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Animals

Australian megafauna

When people first arrived in Australia, they found unique plants and animals. It must have been like entering a new world. There were giant marsupials (mammals that carried their young in a pouch, such as kangaroos), giant monotremes (mammals that lay eggs, such as echidnas) and different types of birds (including emus and brolgas). There were also other giant animals that no longer exist. We call these extinct giant animals megafauna. Unlike Africa and Asia, where the top predators were mammals, in Australia, giant reptiles ruled.

Click on the photos below for more information

  • Museum exhibit of a reconstructed, large four-legged animal with brown fur and sharp claws.
    Giant marsupial
  • Colour illustration of a kangaroo-like animal with grey-brown fur and short, stumpy head.
    Giant kangaroo
  • Colour photograph of a kangaroo standing in tall grass.
    Kangaroo
  • Colour illustration of a large emu-like bird with thick legs and white-grey feathers.
    Giant bird
  • An emu with its eggs.
    Emu
  • Cast of a skull from a large terrestrial lizard.
    Giant reptiles
  • Colour photograph showing a lizard on dry ground. The front half of the lizard is visible. It has yellow and grey skin, darker on the head, and its forked tongue extends almost to the ground.
    Goanna

 

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