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The Platypus

Platypuses are covered with three layers


of thick brown fur.
Platypuses live near streams and lakes
in eastern parts of Australia.
They eat worms and other small animals
that live in the water.
Platypuses have webbed feet, a bill like a
duck's, a tail like a beaver's. The females
lay eggs like a snake's and feed their
young milk.
What an odd creature a platypus is!
A platypus is a mammal, but it lays eggs. There are only two
mammals that do this. The echidna is the other.
Mammals that lay eggs are called monotremes.
The platypus has a leathery bill that looks like a duck's. It
has fur and a tail like a beaver's. It has webbed feet for
swimming, with claws for digging. The female lays eggs that
are like a reptile's, and when the young hatch, she feeds it

with milk from her body.


When the first English settlers sent reports and the stuffed
body of a platypus to England, the scientists there thought it
was a prank!

Habitat and Distribution (where it is found)


Platypuses live beside freshwater rivers, creeks and
lakes in eastern and south- eastern Australia, stretching
from Queensland down to Victoria and Tasmania. They
dig long burrows in the bank, with the entrance to the
burrows above the water
level and well hidden.
Appearance and
behaviour
Platypuses have webbed
feet and a broad, flat tail
about 12 centimetres long
that helps them swim. As they swim, platypuses close
their ears and eyes. Platypuses are most often out
looking for food before dawn and for a few hours before
sunset. They feed on creatures that live in rivers, creeks
and lakes. They feel for food with their leathery bill,
which has special nerves in it that senses the movement
of prey.
The platypus scoops up worms, shrimp, insect larvae
and other small water animals. The food is stored in
cheek pouches until the platypus swims to the surface to
eat it.

When they eat food,


platypuses crush it with
tough, horny pads on their
upper and lower jaws. They
don't have teeth.
A platypus' body can be up to
45 centimetres long. They
can weigh up to 2.3
kilograms. Males are larger
then females. Male platypuses also have a sharp, hollow
claw-like spur behind the ankles on its hind legs. The
spurs are connected to poison glands. Male platypuses
may use them to protect themselves from predators and
to fight other male platypuses during mating season.
The platypus has webbed feet for swimming. On land,
the webs turn back to uncover claws on the feet which it
uses to dig a long burrow in the banks of rivers and
creeks. Some burrows can be as long 25 metres. Each
platypus has its own burrow.
Life cycle
Females build a nest of damp grass and
leaves in a chamber at the end of their long
nesting burrows when it is time to lay eggs. The
dampness helps keep the temperature of the chamber
right for the eggs and young. She carries plants from the
water's edge with her tail curled around them. After
mating with a male platypus, (between June and
October) a female seals herself into the nesting
chamber by blocking the entrance with soil and lays one
or two eggs. She lies curled up with the eggs between
her body and tail to protect them until they hatch. The

eggs hatch in about ten days and the young stay with
their mother for up to four months. They drink milk that
oozes from their mother's body, sucking it from her fur.
Their sucking is rather like the action of a vacuum
cleaner because a female monotreme does not have
nipples like other mammals do.
Go here for more information about the life cycle of the
platypus
Go here for more information:
http://www.genevaschools.org/austinbg/class/gray/platypus/
http://www.australianfauna.com/platypus.php

Platypuses are a protected species. People are not


allowed to hunt them.
If you use any part of this in your own work, acknowledge this source in
your bibliography like this:
Thomas, R & Sydenham, S. The Platypus [Online] www.kidcyber.com.au
[2003]
Updated kidcyber [2008]
Back to Animals

Wombats
Wombats live in Australia.
Babies live in their mother's pouch for
6 months.
Wombats dig dens with tunnels.
They eat plants at night.
They stay in a den in daytime.
The wombat is a marsupial that digs burrows. It is about
1 metre long from nose to tail, the tail being only a
couple of centimetres long. An adult weighs about 25-35
kilograms. Wombats are the largest burrowing
mammals. There are three different kinds (species) of
wombat.
A wombat is covered with coarse grey or brown fur, with
a large head, a large nose and small ears. It is solidly
built, with large claws for digging. Its body has a
rounded appearance. Its back is hard and bony. This
bony back is a useful defence against intruders in the
burrow, as the wombat uses its back to crush them
against the burrow wall.
The wombat is nocturnal, which means it is active at
night, eating grasses, roots and shrubs. It stays in a
burrow in daytime, though sometimes can be seen
basking in the sun at the burrow entrance. It lives alone,
except for a female with young.

