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Australian Animals

Australia is famous for it’s strange animals. There are many kinds of animals living only there. We can also find there our typical animals. Sheep can be found on the West Coast and in the East. Cattle are bred on the Northwest coast and Southeast coast. We would like to introduce you some of not so common ones.

Everyone knows these cute animals, looking like a teddy bear. Of course, they aren’t really bears at all. True bears don’t have pouches and their babies aren’t as big as your thumbnail. The closest relative of koala is the wombat; they both have pouches, for rearing their babies. The largest koalas weight over 10 kilos and they were found in Victoria. The smallest live in North Queensland and weight only five and half kilo. They live between 10 and 20 years. They live on the trees, because they protect them from predators. Where the trees are cut or the environment is changed by people, life can be very hard for these interesting animals. This mean open spaces, including roads, where they can be killed by cars or attacked by dogs. Female koalas can breed from about two years of age and they can have young one a year. A koala eats about half a kilogram of leaves a day. They are fussy eaters, they like only a few of eucalyptus tree. Many organisations like NSW (National Parks and Wildlife Service) protect them, because they want to survive these fascinating creatures.

When the first platypus was sent to England, it was thought that it is a hoax animal. Its muzzle seem like a ducks bill, his tail looks like a beavers. In addition, it laids eggs, but suckles its young. It is dark brown on its back and light brown on belly. They are about 40 – 50 centimetres long. People in England didn’t believe that it is a real animal.
This strange animal and two species of echidna (also living in Australia) are the only eggs laying mammals. The platypus is commonly found in the rivers, streams and lakes.
The name of platypus means flat feet. Its bill is used to finding way and searching food. The platypus feeds mainly on riverbed animals such as insects larvae. It has no teeth. You can best see it during the early morning, or late evening. It spends half its time in the water feeding. Normally the platypus stays underwater for one or two minutes, but it can stay there for up to ten minutes. Most of its time spent out of the water is spent in the burrow.
If it is in danger, it can use a poison strong enough to kill a dog.

Wombats are unpopular creatures. They go by the most direct way, it means that they often go through or under a farmer’s fence. They have powerful legs with big claws for digging. They dig their burrows in the soil.
It grows to 1.3 meters in length and it can weight up to 36 kilograms. Its head is large, but it has small eyes and ears, while its neck is fat and short.
At night it is looking for food, it goes up to three kilometres. Its favourite food is native grass. It also eats roots.
They have only one offspring every year. It is in mother’s pouch. The pouch faces backwards to stop dirt, when the mother digs.
Greater thread than landowners is wild dogs and collisions with cars.
Kangaroos and wallabies (smaller relatives of the kangaroo) have found an enemy in humans. They are killed for their fur and their meat is used for pet food. It is because they are threat for farmers lands. Farmers hate them, because they don’t hesitate to jump onto their cars, which look like after a collision. The female has a pouch in which the young ones are carried. The red kangaroo is the biggest one. An adult can measure 2.4 metres high. They can jump more than four metres and travel at 70 kilometres an hour.

The emu is a two metres tall bird that isn’t able to fly, but it runs well. It can even run at 50 kilometres an hour.

Together with the platypus, they are monotremes. It lives wherever termites, their main food, can be found. It also eats ants, which it catches with its long tongue. It has a long hairless snout is amazingly sensitive organ, used to search for food, detect danger and locate other echidnas.

Water rat
We can see it now in Sydney harbour because the quality of water has improved. There are more of aquatic insects and fish. The rats feed on.

Frill-necked lizard
It was the symbol of the Sydney Paralympics. It can scar off even large predators with its fanned-out display. The show is all bluff. This reptile is harmless.

Yellow-bellied glider
Gliding possums fly from one tree to another on a sheet of skin, which stretches, between their forepaws and ankles, using their long furry tails as rudders. It can travel over 100 metres in one leap.

Green and golden bell frog
As its name suggests, its upper body is vivid green and almost metallic gold. Its croak can be hardly described but it is said that the sound is like a motorbike changing the gears. Earlier there were many of these frogs but now they are only isolated populations. Now it lives for instance near the Sydney Olympic site in Homebush

Little penguin
Smallest of all penguins, the little or fairy penguin grows to 45 cm tall. The only one colony of these flightless seabirds is in Sydney port.

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