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Australian Marsupials

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A passionate lover of his native Australia, Peter loves to share with the world the wonders of this beautiful Country called Australia.

Australian Marsupials

According to my research Australia is one of the very few places in the world where the three basic type of mammals can be found living side by side.

They are:-

  • Marsupials
  • Placentals
  • Monotremes

The largest group is the Marsupial. There are over 120 types of Marsupials so far found to be living in Australia.

I don't profess to be an expert but I would like to introduce you to some of the most popular and most interesting Marsupials that we have here, but first just a brief description on the definition of a marsupial .

Marsupials are commonly regarded as mammals that have pouches. These pouches are where their young are born and raised!

Prime examples are the Kangaroo and Wallaby. Marsupials typically have very short gestation times I believe some as low as 12-14 days.

When the Joey (the babies are called joeys) is born it is naturally very small but through instinct crawls up from mums birth canal and climbs into the pouch and attaches itself to mums nipple.

It stays inside the pouch until it is fully developed from weeks to months depending on the species of marsupial. Mothers nurse their young for quite a while sometimes until the Joey is as big as the mum.

So settle back and allow me to introduce you to just a few of our marsupials, some you will already know but I'm sure there will be some surprises !

A real live cute Australian Koala

A real live cute Australian Koala

The Koala

The Koala is a thickset arboreal marsupial herbivore native to Australia.

The Koala spends virtually all its life in the trees and looks quite clumsy when occasionally spotted on the ground.

The Koala is found in coastal regions of eastern and southern Australia, from near Adelaide to the southern part of Cape York Peninsula.

Populations also extend for considerable distances inland in regions with enough moisture to support suitable woodlands.

The Koala is very selective in what it eats and will only munch on leaves from certain types of eucalypti.

These Marsupials are not found in Tasmania or Western Australia.

It's young are carried in a backward facing pouch for five to six months and then on the mothers back for a further two or three months.

When first adopted by English speakers, the name Koala Bear became popular, as this roughly evoked the species' similarity in appearance to the Teddy bear, to people unfamiliar with it.

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Although taxonomically incorrect, the name Koala bear is still in use today outside Australia — its use is discouraged because of the inaccuracy in the name.

Heat Wave conditions.

In the last week of January 2009, Victoria experienced record Heat wave conditions. We had 3 days in a row of over 43 degrees C. (Nearly 110 F).

I received an email from my niece who lives in the bush ? with some very touching photos and some attached text.

I am posting them here just to let you know that our little friends do suffer in the heat and we can help.

I cannot find the owner of the photos, if the owner would like to get in touch with me I will give her an acknowledgment!

"I know we are all aware of how the heat is effecting our schools and a friend sent me this and I thought I would share it with everyone so we can appreciate just how hot it is and how it doesn’t only effect people..

Text from email:- "At home in Victoria the temperature has been above 44 degrees all week and they are forecasting another week of 40+ temperatures.

Power is failing; trains have stopped running because tracks are buckling under the heat.

It’s just scorching, and it seems that the people are not the only ones suffering. Check out these photos of a little Koala which just walked onto a back porch looking for a bit of heat relief.

The woman filled up a bucket for it and this is what happened!"

Koala Comes in From the Heat

First tentative steps

First tentative steps

So thirsty

So thirsty



Kangaroo Mum with Joey in Pouch

Kangaroo mother with Joey in her pouch

Kangaroo mother with Joey in her pouch


The Great Kangaroo

Australia has two main types of great Kangaroos:

  • The Eastern Grey
  • The Red Kangaroo.

The Eastern Red is found mainly in the South and East of the continent and the Red population is mainly in the semi-arid inland and deserts.

The Eastern Grey can be quite tall sometimes over 6 feet and way around the 70kg mark. The Red Kangaroo is typically a larger animal than the Grey.

The Eastern Grey is easy to recognize: its soft grey coat is distinctive, and it is usually found in moister, more fertile areas than the Red.

Like all kangaroos, it is mainly nocturnal and active in the twilight time of day.

It is also seen early in the morning, or as the light starts to fade in the evening.

In more remote areas, the Eastern Grey occurs in great numbers, and if left unchecked reaches plague proportions.

From time to time shooters are employed to reduce its numbers, almost always to the accompaniment of a public outcry.

Given the very limited amount of fodder in dry years, however, the only other choice is starvation.

Kangaroos are no slouches and can travel very fast over land. The highest ever recorded speed of any kangaroo was 64 kilometres per hour (40 mph) set by a large female Eastern Grey Kangaroo.