Some wombat burrows can be about 20 metres long,


with several entrances and chambers. A wombat
generally has a number of burrows in its territory, and
may visit several during its nightly wanderings.The
wombat marks its territory by leaving droppings (scats)
on logs and rocks.
The female's pouch has its opening facing the back
legs. When she is digging, the pouch does not fill with
soil. A female wombat gives birth to one very tiny young,
which moves to her pouch after being born. It stays in
the pouch for about 6 months, suckling milk from a teat
in the pouch. After it leaves the pouch, it will follow her
for another 11 months.
Common wombats are found
through forest and woodland
areas along the eastern and
southern coast of Australia, and
in Tasmania. The common
wombat is not endangered, although its habitat is
decreasing. The nose of the common wombat is naked
and its ears are rounded.
Two of the three species of wombat are endangered.
They are the northern hairy-nosed wombat, which is
critically endangered, and the southern hairy-nosed
wombat.
Both have softer fur than the common wombat, and, as
their names suggest, their noses are fur-covered. Their
ears are pointy.
The southern hairy-nosed wombat is found only on the
Nullarbor Plain in South Australia, and the northern

hairy-nosed wombat is found only in a small area of


Queensland.They have suffered from loss of habitat and
competition from introduced animals such as cattle,
sheep and rabbits.
Look here for more about wombats' life cycle
http://www.wombania.com/wombats/wombat-lifecycle.htm
http://www.animalinfo.org/species/lasikref.htm
Acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Wombats (2007). [Online], Available: www.kidcyber.com.au
Back to Animals
Updated April 2007

The Australian Sea-lion


Sea-lions swim in deep, cold oceans.
They eat fish.
They live on beaches.
They have flippers instead of legs.
They are covered in fur.

Sea-lions are 'pinnipeds', which means 'fin foot', like


seals. They are not fish, but are marine mammals. They
are able to swim in extremely cold water.
Sea-lions and fur seals are similar, and are in a family
known as 'eared seals'. Unlike the 'earless seals',they
are quite agile on land. The front flippers are used on
land to prop themselves up, and in the water to swim
with. They use their back flippers rather like a leg on
land, and as a rudder in the water. They have a second
layer of fur under the top fur layer, and this helps keep
them warm in the cold water, together with a thick layer
of fat.
The Australian sea-lion is
the only pinniped that is
found only in Australia, living
along parts of the western
and southern coastline.
They were once found
further east, but seal
hunters killed the colonies in
Bass Strait towards the end
of the 19th century.
Males weigh about 300
kilograms. They are about
three times heavier than the
females. Males have dark brown fur with pale neck and
females have grey fur on their back with creamy fur on
their front.
They are very social animals, and gather in groups of
10-15. They spend time sunbaking on sandy beaches
and rocks.

They only feed at sea however. They eat fish, squid and
other sea creatures.
They are excellent
swimmers, able to dive
and swim in very deep
water. They are able to
hold their breath for a long time. Sea-lions often get
caught in fishing nets and lines while swimming. Being
mammals, not fish, they drown if they cannot get to the
surface to breathe.
The Australian sea-lion is different from other sea-lions
because they have no set breeding season, and pups
may be born at any time of year. The breeding takes
place on rocky beaches. Pups are born and raised on
land, fed on milk from their mother's body.
Having been hunted almost to extinction, the Australian
sea-lion is a protected animal. It is rare and vulnerable,
and it is estimated that there are about 5000 animals
altogether.
Click here to find out about threats to marine
mammals from humans

Acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:


Australian Sea-lion (2000). [Online], Available: www.kidcyber.com.au
Back to Australian Animals
Updated July 2007

Echidna
The echidna is a special kind of mammal that lays eggs.
Echidnas lives in Australia.

