Follow TV Tropes


Useful Notes / Australian Wildlife

Go To
Why yes, this thing can and will kill you too.

Being an Australian, one reaction I often get from non-Australians is amazement that anyone can live in a country so full of deadly wildlife. But really, as long as you knock your shoes out every morning, and don't go poking in holes in the ground, and wear long pants with thick socks and heavy boots, and don't swim north of the Tropic of Capricorn in the wet season, and don't swim at all in the Northern Territory, and keep a forked stick handy, and an antivenine kit, and stay within a 10 minute helicopter flight of a hospital, you're perfectly safe. Most of the time.
David Morgan-Mar, Irregular Webcomic! [1]

Australia has, without a doubt, some of the strangest animals around. We have poisonous toads that didn't do the job, there are the famous cute species like kangaroos, koalas, and wombats, a host of not-so-cute and incredibly deadly creatures, and some of the world's only egg-laying mammals, who are quite cute themselves at a safe distance. Aren't we lucky?

Of course, living in Australia doesn't automatically mean you'll die just by stepping in 100 yards of Oceania. It's just as relatively safe as any other modern country, with slightly more caution about where you put your hands and feet. Also on the bright side, the area between and around Sydney and Melbourne has fewer instances of the super deadly wildlife (for example, no box jellyfish, crocodiles, dingos or taipans, but it still has sharks, spiders, other venomous snakes, jellyfish with painful stings, a species of blue-ringed octopus, and, of course, rabbits). Besides, to actually stand a chance of death by Australian wildlife, one has to either completely ignore safety instructions and first aid (you will be given first aid, for example, if you get a box jellyfish/stonefish/blue ringed octopus sting at a patrolled beach or one within easy reach of ambulances), enter undisturbed bushland inadequately prepared (though there's plenty of it, "undisturbed bushland" does not include the cities, tourist areas, beaches and farmland), deliberately provoke and/or corner the animals (the adage "don't bother them and they won't bother you" comes to mind), or any mix of the three.

Interesting note: perhaps due to the beauty and strangeness of native Australian wildlife and plants, Australia has a very large population of environmental activists. The late Steve Irwin and his family are prominent environmentalists who use their shows and zoo to promote the protection of wildlife the world over. note 

See also: Yowies and Bunyips and Drop Bears, Oh My.

    open/close all folders 

    Monotremes and Placental Mammals 
  • Platypus. Famous the world over for looking like a real Mix-and-Match Critter: a duck-like bill (with built-in electric field sensors, yet) used to look for shellfish and other prey in the mud, duck-like feet, a furred body resembling an otter's, and a tail like a beaver's. Indeed, when news of the platypus first reached Europe, scientists believed it was naught but an elaborate hoax created by taxidermists sewing parts from different animals together. The real kicker is that it's only one of two (or five, counting individual echidna species) living mammals that lay eggs. The male of the species also has a spur on its hind legs that delivers a potent neurotoxin. Presumably used to assert dominance over other males during the breeding season, it won't kill a human but will cause excruciating pain that can last for a long time, and can recur up to a year later. They also have ten sex chromosomes.note  And glow under blacklight. The platypus also appears on the Australian 20 cent coin.
  • Echidna. The other monotremes (egg-laying mammals), one of which (short-beaked) is native to Australia, with the other three living on nearby New Guinea. They are sometimes called spiny anteaters for the long spines on their bodies and their primary source of food. They also have four-headed penises. One appears on the Australian 5 cent coin. note 
  • Babies of both the platypus and echidna are known as "puggles". After hatching from their reptilian-like eggs, they feed on their mother's milk which simply oozes out of the skin like sweat rather then through nipples like other mammal groups.
    • In the event of ever finding yourself having to nurse a baby platypus or echidna, just spread the formula onto the palm of your hand and get the baby to "snuffle" it up. Your hand is now a monotreme boob.


  • Dingo. A canine (although taxonomists debate whether they should be classified as dogs, wolves, or their own thing). Dingoes still retain most characteristics present in wild Asian wolves, it is also highly unlikely that they were subjected to any significant form of domestication that would warrant labeling them as feral or wild dogs. The New Guinea singing dog is so closely related that they're considered the same subspecies. They are endangered from rural and hunting lobbies. Also, from a genetic viewpoint, endangered by feral dogs due to interbreeding.
    • Though technically a separate subspecies note , some jurisdictions do recognize dingoes as a breed; the Australian National Kennel Council lists them as hounds. It should be noted, though, that legality of ownership between states varies; some require a permit, others flat-out ban owning a dingo. Only New South Wales allows unregulated ownership.
    • Due to one infamous incident (the Lindy Chamberlain case), Dingoes are also Angry Guard Dogs known for eating babies. Thanks, Oz.
    • Another individual dingo, on the other hand, became famous for "singing" and playing the piano. RIP Dinky, 2000-2014.
  • There are also many bat species, among them the largest in the world. It's worth noting that if you live in Sydney (or any of the nearby suburbs), every night you'll see thousands the flying foxes overhead, going to roost somewhere. They always move together but there are so many that the whole event usually lasts upwards of three hours, and it's a pretty phenomenal sight.
  • Australia is in fact home to a multitude of rodents, many of which are found nowhere else. No one cares about them because they're boring placentals, but they account for a quarter of all the mammal species in Australia. Some even keep them as Nice Mice pets, mice or rats. Australian rodents also form a real life example of Swarm of Rats.
  • Southern Ocean humpback whales migrate up the east coast to mate, give birth and generally escape the Antarctic winter. Whale watching is a major tourist industry in Northern NSW and most of coastal Queensland. An albino whale named Migaloo has become something of a minor celebrity in recent years. All of them are notorious for showing off when boatloads of tourists show up.
  • Dolphins occur more or less all around Australia but there are two places (Monkey Mia on the west coast and Tangalooma in Queensland) are famous for the dolphins coming right up to shore where they can be hand fed.
  • The dugong, a relative of manatees, is not exclusively Australian, but Australian waters are home to the largest surviving populations, and even those are vastly reduced from historical records.