The Kangaroo family also contains a smaller version called Wallabies and it is very hard to tell the difference but generally a Wallaby is smaller than a Kangaroo.

Sugar Glider

The Sugar Glider our cutest little marsupial

The Sugar Glider our cutest little marsupial

Sugar Glider

The Sugar Glider is probably one of the cutest little marsupials we have here in Australia.

The Sugar Glider is a small marsupial originally native to eastern and northern mainland Australia.

In Australia although not endangered and sometimes considered a bit of a pest , it is illegal to keep the Sugar Glider as a pet and to capture them, a license is required and normally only issued for research purposes.

Introduced into the United States approximately 20 years ago as domesticated housepets, Sugar Gliders are an extremely popular companion pet.

I believe there are now over 1 million Gliders as pets in homes in the USA.

As of Autumn 2008, they are legal to own as domestic housepets in 46 of the 48 contiguous states, with Pennsylvania and California being the only exceptions.

The Sugar Glider is around 6 to 7 inches in length, with a tail almost as long as the body and almost as thick as a human thumb, and weighs between 3 to 5.3 oz.

The most distinctive features of its anatomy, however, are the twin skin membranes called patagia which extend from the fifth finger of the forelimb back to the first toe of the hind foot.

These are inconspicuous when the Sugar Glider is at rest – it merely looks a little flabby – but immediately obvious when it takes flight.

The membranes are used to glide between trees and when fully extended they form an aerodynamic surface the size of a large handkerchief.

The membranes are also used to gather food while hunting.

The membrane has a thin sheet of fur surrounding it, but it is usually pink in color.

Although they can look a bit clumsy in flight, the Sugar Glider can glide for a surprisingly long distance — flights have been measured at over 55 yd — and steer effectively by curving one patagium or the other.

It uses its hind legs to thrust powerfully away from a tree, and when about 3 yds from the destination tree trunk, brings its hind legs up close to the body and swoops upwards to make contact with all four limbs together.

In the wilds of its native habitat, the Sugar Glider is a tree-dwelling creature.

It is active at night when it hunts for insects and small vertebrates and feeds on the sweet sap of certain species of eucalyptus, acacia and gum trees.

The Sugar Glider is named because of its penchant for sweet foods.

Cute little Sugar Glider

Cute little Sugar Glider

A Greater Glider showing its gliding action.

A Greater Glider showing its gliding action.

The Spotted Cuscus

The Spotted Cuscus

The Spotted Cuscus

The Common Spotted Cuscus is a marsupial animal that lives in the Rain Forests of tropical Queensland.

To be quite honest I have never seen one in the wild.

The Common Spotted Cuscus is about the size of a large house cat, weighing between 3-13lbs, it's body size is approximately 1-2 feet long, with a tail another 1-2 feet long.

It has a round head, small hidden ears, thick fur, and a prehensile tail to aid in climbing and is usually carried tightly rolled.

The curled, prehensile tail is a distinctive characteristic of the Common Spotted Cuscus. The upper part of the tail closest to the body is covered in fur, while the lower half is covered in rough scales on the inside surface to grip branches.

Its eyes range in color from yellows and oranges to reds and are slit much like a snake. All four of its limbs have five digits and strong, curved claws, except the first digit on each foot.

The second and third digits of the hind foot are partly syndactylous: they are united by skin at the top joint but divide at the claws. These smaller claws can serve as hair combs when cleaning.

The first and second digits of the forefoot are opposable to the other three, helping it grip branches while climbing.

The undersides of its paws are bare and striated, which also help it grasp trees and food.

The first digit on the hind foot is clawless and opposable.

It has thick, woolly fur of varying colors depending on age, sex, and location.

The Common Spotted Cuscus is typically very shy, so it is very hard to find in the wild. It is nocturnal, hunting and feeding at night and sleeping during the day on self-made platforms in tree branches. It also has been found resting in tree hollows, under tree roots, or among rocks.

The Australian Bilby

An Australian Bilby

An Australian Bilby


The Bilby is a desert-dwelling marsupial omnivore.

Bilbies are closely related to Bandicoots.

Unfortunately only one species of Bilby survives, but remains endangered.

The term Bilby is a word adopted from the Aboriginal language of northern New South Wales, meaning “long-nosed rat”.

Bilbies have the characteristic long bandicoot muzzle and very long ears.

They are about 1-2 feet in length.

Compared with bandicoots, they have a longer tail, bigger ears, and softer, silky fur. The size of their ears allows them to have better hearing as well.

