20 facts about Australian Animals
Did You Know?
- Australia has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal.
- More than 80 per cent of our plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia
- Kangaroos and emus cannot walk backward, one of the reasons that they're on the Australian coat of arms ( Australia is one of the only countries where we eat the animals on our coat of arms).
- There were over one million feral camels in outback Australia, until the government launched the $19m Feral Camel Management Program, which aims to keep the pest problem under control.
- Australia is home to the longest fence in the world. It is 5,614 km long, and was originally built to keep dingoes away from fertile land.
- Before the arrival of humans, Australia was home to megafauna: three metre tall kangaroos, seven metre long goannas, horse-sized ducks, and a marsupial lion the size of a leopard.
- The male platypus has strong enough venom to kill a small dog.
- The dingo, or wild dog, is our largest carnivorous mammal. Other Australian carnivores are smaller than the size of an average house cat.
- When the platypus was first sent to England, it was believed the Australians had played a joke by sewing the bill of a duck onto a rat.
- Australia has 3.3x more sheep than people.
- Wombat poop is cube shaped! This helps it mark its territory.
- Australia has more than 140 species of marsupials, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and wombats. 55 different native species of kangaroos and wallabies.
- Estimates of Australia’s kangaroo population vary between 30 and 60 million.
- A kangaroo is only one centimetre long when it is born.
- The Box jellyfish has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.
- No native Australian animals have hooves
- In 1932, the Australian military waged war on the emu population of Western Australia. Embarrassingly, they lost.
- There have been instances of wallabies getting high after breaking into opium crops, then running around and making what look like crop circles.
- The male lyrebird, which is native to Australia, can mimic the calls of over 20 other birds. If that's not impressive enough, he can also perfectly imitate the sound of a camera, chainsaw and car alarm.
- There currently a chlamydia outbreak among koala species, which has led to a 15% drop in koala populations.
18 May 2016