Animals That Live In Australia

Animals That Live In Australia

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Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Shu

Do you know how many types of animals live in Australia? Australia is famous for all sorts of things – its incredible beaches, surfing, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Sydney Opera House. 

However, another thing it’s famous for is its wildlife. Because it’s relatively isolated from the rest of the world, there are lots of animals in Australia that don’t exist anywhere else on Earth.

Animals That Live In Australia

Australian Wildlife – Animals in Australia

Australia is often referred to as the “animal kingdom” due to its unique and diverse wildlife. The continent is home to rocks dating from more than 3000 million years ago and is the home to a wide variety of species that are found nowhere else in the world. 

Different species in Australia from the iconic kangaroos and koalas to the elusive platypus and the most venomous snakes in the world. Australia’s wildlife is both fascinating and sometimes dangerous. 

Australia – The Animal Kingdom

The mainland Australia’s isolation from other landmasses has allowed its native animals to evolve independently, resulting in the development of some truly extraordinary creatures.

Throughout Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, located off the coast of Australia, is also considered one of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems globally, with thousands of species of fish, corals, and other species of sea. 

The Australian government places a strong emphasis on conservation and protecting its unique wildlife, recognizing the importance of preserving these species for future generations. With its incredible array of fauna, Australia truly deserves its nickname as the “animal kingdom.” 

Australian Animals List

In this article, we’ll go through some of the most interesting animals in Australia and get you informed about what they are and how they live.

Australian Mammals

Kangaroos (National Animal of Australia)

We have to start with the country’s most famous one of all – the kangaroo.

Kangaroos are mammals, but you might also know that they are part of a specific type of mammal called marsupials.

In fact, kangaroos are the largest kind of marsupial on Earth. The largest kind, the red kangaroo, can reach 1.6 meters tall, with a 1-meter tail and a weight of 180 lbs.

But what exactly is a marsupial? Well, the most well-known thing about them is that most marsupials carry their children around with them in pouches on their bodies.

That’s something that kangaroos are famous for – their babies (called joeys) can sometimes be seen peeking out from the pouches on their mothers’ bellies.

Another well-known thing about kangaroos is that they move around by jumping and bouncing. It’s pretty amazing how good at this they are – red kangaroos can hop at 35 mph, bounce 1.8 meters off the ground, and cover 8 whole meters in a single jump!

For comparison, Usain Bolt, the fastest recorded human being of all time, was briefly able to reach a maximum speed of 27.78mph when he set the 100 m world record at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

When they’re not breaking human speed records, they can use their large, muscular tails to support themselves like a fifth leg.

For some reason, most kangaroos seem to be left-handed. The trait of preferring to use one hand over another was previously only thought to exist in primates like humans, gorillas, and chimpanzees.

Scientists aren’t sure why kangaroos also have this trait, but some have suggested that it might have developed as a reaction to bipedalism (the ability to walk on two legs).

Koalas (Threatened Species)

Koalas are iconic marsupials native to Australia. These cuddly creatures are known for their round faces, fluffy fur, and big, expressive eyes.

Despite their cute appearance, koalas are not bears; they are arboreal herbivores. They spend most of their lives in eucalyptus trees, feeding exclusively on eucalyptus leaves.

Koalas have a specialized digestive system that allows them to extract nutrients from this tough and fibrous diet. Unfortunately, koalas are facing significant threats, such as habitat loss and climate change, making conservation efforts crucial for their survival. 


Wombats are large, nocturnal marsupials native to Australia. They are known for their sturdy build, thick fur, and strong claws which they use for digging burrows.

They have a unique backward-facing pouch that keeps dirt out while they are digging. They mainly feed on grass, roots, and bark. These herbivores are solitary animals and are considered a national symbol in Australia. 

Tasmanian Devils 

Tasmanian devils are marsupials native to the Australian island state of Tasmania. They are the largest carnivorous marsupials in the world and are known for their strong jaws and loud screeching calls.

These animals have a stocky build and are covered in coarse black fur. They are primarily scavengers and feed on carrion, but they can also hunt small animals. Unfortunately, Tasmanian devils are extinct on the mainland due to a contagious facial tumor disease. 


