Australia's Amazing Animals

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MAMMALS Monotremes Marsupials and Placental

Map of Australia
Where the different animals live

Monotremes lay eggs instead of giving live birth. There are two living monotremes The Platypus and The Echidna Monotremes do secrete milk for their young & have hair like other mammals. Monotremes are found only in Australia & New Guinea.

The Platypus (Male)
The Platypus’ name comes from the Greek meaning broad foot for the webbed foot and lives in the eastern waterways. The Platypus has a bill that resembles a duck's bill but is actually an elongated snout covered with soft, moist, leathery skin and sensitive nerve endings. The male Platypus has a sharp, hollow, horny spur about 15 millimeters long on the inside of both hind leg ankles.

The Platypus (Female)
The females lays her eggs and then curls up to incubate them against her abdomen. The female has no teats. Milk is produced in large glands under her skin which oozes out onto a patch of fur and the young Platypus sucks it up.

Platypus and the Spur
MALE PLATYPUS with Venom Spurs on his hind legs

The Echidna
The Echidnas are spiny anteaters that live in dry regions and the Australian Alps. They are covered with coarse hair and spines. During the breeding season, a female echidna develops a simple pouch into which she lays a single egg. The echidna suckles her young through specialized pores inside the pouch.

The Echidna

Marsupial means pouched animal They give live birth but do not have a long gestation time inside the mother’s body. The young animal climbs up into the mother’s pouch to suck from the nipple and grow there for months. Like other mammals, marsupials are covered with hair. Australia has most of the world’s marsupials.

Kangaroos are the largest of the Macro pods, which means large feet and they average about five feet tall in height. There are two kinds of kangaroos, the red and the grey kangaroo. The young baby kangaroos are called joeys, the male kangaroo is a boomer and the female is a doe.


The koala is a herbivorous, plant-eating, marsupial that dwells in trees and eats Eucalyptus leaves (also known as gum leaves). It does not drink water unless it is sick or there is not enough moisture in the eucalyptus leaves. The koala is found from Queensland to Southern Victoria.


Bandicoots & Bilbies
Bandicoots & Bilbies are small to medium marsupials. Bandicoots live south and west.

The Bilby is a type of bandicoot in the north. The bilby has long ears like a rabbit and is the Australian Easter animal.

Ring Tail Possum
Australia has possums too. They live in the forests and woodlands.

Tasmanian Devils, Wombats and the Tasmanian Tiger
Wombats are large burrowing animals that look like a small bear found in the north, south and east. Tasmanian Devils resemble a small black dog and are found only in Tasmania. They were named devils due to their loud cries. The Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine is probably extinct. The last known one died in 1936. The Thylacine resembled a wolf with stripes.

Tasmanian Devil
The Tasmanian Devil is endangered due to a facial tumor disease that is spreading through the population.


Tasmanian Tiger

Placental Mammals
The only placental animal, an animal that grows inside a sac in the mother’s body, that was in Australia before the European settlement, is the Dingo. Dingoes are not only in Australia but Southeastern Asia. They have been in Australia for over 3,000 years. They are found all over Australia particularly in the north. The Aboriginal people used them to hunt. Dingoes remain a wild dog in nature like the wolf but mixed blood Dingoes are often seen as pets.

The Dingo

Animals and Aboriginal Culture
Animals were very important to the Aboriginal Culture and many of the Dreamtime stories of the beginning of time and moral stories involved animals. Animals were drawn on rock and sand by the Aborigines.

Let’s take a look at what you know
True or false Monotremes have live births. Marsupial means big feet animals. Dingoes are only found in Australia. Koalas like to drink a lot of water. The female platypus has a poison spur. The Tasmanian Devil is extinct.

Too Right!
That’s correct! What a Beauty!

Have another go!
Sorry, Mates!

Welcome to my Backyard
My backyard was not far from where Kangaroos live and a Kookaburra with his laughing call sat in the tree of my school yard.

Kangaroos Hopping

References for Multimedia Instructional Presentation
Aboriginal Australian Art and Culture Centre. (2007). Art, Culture and Dreamtime. Allenbar, Campbell. (1993). Darwin Cyclone: Bushfire/ Didgeridoo. United Kingdom: ARC Music. Activity Village of United Kingdom. (2007). Australia Day Links. Australian Animals.Net. (2007). Unique Australian Animals. (2007). Australian Animals. Panorama Australia Videos. Aussie Bush Band. (2001). Bush Songs from the Australian Outback. Virginia: Legacy International. Campbell, Cameron R. (2006). The Thylacine Museum. Natural Worlds Website.

Commonwealth of Australia. (2007). Maps of Australia. Canberra:Geoscience Australia. CyberSleuth Kids. (2006). Information about Marsupials. http://cybersleuth Ettamogah Wildlife Sanctuary. (2007). Australian Animals. Australia: New South Wales. FOTOSEARCH. (2007). Waukesha, Wisconsin. Kookaburra Song. (2007). Children’s Lyrics: Free Music Downloads. McIvor, S. (2002). Page Resources. Turtle Webs. Meirs, Jackie. (2007). Australian Animals-Mammals: Links to sites on Australian Mammals. Jackie’s Resources for Learning and Teaching. South Australia: McGill Primary School.

Museum of Paleontology. (2007). Marsupial Mammals. Berkeley: University of California New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. (2004). Native animal fact sheets. Department of Environment & Climate Change. +by+title Rochedale State School. (2007). Australian animals. Queensland: Year 5b. Tassie Devil Website. (2007). Save the Tasmanian devil. Hobart: University of Tasmania & the Tasmanian Government. Travel Pod. (2007). Some sand, some snow, some kangaroos: short kangaroo video clip. Von at (2007). Dreamtime Stories. Wikipedia Online Free Encyclopedia. (2007). Florida: The Wikimedia Foundation.

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Description: MAMMALS, Monotremes Marsupials and Placental