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Encyclopedia > Australian fauna

Australia is unusual because the animal population evolved largely out of contact with the other continents. A very high percentage of Australian animals are endemic (found nowhere else) including about 70% of its birds and 95% of its mammals. Over time, marsupials filled most of the ecological niches that are occupied by placental mammals in most other parts of the world. Australia is also home to the only three extant monotreme species in the world - two echidnas and the Platypus. The only placental mammals naturally found on the Australian mainland are bats; a large number of rodents which arrived only about 5 million years ago, and the Dingo, which was introduced to Australia by humans perhaps 7000 years ago.

Australia is also home to large and diverse populations of various other types of animal - snakes, lizards, insects, spiders, birds and fish.






Marine mammals

See Australian marine life for more comprehensive listing


Some prominent bird types

See the main article List of Australian birds, and List of Australasian birds for a more comprehensive listing


Australia has both salt-water and fresh-water species of crocodiles and turtles. As well as some species of tortoises.



  • several varieties of tiger snakes
  • several varieties of taipans
  • several varieties of brown snakes
  • several varieties of black snakes
  • several varieties of broad-headed snakes
  • several varieties of whip snakes
  • several varieties of sea snakes
  • Mulga snake, formerly known as king brown
  • Rough-scaled snake or Clarence River snake
  • death adder
  • copperhead snake
  • Collett's snake
  • Small-eyed snake
  • Dunmall's snake
  • De Vis' snake
  • Marsh snake or black-bellied swamp snake
  • Myall or curl snake
  • Grey snake
  • Ornamental snake
  • Golden-crowned snake

See List of Australian snakes for more comprehensive listing





See List of Australian insects for more comprehensive listing.


See List of Australian spiders for more comprehensive listing

Freshwater crustaceans

For information marine and shore-line crustaceans and other marine invertebrates see Australian marine life.

Pest species

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Australian fauna - Australia's Culture Portal (1484 words)
Some of the other native Australian marsupials include: the bilby; the wallaby; the phascogale; the possum; the wallaroo; the glider; the bandicoot; the pademelon; the bettong; and the quoll.
Native Australian birds include: the Lorrikeet; the Kookaburra; the King Parrot; the Galah; the Cockatoo; the Crimson Rosella; the Wedge-tailed Eagle; the Magpie; the Willie Wagtail and the Tawny Frogmouth Owl.
Native Australian reptiles include: the frilled necked lizard; the lace monitor; the bearded dragon; the gecko; the eastern water dragon; the goanna; the australian coral snake; the carpet python; the death adder; the eastern brown snake; and the red bellied fl snake.
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Fauna of Australia (1348 words)
The fauna of Australia consists of a huge variety of unique animals; some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 90% of fish and insects and 93% of amphibians that inhabit the continent are endemic to Australia.
Australian Coat of Arms (since 1912) The Coat of Arms of Australia is the official symbol of Australia.
The kangaroo is the most widely recognized symbol of Australia, yet it does not display the full range of Australian marsupials, a subclass characterized by the early, immature birth of the young, who are transferred to the marsupium, or pouch, to be nurtured until old enough to fend for themselves.
  More results at FactBites »



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