[2007] Jupiterimages Corporation

Echidnas have spikes.


Echidnas live in forests.
An echidna has a long sticky tongue to catch

termites and ants.


Echidnas dig into the ground if they are chased.
The echidna belongs to a special group of mammals called
monotremes. There are only three monotremes, two of them are
echidnas. The short-beaked echidna is found in Australia and the
long beaked echidna is found in New Guinea. The other
monotreme is the platypus.
An echidna is covered with hair and with
sharp spines on its back and sides. The
spines protect the animal from enemies.
Echidnas grow to be about 40 centimetres long. They weigh
about 8 kilograms.
The echidna has a snout and a long sticky tongue. It uses its
tongue to lick up ants and termites. The echidna doesn't have
teeth, but it has hard pads inside its mouth to grind up the ants
and termites before swallowing them.
The echidna has long, sharp claws on its feet. It uses them to dig
open ant and termite nests. It also digs rapidly into the ground to
escape from enemies such as eagles, dingoes, and in
Tasmanian, the Tasmanian Devil.
After mating, a female echidna digs a burrow, curls up her body,
and lays one egg directly into her pouch. The egg hatches in
about 10 days. Inside the pouch, the baby echidna drinks milk
from its mother's body. When its spines start to grow, the baby
leaves the pouch. The female will feed her baby until it's about 6
months old.

In the wild, an echidna can live for up to 16 years.


Find out more about echidnas here:
http://www.dpiwe.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/BHAN-5357K5?open

Acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:


Thomas, R. & Sydenham, S. Echidna. [Online] www.kidcyber.com.au (2008)
Back to Australian animals
updated [2008] kidcyber

Emu
Emus live all over Australia.
Emus are birds but they can't fly.
Emus have long strong legs for running.
Emus are covered with fluffy feathers.
Emus eat grass, fruits, flowers, seeds
and insects.

Why don't emus fly?


The emu is Australia's largest bird. It is part of a group
of birds called ratites, which are big birds that do not fly.
The other ratites are the ostrich from Africa and the rhea
from South America. Ratites have tiny wings but the
bones across their chest do not have a part for flight
muscles to attach to. The sternum of flying birds is like a
keel while ratites have a a raft-shape breastbone.
Where is the emu found?
The emu is quite common and is found all over
Australia, though fewer live in desert areas.
Emu Body
The small wings help the bird cool itself in hot weather they hold the wings out so that the air can circulate
around the body.
Emu females are generally larger than the males. The
females weigh about 40 kilograms, the males about 36
kg. Emus can run at speeds of up to 50 km per hour.
Emu feathers are brown, and grow in pairs with two
shafts joined at the base. Emus are the only birds that
have double feathers. The barbs coming out of the
shafts are separate, not joined together as they are in
the feathers of birds that fly. This means that the bird
looks more like it is covered in hair than in feathers. Emu
necks are
often without
feathers, and
the skin is
bluish.

Their beaks are wide and soft, for grazing grass and
browsing in bushes. Emus have long legs, with three
large toes, each with a claw.
Emus make grunting noises and also a deep drumming
sound.
Emu Diet
Emus are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and
meat. They eat fruits, flowers, insects, seeds and green
plants. As they peck at the grass, they pick up snails,
slugs and other grubs as well. Birds have a part of their
body called a gizzard. The food they swallow goes into
the gizzard to be ground up so that it can be digested.
Emus swallow quite large stones to help grind up the
food in their gizzard.
Life Cycle
Emus generally find partners in summer,
December-January, and breed in the
winter months, May-August. If conditions
are bad, such as a severe drought, emus
may not breed at all, or the female may
only lay a few eggs. In excellent conditions she may lay
a larger than usual clutch of eggs. The large green eggs
are laid gradually over several days, usually 5-9 days.
The female then leaves and the male sits on the eggs
for 8 weeks until they hatch. He hardly leaves the nest,
and does not eat much during this time. The chicks are
cream coloured, with dark stripes running from head to
tail.