  • Kangaroos
    • We all know what they look like. Giant brown / red / grey (depends on location) marsupials with massive tails, tiny arms and legs that, as Terry Pratchett accurately described, "could disembowel you with a kick". They also appear on the 50 cent coin, with the emu. And no, males don't have pouches. And no, you can't ride in them. Even if you ask nicely. The males are often known as "boomers", and the females as "flyers". A group of kangaroos is called a "mob", but no one has ever thought to ask why... It's possible they're called that because they've been known to lure dogs into water and then make them "sleep with the fishes".
    • They're also delicious - kangaroo meat is known to make good steaks, quite similar in taste to beef, but much healthier due to an almost nonexistent fat content. It's often touted as more environmentally friendly than beef as well (since kangaroos need much less water to grow than cows and produce no methane), although the PR downsides of eating a national animal are obvious. Although less to Australians than to most nationalities - kangaroo meat is stocked by the major supermarket chains throughout Australia. Unfortunately the carving is almost universally appalling, because training to properly carve beef, lamb or pork teaches you as much about carving a creature as uniquely-shaped as a kangaroo as it does about carving ice sculptures. It's still perfectly edible, but it's a pain to cook. Still, it's worth the effort. The mince is great for bolognese, but terrible for meat loaf, since the low fat content means it won't stick together properly.
    • Their hopping mode of travel uses less energy per weight per distance than anything science has been able to devise, with minimal need for contrarian balancing motions, that can only be used by creatures with the kangaroo's specific anatomy and only on its specific habitat of flat wide open spaces.
    • Females have an unusual breeding system which manages to make this group of marsupials very successful. They have three vaginas, but only one can have a developing embryo at a time. The gestation period is very short, about 33 days. The baby enters the world as a tiny grub-like thing which then crawls from the birth canal to the pouch, where it then latches onto a nipple and continues to grow for another 4 months or so. Once it is big enough, it then comes out as a baby joey. The mother is also able to halt development of potential embryos if the pouch is occupied. This system enables a mother kangaroo to potentially have three babies at the same time in different stages of development: a joey hopping about outside, a joey developing in the pouch, and an embryo inside the uterus.
    • As if their natural weaponry were not enough, some are armed with stinger missiles.
    • Less well-known are the tree kangaroos, related to their land-dwelling cousins. They are ungainly on the ground but very proficient in the trees, and mostly eat leaves and fruit. They live in the far northeast of Australia, parts of Papua New Guinea, and several nearby islands.
  • Wallabies and Wallaroos. The smaller cousins of the kangaroo. Same basic body shape as the kangaroo but smaller, and some have a greater variety of colourations.
  • Rat-kangaroos (also called bettongs or potoroos) are even smaller cousins of kangaroos and wallabies that look almost like large gerbils.
  • Koala. NOT a bear no matter what it looks like, but still bad news if you piss it off. Eats only the leaves of eucalypts and is one of the few animals capable of dealing with the oils in their leaves - so they may be specialised, but they don't have to share. May look cute and cuddly, but best handled with care. They're climbing animals, those claws are sharp, and they tend to panic when you pick them up... messy. They also sound like they're possessed when they fight.
    • Something of an obscure urban legend is that all of the eucalyptus oil in their guts makes koalas walking bombs — let them get too near an open flame, and they'll explode in a powerful fireball.
    • The strangest thing that is true about the koala is that its brain is far smaller then its cranial cavity, as if it somehow shrank during its evolution. Apparently its cerebrum (the part of the brain used for higher thinking) resembles two shriveled walnut halves on top of its brain stem. They neither touch each other or the walls of the skull.
    • They also have an alarmingly high rate of chlamydia infection. Seriously.
    • Oh, and they're not bears.
  • Drop Bears. They look similar to koalas, but don't be fooled. Normal koalas aren't this big, and don't have razor-sharp claws and teeth, or the lust for human flesh. Legend has it only the smearing of Vegemite behind one's ears can ward them off. Secretly a folk tale made up to make sure children look up and check for dead limbs before walking under gum trees; they have a nasty habit of falling off the tree and obliterating whatever is directly beneath them without any warning at all. Later adopted by Australia at large as our very own fictional beast to scare tourists with. It may have been inspired by aboriginal stories about Thylacoleo.note  The rise of the internet has since mostly ruined this particular bit of fun though.
    • Pratchett lampshaded this hilariously in The Last Continent, about a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Australia (when Death asks for a list of deadly wildlife in XXXX, he is promptly crushed under the ensuing mountain of books; when he then asks about the non-deadly wildlife in XXXX, he gets a single sheet of paper that reads, "Some of the sheep"). The natives, in contrast to reality, say that drop bears are just a folk tale. In true Discworldian logic they do exist, just fail to take into account that dropping arse-first onto a pointed hat is a bad idea. Of course, nobody believes the character who encountered them when he mentions it.
  • Wombat. The larger, ground-dwelling cousin of the koala. They're very shy and dig burrows. The wombat's main method of defense is to run into its burrow and plug the entrance up with its ass, which has tough, thick, skin to provide protection. Once again, watch out for the claws. Then again, most wombats are shy. The few that aren't are great for home security, as they love to chase after you and hack your legs off, and as noted they are very fast. It should also be noted, these things are tough; hit a wombat with a car at 80km/h and chances are your car will be stuffed and the wombat will pick itself up, shake its head and waddle off. They are also surprisingly fast when need be, despite their roly-poly build. They can actually even be deadly. There are many cases of wombats being chased into their burrows by hunting dogs, only to turn around once the dog enters its lair and kill it by crushing it to death against the wall of its burrow. Yikes.
  • Tasmanian Devil. Made famous by the Looney Tunes character of the same name, but the fictional one bears no relation save the name and prodigious noise they make. As their name suggests, restricted to the island of Tasmania. The current population is threatened by Devil facial tumour disease, essentially a contagious cancer which spreads due to the fact that Devils bite each others faces when fighting one another. They are however developing a resistance to it as a few individuals have been discovered that have at least a partial immunity to the disease. They also have the most powerful bite relative to their size of any mammal in the animal kingdom, capable of biting through metal traps.
  • Thylacine. Also known as the Tasmanian (Tassie) tiger or Tasmanian wolf. Carnivorous marsupial that was hunted near to extinction in the early 20th Century and the last known specimen died in Hobart Zoo in 1936. While officially declared extinct there persist rumours of sightings in the mountains of central Tasmania and remains part of Australian folk lore because of it. They were notable for being able to open their jaws as wide as a snake's (about 120 degrees), which is just as disturbing as it sounds.
    • Although known as colloquially as the "Tasmanian tiger", thylacines were once found throughout the Australian mainland as well, but they were probably extinct two to three thousand years before European settlement. There are even Aboriginal rock paintings of them as far away as Kakadu in the NT; and they're one of the few extinct animals to have been captured on film.
  • Bilby. Possibly the cutest Australian native animal. With their silky grey fur, long narrow muzzles and large ears, they're like the bunnies of Australia... at least, the bunnies we don't kill for being utterly destructive to nature. Conservation methods for them include selling chocolate bilbies to raise money, and also a campaign to replace the Easter bunny with the Easter bilby (because to any Aussie patriot, bunny rabbits are evil).
  • Bandicoots are close relatives of bilbies differentiated by being mainly herbivorous unlike the carnivorous bilbies (the latter of which are sometimes called rabbit-bandicoots). However, they don't really look much like Crash (who is specifically based on the Eastern Barred Bandicoot).
  • Quokka. The other contender for the cutest Australian native animal. Similar to a shorter, fatter wallaby, but actually a different genus. Unlike many other macropods they are very isolated in their range and are listed as a vulnerable species. For some reason they also seem quite happy to participate in selfies with tourists.
  • Possums. Not the same as the opossums found in the Americas (which are in a completely different group of marsupials), but all defined as being small to medium-sized arboreal animals with a broad diversity of species from cuscuses and honey possums to brushtail possums and the highly endangered Leadbeater's possum. The smallest of all marsupials, the Tasmanian pygmy possum, is a member of this group.
    • Gliders A nocturnal subgroup of possums but with a flap of skin between their legs that allows them to glide from tree to tree. The feathertail glider appeared on the now discontinued 1 cent coin. They're possibly one of the only groups of animals on the mainland that can't kill you. Also possibly the cutest.
  • Marsupial moles are a little understood group of marsupials that are a good example of convergent evolution, where two species that came from very different ancestors begin to look similar due to experiencing similar environments. They are primarily found in the outback where they presumably "swim" through sand and feed on insects like the golden moles of Africa do. Also like golden moles, they are blind and their eyes have been reduced to vestigial lenses underneath skin.
  • The numbat, a highly endangered cousin of the Tasmanian Devil and Thylacine found in only a few select regions of southern Australia. Like anteaters and echidnas, they subsist almost entirely on termites, which they catch with their long tongues.
  • Quolls are part of the same grouping as the numbat and Tasmanian devil. They're small solitary predators, and have been in serious decline due to competition with introduced placental predators like foxes and cats and many being poisoned from eating cane toads.

