Your Guide to Australian Animals
Koalas are one of the most famous Australian animals. Koalas are a native Australian marsupial (meaning that their offspring are born relatively undeveloped and require further development in their mother's pouch). A koala's main food source is eucalypt leaves, and koalas primarily inhabit eucalypt forests around the eastern and south-eastern coastline of Australia.
Although there are more than 700 eucalypt species in Australia (ANPSA), koalas will only eat leaves from less than 50 of these species. Unfortunately, that means that habitat loss is the greatest threat to the survival of koalas, and koala numbers are in serious decline. Thankfully, the Australian Koala Foundation (a not-for-profit organisation) is dedicated to the conservation of koalas and their habitat, and has done wonderful work over the last 30 years in raising the awareness of the global community.
Kangaroos are another one of the most famous Australian animals. The Kangaroo is a native Australian marsupial and is the largest marsupial surviving on Earth today. Kangaroos are renowned for their large hind legs and powerful tail which allows them to balance as they hop around. There are two main sub-species of kangaroo in Australia; the Eastern Grey Kangaroo, and the larger Red Kangaroo (which can weigh up to 90 kilograms). Kangaroos graze on plant matter throughout most of Australia, and they are social animals which live in groups that are commonly referred to as "mobs".
The Dingo is Australia's wild dog. They are not a native animal of Australia, but are widely regarded as one of the most well-known Australian animals. It is believed that they were introduced into Australia around 3500 years ago. Dingos live in a wide variety of habitats throughout mainland Australia. As carnivores, dingos mainly feed on a range of mammals such as rabbits, wombats, wallabies and kangaroos.
The emu is Australia's tallest native bird and can reach up to 2 metres (6'5") in height. This height means that emus have very long legs, and they are able to sprint at up to 50 km/h (31 mph)! Emus are found only in Australia, and they live throughout most of the continent and in nearly all habitat types. Emus feed on a variety of items such as grasses, fruits, seeds, plant shoots, insects and other small animals.
Australia is home to many more native animals than you can find on this page. For example, wombats, tasmanian devils, frilled neck lizards, blue tongue lizards, green tree frogs, kookaburras, and galahs. Australia is also renowned for its potentially deadly native animals such as great white sharks, saltwater crocodiles, inland taipans, eastern brown snakes, Sydney funnel-web spiders, box jellyfish and blue-ringed octopus!