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Top 10 Animals in the Australian Outback

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The Australian Outback is vast and fascinating. The Outback is defined by many meanings such as “backcountry,” “back of beyond,” “backblocks,” and “back of Bourke.” and is away from the urban areas where different habitats survive and compete with each other for survival.

This blog is going to dive into the Top 10 Animals in the Australian Outback.

koala in australia

An outback consists of different climates such as arid, tropical, semi-arid, and temperate. There is a wide diversity of living organisms, such as plants, flora, fauna, and animals, including both dangerous and human-friendly. 

Australian Outback

The Australian Outback includes all those desolate and vast areas in the country that are remote and away from the large populations in the southeast region of Australia.

The outback consists of an area of 8057453 sq km. The region is so broad that it covers up half of Australia’s continent which is 49% of its total zone.

There are many animals in the Australian Outback, but the top 10 animals are discussed in detail in this article.

Top 10 Animals in the Australian Outback: 

Although every animal in the Australian Outback is known for certain special characters, the top 10 animals here are discussed below.

1. Sand Goanna

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There are various lizard species in the Australian Outback, but the top one considered among them is Sand Goanna. 

  • Other Name: It is commonly called an Australian monitor, Gould’s monitor, racehorse Goanna, and sand monitor.
  • Habitat: Sand goanna likes to dwell in the mainland, such as the woodlands and grasslands of eastern and northern Australia. They don’t want to live in the south and southeast regions. They live in the caves to protect themselves from predators and provide better shelter to cope with the climate.
  • Food: In the Australian Outback, the Sand Goanna prey on insects, birds, and carrion; therefore, they are called voracious eaters.
  • Size: They grow up to 160cm and mostly weigh 6kg. 

Facts:

  • Sand Goanna is the 2nd most prominent monitor species in Australia.
  • It is a diurnal species meaning a sand goanna sleeps at night and stays up during the day.
  • Its sense of smell is well developed.
  • The Sand Goanna monitor explores the environment through the tongue. Woah! That’s a cool one!
  • Their favourite food is crocodile egg in the northern area.

As a Pet:

Sand goanna can be kept as a pet because they can be fantastic company and friends to humans. But if you are considering keeping them as a pet, it is essential first to learn how they stay happy as a pet and the main requirements for their healthy and happy life. 

Important to note: Wild animals can’t be kept as pets. Take a permit from your state and check all the regulations before buying a Sand Goanna.

Sand Goannas have pretty patterns on their body. Their skin is greenish gray with yellow ringed spots. Their head resembles a snake’s, and their tails are usually yellow, white, or cream.

2. Kangaroos

Kangaroos are the marsupials that occur most frequently in the Australian Outback and throughout the country. The term kangaroo includes all the members of the Macropods family.

  • Other Names: Kangaroos are known as roos in daily life. There are specific different names for male and female kangaroos.
  • Male kangaroos are old ken, boomers, bucks, or jacks.
  • Female kangaroos are casually called jills, doe, or flyers.
  • Their newborns are called joeys.
  • Habitat: They are not limited to the Australian Outback but are also found hopping all around Australia.
  • Food: Roos are herbivores and feed only on plants around the backcountry. Some kangaroos are grazers as well.
  • Size: Various species of macropods are found in the Australian Outback, and all have different sizes, habitats, and appearances.
  • The red kangaroo weighs 200 pounds and grows approximately 2 meters.
  • Western gray typically weighs 110 pounds.
  • Eastern gray weighs 130 pounds and grows up to 1.5 meters.

Speed:

As we know, roos hopping around and jumping look adorable and are an interesting sight.

  • Big reds and eastern gray jump up to 29 feet in one bound and have a speed of 50 km per hour.
  • Red roos have a rate of 60km per hour. It can leap 10 feet high and 25 feet far.

 Facts:

  • They are nocturnal.
  • Macropods 6 species are extinct and several endangered since the Europeans arrived in Australia.
  • They live in mobs of 10 individuals.
  • Their females have a pouch where the baby lives and develops.
  • Extremely rare roos, ” white kangaroos,” are also seen in the Australian backcountry.
  • The kangaroo’s long tail helps them move with their powerful hind legs. 

Kangaroos Most Common Species In Australian Outback:

Following are the most commonly occurring species of roos in the Australian Outback.

  • Rock wallabies
  • Tree kangaroo
  • Red kangaroo
  • Wallaroos
  • Eastern and western gray kangaroo

3. Snakes 

Garter Snakes

Next on the list is the most dangerous reptilian animal in the Australian backcountry, the snake. Although not all the snakes here are hazardous to humans, some are also non-venomous. 

Other Names: Snakes are commonly called the serpent, reptilian resident, adder, garter snake, and by many other names.

