Australia consists of three different biomes, or habitats: desert, savanna, and tropical. Each separate biome is made up of different types of animals that thrive in the particular climate.
Known as a symbol of Australia, kangaroos live across the country, but many different species can be found in the Australian desert in the center of the continent. Kangaroos are not domesticated animals, and generally will shy away from humans when approached. The legs of a kangaroo are very strong, and it is possible for an adult kangaroo to kill an unarmed man.
Perhaps the most recognized native Australian animal after the kangaroo, dingoes are wild dogs that prowl the plains of this island nation. The dingo is a hunter, an attribute that makes this creature a nuisance to farmers, who often complain of having their livestock killed by dingoes. Dingoes are also known to attack small children, and have even mauled and killed Australian children.
Large, flightless emus are also native to the Australian plains, and can also be found in the desert. These birds are believed to have been around since prehistoric times, and are the second largest bird alive today, following the ostrich
. An unusual attribute to the emu is that, while females lay eggs, the male emus are the nesters and incubate the eggs until hatched. Emus are usually non-agressive, but have razor-sharp claws and should not be approached.
Koalas also live in the plains of Australia. Often called by the misnomer "koala bear", the koala is actually a type of marsupial, like the kangaroo. The koala prefers to eat the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree, specifically those of 120 specific types of the tree, which consists of over 600 types. As a marsupial, koalas have pouches where their young, called "joeys", live for the first six months of life before emerging.
One species many may be surprised to find in Australia is the fairy penguin, which lives on the tropical coastline. The birds hunt in the water, and can even swim miles to find food. The fairy penguin makes its nest on the shoreline, where it returns each night after a day spent hunting in the ocean.