One of the most unique ecosystems in the world is the Australian Outback. Despite its dry climate, the Outback is home to various flora and fauna. One of the most exciting aspects of the Outback ecosystem is the animals that call this place home.
The Australian Outback accommodates a wide variety of animals, including many that are found nowhere else in the world. Here are 10 amazing animals that you might spot while spending time in the Australian Outback.
One of the most iconic Australian animals is the cockatoo. Cockatoos are a type of parrot and are well-known for their beautiful plumage and loud calls. They have a distinctive crest, which they can raise or lower depending on the mood. They are also highly intelligent birds, and some species have been known to mimic human speech.
There are several different types of cockatoos in the Australian Outback, but the most common ones include Major Mitchell’s cockatoo, Red-tailed black cockatoos, etc. Their diet consists mainly of seeds, fruits, berries and nuts. Their habitat includes eucalyptus groves, rainforests, scrublands, mangroves, forests, etc.
No list of Australian animals would be complete without kangaroos. These marsupials are unique to Australia and are found abundantly in the Outback. These hopping mammals are well-adapted to life in the area and can survive in conditions that would be fatal to other animals. For example, they can go for long periods without water and survive temperatures as high as 45°C.
There are several different types of kangaroos in the Outback, such as red kangaroos, western gray kangaroos, eastern gray kangaroos, etc. While they may seem like gentle giants, these intriguing animals are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Their kicks can be lethal, so it’s best to admire them from a distance.
3. Saltwater Crocodiles
One of the scariest animals in the Australian Outback is the saltwater crocodile. These massive reptiles can grow up to 7 meters in length and weigh over a ton. Saltwater crocodiles are the largest crocodiles and reptiles in the world. Needless to say, they are a top predator in the Outback. Their prey includes fish, crabs, buffalo, birds, and even humans.
Saltwater crocodiles are usually found in humid and tropical water bodies such as estuaries, rivers, and lagoons. They have a saltwater gland in the tongue to adapt to the high salt content in these habitats. Despite their name, they can live in freshwater as well.
Another staple of Australian fauna is the koala. These cute and cuddly animals are actually marsupials, not bears, as most people think. Koalas are found in the eucalyptus forests of southeastern and eastern Australia. They spend most of their time high up in the trees, munching on eucalyptus leaves. They are so good at climbing that they can even sleep while hanging upside down from a branch.
Koalas are nocturnal animals, and they spend most of the day sleeping (up to 22 hours!). They have a very slow metabolism and can survive on a diet of eucalyptus leaves, which are poisonous to most other animals. Koalas are very gentle creatures, and they are not known to attack humans.
5. Sand Goanna
The Australian Outback is home to many different types of lizards, but one of the most interesting is the sand goanna. This lizard is also known by many other names, including sand monitor, Gould’s monitor, and racehorse goanna. Adult sand goannas can grow up to 2 meters in length and weigh over 6 kg, making them one of the largest goanna species in Australia.
The Sand Goanna is a carnivore, and its diet consists primarily of small mammals and reptiles. They are predominantly terrestrial predators, but they are also proficient swimmers and climbers. Sand Goanna usually live in burrows or rock crevices, but they can also be found wandering in trees and on cliffs.
6. Dingo Dogs
Dingoes are a type of wild dog that is found in the Australian Outback. They are thought to have originated in Asia and were brought to Australia by seafarers around 4,000 years ago. Dingoes typically weigh between 12 and 24 kilograms, and they can be anywhere from 52 to 60 centimeters tall. They have short, soft fur that is usually golden yellow, darker tan, black, etc. color, and they have a distinctive bushy tail.
Dingoes are very intelligent and intuitive animals. They are known to be good problem-solvers and quick learners. In the wild, they usually live in small packs of up to 10 individuals. Dingoes are mostly nocturnal animals, but they can also be active during the day. Their diet consists of small mammals, reptiles, birds, and even carrion.
The wombat is another iconic Australian Outback animal. Known as the koala’s closest living relative, the wombat is an endemic marsupial and is only found in Australia. There are three different types of wombats – the common wombat, the southern hairy-nosed wombat, and the northern hairy-nosed wombat. The common wombat is the largest of the three, weighing up to 35 kg.
Wombats are one of the biggest burrowing mammals in the world. These burrows provide them with shelter from the harsh Australian sun and predators. Wombats are nocturnal animals and spend most of the day sleeping in their burrows. Their diet usually consists of grasses, roots, and bark.
8. Australian Feral Camels
One of the most interesting and unique animals in the Australian Outback is the Australian feral camel. These massive animals are not native to Australia but were brought to the continent from India and Afghanistan for transportation purposes. After the introduction of motorized vehicles, the camels were released into the wild, where they thrived.
There are over one million feral camels in Australia, with most living in the Central Australia and Victoria River District regions. These camels are well-adapted to the harsh Outback environment and can go for long periods without water. They are often seen in large herds, which can number in the hundreds or even thousands.
9. Thorny Devil
The Thorny Devil is a small lizard that is found in the scrubland and deserts of Australia. It is also known by many other names, including Thorny Dragon, Mountain Devil, etc. This lizard gets its name from the spikes that cover its body. These spikes not only provide protection from predators but also help them to collect moisture.
Despite the scary appearance, the Thorny Devil is harmless and a slow-moving lizard that usually only grows to be around 20 cm long. It is a carnivore (insectivore), and its diet consists of small insects, mostly ants, which it catches using its sticky tongue. In extreme situations, the lizard can bury it in the sand to collect moisture through its spike.
10. Frilled-Necked Lizard
The Frilled-Necked Lizard is another lizard species found in the Australian Outback. It is an arboreal (tree-dwelling) lizard that is well-known for its frill, which is used for display and protection. The frill is usually yellow or red and is lined with spikes. When the lizard feels threatened, it will open its mouth and extend the frill to make itself look bigger and more intimidating.
The Frilled-Necked Lizard is a carnivore, and its diet consists of beetles, cicadas, ants, termites, and small mammals like rats. These lizards are excellent climbers and can even climb upside down. They are also good swimmers and can often be seen near water sources in the Outback.
These are just some of the many interesting and unique animals that call the Australian Outback home. With such a diverse range of wildlife, it’s no wonder that the Outback is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia. If you’re ever in the area, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these amazing creatures!