They are nocturnal omnivores that do not need to drink water, as they get all the moisture they need from their food, which includes insects and their larvae, seeds, spiders, bulbs, fruit, fungi and very small animals.

Most food is found by digging or scratching in the soil and using their very long tongues.

Unlike bandicoots, they are excellent burrowers and build extensive tunnel systems with their strong forelimbs and well-developed claws.

A bilby typically makes a number of burrows within its home range, up to about a dozen, and moves between them, using them for shelter both from predators and the heat of the day.

To prevent her pouch from getting filled with dirt while she is digging, the female bilby's pouch faces backwards.

Bilbies have a very short gestation period of about 12 - 14 days, one of the shortest among mammals.

In Australia the Bilby has been adopted to replace the Easter Egg at Easter time and we find many chocolate Bilbies in the shops when we go shopping at Easter.

I believe there is a donation made from each sale of a Chocolate Bilby to further the research to save the Bilby from extinction.


The cuddly but not always friendly Australian Wombat

The cuddly but not always friendly Australian Wombat


Wombats are Australian marsupials.

Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds, approximately 39inches in length with a very short tail.

They are found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania.

Wombats were often called badgers by early settlers because of their size and habit.

Badger Creek in Victoria and Badger Corner in Tasmania where both mistakenly named and should have been called “Wombat Creek” and “Wombat Corner”?

Wombat, a town in New South Wales, is named after the animal.

Wombats can be tamed in a captive situation and even coaxed into being petted and held, possibly becoming quite friendly.

Many parks, zoos and other tourist set-ups across Australia have wombats on public display, and they are very popular with visitors.

However, their lack of fear and apparent stubbornness means that they may display acts of aggression if provoked, or if they are simply having a bad day, in a way a lot like me !.

The Wombat being such a heavy and stubborn animal is quite capable of knocking over an average sized man, and their sharp teeth and powerful jaws can result in severe wounds.

The Australian Wombat unlike a lot of other animals has a relatively large brain. This means that a Wombat that has been hand raised for one reason or another can be quite successfully released into the wild, unlike most other wild animals which either must be raised in specially constructed environments or kept as exhibits for the rest of their lives.

The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat is one of three species of wombats.

It is found in scattered areas of semi-arid scrub and mallee from the eastern Nullarbor Plain to the New South Wales border area.

It is the smallest wombat at around 2 and a half - 3 feet, and the young often do not survive dry seasons.

The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat is classified as vulnerable to extinction, although a healthy population still remains but does appear to be ageing.

There is a fear that the consistently sparse rainfall of recent years has prevented successful breeding.

It takes three consecutive good seasons for a Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat to reach near-adulthood.

Wombat specialists are concerned that a continuation of the current trend to a dryer climate in arid southern Australia could be a serious threat to the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat.

Numbat also known as Marsupial Anteater

Numbat also known as Marsupial Anteater


The Numbat is a small, colorful creature between 20 and a little under 30 cm long,

with a finely pointed muzzle and a prominent, bushy tail about the same length as its body.

Colour varies considerably, from soft grey to reddish-brown, often with an area of brick red on the upper back, and always with a conspicuous black stripe running from the tip of the muzzle through the eyes to the bases of the small, round-tipped ears. The underside is cream or light grey;

The Numbat is endemic to Western Australia.

Another common name for the Numbat was Banded Anteater, though not so used now because as it will eat ants it's the main diet is actually termites.

Unlike most other marsupials, the Numbat roams during the day and spends most of its time searching for termites. It uses it's long ribbon-like extensile tongue to gain access to the termites in their narrow tunnels.

Numbats have a very short gestation period of about 14 days and have typically between 4 and 6 young.

Within 12 months the young are off to establish their own territories.




The Quokka is a small macropod about the size of a large domestic cat.

Like other marsupials in the macropod family (such as the kangaroo and wallaby), the Quokka is herbivorous and mainly nocturnal.

It is found mainly in the South-West of Western Australia.

The Quokka has become rare but remains a protected species on islands off the coast of that area, Bald Island, Rottnest Island, Garden Island. The islands are free of foxes and cats.

On Rottnest Island, the Quokka is common and occupies a variety of habitats ranging from semi-arid scrub to cultivated gardens.

The Quokka weighs 2.5 to 5 kg and is 16 to 24 inches long with a tail about 1 foot long — which is rather short for a macropod.