  • Emu. The second largest bird in the world (next to the ostrich), they are greyish-brown and flightless with very tasty meat. They're not particularly aggressive unless you mess with their eggs or hatchlings, but they have been known to kill people who do mess with them with a single kick (one Australian curse is "may your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny (outhouse) door down"). Unusually, it is the female that develops breeding colours, fights for dominance, and displays and courts the males for attention. The males incubate the eggs alone, and may go for as long as eight weeks without leaving the nest for food or water. They appear on the Australian 50 cent coin, alongside the kangaroo. They also eat rocks, although their more prominent tendency to eat farmers' crops led to the Australian government declaring war on them. The emus won. Oh, and they lay very, very pretty eggs. In fact, several South East Aboriginal Australian Myths claim that the sun was made by throwing an emu egg at the sky. Wonder what a Genyornis egg would end up as...
  • Cassowary. Very similar to the emu, except it dwells in rainforests instead of open plains, it has a casque (a hard, bony crest) and blue and red wattles on its head, and its feathers are black. It is also extremely, violently territorial, and their territory will usually be surrounded with signs warning you to stay the hell away. Much like the Kangaroo and Emu, known for being able to kick your stomach out through your nose.note . Cassowaries have more dangerous kicks than emus or kangaroos, because one of their claws on their foot is especially sharp and can slit open throats and bellies with ease. Remember the velociraptors in Jurassic Park? Same thing. Luckly for you, they are primarily frugivorous (they eat fruit and are the main seed dispersers of the Australian rainforests. They won't turn down the occasional bug or small animal though). Like Emus, the males incubate and rear the chicks. Oddly enough, they're also one of the few animals to have been domesticated by indigenous peoples.
  • Brolga. Beautiful grey birds that live in the wetlands, known for the ethereal dancing that makes up part of their mating ritual. They have a red patch on the back of their head — one piece of Indigenous Australian lore says that this is because, during the Dreamtime, Emu murdered Brolga by bashing her head in with a rock. Figures.
  • Brush Turkey. Brush Turkeys, also called scrub turkeys, are the most common species of the Megapode family. Brush turkeys, and Megapodes in general, never really bought into the whole “parenting” thing. Instead the male will rake leaf litter and mulch into a mound that can be anywhere from one metre to five metres in height (much to the despair of gardeners everywhere) and wait for a female willing to mate and lay her eggs into it, the warmth of the decaying leaflitter spares the male the inconvenience of incubating them. The chicks are among the most superprecocial of all vertebrates. They hatch with open eyes, long claws, well developed musculature, down and a full set of flight feathers. They are completely independent from the day they hatch, able to fly, hunt, feed and recognize and escape from predators within their first few hours of life, and to add insult to injury, they can some things much better than the adults who sired them. Adults do not care for their young, form breeding pairs or any other sort of social relationships. Their interactions are limited entirely to mating and very occasionally fighting over territory. The independence and innate survival knowledge of their young is baffling to scientists, and it is believed that these breeding habits may be a close reflection of those of their dinosaur ancestors as several extinct birds such as Enantiornithes behaved like this too, making the megapodes a strange 'missing link' for animal behaviorists. Conveniently, they're also a good model for pterosaur behaviour, since it is also believed that these flying reptiles buried their eggs and could fly immediately after birth.
  • Sulphur-crested cockatoo. A large white parrot with a yellow crest, known for being extremely loud and being able to chew through pretty much everything. They're popular pets, and very long-lived, living for about 30 years in the wild on average, and 50-60 years in captivity (there have been records of cockatoos living up to ~100 years). They are also quite smart, to the dismay of farmers growing cereal crops; any method of scaring them away from a field will work...for a while, before they learn it isn't a real threat and go right back to eating the crops. They are protected and licenses are required to hunt them, however.
  • Galah. Similar to a cockatoo, but much smaller and coloured in pink and grey. Also have a long lifespan, about the same as a sulphur-crested cockatoo. They hang around in big flocks and annoy the hell out of farmers by eating their seeds. Saying someone has been "a bit of a galah" or has made a "galah of themselves" means they've been conspicuously foolish. Prized by early settlers, who claimed it made the best parrot pie.
  • Rainbow lorikeet. A small but noisy parrot, with feathers whose colours run through the entire spectrum. Native to the eastern seaboard, and considered a pest in Western Australia. By far the most well-known variant is the subspecies Trichoglossus haematodus moluccanus aka Swainson's Lorikeet (the ones with the yellow-and-orange chest, and the only form actually native to Australia); they make for popular pets, but are quite demanding. Wild lorikeets are very common in well-treed areas and make ridiculous amounts of noise (especially in the early morning), much to the annoyance of people who have just woken up or are trying to sleep after a night out. It is worth noting that they have a disproportionally powerful bite, many individuals who have tried to rescue injured birds from highways have had their fingers bitten to the bone. Some people have reported that the only humane way to get an angry lorry to let go once its bitten is to blast it with a garden hose.
  • Laughing kookaburra. A type of kingfisher, mostly known for the way it sings at sunset and sunrise. One indigenous myth says that Kookaburra once swallowed the moon—to get him to spit it out, the other spirits made him laugh. Now he laughs whenever the moon rises. They often frequent parks and barbecue areas to beg scraps of of picnickers and tourists. In some of the older parklands the kookaburras are so adjusted to human inhabitants that they'll steal sausages straight from the barbeque's still-hot-grill, or even land in the middle of picnic tables and snag food from the settings before the diners can react. It serves as the official bird of New South Wales. Also praised by Aboriginal Australians since they believed their laughter made the sun rise.
  • Lyrebird. Famous for their exquisite mimic talents (even able to copy chainsaws, fire alarms, screaming babies...the list goes on), the striking males dance and court several females, who build a nest and lay a single egg. She also has to incubate the egg and take care of the chick when it hatches, all on her own. It appears on the ten-cent coin.
  • Magpies. Possibly the most commonly seen native bird, the most highly-regarded songbird, and possibly the most vicious, they are distinctive with their black and white patterns. Many can attest to their aggressiveness during mating season, when swooping of those who stray too close to their nests is common. It's also the official bird of South Australia, under the name "piping shrike".note 
  • Black Swans. Like regular swans but... black. Best known for its role in the field of falsifiability. The official bird of Western Australia, appearing on the states flag and having a river named after it (of course, it's just called the Swan River). Considered by many Australians to be the embodiment of pure evil, although still less aggressive than their white cousins (which also live in Australia).
  • Little Penguins (commonly called "Fairy Penguins" in Australia). The world's smallest penguin, they nest in burrows, and sometimes in people's basements. They live in coastal areas of Southern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Chattam Island, and Chile. When they come ashore, it is a tourist attraction.
    • We REALLY like our penguins. In Sydney, snipers have been deployed to protect them.
  • Budgerigars. (Budgies) Yes, the common caged pet originates from Australia, although feral populations have been seen in Florida. In the wild they can form flocks comprising millions of individual birds, and are surprisingly agile fliers, capable of outmaneuvering falcons. Their name comes from an Aboriginal word meaning "good food".
  • Silver Gull, simply called "seagulls" down here. Usually found near large bodies of water (beaches and harbours make for great seagull congregation spots) but sometimes found in inland towns. Very opportunistic and greedy; they can and will edge close to a group of people if they see food nearby. Throw a piece of food towards a group and they will fight like mad for it. Then watch as they scavenge around you, wanting more. Portrayed excellently in Finding Nemo.
    • Minemineminemineminemineminemine!
    • One popular trick is to make a throwing motion without actually letting go of the food. They'll all look around frantically wondering where it went.
  • Cockatiel. The smallest of the cockatoo family Cacatuidae, they are also popular pets due to their calm and timid temperament (to the point where smaller birds like lovebirds and budgies easily bully them), and probably the easiest of all parrots to tame. Unlike most parrots, they are much better at mimicking sounds than actual speech.
  • Zebra Finch. A small Estrilid finch, they are popular in aviaries around the world due to their hardiness and quick breeding, and probably the easiest of all finches to keep.
  • Tropical Finches Star Finch & Gouldian Finch. These finches are specialized to live in tropical environements. Generally nice looking birds that are highly prized in aviculture.
  • Australian Raven. If you see a large black bird in Australia, it's probably this. Smaller and more slender than their Eurasian and American kin, they are known for their distinctive, drawn-out cry.note  Juveniles have dark eyes, adults have whitish-grey eyes. Often scavenges around urban residences and buildings. Notable in that they've learned how to kill and eat cane toads without being poisoned — they flip 'em onto their backs, and then eat the non-toxic guts.
  • Asian Blue Quail. Of the ten subspecies listed, two are native to Australia. Also popular in aviculture due to being low maintenance and fast breeders. Small and round in shape, the ones you see down here are often a greyish-brown colour.
  • Spurwing Plover—or "lapwing", as they're more commonly called in Australia. These birds defend their nests against all intruders by calling loudly, spreading their wings, and then swooping fast and low, and where necessary striking at interlopers with their feet and attacking animals on the ground with a conspicuous yellow spur on the carpal joint of the wing. Contrary to the urban legend, the spur is not poisonous, but you still don't want to be hit by one. And they have a habit of swooping in at eye level. School-children make a game of running as close to the nest as possible and then trying to outrun the rather angry bird. This is, of course, discouraged.
  • Wedge-Tailed Eagle. Perhaps the only eagle in the world that makes the American Bald Eagle look like a pansy, the 'wedgie' is named for its distinctive wedge-shaped tail. Known for scavenging roadkill on some of the Outback's long, straight roadways, where these birds gorge on the easy meal and become so heavy they need to take off into the wind, which can set them up for head-on collisions with road-trains (think a semi-truck with upwards of a dozen trailers on it). The results are not pretty. They are the largest birds of prey in Australia, with wingspans approaching three bloody metres - large enough for them to fly off with newborn lambs and, so the urban legends say, the occasional unguarded child as well. They're also the only bird in the world that's been known to attack hang gliders and paragliders who they feel are intruding on their territory, ripping up the fabric of the glider with their talons, which would be enough to put anyone off the sport for life, and they've also been known to attack drones used for mining survey operations. The sheep-stealing trick means farmers have to shoot them to protect their flocks, so wedgies are currently just the wrong side of endangered. Which is a shame, because they are absolutely magnificent. Truly the kings of the Aussie sky.
  • Currawong. A medium-sized bird with subspecies in three colours (grey, black, and pied/black-and-white). The name comes from the sound the pied currawong makes. While they're mostly known as opportunistic plant- and carrion-eaters, they have been known to eat turkeys from farms. Known for being extremely intelligent and friendly. Early European settlers watched the currawongs to determine what was and wasn't safe for them to eat.
  • Butcher bird. A small grey and white bird seen all across Australia. Similar to currawongs, they are known for being intelligent and friendly, and it's a popular pastime among rural Australians to throw bits of meat into the air and watch the aerial acrobatics they pull trying to catch it. Also have a beautiful call. And have the unusual habit of hanging up any meat to dry before eating.
  • White-Winged Choughs (pronounced "chuffs"). At first glance they simply appear to be small black birds that look suspiciously like undersized ravens. A closer look will reveal that they have eyes so red that the colour is noticeable from meters away and make a noise that sounds like a regular bird call remixed in hell. Choughs tend to live in large families because raising young is a group activity and more birds to protect them gives the chicks a better chance of survival. Which means that choughs have evolved the tactic of stealing fledgling choughs from other families and raising them as their own so that there will be more birds to raise next years chicks. Also, their eyes become swollen and even brighter red when they get excited.
  • Australian White Ibis: A close relative of the Sacred Ibis revered by the ancient Egyptians. Modern Australians have a different opinion. Although some people like to point out that it's not the ibis' fault. Often referred to as a "tip turkey" or a "bin chicken", and is something of a mascot of r/brisbane.
  • Black Kite: A fairly common bird of prey, except the Australian variant has learned to use fire. During bushfires, they will search near the edge of the fire for escaping prey. If the fire is not spreading quickly enough for their taste, they will pick up burning sticks and drop them on dry grass.