The

chicks stay with the male


for about 18 months. He
misses the next breeding
season. The female does not stay with the eggs or
chicks. Because the climate may be harsh, it takes a
while for her to regain her energy so that she is ready to
breed in the next season with a different male.
Read more about emus here:
http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws.nsf/Content/The+emu

Acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:


Emu (2004). [Online], Available: www.kidcyber.com.au

Back to Australian Animals


Updated September 2006

Kangaroos

Kangaroos have big back legs with


long feet.
They move by hopping on their back
legs.
They eat grass.
Some kinds of kangaroo live in hot, dry
places.
Some kinds live in grasslands.
What do you call a Kangaroo?
A male kangaroo is called a buck, boomer, jack or old man. A female is a doe,
flyer or jill. A young kangaroo is a joey (all marsupial young are called this). A
kangaroo is often referred to as a 'roo. A group of kangaroos is generally a mob,
but can be a troop or court.
Kangaroos belong to a group of marsupials called macropods, which
means 'great footed animals'. Macropods have strong back legs with
long feet. They hop on their back legs when travelling, using the
muscular tail as a balance. Hopping in this way is an energy-efficient
way of travelling long distances. Their front legs are small. When
moving slowly, usually as they graze or to change position, the tail
and front legs prop up the animal, and the back legs move forward..
this is called 'crawl walking'.
Kangaroos are good swimmers, and will sometimes escape a threat
by going into water if it is nearby.
Kangaroos feed in the late afternoon and early morning, spending the
day resting in shade. In hot weather they scrape the ground with their
front paws and lie in the cooler earth they have exposed. Kangaroos
do not sweat, so in the heat they lick their front paws and rub the
moisture onto their chests to cool down.

The word 'kangaroo' is from the Aboriginal word (of the Guugu Yiidhirr language)
'gungurru' for the grey kangaroo. However, the English settlers soon used the
word, which they pronounced kangaroo, to refer to any of the kangaroo family.
When the early explorers first saw kangaroos, they described them as creatures
with heads like deer but without antlers, that could stand up tall like men but that
hopped like frogs. Female kangaroos with a joey's head peeping out of the
pouch confused them, as they thought they were two-headed animals!

Social Organisation
Kangaroos live in groups of ten or more called mobs. Mobs can
number over 50. Living in a group means there is protection for the
weaker members. There are always some of the mob looking up so
danger can be spotted quickly. The kangaroo has few natural
predators. The thylacine was its main predator, but is now extinct.
Dingoes are a threat, as are introduced species such as foxes and
feral dogs or cats.
Diet
Kangaroos feed at night on grass and other low growing plants.
Kangaroos drink water when they find it, but can go for long periods
of time without drinking.
Female kangaroo preparing to give birth

Life Cycle
Kangaroos weigh less than 2 grams when they
are born. The tiny baby, called a joey, climbs
up its mother's belly and into her pouch. The
mother can't touch it because it is so tiny. She licks a path in her fur
for it to travel along. Inside the pouch it grabs onto one of four teats
and remains attached to it for about nine months.
Milk is automatically fed to the joey, and the milk
changes according to the joey's needs as it grows until it
no longer needs milk.
At nine months the joey will start to leave the pouch for increasing
periods of time,returning always to the same teat for a feed until it no
longer drinks milk.

A female kangaroo generally has another baby in


her womb 'in suspense', which means it has
developed just a little bit and then has stopped
and waited. When a joey leaves the pouch, the
mother starts the development of the one in her
womb again, and it is born a few weeks later. Then
she will have one tiny helpless joey in her pouch,
drinking the kind of milk it needs to develop, and
she will have another joey that is out of the pouch
but which returns to feed on milk from another
teat in her pouch. That milk will be different from
what the tiny joey is drinking, because the older
joey needs milk that will help it get strong as it
hops around.
An older joey returning for a feed

If conditions are bad, such as times of drought when there is not


much food around, the female kangaroo may wait until things improve
before letting the second baby develop. This means that there are few
kangaroos born during a drought and ensures that there is food for
the existing kangaroos. The babies are born when the mothers are
feeding well and producing good milk, and so that when the young
start to feed on solid food, there is plenty for them too.

Kangaroos in times of drought.


