The Weird and Wonderful Animals of Australia Part 2
The Numbat is a marsupial that lives in the southwest of Western Australia. It’s so small that it’s hunted by animals such as birds of prey, dingoes, foxes, and feral cats. The endangered animal lives on termites only, and as these termites are active during the day, the Numbat is the only marsupial that’s diurnal. It spends its nights hiding in burrows or logs not big enough to accommodate its predators. To further defend itself against nighttime predators, it takes advantage of its thick-skinned rump when blocking the entrance.
The Echidna has a quoll-like pouch, porcupine-like spines, and lays eggs in a similar manner to that of a reptile. Like any other mammal, it also provides milk to its young, in spite of the fact that it has no nipples. The milk oozes from the skin in the pouch, and the baby echidna (puggle) licks it up. The odd combination of characteristics, which explains its name. “Echidna”, which derives from a figure in Greek mythology who was half-snake and half-woman, as the animal was believed to have both reptile and mammal qualities.
Thanks to its extensive evolution, the Saltwater Crocodile is a close-to-perfect predator, as well as being a ferocious and skilled hunter that commands both fear and respect. It’s the world’s largest reptile, with males weighing being 1,000 and 1,200kg and up to 6m in length as an adult. It’s known for its mouth gaping open in the heat. A crocodile lacks the ability to sweat, so it instead depends on thermoregulation in order to regulate its temperature. To prevent overheating, it either lies still with its jaws agape or goes into the water. This is an important process for numerous bodily functions, such as movement and digestion.
Fitzroy River Turtle
This freshwater turtle, which only rises in Queensland’s Fitzroy Basin, is known for being able to breathe directly through its anus. This enables it to spend 21 consecutive days underwater to feed for long periods and to remain hidden from predators. Unfortunately, such feral animals as pigs, cats and foxes, along with sedimentation, murky water, and pollution have made them vulnerable. That’s according to IUCN’s list of threatened species.
The world’s last Thylacin passed away at Hobart Zoo more than 80 years ago. That’s when it was given its more often-used name, Tasmanian tiger, due to its tiger-like stripes on its tail and lower back. That’s where the similarities end between tigers and this marsupial animal, however. It had the same type of pics seen on other Australia animals like the kangaroo, koala, and wombat. In the majority of marsupial sieges, only females have pouches, which they use to protect and suckle their young. Strangely, though, Thylacine makes also had pouches to cover their reproductive organs when speeding through thick bush. It bore other similarities with certain marsupials, too. For example, its tail was strong and stiff, not unlike that of a kangaroo.