  • Estuarine Crocodile, or salt-water crocodile. The largest reptile in the world. Not uniquely Australian by any means, but kind of notable for the sheer number of tourists that try to go swimming with them and end up getting eaten. Don't be fooled by the "salt water" name, they're just as happy in fresh water, thank you very much.
  • Freshwater Crocodile. Much smaller than salties and not nearly as territorial, but a bite from one is not something to be sneezed at. Unlike all other living crocodilians, the "freshie" lifts its body off the ground when running, giving it superior land speed.
  • The top ten deadliest snakes in the world:
    • Inland Taipan (aka Fierce Snake)
    • Eastern Brown Snake (aka King Brown)
    • Coastal Taipan
    • Eastern Tiger Snake
    • Riesvie Tiger Snake
    • Beaked Sea Snake
    • Western Tiger Snake
    • Giant Black Tiger Snake
    • Australian Death Adder (also, don't let the name and appearance fool you, it's not a viper, it's an elapid. The difference isn't significant when it bites you, of course, but the weirdness of a venomous snake that looks like an entire different family of venomous snakes is pretty Australian in itself.)
    • Western Brown Snake
      • The details of snakes' relative deadliness is really complicated, and so no one can really agree on anything, but suffice to say that messing with Aussie snakes can easily get you killed (although it doesn't actually happen very often, since most people know to go to the hospital — which is, incidentally, free). To elaborate a bit further, Australian snakes are considered the most venomous, meaning their venom is the most deadly to humans. However unlike other snakes that lay claim to the title of deadliest such as the black mamba or the king cobra, the Australian snakes (with the exception of some of the taipans) are much less aggressive and only attack when provoked. Combined with most of the nastier ones being either aquatic or located in areas with very low human populations, they're simply less likely to encounter people and so cause fewer deaths. Of course, if you do provoke them, you will get what is coming to you.
    • Australia also has some interesting non-venomous snakes, such as the Olive Python, which is big enough to eat small crocodiles. However, it's not big enough to eat full-grown humans, so while it might put a painful bite on you in self-defense like any constrictor, it can't kill you.
  • Frill-Necked Lizard You know, those little lizards with the large frills on its neck that they expand out for display purposes. Featured on the discontinued 2 cent coin.
  • Bearded Dragon: Common desert lizard that earns its name for the spike-covered expandable throat-pouch it puffs up to display, though it also has smaller bristles all over its body (especially along its side) and will puff itself up to look bigger too. Calm, friendly and hardy, they're a fairly popular pet lizard.
  • Blue-Tongue Skink, aka. The Blue-tongued lizard. Named for... its blue tongue, flicked out as a warning to enemies. Often found lazing someplace warm, or in some brush somewhere. Non-poisonous, but the larger ones can give you a decent bite if you let them. Generally appreciated in gardens because they enjoy eating snails, slugs and other pests, but they don't mind dog food, mince or fallen fruit.
    • Shingleback A member of the blue-tongue's family and the bulkiest of them all, though you'd be hard-pressed to recognize the relationship, due to them being covered in bony armor plating that, in some species, makes them look a lot like a walking pine cone. Also known colloquially as sleepy lizards. They also give birth to live young and form pair bonds during the mating season.
  • Monitor Lizards. The two best-known types are lace monitors (slightly smaller with black and yellow colouring, lives in coastal regions and forests, and what most people think of when they say "goanna") and perenties (a bit larger, mostly red-brown in colour, lives in the central deserts.) Essentially a lizard the size of a small(-ish) crocodile but lives on land. Related to Komodo dragons. Can grow over 2 metres in length, are very fast if necessary, and have been known to turn and attack humans if threatened. If bitten the wound is almost guaranteed to be infected, though recent studies suggest they may actually be venomous. Oh, and their tails are more weapon than ornament — most victims of goanna attacks are innocent bystanders who were watching and laughing...
    • Most goanna attacks are accidental. They try to escape by running up trees, but they are so short sighted they can't tell the difference between a laughing human and a tree.
    • Goannas can also outrun and devour rabbits (reminder, invasive species), which makes Australians quite fond of them.
    • Incidentally the aforementioned Komodo dragons, though long extinct there, apparently originated in Australia, or at least that's where their oldest fossils were found.
  • Thorny Devils, small ant-eating lizards covered in spines. Like the bearded and frilled dragons, these are among the few reptiles in Australia that can't kill you.
  • The Pig-nosed turtle is a freshwater turtle that have flippers like sea turtles. They spend almost all time in the water and really only come to land to lay their eggs. Their eggs are unique in that not only can they withstand being submerged in water (something that would kill any other egg) but they need to be in order to hatch. Ensuring that the baby turtles hatch at the correct time during the rainy season.

