species, which are nowhere to be found anywhere else in the world. Curious what they are? Read on to find out.
Kangaroo is the first animal which comes to mind when someone mentions Australian fauna. No wonder, as it occupies an honorary spot on the Australian coat of arms and Aussie currency, and it has become an internationally recognized symbol of Down Under. As of 2011, the Australian government has estimated that there are over 35 million of these marsupials hopping all over the country.
2. Tasmanian Devil
Tasmanian devil is the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial which preys on small snakes, birds, fish, and insects. The devils owe their name to their almost supernatural skills of detecting danger and turn into a maniacal rage when threatened by a predator. Interestingly, when you come across a Tasmanian devil on a hike through Narawntapu National Park, the animal will most probably yawn at you, unbothered by your presence. Unless that is, you make it angry.
These animals are said to have undergone the smallest evolutionary changes over the years and they are the only remaining ancestors of mammals which evolved some 150 million years ago. Platypus is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australian states. Not many people know that male Platypus is one of the few venomous mammals – its spurs deliver unique kind of venom which causes severe pain to humans and is deadly to smaller animals, such as dogs.
4. Sugar Glider
Sugar gliders are found along both northern and eastern coasts of Australia. They are tiny animals with gray fur and characteristic membranes that allow them to glide through the air for as long as 100meterss. They feed on insects, but also have particular taste for sweet substances, such as sap and nectar. By gliding and dining at night they are safe from most predators.
Echidnas are named after Greek mythical monster, known to exist as a half-woman and half-snake. Some 20 to 50 million years ago echidnas used to be aquatic mammals, but the creatures as we know them today have also adapted to live on land. Their body is covered with thick hair and spikes, therefore echidnas are often referred to as spiky anteaters. They look for food using their highly sensitive sense of smell, as well as a unique ability to detect electromagnetic waves emitted by all living things.
Concluding our list of top 7 animals exclusive to Australia, there is the emu bird. This flightless bird is approximately 2 meters high and can weigh up to 60 kilograms. Emus are known for being fast runners, as they can run at the speed of almost 50 km/h. Emus lead a nomadic lifestyle and roam the bushes in search for food. They are very friendly and can be easily tamed in captivity, therefore while traveling through Australia you may encounter many Emu farms where you can get familiar with these impressive creatures.
A road trip through Australia is a perfect opportunity to admire the country’s unique flora and fauna. Located at an unusual climate sphere and boasting vast lands of nature untouched with a human hand, Australia is also home to many unique creatures, some of which serve as their international landmarks.
Kate Thora is a Senior Content Specialist for Uphours, an online resource with information about businesses worldwide. She spends her spare time traveling, and exploring Mother Nature’s best creations. Follow her on Twitter @katethora1.