The Biggest, Baddest, and Most Poisonous
If everything is supposedly bigger in Texas, then we have to concede that everything is simply enormous in Australia.
Officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, this sovereign country comprises the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. The entire country is 2.97 million square miles and as of 2017, has a population of just over 24 million people.
It’s also the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area.
Australia was inhabited by indigenous peoples for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. When Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770, it became a penal colony and grew steadily.
In 1901, the six existing colonies federated, forming what we know as the Commonwealth of Australia today.
Because of the continent’s great age, extremely variable weather patterns, and long-term geographic isolation, much of Australia’s wildlife is unique in all the world.
Approximately 90% of the animals native to Australia are found nowhere else, including the kangaroo, koala, echidna, dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat.
“That relative isolation has created an ecology like no other,” said zoologist Adam Dinkins.
The vast majority of Australian animals are marsupials – animals whose young develop in a pouch instead of a placenta. Australia is also home to the only egg-laying mammals in the world, the amazing echidna and the extraordinarily odd duckbill platypus.
But did you know that the duckbill platypus is poisonous and has enough venom to kill a small human being? And that’s not the only dangerous creature lurking on the smallest continent, or alternatively, the world’s largest island.
From man-eating sharks and killer crocodiles to some of the world’s most venomous snakes and jellyfish, Australia is definitely full of extraordinary animals that reportedly hang out in public places ready to jump on unsuspecting passersby.
If that’s not enough to make you think twice about your travel plans, Australia also has some of the scariest bugs in the world. Although some are huge, many are normal sized, which makes it easier for them to hide and catch you by surprise as you’re cooing over a cuddly koala.
So in honor of the land down under, we wanted to put together a list of their biggest, most dangerous, and most unique creatures.
Without further ado, here’s all the wildlife that lets you know in once quick glance you’re in Australia, mate…