  • The most common and best recognized of the regular native amphibians is the green tree frog. Often found in toilets in rural areas, hopefully having eaten the spiders. Unlike the cane toad, much nicer, much cuter, and much easier to harm. If found indoors, it's considered good form to pick them up and drop them gently in a nearby garden.note  If you are going to touch a frog (in order to take it back outside, duh), like the normal procedures, wet your hands thoroughly, or get some wet gloves on. These frogs don't like dry stuff.
  • The now-likely extinct gastric-brooding frog. None have been seen since 1985, the frog uses an unusual method to protect its eggs and the tadpoles that hatch from them: IT EATS THEM! The mother frog will eat the eggs as soon as they're laid and will carry her young in her stomach until they're frogs, at which point they climb out of her mouth! Scientists have recently concluded that the eggs and tadpoles were secreting a coating that counter-acted the stomach acids of their mother and would have been valuable in research on stomach ulcers.
    • Not to worry about the medical research thing though. We already got a Nobel Prize for discovering that stomach ulcers are caused by Helicobacter pylori and can be treated with a simple course of antibiotics. Hooray for Drs. Warren and Marshall.
    • Maybe not extinct forever, thanks to SCIENCE!

    Insects, Arachnids and related 
  • Here's two right off the bat that might've contributed the banning of two Peppa Pig episodes! Have fun!
    • Sydney Funnelweb Spider. The deadliest spider in the world. This spider will actually chase you and try to bite you again. Also able to bite through a toenail.
    • Redback Spider. Not as deadly as the funnelweb, but more common — as in, "you'll find these things all over the country" common. Has a very striking appearance (black with a bright red slash down its abdomen.) Those in the States might recognize the spider as being similar to black widows. They're cousins. But the Redback is much more aggressive, and has been seen killing snakes. Have fun going to sleep now!
  • Trapdoor Spider. Related to the funnelweb, but they build lids on their little hidey-holes, hence their name.
  • Huntsman Spider. Generally not dangerous to healthy adults, but they hurt like hell, move extremely quickly, like to seek shelter (like in your house or car or letterbox) from the rain, and are, on average, the size of your hand.
    • Even though its venom isn't dangerous, it manages to indirectly kill people by sleeping under the sun visors in their cars, falling onto the drivers' laps and distracting them.
    • Having said that, Huntsmans are not aggressive, preferring to run away from humans than to bite them. And as a bonus, they're quite adept at killing Funnelwebs.
  • Whistling Spider, named for its ability to hiss. It's also known as a bird-eating spider. It has a medically significant bite, capable of killing a dog in half an hour and sending an adult human into nauseous vomiting fits for up to six hours at a time. Bearded dragons eat them, fangs and all.
  • Peacock Spider, named for the brightly colored, flapped abdomens of the males. It was originally thought the flaps allowed the males to glide; they're actually used to court females. Also typically rather tiny. Seeing pictures of them has actually helped people overcome arachnophobia.
  • The White-Tailed Spider, named for its long, narrow, oval shaped abdomen ending in a prominent white splotch. Infamous for being the primary suspect as the "necrotizing spider", an unidentified (thus far) species of spider whose venom induces necrosis in human victims. Which means your living flesh rots away for months on end after being bitten by it. With no cure available. And you thought Brown Recluse Spiders were bad...
  • Giant Gippsland Earthworm. It's not really an insect or an arachnid, but there wasn't a section about worms. The Giant Gippsland Earthworm (Megascolides australis) is giant earthworm from Gippsland, in Victoria. They average about 1m (over 3 feet) in length but big ones can be 3m (nearly 10 feet) long. They can also make themselves longer or shorter, because they're worms. Unlike many Australian creatures they're not dangerous. They just do worm stuff. But they do it on a large scale.
  • Bulldog Ants, which grow more than a centimetre long and have a bite that has been known to cause anaphylaxis. Being an ant, they also attack in swarms.
    • This group of ants includes the species complex with the common name of jack jumper ant. This particular ant has an additional claim to fame—it has the smallest number of chromosomes possible for any animal, sharing that honour with a species of parasitic roundworm. Females have two chromosomes and males have one.Background 
  • The Giant Burrowing Cockroach (aka the Rhinoceros Cockroach or the Litterbug). Found in tropical Queensland, these guys are the heaviest cockroach species in the world (35 grams) and are considered vital to the ecosystems they live in, since they help dead leaves decompose and churn up fresh soil. They are flightless Gentle Giants, so some folks keep them as pets.
  • The Blue Ant. Despite what its name might indicate, it's not an ant at all, but a flightless species of solitary wasp which preys on burrowing insects such as mole crickets. It is often found in people's gardens, and it packs an exceptionally painful sting.

