Thursday, June 5, 2008

AUTRALIA - Iconic wildlife

Australia location

Australia flag

Australia stamp

Red Kangaroo
The red kangaroo is Australia's largest kangaroo of the nearly 60 species in the kangaroo family It is the Kangaroo which dwells in our "Red Center" the arid portion of Australia. They normally move in groups ranging from a few dozen to several hundred individuals. and are known as Mobs . The makeup of the red kangaroo Mob varies but usually consists of a dominant male, a number of adult females, and juveniles of both sexes.

The shy Platypus is found only in eastern Australia, where they live on the edges of rivers and freshwater lakes where burrows can be dug.
The best streams are ones where the banks are strong enough for building their deep burrows, and often these banks overhang the river. During the day, a Platypus often rests in this burrow, but it may spend some hours near the entrance to the burrow, basking in the sun and grooming its dense fur. But Platypuses (or platypi) are most active for several hours after dusk and before dawn.
Platypuses are renound for their excellence in the water as both a diver and swimmer.

Koalas are found in South Eastern Australia and has been described as an "ash coloured pouched bear". But they are not a bear they are a mammal ( meaning they feed their young on Milk) and are a Marsupial (meaning they carry their developing young mostly in a pouch) The name koala, comes from the Aboriginal saying that means "no drink". The Koala obtains enough moisture from the eucalypt leaves that it lives on.

Common wombat
Vombatus ursinus as its name suggests is the most commonly found wombat.
It is distinguishably from its cousins the Southern, and Northern Hairy nosed wombats mainly by its nose which is "naked", smaller ears and a more rounded head and longer fur due to its living in a colder part of Australia.

Eastern Pygmy-possum
The Pygmy Possum is a Marsupial
Being Nocturnal the Pygmy Possum rests by day in a spherical nest of shredded bark in a small tree -hole or under the loose bark of a tree, often in holes to small for other types of possums.
At night it is very agile, using its grasping claws and tail to climb.
The Eastern Pygmy Possum is wary and scurries about in quick jerky movements.
In winter, when food is scarce, the Pygmy Possum conserves energy by becoming torpid for much of the day.

Short-beaked Echidna
The Echidna found in Australia is the Short-beaked Echidna and along with the Platypus are the only members of the monotreme family which are Mammals that lay eggs and produces milk for its young.
Echidnas (pronounced "E-kid-na") sometimes referred to as Spiny Anteaters resemble the Hedgehog and the Porcupine in that they are covered by sharp spines. The Echidna is found all over Australia and can survive a range of temperatures and habitats Though mostly nocturnal, in mild weather they can be seen during the day, but if the weather is extreme (either very cold or hot) Echidnas will stay in shelter. (under rocks, fallen timber or burying themselves in the ground).

Orange-eyed Tree-Frog
This extremely beautiful frog is found in Eastern Australia
Blue Mountains TREE FROG is 4.4 to 6.3 centermeters long, medium to light brown above with dark flecks, and white underneath (belly).
Distinctive marks includes
1) a dark stripe + a thinner lighter stripe along the frogs side,
2) Bright green patches found on head as well as arms and leg
3) Bright red & orange marks around arms and legs

Tree Frogs are strong jumpers and despite their toes being only half webbed they are strong swimmers.


Postcard sent by Glenda, as "sash" - Postcrossing - Reference AU-21635

Australia abounds with iconic wildlife.
Clockwise from top left : Red Kangaroo ; Platypus ; Koalas ; Common Wombat ; Eastern Pygmy-possum ; Short-beaked Echidna ; Orange-eyed Tree-Frog.