Since my last post about Australian animals at the end of 2013 a lot has happened and I have seen many more Australian animals either in the wild or in animal sanctuaries. While most of them are quite friendly, some can potentially be very dangerous.

Here is an updated list of animals in Australia that I have tried to match up with photos that I have taken.

Two kangaroos fighting.
Two kangaroos fighting.

Kangaroo

Kangaroos in the late evening sun.
Kangaroos in the late evening sun.
Two kangaroos fighting.
Two kangaroos fighting.

Kangaroos are very common all over Australia. They are one of the species that you will see nearly everywhere – even in the big cities. They are generally friendly, but have quite sharp claws and can dish out strong kicks.

Wallaby

To simplify it, Wallabies are small kangaroos that look only slightly different than their larger brothers.

Pademelon

A Tasmanian pademelon shortly after sunset.
A Tasmanian pademelon shortly after sunset.

Pademelons are basically small wallabies. Their tails are shorter and thicker. Their heads have a triangular shape and their ears are shorter.

Koala

A koala sleeping in a tree.
A koala sleeping in a tree.
The face of a koala.
The face of a koala.

Together with the kangaroo the koala is symbolic for Australia. They can be found in many places just outside of the cities, but it can be hard to spot them sitting in the trees. They sleep a large fraction of the day and do not move a lot. They can however growl like the best death metal singer.

Wombat

A curious wombat looks at us.
A curious wombat looks at us.
A wombat sniffs Pascal's shoes.
A wombat sniffs Pascal’s shoes.

Wombats are thick, muscular and strong animals that can be found fairly often in the bush.

Possum

These are nocturnal animals that can be found nearly everywhere and are common in the cities as well. They are incredibly curious and can be a pest for campers who did not secure their food storage.

Being nocturnal animals, it is hard to get a good photo of them.

Tiger snake

A curled up tiger snake. You can see the yellow banding on its bottom side that lends the species its name.
A curled up tiger snake. You can see the yellow banding on its bottom side that lends the species its name.
A tiger snake swims in a lake in Tasmania.
A tiger snake swims in a lake in Tasmania.

The tiger snake is the first animal in this list that can be dangerous for humans. They are pretty common in the bush in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania and are quite active during summer, so it is likely that you will encounter one sooner or later on a bush walk. While they are extremely venomous, they are very shy creatures in my experience and escape quickly when they feel vibration in the ground. They are harmless and can be easily avoided. The only danger is when they feel threatened or get stepped on. Closed and sturdy boots are a must when venturing out into the bush.

They are surprisingly good swimmers, which I could not believe until I saw it.

Brown snake

They are supposedly faster and more aggressive than the other Australian snakes. I haven’t seen one yet in the wild.

Copper head snake

Not seen yet.

White-lipped snake

Apparently they can be found in some caves. Not seen yet.

Red-bellied black snake

Not seen yet.

Death Adder

Not seen yet.

Coastal and inland Taipan

They are supposed to be the most venomous snakes in Australia. While the coastal taipan has a reputation to be fierce and aggressive, the inland taipan is said to be rather shy. The likelihood to be bitten by one is very low.

Not seen yet.

Echidna

An echidna searches for food.
An echidna searches for food.

The echidna is a small animal that looks like a crossbred between a porcupine and an anteater. In case of danger it hides its head in a defensive burrow in the ground and arrests itself in it in order not to be pulled out. They are one of the few species of egg-laying mammals.

Kookaburra

A Kookaburra sitting on a tree branch.
A Kookaburra sitting on a tree branch.
A close-up view of a Kookaburra.
A close-up view of a Kookaburra.

Kookaburras are fairly large birds that have a distinctive laugh.

Rosella

Catalina feeds a rosella.
Catalina feeds a rosella.

Galah

A galah on the ground.
A galah on the ground.

Cockatoo

A sulphur-crested cockatoo sits on the ground.
A sulphur-crested cockatoo sits on the ground.

Magpie

These are very common in the cities and also outside. They are infamously known for swooping people riding their bikes.

Currawong

Apparently they are one of the smartest species of birds and are known to be able to open zips from backpacks in order to eat the snacks of bush walkers.

Lorikeet

A lorikeet sitting on a tree branch.
A lorikeet sitting on a tree branch.

Penguin

A penguin at St. Kilda beach.
A penguin at St. Kilda beach.

Wild penguins can be spotted at St. Kilda beach in Melbourne for example.

Superb fairy-wren

No photo yet.

Myna bird

No photo yet.

Tawny frogmouth

A tawny frogmouth.
A tawny frogmouth.
A tawny frogmouth.
A tawny frogmouth.

Spotted quoll

A spotted quoll in a sanctuary.
A spotted quoll in a sanctuary.

They look and behave like very small cats. I have seen some in the wild, but this photo is from an animal sanctuary. They are also nocturnal animals.

Quokka

They are supposedly the happiest animals on Earth with a constant smile. Not seen yet.

Tasmanian devil

They look a bit like dogs with a prominent jaw and teeth. They are endangered by a form of skin cancer that prevents them from eating. Not seen yet in the wild.

Tasmanian tiger

Apart from the other animals listed here the Tasmanian tiger is extinct since the 1930s.

Dingo

A dingo resting below a bench in the Northern Territory.
A dingo resting below a bench in the Northern Territory.

Dingos are wild dogs, which are common in the Northern Territory.

Leeches

A leech found inside a gaiter in Tasmania.
A leech found inside a gaiter in Tasmania.

These blood-sucking worms are common in wetlands in Tasmania, but can also be found in the Blue Mountains in NSW. They are one of the reasons why wearing gaiters is a good idea.

Bats

Bats flying in front of the skyline of Melbourne, Australia.
Bats flying in front of the skyline of Melbourne, Australia.

Jack jumper ants

Jack jumper ants are closely related to bull ants. They can not only bite you with their mandibles, but can also sting you with a stinger on their back. In a sting they inject a venom that can potentially induce an anaphylactic shock. They are said to be aggressive and travel vast distances from their nests.

Not seen yet.

Huntsman spider

No photo yet.

Redback spider

Not seen yet.

Sydney funnel-web spider

Not seen yet.

White-tailed spider

I have seen them often in the countryside near Canberra, where they live in dark places sheltered from the sun.

No photo yet.

Emu

No photo yet.

Cassowary

No photo yet.

Blue-tongued lizard

No photo yet.

Platypus

A platypus swimming in a lake in Tasmania.
A platypus swimming in a lake in Tasmania.

The platypus is one of the few mammals that lay eggs. It is also special in that it is among the small group of mammals that are venomous, with the male platypus having a venomous spur.

Eel

No photo yet.

Crocodile

Not seen yet in the wild.

Alligator

Not seen yet in the wild.

Great white shark

Not seen yet in the wild.

Stingray

No photo yet.

Box jellyfish

The box jellyfish have tentacles that carry a potent venom. Their sting can be even fatal to humans.

Blue bottle

Another name for the blue bottle is Portuguese man o’ war and it is actually a colony of different polyps.

Blue-ringed octopus

Not seen yet.

Weedy sea dragon

Not seen yet.

Yabby

A common yabby sitting in a puddle.
A common yabby sitting in a puddle.

A yabby or common yabby is a species of freshwater crayfish that is common in many mountainous areas in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania. They look like small lobsters and live in thumb-sized holes in soft soil. Their colour varies from light blue to green-brown.