Australia is home to a variety of animals and plants. Some of the most iconic animals we have here are the kangaroo and koala in addition to the echidna, platypus, dingo, wallaby and wombat.
The list of well-known wild animals of Australia
The Cane Toad
Source: National Geographic Kids
As one of the largest of the frogs and toads in Australia, cane toads are heavily-built amphibians with dry, warty skin. They are highly toxic throughout their life cycle, and have few predators in Australia.
Source: Tourism Australia
Despite being Australia?s largest terrestrial predator, the Dingo is listed as vulnerable to extinction. It is the wild dog of Australia with a medium size, broad head, pointed muzzle, erect ears, bushy tail and red to yellow coats.
Echidna (also spiny anteaters) is one of the egg-laying mammals and one of the world?s rarest animals. It is medium-sized, covered with coarse hair and spines.
Kangaroos and Emus are on the Australian Coat of Arms. This is because they are unable to walk backwards, symbolizing Australia as a forward moving nation. As the largest native bird, emus are soft-feathered, brown, flightless with long necks and legs (up to 1.9 metres in height). Their legs are among the strongest of any animal.
Source: Australian Reptile Park
Being monitor lizards, goannas are mostly found in the desert areas of Western Australia. They are the world?s fourth-largest living lizard, with sharp teeth and claws.
The Insland Taipan (also Western Taipan, small-scaled snake, or fierce snake) is the most venomous land snake on earth and found in regions of central east Australia. Although extremely venomous, it is usually quite shy and reclusive, and prefers to escape from trouble. The Insland Taipan, however, will defend itself and strike if provoked, mishandled, or prevented from escaping.
Being endemic to Australia, Kangaroos are the largest species in the family. They have large, powerful hind legs, large feet for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head. There are more kangaroos than people in Australia. According to the Federal Government, the kangaroo population is about 50?60 million.
As a tree herbivorous animal native to Australia, the koala is found in coastal areas of the mainland?s eastern and southern regions, inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. This adorable animal is silver grey to chocolate brown, has a stout, tailless body,a large head, round and fluffy ears and a large and spoon-shaped nose.
The Platypus (also called the duck-billed platypus) is a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal endemic to eastern Australia in small rivers and streams within the states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. It has a very unusual appearance, with a beaver-like tail, lays eggs, otter-like fur and webbed feet. The platypus is one of the known venomous mammals in the world.
The Sugar Glider
This is a small arboreal omnivores found throughout mainland of Australia. It is characterised by its gliding membrane extending from the forelegs to hindlegs, with one on either side of its body. Gliding is an efficient means of locating food and evading predators. It is covered in soft, pale grey to brown fur.
The Tasmanian Devil
The Tasmanian Devil is the canivorous marsupial found in the wild only on the island state of Tasmania, including the east-coast of Maria Island. It has stocky and muscular build, black fur, keen sense of smell and extremely loud screech. Though with the size of a small dog, the Tasmanian devil is known for one of the strongest bites per unit body mass of any other land predator.
The Thorny Dragon
Source: Australian Geographic
As the only species of devil lizard found in Australia,the thorny dragon (also knows as the thorny devil) are coloured in desert browns and tans. Their colours are pale during warm weather and changed to darker colours during cold weather. The thorny dragon is covered entirely with conical spines and are known for their defenses against predators.
The Tiger Quoll
Source: Illawarra Mercury
The Tiger quoll (also, know as as the spotted-tail qoll, spotted quoll, spotted-tail dasyure or tiger cat) is a carnivorous animal found in mainland Australia and Tasmania. It is mainland Australia?s largest carnivorous marsupial, and the longest species of marsupial on earth (the biggest is the Tasmanian devil). The tiger quoll is reddish-brown with white spots, has quite short leg, but its tail is as long as its body and head combined.
The Wallaby is the smallest member of kangaroo family found in Australia. They are generally much smaller than kangaroos with a more varied colour pattern.
Source: National Geographic
Wombats are native to Australia, found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania and Epping Forest National Park in central Queensland. They have short legs, stubby tails and a muscular build.
Originally published at www.scotsenglish.edu.au.