It has a stocky build, rounded ears, and a short, broad head.Although looking rather like a very small, dumpy Wallaby or Kangaroo, and mover in a similar fashion, it can climb small trees and shrubs.

Its coarse fur is a brown color, fading to buff underneath.

The Quokka is gregarious and gathers in large groups where food is available: primary items are grasses, sedges, succulents, and foliage.

The Quokka is very tame and it is common for it to approach people, particularly on Rottnest Island. It is, however, illegal for anyone on Rottnest Island to handle the animals in any way.

The health of some animals has suffered significantly by eating inappropriate foods, such as bread, given by well-meaning visitors to Rottnest Island.

Visitors are now asked to refrain from feeding them.

The Quokka breeds at any time on the mainland, but in late summer on Rottnest. The Quokka only produces a single joey in a year.

The Quokka is regarded as vulnerable to extinction and is threatened on the mainland by the introduced species such as foxes, cats, and dogs, as well as the Australian Dingo.

The Quokka was one of the first Australian mammals seen by Europeans.

The Dutch mariner Samuel Volckertzoon wrote of sighting a "wild cat" on Rottnest Island in 1658.

Rottnest Island was mistakenly named by Willem de Vlamingh in 1696 because he mistook the Quokkas he saw for rats.

"Rottnest" is Dutch for "rat nest".

Tasmanian Devil

The very well named Tasmanian Devil

The very well named Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil

The Tasmanian Devil is colloquially referred to simply as "the devil".

The Devil is a carnivorous marsupial now found in the wild only in the Australian island state of Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Devil is the size of a small dog, but stocky and muscular.

After the extinction of the Thylacine in 1936, it is now the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world,

It is characterized by its black fur, offensive odor when stressed, extremely loud and disturbing screech, and ferocity when feeding. All in all, it is not a very pleasant animal and you would not want to meet one on a dark night.

It is known to both hunt prey and scavenge carrion and although it is usually solitary, it sometimes eats with other devils.

The Tasmanian Devil is no longer seen on the Australian mainland.

In Tasmania, they were seen as a threat to livestock and were hunted until 1941, when they became officially protected.

Since the late 1990s, facial tumor disease has reduced the devil population significantly and now threatens the survival of the species, which in May 2008 was declared to be endangered.

Programs are currently being undertaken by the Tasmanian government to reduce the impact of the disease.


Peter (author) from Australia on October 12, 2013:

Samita thanks for dropping by :) Yes our Australian Marsupials are cute :)

My particular favourite is the Sugar Glider !

Samita Sharma from Chandigarh on October 11, 2013:

i never seen these animals but they all are very cute,,,

Peter (author) from Australia on April 10, 2011:

@thehemu, thanks for your kind words and I must admit that I knew very little of the technical side of the marsupial subclasses until I started the in depth research.

thehemu from New Delhi, India on April 10, 2011:

very informative and i even dont know mammal subclasses thanks for sharing.

Peter (author) from Australia on March 28, 2011:

Thanks teresa8go for such a lovely comment :-)

I must say that the one marsupial that I so admire is certainly the Wombat ! It is just so persistent and just will not give up. My second would have to be the Koala. To have survived the way the did living in trees with their environment being depleted by urban spread the Koala has earned it's place in our hearts.

Those pesky Tasmanian devils, although not the cutest marsupial in the pack, certainly need to be preserved at all costs and I agree that selective breeding through the genes lines is probably the best option.

Thanks again for your kind words and your informative comment!

teresa8go from Michigan, USA on March 28, 2011:

I am totally mesmerized by Australia. It's flora, fauna, landscapes and it's peoples are truly amazing! You did such a great job on this hub! I'm gonna check out the rest of your hubs too. While I love all animals my favorite marsupials are the Wombats with the Roos coming in a close second. As far as the Devils go I have heard that part of the problem with facial tumors is that the susceptability to the tumors has to do with genetics and inbreeding. One of the things they are doing to help is strengthening the genetic lines by breeding Devils that are not so closely related to each other.

Peter (author) from Australia on September 17, 2010:

LOL Mate, I'm the same way! Animals like the Koala and the Sugar Glider are just so darn cuddly! I must admit that I knew very little about our Cuscus until I did the research for the Hub. So we learn something new every day here on HubPages. I sure appreciate you dropping by and leaving a great comment. Thanks for the share on FB :-)

BenjaminB on September 17, 2010:

I'm not sure what it is about these critters that makes them so appealing , but I can't help but have to check out any hub I randomly come across that has them on it. A nice piece with some great pictures here agvulpes with a couple marsupials I had never even heard of.Sharing this one on facebook for you!

