In the spirit of Australia Day (26th January), we have put together a few favourite facts about our friends down under!
1) Australia is home to all three types of mammals.
It has over 300 native mammals, including marsupials, monotremes and placental mammals.
2) Lord Howe Island stick insect was thought extinct until 2001!
Only 9-35 adults remain in the wild at Ball’s Pyramid, Lord Howe Island.
3) It's home to the inland taipan, the most venomous snake in the world.
The venom in one bite is thought to be enough to kill 100 adults.
4) The population of kangaroos outnumbers humans.
The human population of Australia is around 25,704,340. In 2009/2010, The Australian Govt counted 27 million kangaroos across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia.
5) The introduction of cane toads was an ecological disaster.
In 1935, humans introduced the cane toad to Australia to help eradicate the cane beetles that were eating all of the sugar cane crops. The plan backfired. Cane toads increased in numbers and territory, killing predators and depleting food sources for native species.
6) It’s home to the world's happiest animal!
Quokkas love to approach the humans who visit Rottnest with their cheeky grins. As well as giving them the cute factor, a quokka's smile helps them cool down.
7) The Female Funnel-Web is one of the world’s most deadly spiders!
Death can occur in humans within 15 mins.
8) In Australia, it is estimated that insects make up almost 70% of the biodiversity (CSIRO, 2005).
Did you know? Insects are the only invertebrates with wings.
9) Australia is home to the largest species of reptile.
The salt-water crocodile grows to 6m or more and has the world's highest jaw pressure: 3,000 pounds per square inch.
10) 80% of mammals in Australia are endemic.
This is more than anywhere else in the world due to Australia's isolation from other continents.