Australian animals: photo with names and descriptions

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Australian animals: photo with names and descriptions
Australian animals: photo with names and descriptions
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Australia is a unique continent that includes 6 climatic zones, each of which has its own natural conditions, fauna and flora: deserts, sea coast, tropical forests, mountain peaks. Most representatives of Australia's animals are endemic, living exclusively on its territory. This happened due to the fact that for many millennia the mainland existed separately from other parts of the land.

Australian wildlife we alth

Australian fauna includes about 400 species of various animals, among which 83-93% are unique. The main feature of the continent is the absence of mammalian predators, the only representative of which, the dingo dog, is the enemy of numerous sheep herds. Also, there have never been ruminants in Australia.

Some species could not survive after the settlement of the mainland by natives (marsupial giants) and European settlers (Tasmanian tiger). To protect the environment and wildlife ona large number of protected and protected areas have been created on the territory of the country.

Main categories of Australian wildlife:

  • marsupials - 159 species;
  • bats - 76;
  • Cetaceans - 44;
  • birds - 800;
  • rodents - 69;
  • pinnipeds - 10;
  • reptiles - 860;
  • ground predators - 3;
  • amphibians - more than 5000.

Introduced or introduced species also live here: ungulates, lagomorphs and Siren Dugong.

Animals of Australia

Australian animals: list by orders and families

The following mammals are endemic to the 5th continent:

  • single pass: platypus and echidna;
  • marsupials: Tasmanian devil, anteater, wombat, bandicoot, nambat, koala, possums and flying squirrels;
  • kangaroos: gray, wallaroo, striped, wallaby, giant, mountain, red, etc.;
  • birds: emus and cassowaries, cockatoos, etc.;
  • reptiles: giant monitor lizard, Moloch lizard, blue-tongued skink, frilled lizard, s altwater and freshwater crocodiles, poisonous snakes, rare species of turtles and amphibians;
  • amphibians: frogs, toads, tree frogs, etc.

Marsupials of Australia are unique species that arose during the evolution of viviparous mammals, which occurred 120 million years ago. Due to geographic isolation and a favorable climate, this class of fauna has been well preserved. A common feature is the presence of a bag that opens at the back or front, in which the cubs live afterbirth. The female, with the help of special muscles, injects milk into their mouths, because the babies themselves are not yet able to suck.

Other distinguishing features are the special structure of the bones of the pelvis and lower jaw, which allows scientists to accurately identify the found fossil bones and remains.

Let's take a closer look at the most interesting and original animals of Australia, photos with names, descriptions and interesting details.

Kangaroo

When a child or adult is asked what animals live in Australia, the most popular answer is the kangaroo. They are the brightest representatives of the fauna of the 5th continent and are depicted on the coat of arms of the country.

The favorite habitats of gray eastern kangaroos (lat. Macropus) are rainforests and flat areas with a lot of vegetation. The size of males in height is 2-3 m, females are slightly smaller. Body color: gray-brown. The front paws are small in size - they serve to dig up the roots and tubers of plants, the hind, more developed ones - are designed for jumping, in which the animal is a champion: they can jump up to 9 m in length and 3 m in height. The tail for them plays the role of a support and helps to maintain balance while moving.

Australian kangaroos

Kangaroos live in families (mobs), including a male leader (boomer) and several females, as well as young growing males. Observing a clear hierarchy, such groups can live and eat in the neighborhood, but inside the family, the male sets the rules. Average life expectancy up to18 years old.

The kangaroo breeding process is quite original: the cub is born like a worm up to 2.5 cm in size and weighing 1 g. Its main task is the process of crawling to the mother's bag, where it gets along the path in wool, which the female moistens with her tongue. Having settled in a nest bag, the baby grows, eating mother's milk up to 1.5 years. Only then does he become independent and mature.

Basic diet: succulent herbs and green parts of plants. Natural enemy: dingo dog.

Marsupial anteater

Nambat, or marsupial anteater, lives in the southwestern region of Australia in forests of eucalyptus and acacia trees. Body dimensions: up to 27 cm, tail - up to 17 cm. Males are usually larger than females, both have a beautiful fluffy tail.

This unique Australian animal has an original tongue: its length is up to 10 cm, it is covered with a sticky secret, to which insects stick. The main food of the anteater is termites and ants (about 20 thousand daily). He gets them with the help of his tongue from the most inaccessible places.