Quokkas are small marsupials found mainly on Rottnest Island in Western Australia, as well as on some small islands off the coast of Western Australia.

These animals are known for their friendly and curious nature, making them popular with tourists and locals alike.

Quokkas have become famous for their irresistibly adorable smiling face, leading them to be called the “happiest animal in the world.

They are herbivorous creatures and their diet consists mainly of grasses, leaves, and stems. Quokkas are a protected species, and it is important to respect their natural habitat and observe them from a distance to ensure their well-being. 


Animals That Live In Australia

The dingo is a kind of dog that lives only in Australia and looks similar to the kind of dogs that are kept as pets. They’re usually a little over a meter long from nose to tail and weigh somewhere between 20 and 30 lbs.

However, one key difference between dingoes and dogs is that dingoes don’t bark – they howl like wolves instead.

Most dingoes prefer to live in packs of around 10, but occasionally asocial dingoes can be found who like to live alone instead.

They are the largest land predators in Australia, putting them at the top of the food chain. They’re still not that large, though, so they mostly eat small and medium-sized animals, such as lizards, rabbits, or rats.

However, they have been known to attack sheep and cows on farms if they’re not well-protected enough.

For this reason, there is a dingo fence in Australia that runs 3,488 miles to keep them out of the fertile southeastern part of the country.

Native Australian Birds 

The birds in Australia are a diverse group of species found only in Australia. They include iconic birds like the colorful rainbow lorikeet, the laughing kookaburra known for its distinctive call, and the emu, which is the second-largest bird in the world.

Other notable native birds include the superb fairy-wren, the Australian magpie, and the cockatoo. These birds have adapted to Australia’s unique environment and play important roles in the country’s ecosystems. 


Emus are the second-largest kind of bird in the world (behind the ostrich) – they can reach up to 1.9 meters tall. They’re also really good at running, being able to reach 31 mph if they need to.

This is useful for them because, despite being birds, they are flightless birds. Instead of flying it uses its wings to cool itself down – this is also a useful ability, because, as you might know, Australia can get very hot indeed.

They might look cute, but emus can be surprisingly dangerous in some situations. Their legs are extremely powerful and can tear down metal fences.

It uses kicks from these legs to defend itself against the dingoes that sometimes try to hunt them.

While it is very rare for humans to be attacked by dingoes nowadays, there was an event in 1932 called the Emu War, where people in Australia attacked emus in large numbers.

This was due to there being too many emus, which were destroying crops. Many emus were killed, but this only had limited success in dealing with the problems. Today, emus are still found in large numbers across Australia.

Native Australian Reptiles

Australia is home to a diverse range of reptiles, with more than 800 known native species. These reptiles include snakes, lizards, turtles, and crocodiles. Some of the most famous Australian reptiles include the saltwater crocodile, the eastern blue-tongued lizard, and the inland taipan, which is one of the deadliest snakes in the world. 

Black Widow Spider

The black widow is known to be one of the most poisonous spiders in Australia and the world. The type of black widow that lives in Australia is often called the Australian black widow or the redback spider.

These spiders usually eat insects, but sometimes eat larger creatures that get trapped in their webs. These can include other spiders, lizards, and sometimes even snakes and mice.

They also eat other black widow spiders under certain conditions. Most famously, female black widow spiders eat the male after mating.

They also sometimes eat other black widows that they’ve beaten in fights, and black widow hatchlings will sometimes eat their less active brothers and sisters.

Another thing that black widows are known for is their deadly bite. This bite is mostly used to kill the insects that the widow eats, and works by turning their insides to liquid. Yes, you read that right.

Bites on humans are not particularly rare – there are several thousand, possibly even as many as 10,000 – in Australia per year. The bites are quite painful, though most of the time no medical treatment is needed.

However, they can sometimes cause serious illness or even death, so these spiders are best avoided.

Australian Snakes

Australian snakes are a diverse group of reptiles that play important roles in the country’s ecosystems.

This grassland is home to some of the most venomous snakes in the world, such as the inland taipan and the eastern brown snake.

However, not all Australian snakes are dangerous. Some are harmless and even beneficial, such as the common tree snake and the carpet python. These snakes are an integral part of Australia’s biodiversity and are protected by law. 

