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Australian Animals

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Name: Julia Bowan Crockett Class: 7CP Teacher: Ms Gregerson Due Date: 17/10/2008

Julia Bowan Crockett 7CP

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Julia Bowan Crockett 7CP

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Julia Bowan Crockett 7CP

Koala
What is a koala? The koala is a small herbivorous marsupial 9kg (20lb) in weight. It's ash grey with a tinge of Habitat 'Habitat' refers to the koalas like to live in. range of habitats, from eucalypt forests to low types of bushland that They are found in a coastal islands and tall woodlands inland. bear-like, tree-dwelling, which averages about fur is thick and usually brown in places.

Koalas today are found in Queensland , New South Wales , Victoria and South Australia . Their range extends from the Atherton Tableland west of Cairns in Qld to islands off the coast of Victoria and South Australia in the south, and west to central and western Qld, NSW and Victoria. Diet Koala's are very fussy eaters and have strong preferences for different types of gum leaves, then the most important factor which make habitats suitable are the presence of tree species preferred by koalas (usually eucalypts, but also some non-eucalypts) growing in particular associations on suitable soils with adequate rainfall. In Australia there are over 600 types of eucalypts, but koalas will not eat a large proportion of these. Within a particular area, as few as one, and generally no more than two or three species of eucalypt will be regularly browsed while a variety of other species, including some non-eucalypts, appear to be browsed occasionally or used for just sitting or sleeping in. Different species of eucalypts grow in different parts of Australia, so a koala in Victoria would have a very different diet from one in Queensland. Koalas like a change, too, and sometimes they will eat from other trees such as wattle or tea tree. Physiology The Koala is well suited to life in the trees. The koala has an excellent sense of balance and its body is lean and muscular and its quite long, strong limbs support its weight when climbing. The arms and legs are nearly equal in length and the koala's climbing strength comes from the thigh muscle joining the shin much lower than in other animals.Its paws are especially adapted for gripping and climbing with rough pads on the palms and soles helping it to grip tree trunks and branches. Koalas have a thick woolly fur which protects them from both high and low temperatures.It also acts like a 'raincoat' to repel moisture when it rains. Koalas are mostly nocturnal animals and they are most active during the night and at dawn and dusk.

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Julia Bowan Crockett 7CP Breeding The main characteristics of marsupials which differentiate them from other mammals is that they give birth to immature young which then develop further in a pouch. The word 'marsupial' comes from the Latin word marsupium, meaning 'pouch.' Most, but not all marsupials have a pouch in which to raise their young. The breeding season for koalas runs roughly from September to March. This is a time of increased activity, and sound levels increase as males bellow more frequently. This is also when the young from the previous year are weaning from their mothers. Threats Since European settlement, approximately 80% of Australia's eucalypt forests have been decimated. Of the remaining 20% almost none is protected and most occurs on privately-owned land. The main causes of loss of habitat include: LAND CLEARING Clearing of the land for expansion of human settlement for agriculture housing mining forestry factories roads The results of this would include: loss of habitat increased disturbance by humans injury or death from traffic injury or death from dogs and cats effects of garden pesticides getting into waterways increased competition for food and territory because of overcrowding increased stress on animals, making them more susceptible to disease. It has also been documented that over 4000 koalas are killed each year by dogs and cars. It easy to see that the biggest threat to the Koala population is the human.

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Julia Bowan Crockett 7CP BUSHFIRES Koala populations in fragmented areas of bushland are at great risk of localised extinction from a single fire which may wipe out an entire habitat. Bushfires are extremely common in the Summer months. DIEBACK Changes in the balance of the ecosystem can lead to dieback of trees. The cutting back of the original vast forests has created patches of forest separated from each other by treeless land. Small, isolated patches of forest are prone to dieback. Dieback is a general term for the gradual dying of trees due to factors such as land degradation, leaching of soil nutrients, changes in the composition of vegetation communities, rising water levels underground, salination of the soil, erosion caused by wind and water, exposure to weather and excessive defoliation (or loss of leaves). The underlying cause of all these factors appears to be the clearing and disturbance of forests. Seventy five percent of the main koala food tree species are declining in numbers as a result of this.