Peter (author) from Australia on August 23, 2010:

Baileybear thanks for dropping by and letting us know that you see photos of these lovely animals where you work.

I source and try to verify my reports from many places as do the contributors at Wikepedia and I have found that Wikepedia is some times not all that accurate.

In fact they are looking for an expert in the field of Marsupials, maybe you could approach them and lend a hand to verify some of the claims.

Baileybear on August 22, 2010:

A beautiful compilation, but disappointed that huge chunks appear to be copied directly from wikepedia (same with hub on monotreme)

Baileybear on August 22, 2010:

I think the sugar glider and numbat are very cute. I am very lucky as I get to see photos of these creatures at work

MartyWare from New South Wales Australia on July 19, 2010:

It looks as though lots of people loved this Hub. Truthfully who cant love an Aussie mammal,,,their great.

Marty Ware


PS: I will share this to my blog!

Peter (author) from Australia on July 17, 2010:

The Tasmanian Devil is not something you would want to meet on a dark night in the middle of the bush!

Thanks for taking the time to visit and leave me a kind comment!

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on July 16, 2010:

What a great hub! I loved the picture of the Tasmanian Devil! I've never heard of a few of these animals...thanks for such great information! rAted up for sure!

Peter (author) from Australia on June 20, 2010:

Yes I am from the Kangaroo country. Although they do not hop down the main streets any more they are still plentiful in some country areas.

Thank you for your kind comment and our Australian marsupials are really beautiful aren't they?

ruperi from India on June 20, 2010:

Thank you for giving me good remark, I think you are from Kangaroo's country. I like Australia very much, because it is full with nature resources.

Peter (author) from Australia on June 06, 2010:

inwest I'm glad you liked my pictures of the Australian Marsupials!

Thanks for dropping by!

inwest from Romania on June 06, 2010:

Nice picture! interesting! wonderful!

Peter (author) from Australia on May 08, 2010:

Well susan I guess it depends where you are standing. lol

But sadly yes we are the country they call 'down under'!

I think you would have a great time here visiting all the different places. We do have some very nice animal reserves where a lot of research is being carried out to preserve our native species, especially our Australian marsupials!

susanlang on May 08, 2010:

The country down under, that's what it's called, right? beautiful place I must visit someday. great hub!

Peter (author) from Australia on April 15, 2010:

wavegirl22, thanks for dropping in and letting me know how much you enjoyed reading about the Australian Marsupials.

I think those little Sugar Gliders and Koalas are the most cutest little things, makes you just want to cuddle em :-)

Shari from New York, NY on April 15, 2010:

wow .so much here I never knew. . but I see you are a pro on it....very interesting and I really enjoyed it. .. you learn a new thing everyday and you gave me something new bright and early! Thanks for sharing this!

Peter (author) from Australia on April 14, 2010:

oliversmum, hello and thanks for leaving such a lovely comment on my Australian marsupials hub.

I must say I do agree with you about the Wombat they are a gorgeous animal, although a word of caution here. I heard on the news just last week that there was a man attacked by a Wombat as he walked out of his back door. Can you imagine that?

Chocolate Bilby's in place of Easter Bunnys, what a great idea as well!

I am also on the same wave length as you with the Sugar Gliders , they sure are cute.

I sure hope you are right about the Tasmanian Devil it is a shame to see these poor little things in pain, and what a shame it would be if the species was to die out!

oliversmum thanks so much for dropping by and leaving such a nice comment :-)

oliversmum from australia on April 14, 2010:

Agvulpes. Hi there. This is a beautiful hub. Some of this information is new to me, which I should be ashamed to admit.

The Wombat is my absolute favorite, If we were permitted I would love one as a pet.

I have purchased Chocolate Bilby's at Easter to try and help save them from becoming extinct.

I also love the Sugar Gliders they really are very cute.

Recently there was a program about the Tasmanian Devil, where the treatment they are trying on the type of cancer that these wonderful animals are suffering with, may,just may be working, lets hope so.

Making folks aware of the plight of some of these Animals is so very important. Thank you for the reminder. :) :)

Peter (author) from Australia on March 18, 2010:

Greg, thanks for having a look. I'm glad you enjoyed my Hub about our uniquely Australian marsupials.

Greg!! on March 18, 2010:


Peter (author) from Australia on March 01, 2010:

Hi Cathi, thank you so much for such a kind comment.

This small Hub does not do justice to the beautiful and diverse marsupials we have here in Australia!