Anteaters live alone and communicate with each other only during the breeding season. They quickly climb trees, hiding from danger in hollows. After fertilization, after 2 weeks, the female gives birth to 2-4 cubs, about 1 cm in size, which hang on the mother's nipples for up to 4 months and feed on milk. They don't have baby bags, despite the name. They live with their mother for 9 months, the last of which are already in the hole.

Anteater marsupial

Natural enemies: dingoes, foxes, birds of prey.

Tasmanian Devil

The marsupial devil or devil is the largest predator that lives on the island of Tasmania. This is a marsupial animal that looks like a bear. He received his "devilish" nickname for his promiscuous diet: he feeds on the rotting remains of victims, which he eats along with bones and skin. The sounds he makes can be heard hundreds of meters away, they convey his aggression and are capable of intimidating any person.

The beast is not very large (weight up to 12 kg), but the strength of its teeth allows it to gnaw through any bones, even large animals.

tasmanian wolf

Other marsupials of Australia with names

These mammals are unique representatives of the fauna of the fifth continent, which are united by a special way of reproduction and raising cubs. To do this, they have a "bag" in which babies live the first months of their lives, eating their mother's milk.

Bright representatives of the marsupial fauna of Australia:

  • moles are the only marsupials on the mainland that lead an underground lifestyle, instead of ears they have special holes for picking up sounds, there is a horn shield on the tip of the nose that helps dig holes;
  • bandicoots - marsupial badgers, forming several varieties, small animals weighing up to 2 kg, feed on lizards, roots, larvae, insects, fruits of trees;
  • wombat - the largest animal in the world, leading a burrowing lifestyle, its weight reaches 45 kg, looks like a bear cub with gray-brown hair; for protection from enemies (dingo dog, etc.) on the backparts of the body have hardened skin (shield), with which it is able to strangle a predator, pressing it against the wall of the hole; these animals have a very efficient metabolism and excrete in cubic form.
Wombat looks like a teddy bear

Dingo

Wild dog, or dingo (lat. Canis lupus dingo) is the only predator in Australia that lives on plains and sparse forest areas. Outwardly, it resembles a small dog of fawn-red color. The dingo is also the only non-marsupial that produces he althy young.

The way of life is predominantly nocturnal, which takes place in hunting other animals or exploring the territory. Dingoes live in groups, life expectancy is 5-10 years.

A litter usually has 4-6 puppies, which are born after a pregnancy lasting up to 69 days. Diet: rabbits, wallabies, reptiles or carrion.

wild dog dingo

Koalas

These cute little animals are the 2nd most popular animal in Australia (pictured below) for their good looks and calmness. Koalas (lat. Phascolarctos cinereus) are the only representatives of the family of the same name, they live on eucalyptus trees and feed on their leaves. They sleep almost all day (18-20 hours a day), clinging to the trunk or branches with their paws, at night they slowly climb the branches, chewing food and putting it in their cheek pouches.

The name translates as "no water", which means the absence of it in the diet: they get moisture from the leaves themselves (daily rate - 1 kggreenery). The size of a koala can reach 90 cm, weight - up to 15 kg, thick wool has a gray or brown-red tint. By nature, they are friendly and trusting, and the cubs are calm about sitting on the hands of a person.

Sloths Australia

Carrying babies lasts 30-35 days, then 1-2 cubs weighing 5 g and 15-18 mm long are born, which climb into the mother's bag, where they live for another six months. The last month, the female feeds them with feces, consisting of semi-digested eucalyptus leaves. This gives babies the opportunity to get special bacteria that will help them digest food properly in the future.

Then the cub roams with its mother for several months, sitting on her back, and only at the age of one becomes independent.

Echidna

This Australian animal is covered in spikes, which are modified keratin hairs. They help the animal defend itself from enemies (dingoes, foxes and wild cats). Echidna (lat. Tachyglossus aculeatus) can reach a length of 40 cm and weigh up to 6 kg, has an elongated muzzle. When meeting with a predator, she curls up into a ball and exposes spikes.

Main Diet: Ants and termites, which are mined with a sticky tongue. When breeding, it lays a single egg, hatching from which, the cub lives in a pouch and receives milk from the mother's special glands.

Echidna in Australia

Platypus

Another original waterfowl of Australia, which has an unusual appearance: a flat beak, similar toon the otter, the body, the tail is like that of beavers, and the paws are webbed like ducks. The length of the body of this mammal is 30-40 cm, weight 2.4 kg, the fur has water-repellent properties, which allows the animal to live in water, remaining dry.

