The Great Big Australian Animals You Need to Know About

By Robin Mei - November 22, 2016
Credits: Not only are they large, they mate upside down and live in colonies 200,000-strong.

The Crabs Are Huge

Credits: This is either the ugliest garbage collector on the planet or a coconut crab.

Imagine going outside in the morning and finding something like this on your trash can? If you live in Australia or on some of the islands in the South Pacific or the Indian Ocean, a scenario like this can happen.

This enormous creature is known as the coconut crab and it’s the biggest arthropod that lives on land. It can reach up to 90 centimeters (3 feet) across and a single crab can weight 4 kilograms (9 pounds).

Source: 10 Ginormous Facts About Coconut Crabs

Don't Pick a Fight With This Kangaroo

Credits: Male kangaroos like to spar as youngsters, but it might be that Rodger took the training a little too far. Image: Facebook / Kangaroo Sanctuary

Meet Rodger, the muscle-bound kangaroo from the Northern Territory, Australia.

Rodger was found in his dead mother’s pouch when he was still a baby by Chris Barnes, the owner of the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs. Since then, Roger has lived in the 188-acre sanctuary with other kangaroos.

Thanks to his amazing bodybuilder-like physique, photos of Rodger have gone viral.

Male kangaroos like to wrestle a lot. They are using it to establish authority and hierarchy among each other, but it’s also a way to build up their strength.

Source: Roger The Kangaroo

The Dingos Like Seafood

Credits: Dingos are like your pet dog, but only your dog ate sharks.

Some dingos like to live in groups, while others prefer the life of a loner, which is also how they hunt. They usually track smaller prey like rabbits or rodents, but if they find a bigger bite to chew on, they will probably go for it.

Even a shark can become a dingo’s dinner under the right circumstances. It’s hard to say if this dingo caught this shark by itself or just ran into its corpse, but chances are good he’s not passing it by.

Source: Dingo

You're Gonna Need a Bigger Truck

Credits: Not only can the crocs be huge, they can be pretty good at hiding until inopportune moments.

Australia is home to the world’s largest crocodilian species — the saltwater crocodile.

This fearsome creature that can reach 7 meters (23 feet) in length and weigh up to a tonne (2,200 pounds) poses a severe threat if it decides to “interact with humans.”

Wildlife rangers in northern Australia keep a close eye on the crocs’ to keep them away from people. When a “salty” gets noticed, attempts are made capture it to transfer it to a crocodile farm in the region.

Sources: Saltwater Crocodile. After 8-year search, Australian rangers capture massive crocodile

The Pythons Are Earning Air Miles

Credits: Even better seven meters longs doesn't beat having hands sometimes.

The scrub python is a native Australian species that can be found in New Guinea, too. It is often called “the king of Australian pythons” due to its impressive size of 7 meters (almost 23 feet) in length.

A scrub python was noticed during a Qantas flight from the Australian city of Cairns to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, as it tried to stay attached to the outside of the aircraft.

Unfortunately the snake on this plane never made it to the landing.

Source: Snake clings to Qantas plane’s wing during flight

The Sheep Are Mobile

Credits: Somewhere in Australia this made sense to someone.

The (wild)life in Australia seems to be so wild that even some of their domestic animals like to live on the edge. Not to mention the people.

In the case of this particular photo, it’s really hard to say who’s looking wackier: the sheep or her human companion.

Joking aside, Australia is one of the countries with the highest sheep population in the world. Some sources state that there are about one billion sheep in the world, out of which over 145 million lives in Australia.

Source: Sheep Facts

The Jellyfish Are the Size of Blankets

Credits: Can you imagine the sting?

A few years ago, a family in Tasmania found this gigantic jellyfish washed up on a beach and alerted the experts at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

This incredible specimen was 1.5 meters (almost 5 feet) in diameter. Authorities have confirmed that the species is known of, but it wasn’t yet named nor classified at the time of this discovery.

What is known so far is that this particular jellyfish is one of three relatively new species of Lion’s Mane that live in southern Tasmanian waters.

Source: Giant jellyfish found on Australia beach

The Snakes Eat the Bats Without Leaving the Ground

Credits: It's unknown as to how exactly this bat ended up in the midst of a snake hug.

Carpet pythons are an impressive snake species native to Australia. It is named for its striking skin patterns that often resemble oriental rugs or carpets, thus the name.

The carpet python usually grows up to 3.5 meters (over 11 feet) in length and becomes active at night when it feeds on birds and mammals.

Although it looks like this python is wrestling a dragon, the truth is something else. This image shows a carpet python devouring a whole grey-headed flying fox.

Source: Carpet python devours a flying fox in Howard Springs

You Always Have to Look up When Shopping

Credits: We won't say it's a common occurrence that pythons crash through store ceilings, but just know it happened.

This photo shows the scene from a shop in Queensland when a huge, almost six-meter-long (19 feet) and over 16 kilogram (37 pound) python snaked along a wall between the shelves.

It was suspected that the snake found its way in through the roof of this Queensland store and fell through the ceiling straight onto the floor in a slithering heap of slime and feces.

Source: 19-Foot Python Raids Thrift Shop

The Bats Are Big

Credits: Not only are they large, they mate upside down and live in colonies 200,000-strong.

The world’s largest bat also lives in Australia. It is known as the flying fox (well, their sizes almost match), or by its Latin name, Pteropus vampyrus.

These colossal bats can stretch their wings up to 1.5 meters (almost 5 feet) from one end to another.

Despite of their super scary look, these animals are not really harmful and they don’t drink blood, as the vampyrus name might suggest. Their diet is mostly vegetarian and consists of fruits, leaves and flowers.

Source: 9 Fantastic Facts About Flying Foxes