I love your Hub on the Sugar Gliders and would urge any readers to go have a look at what you are doing.

Cathi Sutton on February 28, 2010:

Absolutely wonderful Hub! I am completely fasinated by the wonderful and diverse marsupials you have in your country! I would love to see them in the wild! I read every word of this Hub and absolutely loved the photos! Thank you for such a well written and well illustrated article!

Peter (author) from Australia on December 23, 2009:

GeneralHowitzer thanks for the great comment, we do have some very unusual critters here in Australia.

btw love your name and avatar. It reminds me of my own 3 year old grandson when he comes to visit!

Gener Geminiano from Land of Salt, Philippines on December 23, 2009:

LOL great collection of marsupials here eh... Love the wombat and koala... I am always fascinated with animals great Hub you whipped out here... Consummate and comprehensive Hub... :D

Peter (author) from Australia on November 19, 2009:

billips thanks very much for your kind comment, and Australia has many creatures, large and small , that the rest of the world has not heard about!

billips from Central Texas on November 19, 2009:

Great Hub - Australia has such a rich variety of truly unique creatures - B.

Peter (author) from Australia on May 24, 2009:

nightbear (susan)I appreciate you taking the time to leave a nice comment, thankyou.

Please check out Susan's blog on nursing:

nightbear on May 24, 2009:

I loved your hub, Animals are my thing, I loved the way you were able to show the slide show of pictures. Nice feature. great job.

Peter (author) from Australia on May 12, 2009:

AEvans. I must agree with you about the Koalas, they are so cuddly.

There is still quite a large population of Koalas in the wild and they spend most of their day in the tree tops of the Gums. They can give you a nasty scratch as their paws are quite sharp, but they would have to be provoked in some way to do that as they are usually very placid. If you had seen the little Possum that I was nursing the other day (rescued from our bushfires) you may have fallen in love with her very quickly.

Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on May 12, 2009:

They are all adorable and my favorite is the Koala , I have always loved those darn little things. As for the Tasmanian devil, they look nasty and you are right I wouldn't want to run into one at night or in the day either. :) Are koalas normally unfearful of humans?

Peter (author) from Australia on April 27, 2009:

Thanks Donna for a good question. Last time I checked ,research was still being carried out, although I believe it is fairly localised at the moment.

Donna Campbell Smith from Central North Carolina on April 27, 2009:

Very interesting. I am wondering about the facial tumor disease in the tas? Is it a new disease or has it been around and a problem because the number of tasmanian devils are low? Or is the disease one brought about because of something in the environment?

Peter (author) from Australia on April 25, 2009:

k@ri thanks for the kind comment, and I can report that the koala did recover from the heat and is now back in the wild again.

We saw many instances like this with interaction between animals and humans !

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on April 25, 2009:

Very interesting read and I loved the pictures your niece sent you! The koala in the bucket is soooo cute!

ajcor from NSW. Australia on February 05, 2009:

Hi ag don't know how I missed this one - great hub on our creatures great and small! i too have seen cars that came off second best with wombats I guess because of their weight and nuggety size also the kangarooster is a great car killer if they do not succomb first to the inevitable truck roaring down the highway....thanks...

Peter (author) from Australia on February 05, 2009:

Eileen, thanks for the kind words, I don't know where you are at the moment , but we were just visiting Gippsland in Victoria and there are plenty to see in that area.

I am just going to put some more photos up above for everyone to see.

Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on February 05, 2009:

Great hub, loved the pics too. We have been traveling around australia for the last 5 months and several times we notice the signs on the side of the road for Koalas.

We have searched and searchedand as yet not spied one at all. I believe that most have been made extinct in a lot of these places due to diseases etc. I enjoy the animal hubs.

Clive on February 05, 2009:

I too have noticed how popular sugar gliders are becoming as pets, It seems everyone wants one because there cute and small and people probably think they would make a great pocket pet. But seing as these are wild animals and not yet really domesticated im not sure if they should be kept as pets especially considering the space you would need to recreat the gliders natural environment in your home it just doesn't seem feasable. Breeders continue to produce more and more suger gliders despite what living conditions they might end up in.

Keeping sugar gliders as pets -

Peter (author) from Australia on January 09, 2009:

G'day Erick, thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment.

I don't beleive that any animal should be caged, especially animals that have not been specifically bred for domesticity.

Erick Smart on January 09, 2009:

Great info! I know the Sugar Glider is becoming a very popular pet here in the States. My daughter wanted one but there are just certain animals that should not become commercial animals.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 08, 2009:

Hi MM, all the best for the New Year, surely things can only improve?