The platypuses (lat. Ornithorhynchus anatinus) feed on crustaceans, frogs, insects, snails, small fish and algae, which they detect using a variety of receptors on the skin of the beak according to the principle of echolocation. Animals have toxic saliva, and male platypuses have poisonous spurs on their hind legs that can cause severe pain in humans.

Females lay 2 eggs in a specially dug mink with a nest of leaves and grass. The cubs are selected from the shell with the help of an egg tooth, which then falls off. They are blind and naked (size 2.5 cm), feed on mother's milk, which protrudes through the pores on her stomach, but there are no nipples. Babies' eyes open at almost 3 months of age.

Platypus in water

Platypuses were almost completely exterminated at the beginning of the 20th century because of the valuable fur from which fur coats were sewn. However, after the ban on hunting, their population was able to recover. The animal is a symbol of Australia and is depicted on one of the coins.

Cassowary

This largest flightless bird is a prime example of what animals live in Australia. Cassowaries live in tropical forests, but it is difficult to see them in nature: because of their fearfulness, they hide in dense thickets.

The main feature of the appearance of the bird is a bony outgrowth on top of the head, the purpose of whichScientists still haven't been able to figure it out. The body of the bird is covered with soft long feathers everywhere, except for the neck and head, brightly colored in blue-turquoise tones, from where red “earrings” also hang down.

The wings of cassowaries atrophied during evolution, but there are strong legs with 3 fingers equipped with claws up to 12 cm long. Thanks to such strong limbs, the bird is able to run at speeds up to 50 km/h.

The diet consists of small animals and fruits. Cassowaries lead a solitary lifestyle, finding a mate only for the mating period. After the female lays eggs, the male incubates, who never leaves the nest until the chicks are hatched. The cubs appear quite viable and immediately begin to lead an active life, moving with their father in search of food. The family exists until the age of the chicks.

Cassowary with chicks

Emu

Another representative of the cassowary family is the emu, a bird that looks like an ostrich. Its height reaches 1.8 m, weight - up to 55 kg. It differs from African brothers in the hair-like structure of feathers, which, due to their length, resemble a haystack. Typical ostrich features: flattened beak shape and auricles. The plumage is mostly black-brown, the neck and head are black, and the eyes have an orange iris.

Emu habitat: the continent of Australia and the shores of Tasmania, loves bushes and grassy savannahs. They live alone, occasionally in groups of up to 5 birds. Running speed can reach up to 50 km / h, excellent vision allows you to notice enemies from afar and keep them awayclose. A kick can result in a broken bone for a person.

Like the cassowary, the future "father" has been incubating the nest of 7-8 blue eggs laid by the female for 2 months. The further development of the chicks also takes place under his vigilant supervision and care until the age of 2.

Australian emu

Natural enemies: dingoes, monitor lizards, foxes and humans. However, emus breed well in captivity, so their number on farms in the USA, China, Peru and Australia reaches 1 million individuals. They are grown for delicious meat, beautiful feathers, fats for the cosmetics industry and leather for haberdashery.

Lizards, snakes and toads

On the territory of Australia there are many poisonous snakes, representatives of the aspid family. They are mostly small and feed on rodents, only some of them pose a threat to humans.

The frilled lizard (lat. Chlamydosaurus kingii) belongs to the Agamidae family, its main difference is a large bright fold of skin in the form of a collar, which the animal inflates around its head in the form of a cloak in case of danger. Such a "cloak" serves to thermoregulate the body and attract attention during the mating season. The color of the lizard is yellow-brown or darker gray-black, the size of the body is 0.8-1 m, of which 2/3 is a long tail that is not able to regenerate.

frilled lizard

They live on trees, descending only after rain, prey on arthropods, arachnids, less often they catch small mammals. Greater fame for suchlizards brought an interesting way of running on their hind legs. In captivity, these animals can live up to 20 years.

Diversity of amphibian species reaches 112, which are represented by real frogs, pond and grass frogs, tree frogs and whistlers, narrow-mouthed and tailed frogs, etc.

One of the brightest unique representatives of Australian amphibious animals is tree frogs of the genus Litoria, which are distinguished by a variety of species (more than 150), sizes (from 1.6 to 13.5 cm) and bright colors. Nature rewarded them with binocular vision and the ability to “stick” to the surface of tree branches with sticky Velcro on their paws.

Australian tree frogs

Conclusion

The above descriptions of Australian animals demonstrate all the diversity and uniqueness of the fauna of the continent, because most of them do not live in the wild anywhere in the world.

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