Iconic Aussie Animals
Australia is home to a wide range of amazing animals. Here are just a few!
Australia is famous for its marsupials, which are mammals that carry their babies in a pouch. Marsupial babies are called joeys.
The red kangaroo is the largest marsupial in the world! Kangaroos are herbivores, meaning they eat plants. Most of their water comes from the plants they eat, which makes them well suited to the hot, dry Australian environment. Kangaroos are found across mainland Australia. They use their strong tail as an "extra leg" for balance and to propel them as they hop around their habitat!
Fun Fact: Kangaroos have trouble moving backward.
The dingo is Australia's wild dog. Dingoes are carnivores (meat-eaters). They are commonly found in central and northern Australia, in woodland and grassland areas. Dingo young are called pups, and are usually born in litters of four to six.
Fun Fact: Dingoes don't bark like dogs, but they do howl! They howl as a way of talking to other dingoes, or as a warning that danger is near!
The emu is Australia's largest bird, and the second largest in the world (ostriches are the bi
ggest). An adult male emu can grow up to 6 feet tall! They eat plants, fruit and insects, and are found across Australia, except in Tasmania. Emu eggs are dark green, and they can lay between five and twenty eggs at once.
Fun Fact: Emus cannot fly. When they get scared the run in a zig-zag pattern!
Koalas spend most of their time in trees and are found in eastern Australia. They do no drink much water. However, they get most of the water they need from eucalyptus leaves. Koalas only eat eucalyptus leaves and will eat about two and a half pounds per day. Koalas will spend up to 20 hours sleeping each day.
Fun Fact: Although often called "koala bears," koalas are not actually bears but marsupials.
Wombats are marsupials that live in burrows in southeast Australia and Tasmania. There are three species of wombats: the common wombat, the northern hairy-nosed wombat and the southern hairy-nosed wombat. Wombats are herbivores, so they only eat plants such as grasses, roots and bark. Female wombats give birth to a jellybean-sized baby called a joey. The joey lives in mom's pouch for around 5 months.
Fun Fact: Although wombats look pudgy and slow, they can actually run up to 25
miles per hour!
Saltwater crocodiles are the largest reptile in the world and are found in the northern regions of Australia. Large males can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh 2200 pounds! Their name is quite misleading as saltwater crocodiles can live in freshwater as well as saltwater rivers, lakes and oceans. Saltwater crocodiles will eat anything they can catch in their powerful jaws, including fish, turtles and wild pigs.
Fun Fact: Baby crocodiles or hatchlings will be female if the incubation temperature is below 86 degrees and will be male if it is above 90 degrees.