You as a marsupial, the mind is boggling, now let me see! HMmmmmm!

No I better keep my thoughts to myself. LOL ;-[)

Peter (author) from Australia on January 08, 2009:

G'day TOF,

I see you are aquainted with our LLS's. I always found the Southern variety much friendlier. Although initially a bit more work was required better results were obtained in the end?

I see you discovered that overfeeding was not the best option, I worked on the principle of enticing the companion, by way of a bribe ,to nick off was the best ploy. That way if your advances towards the LLs was not successful you had a plan B to follow!

Now come on I don't think anyone could outdrink Bob Hawke!

Susan Reid from Where Left is Right, CA on January 08, 2009:

Hi Ag! Happy New Year! Thanks for starting our year out with some new information. I will try hard to find a use for some of this -- maybe in Scrabble!

I, too, would have liked to have been a marsupial. The whole approach to mother/baby nurturing seems way cool to me!!!

Peter (author) from Australia on January 08, 2009:

Hi Angie497 you are so right the devil is not something you would want as a pet!

And I thought it must have been me but when I was a teenager I was considering changing my middle name to Wombat!

Looks like your too late with the rock band idea:-

Peter (author) from Australia on January 08, 2009:


G'day,The Pioneer21 thanks for dropping in, the Bilby is a very cuddly looking animal but unfortunatly you are not permitted to keep them as a pet. I think they are still on the endangered list.

J_Eds, nice of you to leave a comment. Didn't quite pick up what you meant about Kangaroos clicking ? Will you let me know!


The Old Firm from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on January 08, 2009:

About time I got back to Aussie to check out the wild life. I particularly like the Long Legged Sheila, both the Coastal and the Inland species.(Not marsupial, but definitely mammalian.) They are usually in various shades of tan, travel in pairs, being accompanied by another Sheila or a Greater Gallah, and are completely unapproachable unless separated from all companions. The approved method of doing this I've found is attracting them with largess, then feeding the companion Fosters until they chunder. However don't try it on the LLS, who can out-drink Bob Hawke!

Cheers Mate, TOF

Angie497 on January 08, 2009:

A lot of great information! I never knew the devil was a marsupial - he's definitely not as cute as a koala or a bilby, though.

And FWIW, I still think "wombat" is the greatest animal name ever. And it would be a great name for a rock band.

J_Eds from Blackpool on January 08, 2009:

I've always wondered what defines a Marsupial... I heard on the radio last night that Kanagaroos click... wou;nd't have expected that.

ThePioneer21 from Liverpool on January 08, 2009:

How adorable is that bilby... I want one!

Peter (author) from Australia on January 07, 2009:

Christoph, thanks for dropping by and leaving a kind comment.

Unfortunately we have our share of dingbats in Australia as well but most of them are not marsupials. Although they need the footupass treatment they seem to get off light with the slaponwrist lotion.

Catch up soon!

Peter (author) from Australia on January 07, 2009:

spryte, we do have some pretty odd critters here, most of em are friendly cuddly little fellas, bit like me really ;-[)

If you think they are odd keep your eyes peeled(now there's a saying for christophs hub, who would peel their eyes) for my next hub about more Aussie critters.

Although I do not agree with keeping wild animals in captivity here is a link about Sugar Gliders as pets.

Thanks for the kind comment :-[)



Peter (author) from Australia on January 07, 2009:

BT its hard to picture you as a marsupial what with antlers and all. Of course you would have to decide where your pouch would be, front or back?

As for a Wombat with antlers, man they are virtually indestructable as they are I have seen motor cars come off second best with a Wombat.

I think the reported sightings of thylacines are a ploy by the Tasmanian Tourist Dept. to get more tourists to Tasmania. Eric might be able to enlighten us on that aspect ot the thylacine!

Although Tassie (we aussies call it that) can be a wild place.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 07, 2009:

G_ma J, Thank you for the kind words, the Bilby is becoming an Icon in its own right in Australian and they are setting up a huge sanctuary here to ensure it has a future.

I can image you would be in trouble if you wanted to argue with an Elk herd, they can grow to be pretty big I beleive?

You must live in a beautiful neck of the woods? Hugs back at ya :-[)

Jerilee Wei, thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment, and I am sure you will have a great time when you come to Australia, but because it is such a huge place you will need to allow a lot of time for getting around.