In a drought, large mobs move into farmlands and parks, even golf
courses to find food. This often puts them into conflict with humans,
who decide they are pests and sometimes results in them being
'culled', which means many are killed to reduce the numbers.

Different kinds of kangaroos


The red kangaroo is the biggest of all the marsupials. A male can be
1.5 metres long with a 1 metre long tail. It can weigh 85 kilograms.
Females are smaller. Males are a reddish colour, but the females are a
grey colour. Red kangaroos are found mostly in the centre of
Australia, where it is hot and there is little rainfall. It is flat, open
country with scattered trees.

The grey kangaroo is found along most


of the eastern half of Australia. Grey
kangaroos are almost as big as red
kangaroos, but are a greyish brown
colour. There are Eastern Grey and
Western Grey kangaroos.

Another kind of kangaroo...


Tree Kangaroos
In tropical areas of Australia and Papua New Guinea there are kangaroos
that live in trees. They are tree kangaroos. There are different kinds of tree
kangaroo.
Their tails help them balance as they hop about from branch to branch. The
tails are floppy rather than stiff, and hang down. They are the only
kangaroos that have front paws that can be raised above their heads,
which helps them move about in trees. Their front paws are more flexible
than those of ground-living kangaroos, and they can hold food to their
mouths with them.
Goodfellow's Tree kangaroo

Click here to find out more about some kinds of tree kangaroo:
Lumholtz's tree kangaroo:
http://home.iprimus.com.au/readman/lumh.htm
Matschie's tree kangaroo:
http://www.brookfieldzoo.org/pagegen/htm/fix/fg/fg_body.asp?sAnimal=Matschie's+tree+kangaroo
Goodfellow's tree kangaroo:
http://animal.discovery.com/guides/mammals/habitat/tropforest/goodkanga.html

Here's a rhyme about a kangaroo

Kangaroo
Old Jumpety-Bumpety-Hop-and -Go-One
Was lying asleep on his side in the sun.
This old kangaroo, he was whisking the flies
(With his long glossy tail) from his ears and his eyes.
Jumpety-Bumpety-Hop-and -Go-One
Was lying asleep on his side in the sun.
Jumpety-Bumpety-Hop

If you use any part of this in your own work, acknowledge this source
in your bibliography like this:
Sydenham, S. & Thomas, R. Kangaroos [Online]
www.kidcyber.com.au (2005)
Updated March 2009 kidcyber
Back to Animals

Koalas
Koalas are furry.
They are not bears!
They only eat leaves of eucalyptus
trees.
They hardly ever drink water.
A baby stays in its mother's pouch for
a few months after it is born.
The koala is possibly one of the best known Australian animals, and is
found in four states: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South

Australia. The word 'koala' comes from an Australian Aboriginal word


meaning 'no drink'.
Sometimes people call them 'koala bears' but the koala is not a
bear. It belongs to a special group of Australian mammals, called
marsupials.
Marsupials are mammals. Female marsupials have a pouch where
the baby animal lives after it is born. Marsupials are born when they
are very tiny, weighing just a few grams, about the size of a jelly
bean. They move into the pouch to complete their development.

Appearance
Koalas have soft, thick, grey or brown fur on their backs. The fur on the
stomach is white. Koalas that live in the south have thicker fur than those in
the north because of the cold winters, whereas the koalas in the northern
part of the country live in warm to hot weather most of the year so have
thinner fur. A koala has a large, hairless noses and round ears. Koalas
don't have tails. Adult koalas measure between 64 to 76 centimetres in
length and weigh between 7 and 14
kilograms.
Koalas have strong, sharp claws and
long toes to help them climb. The
front paws have two thumbs to help
them grip branches strongly. The
second and third toes on the back
legs are joined together to form a
grooming claw.
Although mostly silent, koalas
communicate with each other using a
range of noises ranging from one that
sounds like a loud snore, and a
burping sound, to a loud bellow.