Habitat: Snakes occur in a wide range of areas. In the Australian outback, snakes lurk in the Rocky lands, desert bushes, forests, and grasslands. 

Food: The snakes in the Australian outback feed on insects, birds, reptilians, small mammals, mice, rabbits, eggs, and gerbils.

Snake species In The Australian Outback:

There are diverse species of snakes in the Australian Outback. Curl snake, mulga snake, red naped adder, death snake, orange naped snake, speckled brown adder, pythons called the Australian Outback their home.

Australian Outback Snake Facts:

  • Taipan, a snake species found in the Australian backcountry, is the deadliest snake. Its single bite can kill 100 men at a time.
  • Desert snakes are less dangerous.

4. Thorny Devil Lizards

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Thorny devils are the famous lizard inhabitants of the Australian backcountry. They belong to the dragon lizard family.

  • Also Called: There are many names by which they are familiar. Some of those names are thorny lizard, moloch, thorny dragon, and horny devil.
  • Feeds On: This endemic species of Australia widely eats ants. They eat thousands of ants every day.
  • Natural Territory: Molochs prefer to live in the deserts and arid shrublands. They are present in the southern and Western zones and central areas of Australia.
  • Body: Thorny dragons have spikes all over the dorsal surface of the body. 

Hard Facts:

  • Their thorns shield them from predators.
  • Molochs keep themselves cool in the desert by relaxing in their body dew.

5. Saltwater Crocodiles

A crocodile resting on a sand bank

The most dangerous animal in the Australian Outback is the saltwater crocodile. Few human deaths are recorded in Australia due to the salties attack. They belong to the Crocodylidae family.

  • Also Called: Saltwater crocodiles are famous as saltie, Indo-Pacific crocodiles, sea crocodiles, estuarine crocodiles, and marine crocodiles.
  • Feeds On: Estuarine crocodiles take in turtles, wild pigs, fish, wading birds, cattle, buffaloes, and many more.
  • Natural Territory: In Australia’s outback, the saltwater crocodiles are found in the salty water along the coastline. But they are not limited to only the backcountry and can be found in the billabongs, freshwater rivers, and swamps.

Hard Facts:

  • The saltwater crocodile is the biggest crocodile species in the world.
  • They can live up to 70 years.
  • Saltwater crocodile is the largest living reptile throughout the world.
  • They live in the coastal water, so they can quickly move between brackish and freshwater bodies.

6. Dingo Dogs

Dingo is an ancient lineage of dogs established in Australia. Dingo is among the top 10 animals found in the Australian backcountry. They are reducing worldwide; therefore, they are considered endangered animals. They can hardly be seen in most areas now.

  • Also Called: Warrigal and Canis dingo are the most common names of the dingo.
  • Feeds On: In the Australian Outback, the dingo consumes birds, reptiles, red kangaroos, insects, lizards, frogs, fish, and many other organisms. Although carnivores by nature they sometimes prefer to feed on nuts, grains, and fruits.
  • Natural Territory: The highly versatile dingo is found everywhere in the Australian Outback. From abundant rainforests to harsh desert conditions, dingo inhabits all the surroundings. The ideal place to shelter in dingos is in the margins of the forests next to grasslands.

In desserts, they adapt themselves to areas close to water. In the Australian backcountry desert, if you find water somewhere, there are huge chances that dingo has a presence there. 

On the eastern coast and southwest, the dingo is not spotted frequently and is mostly absent.

Hard Facts:

  • This wild dog is endogenous to Australia.
  • They are considered at the top of the food chain in Australia.
  • In Asia, Dingoes are the food source for some people.
  • Just like wolves, the dingo also howls and does not bark.

7. Frilled-Necked Lizard

It is worth mentioning that the only member of the Chlamydosaurus genus is the frilled-necked lizard.  

  • Also Called: It is known by various names, including frilled dragon, frill lizard, or frilled agama. It was given these names because of the ruffs around their throat.
  • Ideal Food: Frillies are carnivores; they eat small vertebrates and insects, including cicadas, beetles, ants, spiders, mice, and rats. Sometimes they eat plants, but it is not usual. Larvae, moths, and butterflies are the frillies’ favourite food.
  • Natural Habitat: In Australia, frilled lizards are endemic to the northern region.It spends most of the period in the trees.They prefer savannah woodlands along with warm and tropical temperate forests. 
  • Size: This Australian backcountry animal is 2.79 feet long, including the tail.
  • Exotic Pet: Some people keep frilled agama as their pets. These wild animals are exotic because keeping them at your home is rare.

 Facts:

  • Largest species of the lizard dragon family in Australia.
  • Their frills are extensive and thin.
  • Also called bicycle lizard.

8. Australian Feral Camels 

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Did you know there are more than 1 million feral camels in the Australian Outback and other regions of the country? 