We do have some outstanding wildlife parks here, especially on the eastern seaboard.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 07, 2009:

countrywomen thank you for your very kind comment. Unfortunately I must remind you that Koala's are not bears, you can find more information on Koalas at the Australian Koala Foundation here:-

Thanks again.

Peter (author) from Australia on January 07, 2009:

Pam thanks very much for the kind comment!

Gee I don't remember that date, probably too busy eating but I can assure you my hygiene has improved since then, but I don't know about the table manners.LOL

Peter (author) from Australia on January 07, 2009:

Drop Bear, I will deal with you first.

At last I have flushed you out of your gum leaf induced psychosis, I am working as an undercover agent for the Australian Tourism Board, employed to eradicate all Drop Bears. Look out for Dr.Agvulpes van Helsing, he is tracking you down with a garden stake and a silver gum leaf.

B.T. Evilpants from Hell, MI on January 07, 2009:

Spryte, there is actually a pet shop near my house, that sells sugar gliders. They're cute as Hell!

Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on January 07, 2009:

With all the nature documentaries, I am surprised at the number (and types) of marsupials with which I am not familiar. Here in the states, we don't have wombats or numbats, but we do have a lot of dingbats!

Thanks for furthering my education on the fascinating subject of Australia's unique wildlife!

spryte from Arizona, USA on January 07, 2009:

Australia has some pretty odd critters for sure! I really enjoyed this hub, learned a lot and I'm wondering why I've never seen a Sugar Glider in the U.S. as a pet (since I have a penchant for adopting odd animals).


B.T. Evilpants from Hell, MI on January 07, 2009:

I have always wished I was a marsupial. I never seem to have enough pockets. It might be fun to be a Wombat. By the way, I understand there is still some question as to whether or not the thylacine is actually extinct. I have heard of occasional sightings, kind of like bigfoot!

Peter (author) from Australia on January 07, 2009:

Hi sixty I hope you have a great 2009 too ! Glad to see you back and sure will check out your new hub.

I will do some research over a can of Fosters and get back to you on the Wallaby!

Jerilee Wei from United States on January 07, 2009:

Loved the hub! Australia is at the top of my list to travel to in the next couple of years, primarily for the wildlife.

Merle Ann Johnson from NW in the land of the Free on January 07, 2009:

Great Job and I especially liked the Bilby..awww so cute...not cuddly but cute...those ears :O) I love all animals too and this was extremely informative and how nice to live around them...??I think?? some seem a bit tough tho...We have many wonderful wild ones here where I live too Like our wild ELK herd that wonders wherever it wants...Even in my huh? Happy New Year...G-Ma :o) Hugs & Peace

Pam Roberson from Virginia on January 07, 2009:

Very nice marsupial hub agvulpes! You have so many wonderful facts that I never knew. Well done!

About the tasmanian devil: "It is characterised by its black fur, offensive odor when stressed, extremely loud and disturbing screech, and ferocity when feeding."

Hmmm, I think I dated a couple of those way back when. ;) LOL! But seriously, I'm happy to know that measures are being taken to help control the disease that threatens their existence.

Drop Bear from Upper Gumtree on January 07, 2009:

Ho hum.Yet another hub raving about those wimpy koalas.

Crikey, it makes me sick.

agvulpes. Hmm.

Fox eh. I had a fox as a partner once. We would work as a team. He'd attract tourists, lure them under my tree, and then I'd drop on them.

And Countrywomen - You're welcome to come wandering uunder my tree someatime !!

I'll change your opinion of koala type creatures!

earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on January 07, 2009:

What a fantastic hub. Beautiful pictures and great information. Although I lived amongst a lot of these fellas I did not know a lot of this stuff.

Clive Fagan from South Africa on January 07, 2009:

Hi Ag have a great 2009! Wonderful informative Hub. very comprehensive. You learn something new every day. I have had a bit of break but am back to speed now with a new hub and all!

I note that you did mention the wallaby too. could you give a bit more info on this somewhat smaller kangeroo? Is it a sub species of the great grey?

Peter (author) from Australia on January 07, 2009:

Hi countrywomen thanks for the comment, I can't tell you why but officially the Koala is not classified as a Bear. They are my favourite though!

The Old Firm from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand on January 07, 2009:

For what its worth, I believe that the "Teddy Bear" was named after the Koala and Theodore Roosevelt, who had one as a pet. It also has the endearing habit of being incontinent when frightened.

Thanks for the hub ag, I learned a lot.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on January 06, 2009:

I love animals and koala bear is my favorite. Thanks for compiling this wonderful hub. Good job.

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