add angle-downbadge calendarcard check-circle-ocheck clockemail envelope-oexclamation-circleexternal-link-squareexternal-linkfacebook-squarefacebook fighting-extinction flag-checkeredgift green-check info-circleinstagram-squareinstagram linkedin lock logo-healesville-inverse Healesville Sanctuary logoCreated with Sketch. logo-melbourne-inverse Melbourne Zoo logoCreated with Sketch. logo-werribee-inverse Werribee Zoo logo CopyCreated with Sketch. logo-zv-icons logo-zv-inverse logo-zv mime-pdf minus-boulderminus-circlepencilphone pinterest plus-boulderplus-circleremove tick timestwitter-squaretwitter vic-gov youtube

15 Surprising Facts About Our Aussie Animals

29 May 2017

You probably know emus can’t fly, but did you know they can’t walk backwards? Here are 15 surprising facts about our Aussie animals that you probably didn’t know…

1. Emu
Emus stomachs are so full of acid they can dissolve practically anything!

2. Dingo
Unlike other canines, Dingoes have double-jointed paws and can rotate their wrists, enabling them to turn doorknobs. Yikes!


3. Long-billed Corella
Long-billed Corellas are considered the best talkers of all the cockatoo family, and have been known to learn whole sentences. Kevin the Corella can even roar like a tiger – hear him in Healesville Sanctuary’s Spirits of the Sky show.

4. Platypus
The Platypus is the only Australian Mammal known to be venomous. Males have a poisoned spur above the heel of each hind leg which can be used to assert dominance over other males during breeding season.


5. Lyrebird
The male Lyrebird can imitate the calls of more than twenty other birds as well as the sounds of car alarms, chainsaws and camera shutters

6. Tasmanian Devil
“Does my tail look big in this?” A Tasmanian Devil stores fat in its tail to draw on when food is scarce. Only unhealthy Devils have skinny, limp tails!

Tasmanian Devil

7. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
When a cockatoo reaches full adulthood you can tell males and females apart. Males have black eyes and females have brown eyes!

8. Lace Monitor
You wouldn’t want to carry one of these around – they can weigh up to 20kg, around the weight of three bowling bowls!

Lace Monitor

9. Sooty Owl
When early settlers first heard the screeching of Sooty Owls they thought they were hearing women’s screams.

10. Echidna
Their tongues are covered in sticky mucus that makes it easier for them to catch and snack on ants and termites, eating up to two kilograms in one meal!


11. Black Kite
The opportunists of the bush, Black Kites are known to gather in flocks to prey on small animals fleeing bushfires! Eek!

12. Alpine She-oak Skink
Alpine She-oak Skinks are masters of disguise! When threatened, they will imitate a fearsome snake by pulling their legs in close to their body and flicking their tongue.

Alpine She-oak Skink

13. Red Kangaroo
A kangaroo is only one centimetre long when born! At 5 to 25 millimetres, baby joeys can be as small as a grain of rice or as big as a bee.

14. Koalas
Talk about a relaxed lifestyle! Koalas sleep 18-20 hours a day to accommodate their slow metabolism and preserve energy.


15. Wombat
Wombat poop is cube shaped! This helps a wombat mark its territory as flat-sided stools don’t roll!