They were first imported to Australia from Afghanistan and British India during the 19th century for construction and transport during the colonization of the western and central parts of Australia. 

In the early 20th century, they were let out into the feral, resulting in increased population and environmental damage. 

  • Also Called: Australian wild camels and dromedary camels are the two other usual names for feral camels.
  • Feeds On: Feral camels are herbivores; therefore, they live on juicy herbage that often has high salt content. Wild camels take in grasses, fruits, saltbush, and stems and leaves of certain shrubs. The feral camels are likely to eat any plant that grows in the desert.
  • Natural Colony: Feral Camels mostly live in extreme conditions; therefore, they prefer dry desert conditions and extreme heat. They are frequently spotted in arid regions.
  • Physical Appearance: Feral camels are distinguished by a deep-narrow chest, long-curved neck, and a single hump.

Hard Facts:

  • Feral camels widely damage the native trees, such as the Native Peach, also called Quandong
  • Their lips help them in the consumption of thorny and coarse plants.
  • Wild camels fluctuate body temperature from 34-degree Celsius to 41-degree Celsius, which helps in water conservation.
  • The Average Life expectancy of a dromedary camel is 40 to 45 years.

9. Wombat

Have you ever imagined that wombats also live in the Australian Outback? Well, yes, that’s true. This koala-resembling animal is also one of the top animals in the Australian Outback.

Wombat has two genres and three species; interestingly, they all belong to Australia.

  • Alternative Names: Wombats are famous as Lasiorhinus latifrons, northern hairy-nosed yaminon, vombatus Ursinus, southern hairy-nosed wombat, and common wombat.
  • Feeds On: These herbivore marsupials eat Native grasses such as kangaroo grass, tussocky ‘snow grass,’ and wallaby grass.Their stomach is simple with broad and short cecum that helps in the easy digestion.
  • Habitat: Vombatus Ursinus prefers to live in the open and dry regions. They remain in the partly forested regions.
  • Physical Appearance: Commonly wombats are confused with koalas. Here are certain physical characters based on which the wombats can be differentiated easily. They have a compact head, small ears, a stocky body, short limbs, and a very short tail. And the skull looks like that of a rodent. They are medium or large animals, and their weight ranges from 19 to 39 kg.

 Facts About Wombat:

  • They use heads for construction of tunnels.
  • Closest relative to the koalas.

10. Koalas

Koala

Koalas, one of the cutest known animals, are also animals in the Australian Outback. They weigh 9 to 33 pounds and are 2 to 3 feet long.

  • Also Called: You can also say bandicoot, wallaby, native bear, koala bear, kangaroo bear, possum, and euro to koalas. Although some names show as if they are bears, they are not, they are marsupials.
  • Koalas Food: As they inhabit the eucalyptus mainly, therefore, they eat eucalyptus leaves. On average, they eat 200 to 500 grams of fronds. The 200 cm long caecum of a koala contains certain bacteria that help break down food into simpler substances that are easily digestible. The gum leaves have a high quantity of water; therefore, koalas drink less water because the eucalyptus fronds complete the water demand as well.
  • Natural Habitat: Koalas mostly remain in the eucalyptus tree branches because it protects koalas against predators. They also reside on bloodwood trees, paperback, and brush boxes which shows that they are arboreal. Koalas are found in the woodlands and forests of eastern Australia. They also occur inland because of habitat loss due to many reasons, such as deforestation. Koalas prefer bushland because their favourite trees are here.

Fast Facts:

  • Sleep for 18 to 20 hours everyday.
  • Most active between 5 pm and midnight.
  • Resembles wombats.
  • Female koalas keep the baby inside the pack for seven months. 

Other Animals In the Australian Outback:

There is a vast diversity of animals in the Australian Outback and are not limited to only the ten animals mentioned earlier. Other Australian animals include:

  •  Python
  • Tasmanian devils
  • Kookaburras
  • Parma Wallaby
  • Palm Cockatoo
  • Duck-billed Platypus
  • Short-beaked Echidna
  • Emu and many more

Wrap Up of Animals in the Australian Outback

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The Australian Outback is a shelter to various native and non-native animals. Because it consists of a wide variety of landscapes such as woodlands, deserts, tall mountain ranges, and grasslands, this continent’s animals are dangerous and poisonous, and some are human-friendly.

The top 10 animals in the Australian Outback are Sand Goanna, Kangaroos, Thorny Devil, Venomous Snakes, Saltwater, Crocodiles, Dingo, Frilled-Necked Lizard, Australian Feral Camels, Wombat, and Koalas.

All these Australian animals have different habitats, lifestyles, food requirements, and physical appearances and are unique in their way.

Australia is no doubt a rich source of diverse living animals.

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