    Fish and other aquatic creatures 
  • The Short-finned eel may seem like a regular eel, but this little rascal was quintessential to Aboriginal Australian history. South Australian peoples like the Dhauwurd Wurrung Djab wurrung practised aquaculture of short-finned eels, keeping them in artificial lakes and taking the biggest ones out with funnel-shaped baskets. So successful was eel farming that large settlements have been found at Budj Bim (now a World Wonder!), proving for once and for all that Aboriginal Australians were both utilising the land as proper farmers and that they were far from Noble Savages.
  • The Cone Snail, more commonly known as "the poison thing that lives in a shell that spikes you when you pick it up." The reason why many kids don't go swimming without proper foot wear. Their stinger has the ability to pierce through a thick layer of protective clothing. Their stinger is also used like a freaking harpoon! There is no antivenom, and even if one existed it would be pointless because it couldn't be administered fast enough to do any good — conotoxin is basically nerve gas, destroying the nervous system faster than nerves can transmit the sensation of being stung. Victims drop dead instantly without even realizing they've been stung.
    • On the bright side, its venom is being studied for medical properties. As in, nonaddictive painkillers thousands of times more potent than morphine.
  • The Blue-Ringed Octopus. A small and somewhat adorable octopus that can change colour to camouflage itself. When threatened, pretty iridescent blue markings appear. However, those markings are extremely venomous, and has killed several people.
    • The blue-ringed octopus and the cone shell have the same type of venom; it paralyses you and stops your breathing, letting you quietly suffocate. This venom, known as tetrodotoxin, is approximately 1,200 times more toxic than cyanide. If you get bitten by one, your only hope is that someone realises what's happened and commences CPR and rescue breathing; you will need to either be hooked up to advanced life support or given continuous CPR for the next twenty-four hours. After that time, with a lot of luck, the venom will have left your body without doing any permanent damage.
    • Sharing the waters with the blue-ringed octopus is another adorable and possibly venomous cephalopod, Sepioloidea lineolata, or the striped pyjama squid. And yet another, Metasepia pfefferi, the flamboyant cuttlefish. There are three cephalopods with venom toxic enough to harm humans, and all live around Australia. Coincidence? Of course not.
  • Stonefish. A very poisonous fish that looks like a stone. Seriously, try to find one when it's camouflaged. They're actually edible, though rarely eaten in Australia — Japan loves them, though.
  • Box Jellyfish. The reason no one ever swims north of the Tropic of Capricorn in the summer. Can look almost transparent in the water, and people only tend to notice the sting once the venom has been pumped into their system. High risk of being deadly if not treated...really really quickly. Otherwise just hurts like holy hellfire. If you ever see a beach with bottles of purple liquid lying about, there's a chance of meeting box jellyfish — the stuff in the bottles is vinegar, which can neutralise the worst of the sting if administered right away. (The purple dye was because when they just had normal vinegar, people kept taking it away to put on their fish and chips.)
    • There was a story (uncertain if it's true) that a teenager went into the ocean on a dare and got stung. Even after the ambulance arrived and he had been sedated, he was still screaming in agony.
      • Worse? This article states that lifeguards say that cutting off the limb that's been stung would hurt less than leaving it attached.
  • Irukandji Jellyfish, which is about the size of the little fingernail of an adult human, and has very few known deaths (meaning that 1000 Ways to Die story about the girl who kept trolling everyone while on the beach in Australia, only to die after she swallows an irukandji jellyfish with no one to help her because they think she's pranking them has some truth to it). It does, however, cause Irukandji Syndrome, which is the most painful thing to ever happen. Ever. Also meant to be so fragile that you can't keep it in a tank; it'll die if it runs into the glass.
    • Up north they have a saying, "A box jellyfish will kill you. Irukandji will make you wish you were dead."
  • Great White Shark: One of the biggest and most well-known sharks in the world, just waiting for you to go swimming at Bondi Beach.
    • Tiger Shark: Not quite as large or aggressive as the great white but bad enough and waiting for you when you head north to get away from the great whites. Known for eating anything that moves, and many things that don't.
    • Bull Shark: Smaller than the tiger shark but even more aggressive than the great white. Worse yet, you won't see them coming since they prefer the murky waters and are at home enough in fresh water enough to head up rivers.
    • Whale Shark: The largest living shark, but luckily enough it feeds on plankton. Popular dive attractions off the coast of Western Australia, though they do appear rarely off the east coast. Known for being actually pretty friendly.
    • Gummy Shark. A smaller species. Generally the "fish" part of "fish and chips" in Australia. Known as "flake". Or in other words, in America, shark eats you; in Australia, you eat shark!
    • The Epaulette Shark, a small and harmless shark with rather pretty markings...that is able to live on land for up to three hours and use its fins to walk — and adaptation to survive low tide in the shallow coral reefs it inhabits. Of course Australia has a shark that can walk on land.
    • Wobbegongs are small, flattened, bottom-dwelling sharks that spend much of their time camouflaged on the seabed and waiting for prey to pass by. They have a reputation for biting trespassing swimmers.
  • Lion's Mane Jellyfish: The world's largest species of jellyfish, its tentacles can grow up to a whopping 120 feet. Their stings are painful but thankfully not fatal. They act as a floating oasis of sorts for species like the medusafish and harvestfish, providing both food and protection from predators, and are also a common food source for the leatherback sea turtle.
  • Portuguese Man o' War, aka bluebottle. A composite of four different types of highly specialized organisms. Not jellyfish, despite being a very distant relation (they're in the same phylum, Cnidaria, but not the same class). Dead specimens often wash up on beaches during the summer and are responsible for most stings - they hurt like hell, but usually don't get any worse (bar an allergic reaction; only one fatality has been recorded, in 1987 - and that was in Florida), and the pain generally subsides after an hour or so. If you get stung, prod the bluebottle off with a stick or something similar (never bare-handed) and douse the affected area in saltwater.
  • The Australian Giant Cuttlefish: Reaches up to 50 cm in mantle length and weighing as much as 10.5 kg. Found in southern coastal waters from Brisbane to Shark Bay. Won't hurt you unless you're a small fish or crustacean. They're also masters of camouflage and colour change (more impressive when you consider that they're colourblind!).
  • Due to being an arid, largely desert-based continent, Australia has a fairly small assortment of native freshwater fishes — 281 species in total. Not helping is that initial European influence on the rivers (pollution, overfishing, landscaping, invasive species, etc) has had some serious negative impacts — two native fish populations that may have been separate species or sub-species, the Richmond River cod and the Brisbane River cod, are extinct, and a number of other species are listed as endangered or critically endangered. Some of the more notable freshwater fish of Australia include:
    • Australian Cods: Despite their name, the assorted species of fish called "cod" in Australia are actually part of a separate order from the true cods of the northern hemisphere; the Australian "cod" are part of the family of the temperate perches. The most well-known and largest is the Murray Cod; apex predator of the Murray–Darling Basin water system, and Australia's biggest freshwater fish, with the largest specimen ever recorded being nearly two meters long. To this day, you can visit old pubs throughout the Basin region and see the taxidermied heads of giant cod on the walls. They were massively overfished during the early 1800s and ever since have become one of the more tightly protected fish in terms of regulation.
    • Golden Perch: Most commonly called "yellowbellies", due to their distinct yellow underside. Arguably one of the most important angling fishes in Australian freshwater, due to their wide range and strong numbers.
    • Australian Lungfish: One of only six species of these primordial air-breathing fishes to still survive in the world today.