Go here to hear the sounds


of a koala
Diet
Koalas eat the leaves and young shoots of some kinds of eucalyptus (say
you-kul-ip-tus) trees. In Australia there are over 600 species, or kinds, of
eucalypts, but koalas only eat about 20 species. Within a particular area,

there will be only three or four species of those eucalypts that will be
regularly browsed (eaten) by koalas. A variety of other species, including
some non-eucalypts, are eaten by koalas occasionally or used for just
sitting or sleeping in. Different species of eucalypts grow in different parts of
Australia, so a koala in Victoria has a very different diet from one in
Queensland.

Habits
Koalas spend nearly all their time in the trees using their sharp, curved
claws and long toes to climb about and to hold on to the tree branches.
They sleep most of the day, and feed and move from tree to tree mainly at
night.

Sleepy koalas
The reason koalas sleep for much of
the day is because eucalyptus leaves
are very tough so they use a lot of
energy to digest. Sleeping saves
energy. Eucalyptus leaves are
poisonous to almost every other
animal.
Koalas don't often drink water, as they get moisture from eucalyptus
leaves. However, in a severe drought, there is less moisture in leaves so
koalas will then need to find water to drink.
Each koala has a home range made up of several trees that they visit
regularly. They normally do not visit another koala's home trees except
when a male is looking for a female to mate with.

Life Cycle
Breeding season is generally from August to February. During this time the
males will be heard bellowing as they compete for females. At this time the
young from the previous year are ready to leave their mothers and become
independent. Usually a female has one young each year, but may not
breed in some years.
About 35 days after mating, a tiny baby called a joey is born. It is about 2
cm long, weighs less than 1 gram and is pink, hairless, blind and without
ears. Amazingly, this tiny creature travels up its mother's belly and finds the
entrance to the pouch. Inside the pouch, it attaches itself to a teat that
immediately swells inside its mouth so that the joey cannot let go and lose
the teat. The female is able to tighten muscles at the opening of the pouch
to prevent the baby falling out.

The female carries her baby in the pouch for 6 or 7 months after it is born.
The baby, called a joey, feeds on its mother's milk inside the pouch.
Between 22 and 30 weeks of age, its mother starts feeding the joey a
substance called pap formed from pre-digested food and her droppings.
This is important, because it trains the joey to be able to eat eucalyptus,
which is poisonous to most mammals. After it leaves the pouch, the baby
travels around on its mother's back, but continues to drink milk until a year
old. Generally this is when a young one leaves its mother, but if she does
not breed then the young one stays longer.

Go here to see pictures of a koala life cycle


https://www.savethekoala.com/koalaslifecycle.html

Koalas in danger!
Once people hunted koalas for their fur and by the 1920's the animals
were almost extinct. Laws were passed to protect the koalas from hunters,
but the koala is still a threatened species, depending on which state it lives
in. People have destroyed koalas' habitat by cutting down eucalyptus
forests. Koalas also die in bushfires and many koalas are hit by cars on
country roads.
Now a disease called chlamydia (say clu-mid-ee-u), which makes koalas
blind and makes the females unable to have babies, is harming these
animals. Many koalas die because of the disease. Conservation
organisations in Australia and around the world are working hard to help
save the koalas.

Go here to read about helping to save the koalas


https://www.savethekoala.com/helpnow.html

Predators
Koalas are hunted by dingoes, wild domestic dogs and foxes. Goannas,
wedge-tailed eagles, and large owls are a danger to baby koalas. To
escape their enemies, koalas on the ground run to and climb up the
nearest tree.

Go here for more information and to see pictures of


a newborn koala and koala's front and back feet
http://www.koalajo.com/traits.html

Go here for further information: use the menu on the


page
https://www.savethekoala.com/kids/indexkids.html

Acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:


Koalas (2005). [Online], Available: www.kidcyber.com.au
April 2007

Bandicoots
Bandicoots are small furry Australian
animals.
They eat plants, seeds, insects, spiders
and berries.
They hold food in their front paws to eat.
They live where there are low bushes.
Newborn babies move into the mother's
pouch to grow.
There are about twenty kinds of bandicoot, including the
Northern Brown, Long-nosed, Southern Brown, Eastern
Barred and Western Barred bandicoots. The Western
Barred bandicoot is now only found on a few islands in
Shark Bay, Western Australia. The Eastern Barred

