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Mammals

Australia is home to a rich and unique mammal fauna of about 380 species. They range in size from gigantic whales, to kangaroos and related macropods, tiny rodents and insectivorous bats. Some species are widespread throughout the continent, while others are restricted to small areas. Regrettably, a number have become extinct in recent times following European settlement.

Marsupials are mammals which raise their young in a pouch. During the continent's 30 million year period of isolation they thrived and diversified. Predators evolved. Even a Marsupial Lion flourished for millions of years. Another marsupial predator, the Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) was ruthlessly driven to extinction in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

With ice ages lowering sea levels, new mammals were able to enter the continent. At the same time, human invasions occurred. Later came the Dingo, an Asian wild dog which proved to be a new and efficient predator which probably replaced the Marsupial Lion and the mainland Thylacine.

Australia's diverse mammal-marsupial fauna includes

  • the monotremes ~ Platypus and Short-beaked Echidna, egg-laying mammals
  • Koala, the popularised bear-like marsupial living in eucalypt trees
  • about 50 species of macropods ~ kangaroos, wallabies and the like
  • the Tree-Kangaroos ~ Bennett's and Lumholtz's, living mostly in the canopy of tropical rainforest
  • possums, e.g. Greater Glider, which glide up to 100 metres between trees
  • Marsupial Mole, a tiny rodent which hops on its back legs like a kangaroo
  • Greater Stick-nest Rat, a tiny rodent which builds a nest of sticks up to two metres wide and one metre high

A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia
by Peter Menkhorst and Frank Knight
(2nd Edition 2009)

Field guide layout with all species illustrated, identification keys for difficult species, distribution maps. Details on behaviour, habitat, food, status. Frank Knight illustrated The Graham Pizzey & Frank Knight Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. 277 pp, 104 colour plates. 158 x 235 mm (6.5 x 9.25 inches)

 

Cost: Single copy $39 plus airmail postage/packing ($30 to UK, Europe, South Africa; $25 to USA, Canada; $21.00 to Pacific and Indian oceans areas and Japan; $17 to New Zealand; $12 within Australia.

Sea mail postage/packing $17.50 to UK, Europe, South Africa, USA, Canada.
No sea mail option is available to Pacific and Indian oceans areas, Japan or New Zealand.

 

$39 Add to Cart

 

Mammals of Australia's Wet Tropics DVD


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