    Pests/noxious weeds/feral animals/target practice 
Note that all the pests, etc. listed below are imported species. The Australian ecosystem is as unique for species which are not present as it is for those that are. Australian species have proved unable to cope with many imported species which can out-breed or out-eat them. Australia is also free of many wildlife diseases that are common in other parts of the world. It is for this reason the Australian Government takes quarantine and biosecurity very seriously. note 
  • Rabbits.
  • Sheep.
  • Red foxes.
  • Rabbits.
  • Camels.
    • The Australian government recently instigated a cull of 650,000 of the roughly 2 million-strong camel population. The world thought this was barbaric, probably because they didn't have enough camels.
      • So another solution to these unwanted camels is selling them to countries that do want them. Such as Saudi Arabia. Yes, we sell camels to the Middle East, doncha love this country?
      • Notable also because Australia's dromedaries (the country also has some Bactrian camels, and an even smaller number of dromedary–Bactrian hybrids) are the only ones in the world that exhibit wild behaviour, despite them being non-indigenous.note  Also, possibly adding to our perceived barbarism is the movement to have camel become a staple of our national cuisine. It isn't working all that well. Which is unfortunate because it's delicious.
    • Unlike most of the introduced/feral species on this list, camels manage to fulfill an environmental niche without severely upsetting the native species, at least directly (but see immediately below). They tend to eat plants that native species won't touch and their soft-padded feet makes soil erosion less likely (unlike the brumbies below). It has even been suggested that they could be a replacement for the herbivorous megafauna that used to exist in Australia before they went extinct. However, their biggest issue is the fact that there isn't a naturally occurring predator to keep populations in check, hence the need for culling.
      • The major environmental damage camels cause is soil compaction. They have large, dinner-plate sized feet that help keep them from sinking into sand (their natural habitat). Out in the Outback, the soils are loose-packed, and the local vegetation requires it to be so to grow. Camels cause serious problems by compacting the soil down to near-concrete levels of solidity. That, and they EAT a lot of the native brush, which is a severe problem for all sorts of reasons.
  • Brumbies (feral horses).
  • Rabbits.
  • Pigs ('Razorbacks').
    • Australia has famously managed to produce wild/feral pigs that are even larger than domestic pigs. Unfortunately, they're also horribly aggressive. Fortunately, they're edible.
  • Goats.
  • Water buffalo.
  • Cats.
    • No, seriously, feral cats in Australia play the Cats Are Mean trope straight; they breed almost like rabbits, eat native wildlife (they are blamed for some species extinctions since European settlement and they occasionally kill and eat poultry and even pet cats) and can be aggressive towards humans.
  • Dogs.
    • Luckily, rabies is not present in Australia, thus surviving dog/cat/fox/dingo bites in Australia will not carry a rabies risk. Also, the absence of rabies makes feral dogs less aggressive.
  • Indian Mynah birds - brown feathers, yellow beaks. Aggressively territorial, these birds drive native birds out of their habitats by ganging up and chasing them. Distinct from Noisy Miners, which are grey, native, and a little calmer in disposition.
    • The birds were introduced into the country to control the population of certain insects, but we can see how that went...
    • If you stay in Australia for a month, particularly in the suburbs, you will want to grab a shotgun and shoot the whiners down.
  • Rabbits.
    • We're not kidding. They may be cute, but the things are a noxious pest, destroying much of the above unique wildlife, and we've tried everything from continent-spanning fences to germ warfare to kill them off. Apparently they eventually grew immune to the introduced rabbit virus; scientists are currently making a new one. Some breeding programs for dingoes involve teaching them to favour eating rabbits above native species.
    • To give you an idea of how prolific rabbits are, and how much they breed, the current infestation of rabbits started with the release of twelve rabbits in 1859. Within ten years hunters could shoot or trap over two million of the buggers annually without having any noticeable effect. When they first used the aforementioned germ warfare in 1950, the population was around 600 million. In less than a hundred years, 12 became half a billion. They say "breeding like rabbits" for a reason.
    • The Australian hatred for rabbits was well-known as early as The '50s; the Arthur C. Clarke short story "What Goes Up" (collected in Tales from the White Hart) has some Australian scientists try a dangerous experiment with rabbits as test subjects before having a human handle it. The narrator of the story (an Englishman in a London pub) comments that "as scientists, they'd be pleased if their subjects got back alive; and as Australians they'd be just as happy if they got back dead... (You know, of course, how Australians feel about rabbits)."
  • In some areas, camphor laurel (a fragrant tree from China) grows rampant and competes heavily with native trees. It is also very toxic for the native birds. But at least it can be used for everything from furniture to firewood to power for a sugar mill.
  • Mice are no slouches either. They breed in explosive numbers after large amounts of rainfall and the increase of grain crops and vegetation that results, resulting in full-on Biblical plagues of mice. The spring and summer of 2021 saw the worst mouse plague ever in Australia's history.
  • In these same areas another weed called lantana grows with the same consequences, but is much harder to kill/use, as it is in fact a very gangly bush that grows large. Actually cultivated as a beautiful garden plant in Victoria, proving that Australia can be even more badass then itself. So at least it's being controlled in some way.
  • The blackberry, oh god the blackberry. Tell any Victorian farmer that it is a beautiful plant that should be protected, farmed and loved, and he will either viciously insult you, your mother, and your grandmother or kick your ass (it is a good idea to wear a suit of armor, as you will need it). Or both.
    • Of course, if you're dealing with blackberry brambles you should probably be wearing a suit of armor anyway, but at least they're edible.
  • Same goes for the prickly pear, or at least it used to. Ever since the introduction of the cactoblastus moth, whose grubs parasitise them, they're become more or less part of the landscape; lone cacti scattered across the countryside. Quite a step down from the days when they could grow in tightly-woven forests that could spread for miles without an inch of space. The sad thing is, the success with the cactoblastus may have been what gave people the idea to bring in cane toads in the first place...
  • European Carp. Known as "the rabbits of the waterways" - so that's "rabbits" again, sort of.
  • Tiger Pear. How does a foot-high, tough-as-koala-shit cactus that grows inch-long barbed spines that can penetrate a truck tyre[sic] grab you? Seriously, check out the photos, then imagine treading on one. The barbs means they don't come out, either.
  • The cane toad. Easily one of, if not the most hated creatures in Australia, particularly by Queenslanders. First introduced to try and destroy the cane beetles devastating sugar cane crops. Somehow, those introducing them didn't notice that the beetles lived up high and Cane Toads can't climb. Remember that Simpsons episode where they go to Australia and Bart leaves his frog at the airport, only for it to hop away and devastate the Australian crops and countryside in the time it took for the show's story to finish? Yeah, that's more or less real.
    • One advert a while back features cane toads being used as golf balls by drunken Queenslanders, hitting them over the New South Wales border fence, and promptly being chased off by border patrol. It was a beer ad, mind.
    • People who aren't drunk use cricket bats. They're also good for hockey practice.
    • Other methods include blowing them up with air pumpsnote , feeding them paracetamol (apparently it swells their insides) and running them over with any vehicle to hand.
    • Also, squirting them with Dettol (a strong antiseptic), which poisons them pretty quickly.
    • Don't forget blowing them up with smuggled firecrackers in their mouths.
    • It's practically a national duty to swerve to run over as many of them as you can rather than dodge.
    • It's also a fun summer activity for anybody under the age of about 15, 'toading' (the activity in their breeding season of killing absolutely as many as you can in a time limit. Not as hilariously cruel, but definitely more pragmatic) is practically a national children's pastime. Common weapons include: Cricket bats, golf clubs, broom handles with nails in them, cans of deodorant with cigarette lighters, tubs of salt, gumboots (a.k.a "Wellingtons" if you're from the UK or "rainboots" if you're American or Canadian), bricks, other toads...
    • The RSCPA recommends that people humanely kill them by capturing them and placing them in the freezer, but no sane Australian is going to do that.
    • Worse, these things are very difficult to kill. They make cockroaches look delicate. You can run these things over on a ride-on mower, have them go under the front wheels, have them get CAUGHT IN THE BLADES, have them go under the back wheels because you could and the thing will just sit there like, "Oh I'm sorry. Was that supposed to kill me?"
      • As one can see from the above, Australians detest them, possibly more than rabbits, since rabbits are very much on the loser's end of the food chain, and can be eaten by everything under the sun, including humans. They're fairly harmless as individuals, non-aggressive and easy to kill, so because of their speed they even make fun target practice. With cane toads, the eggs, tadpoles and adults are all poisonous. Some of the native crows have learnt to flip them over and eat their non-toxic guts. Sadly, not enough. Cane Toads are fairly slow, so they aren't even much good for wasting bullets on target practice either. Don't even touch them with your bare skin.
      • Look at some of the above examples (especially in the Insects and Reptiles category) and think about this a minute... someone managed to find an invasive species too poisonous for Australia! Or more specifically, a poisonous species that Australia wasn't used to, the little bastards being invasive and all.
      • Interesting note: 102 cane toads were originally introduced into Australia. It's now estimated that there are over 200 million here.
    • To better highlight how crazy Australians are: some conservationists began pushing for people to start eating cane toads, because the flesh is as edible as any other frog or toads if properly prepared.note  Of course, if improperly prepared, it'll kill you, so talk about Masochist's Meal. Even better, the idea actually caught on, to the point those same conservationists then had to start trying to dissuade people from preparing their own toad-meat and getting themselves killed.
  • Oh, and did we mention rabbits?