bandicoot is now found only in Tasmania and in a few


places in Victoria.
Physical features
Bandicoots are mostly solitary animals, which means
they are generally on their own. They are marsupials
about the size of a cat. They have a pointy snout,
humped back and a thin tail. A female bandicoot has a
backward facing pouch. This is so that when she is
digging, she doesn't fill her pouch with soil.
Habitat
Bandicoots live on the ground in areas
where there are low-growing plants. In some
parts of Australia, they even visit people's gardens.
Diet
They search on the ground looking for insects,spiders,
seeds, berries and other similar food. When looking for
food they dig in the soil and rummage in the fallen
leaves on the ground. They hold their food in their front
paws to eat it.
Behaviours
Bandicoots are mostly active at
night and in the day they
generally shelter in nests that
are piles of leaf litter scratched
together. When moving fast they bound and gallop.
Life Cycle
Marsupials are not pregnant for very long, so that when
the young are born, they are very tiny and hardly
developed at all. They move into their mother's pouch to
complete their development. Unusually for marsupials,

bandicoots in the womb are attached to it by cords, and


after they are born, the young climb the cords to reach
the mother's pouch. The young of the Northern Brown
bandicoot and the Long-nosed bandicoot are in the
womb for only twelve and a half days, the shortest time
of any marsupial. Inside the pouch, the young drink milk
from teats, as they grow and develop.
Conservation status
Some desert species of bandicoot are extinct and the
remaining species are vulnerable. If their habitats
change, they will become endangered. They are also
killed by introduced species such as foxes and feral
cats.
More bandicoot information:
http://www.bandicootbooks.com/bandicoot_information.html
http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws.nsf/Content/Bandicoots
Long-nosed Bandicoots: http://wildlife-australia.com/lbandicoot.htm
Southern Brown Bandicoot:
http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/bandicoot.html
Eastern Barred Bandicoot:
http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/BHAN-5379SX?open
Golden Bandicoot: http://www.australianfauna.com/goldenbandicoot.php
The Rabbit-eared Bandicoot: Bilby

Acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:


Bandicoot (2007). [Online], Available: www.kidcyber.com.au

Back to Animals
Updated October 2007

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Frilled Lizard
Frilled lizards live in forests in
Australia's hot north.
They are covered with scales.
They eat insects and spiders.
They have a neck frill they open when
they need to look fierce.
Frilled lizards are also called frill-neck lizards or frilled
dragons. They belong to the family of lizards called
'dragons'.
Like other reptiles, the Frilled
Lizard is active during the day,
relying on the sun to warm its
body.
Habitat
Frilled Lizards live in dry forests and woodland, in the

northern and north-western parts of Australia. They are


often found in trees, moving easily between branches.
Appearance
A frilled lizard can be up to 95 centimetres long. Its
colour matches the colour of the land and the trees it
lives on. This is called camouflage. Male frilled lizards
are more brightly coloured than females.
Behaviour
Frilled Lizards generally live alone, and are territorial. To
escape an enemy, a frilled lizard can move very fast on
its two hind legs. When it is frightened, the frilled lizard
opens its mouth wide which causes it to ruffle out its red
and orange, scaly frill. The frill like an open umbrella.
The lizard hisses loudly too and may thrash its tail on
the ground. Frilled lizards will bite an enemy with its
strong teeth if it is forced to fight.
Frilled lizards are not poisonous or
harmful to people.
Frilled lizards are usually active during
the day, hunting insects,
ants, spiders and small mammals and
lizards.
Life Cycle
After mating with a male frilled lizard in
September, the female lays up to 23 tiny eggs. The
young hatch about 8 to 12 weeks later and are left to
look after themselves.
Frilled lizards may be an endangered species because
the land where they live is being cleared. Main predators

are birds of prey such as Wedge-tailed Eagles and owls,


larger lizards, snakes and dingoes.
Read more about frilled lizards here
http://www.arazpa.org.au/Education_FactSheets_FrilledLizard.htm

If you use any of this information in your own work acknowledge this source
in your bibliography like this:
Frilled lizard (2000). [Online], Available: www.kidcyber.com.au
Find out about reptiles

Back to Australian Animals


updated December 2006