Australian Frogs

Australian frogs are a diverse group of amphibians found across the continent. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, and have adapted to a range of habitats, from desert regions to rainforests.

Common Eastern Froglets are the most seen backyard buddies. These frogs are known for their unique calling sounds, which they use to attract mates. They play an important role in ecosystems by feeding on insects and other small organisms, as well as serving as prey for larger animals. 

Australian Coastal Sharks 

Australian coastal sharks refer to the diverse range of shark species found along the coastlines of Australia.

These sharks are adapted to live in various marine habitats, including coral reefs, rocky coastlines, and sandy beaches.

Some common species of Australian coastal sharks include the great white shark, tiger shark, bull shark, and bronze whaler shark

These sharks play a crucial role in maintaining the health and balance of marine ecosystems by regulating the populations of prey species.

While encounters with sharks are rare, beachgoers and water enthusiasts need to be aware of their presence and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety. 

Australian Crocodiles

Australian crocodiles, also known as saltwater crocodiles or “salties,” are a fascinating and formidable species.

They are the largest reptiles in Australia and can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh over a ton. These crocodiles are expert swimmers and are known for their ability to survive both in saltwater and freshwater environments.

They have incredibly powerful jaws, capable of exerting immense pressure, allowing them to capture and devour their prey effortlessly.

Despite their ferocious reputation, Australian crocodiles play a vital role in the ecosystem as apex predators, helping to maintain balanced populations of other species. They are protected by law in Australia due to their classification as a vulnerable species. 

Australian Box Jellyfish

Australian Box Jellyfish, also known as Chironex fleckeri, is one of the deadliest creatures found in the waters of Australia.

These jellyfish have a transparent bell-shaped body, with up to 15 tentacles that can reach up to 10 feet in length. Each tentacle is covered in thousands of stinging cells known as nematocysts, which are capable of injecting venom into their prey or unsuspecting humans.

The venom of the box jellyfish is highly potent and can cause severe pain, paralysis, and, in extreme cases, even death.

These jellyfish are typically found in the warm waters of the Northern Australian coastline and are most prevalent during the summer months. It is important for swimmers and beachgoers to be aware of their presence to avoid potentially dangerous encounters. 

Final Thoughts

There, you have it, some of the most interesting and incredible animals in Australia. Of course, these are only a few examples of Australia’s wonderful wildlife, and there are many more to discover.

From great white sharks to koalas, Australia has so much to offer when it comes to wildlife that it would take almost a lifetime to get to grips with all of it!

Australia Animals FAQ

What are Australian animals?

They are the wildlife species that are native to Australia.

How many species of animals are found in Australia?

Australia is home to a wide range of diverse animal species, with over 450 mammal species, 800 bird species, 4,000 fish species, and countless reptile, amphibian, and insect species.

What are some famous Australian animals?

Some famous Australian animals include kangaroos, koalas, dingoes, Tasmanian devils, and platypuses.

Are there any venomous animals in Australia?

Australia has a number of venomous animals, including snakes, spiders, jellyfish, and some species of octopus and cone snails.

Which Australian animal is unique to Australia?

The kangaroo is one example of an animal that is unique to Australia. Kangaroos are marsupials and have become an iconic symbol of the country.

Do Australian animals lay eggs?

Yes, many Australian animals lay eggs. For example, the platypus and echidna are monotremes, which are unique egg-laying mammals found in Australia.

What are some native Australian bird species?

Australia is known for its diverse bird species. Some Australian birds include the kookaburra, emu, cockatoo, and rainbow lorikeet.

Are crocodiles found in Australia?

Australia is home to two species of crocodiles: the saltwater crocodile, found in northern Australia, and the freshwater crocodile, found in northern and western Australia.

Are there any endangered animal species in Australia?

Yes, there are several endangered animal species in Australia. Some examples include the Tasmanian devil, western ringtail possum, and the numbat.

Do Australian animals have any unique adaptations?

Australian animals have developed unique adaptations to survive in their local environments. For instance, kangaroos have powerful hind legs for hopping, and koalas have specialized claws for climbing trees.

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