  • Eucalyptus trees (genus Eucalyptus), or gum trees to the lay person, is an amazingly strong hardwood. So strong, in fact, it can be used to shatter cinderblocks. They can even survive bush fires - bush fires even play a role in the reproductive cycle of some species! - unless they explode.
    • They're also responsible for how fast fires can spread. On hot days they release eucalyptus oil into the air that makes things appear blue from a distance (this is how the Blue Mountains west of Sydney got their name). It's also highly flammable in such a form and can ignite from radiant heat alone and makes it easy for it to jump fire breaks. They also have a habit of all shedding their very dry leaves at once, carpeting a forest with kindling.
    • That explosion note is not hyperbole, either. During bushfires, the sap of some eucalypts can heat and expand inside the trunk. Contents under pressure takes it course, and "explode" is exactly the right word - apart from the ear-splitting boom, it sends flaming wooden shrapnel everywhere.
    • While all eucalypts are related there is a truly ridiculous variety of them. Some of the varieties are names for where they grow (the snow gum which is the variety that can withstand the snowfields of Victoria, Southern New South Wales and Tasmania) or their appearance (the pale ghost gum), but many are named after the properties of their bark. Ironbarks and stringybarks to name but two and even these aren't single species but groups of several similar types.
    • Note also that some varieties have the habit of dropping substantial branches off during the dry season. These branches are heavy enough to crush the roof of a car or your skull, so even the trees in Australia are dangerous.
    • To the vast majority of animals, the sap of the eucalyptus tree is toxic and lethal to ingest. The exception is the koala, which has adapted to the point that the sap provides (barely enough) nourishment instead of killing them.
  • Macadamias (genus Macadamia). Nut-bearing trees that are commercially cultivated. The nuts are popular but their shells are notoriously tough and if you plan to crack them on your own, you're going to need a hammer.
  • Golden Wattle. A type of Acacia and the floral emblem of Australia with little, fuzzy yellow buds that flower in late winter. It can be made into flour with a sweeter taste than the wheat kind - meaning all four living parts of the Australian crest are edible.
  • Bottlebrushes (genus Callistemon). A whole group of plants with flowers that come in the shape of bottle brushes, hence the name. Bees and nectar-feeding birds love them; a common sight in summer wherever they grow is a flock of wild lorikeets climbing all over the bush to sip the nectar (and, on occasion, getting roaringly drunk because the nectar has fermented into an intoxicant, which sees them falling headlong out of the bush, waddling in dizzy circles and slamming into windows when trying to fly. This also happens with some types of fruit).
  • Banksia. A diverse genus of spectacular flowers, 90% of which are endemic to Western Australia. Closely related to the nearly-as-spectacular Protea species of South Africa, as well as the aforementioned Macadamia, and distantly related to sycamores (plane-trees) and lotuses for those of you in the G-8 countries.
  • Grasstrees (genus Xanthorrhoea). A group of slow growing trees with long slender leaves that look like grass and many have a long spike growing from the middle that contains seed buds. Like gum trees and many Banksias, they not only can survive bushfires but actually require fire to open their seed pods.
    • Often called "black boys" for the very black trunk of the tree. Now considered racist towards the indigenous peoples, the name is only used in casual conversation, and then only rarely.
    • Kingia australis looks similar to the degree it was once considered the 'female form' of grasstrees. However, the plants are completely unrelated and differ in the construction of their 'trunks'.
  • Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis). Considered a Lazarus taxon (oldest known fossil from the genus is about 200 million years old, and it disappeared from the fossil record about 30 million years ago, before its rediscovery in 1994) and originally restricted to a small canyon in New South Wales but now being cultivated in a wide variety of locations. It is not a true pine (genus Pinus), though it is a conifer and hence distantly related. The only known population of wild Wollemia (consisting of about 100 trees) is in the Blue Mountains, in three closely located groups, with the exact locations kept a secret.
  • Triodia, aka Spinifex (not to be confused with the genus Spinifex) is a grass tipped with hard silicate arrowheads that break off in your skin. In any other country, the fact that the grass wants to hurt/kill/maim you would be near the top of the weirdness pile. In Australia, it's barely the tip of the dangerous wildlife iceberg.
  • Gympie Gympie (Dendrocnide moroides) or Stinging Tree, so named because it is a tree which will sting you. All parts of Gympie Gympie other than the roots is covered with tiny hairs that pierce the skin and inject a neurotoxin. This neurotoxin is so powerful and painful that it is also referred to as The Suicide Plant. It has been known to kill dogs, humans and horses through shock. Some have also killed themselves, with horses throwing themselves off cliffs and one army officer reported to have shot himself. If the hairs are not removed they can keep stinging for up to a year, releasing toxins every time they're triggered (e.g. touching the stung area, temperature changes, contact with water). The recommended procedure for removing them is to douse them in hydrochloric acid and then use a waxing strip. Even if removed, the symptoms can persist for months or years, and recur for years afterwards. The toxins in the stingers are incredibly stable, to the point where the hairs of dead leaves found on the forest floor and lab specimens can still sting, even if the specimen has been dead and dried for up to 100 years. Did I mention it can also be inhaled? It can. The stingers can shed off the leaves and become suspended in the air, and are fine enough to be inhaled. Forestry workers in areas where the Gympie Gympie grows carry respirators, wear thick clothes and gloves, and carry anti-hysthamines and cyanide capsules (that last one's not true). Apparently the fruit is edible if you can get all the hairs off it.
  • Though a fungus and not a plant, the Ghost Fungus glows in the dark. Whatever you do, don't eat it (it is a Poison Mushroom despite its close relation and similar shape to the edible Oyster Mushroom).note  What's more, it's common on the East Coast between and around Sydney and Melbourne where people are most likely to encounter it.

    And now, a song 
  • Brought to you by the Scared Weird Little Guys...
    Redbacks, funnelwebs, blue-ringed octopus
    Taipans, tiger snakes, and a box jellyfish
    Stonefish, and the poison thing that lives in a shell, that spikes you when you pick it up
    Come to Australia, you might accidentally get killed...