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Julia Bowan Crockett 7CP

Red Kangaroo

Macropus rufus Status: Common The red kangaroo is the largest of all the marsupials and live in family groups on the plains and deserts of Central Australia. Description Male red kangaroos have short dense woolly fur and are pale to brick red in colour, while the females are blue-grey, though in some areas both sexes are red. Both have distinctive white below. The muzzle is dusky, naked and sharply defined with a distinctive black and white patch on each side. Red kangaroos travel with head down. Males weigh up to 90kg, the females are smaller at 35kg (also known as the "Blue-fliers"). Males can stand over 1.8m tall. Breeding Kangaroos breed throughout the year. Newly born young, known as joeys, weigh less than 1 gram and make their way into the pouch unassisted by their mother. Diet Green herbage, including grasses and herbivorous plants. Habitat Red kangaroos are found in central Australia and prefer open plains with scattered shade trees under which they rest during the day. They are semi-nomadic preferring to graze mostly at night but can extend to late evening and early morning

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Julia Bowan Crockett 7CP

Platypus

Ornithorhyncus Status: Platypus vulnerable.

anatinus are common but

The platypus is a monotreme, like the echidna but are extremely specialized for an aquatic lifestyle in fresh water. For many years, platypus were hunted for their thick fur. Platypus are mostly nocturnal and solitary animals. Description Platypus have a broad soft leathery bill, dense water-repellent brown fur, webbed feet and clawed toes. It uses its webbed front feet for swimming, folding the web under its paw to walk. The Platypus spends much of its time in the water so its eyes are on the top of its head and the nostrils open on top of its bill. When submerged, the platypus closes its eyes, nostrils and ear holes relying on the touch receptors on the skin of the bill for its information. The platypus's tail is broad and flat, its hind feet are used to help steer and brake while swimming The hind ankles of the male have a venomous spur. Breeding Mating starts on August in the warmer areas and as late as October in Tasmania. Females lay two eggs and incubate the eggs by curling her body around them as she lies on a nest of grasses at the end of the burrow. Eggs hatch in about 2 weeks and young are fed for four to five months on milk that secretes from pore ducts of the mammary glands on the mothers abdomen. Diet Platypus eat a variety of invertebrates such as crustaceans and molluscs. They collect food from the river bottom and store it in cheek pouches until the reaching the surface. The platypus then floats on its back chewing the food between horny grinding plates in its mouth. Habitat The platypus lives in burrows on the banks of fresh water streams and lakes of Eastern Australia including Tasmania. It sleeps most of the day in its burrow feeding mainly around dawn and dusk. Local climate may change this behaviour. Threats WIRES looks after platypus which are sick, orphaned or injured due to lacerations from outboard motors, poisoning from pollution, entanglement from netting and habitat loss. 8 BowanCrockett_Julia_AustralianAnimals 18/10/2013 25/10/2013

Julia Bowan Crockett 7CP

References

Authors name: Title of the work: The Koala Foundation Title of the complete work: Address: http://www.savethekoala.com/ Date of visit: 19/02/02

Authors name: Title of the work: Kangaroo Title of the complete work: Wires Address: http://www.wires.au.com/animals/kangaroo.htm Date of visit: 21/02/02

Authors name: Title of the work: Emu Title of the complete work: Wires Address: http://www.wires.au.com/animals/emu.htm Date of visit: 21/02/02 Images: Figure 1: Koala- Title page http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/australia/images/28416165/title/koala-wallpaper Date viewed: 18/10/2013 Figure 2: Koala http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/australia/images/23936329/title/big-nose-koala-photo Date viewed: 18/10/2013 9 BowanCrockett_Julia_AustralianAnimals 18/10/2013 25/10/2013

Julia Bowan Crockett 7CP

Figure 3: Red Kangaroo http://museumvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/discoverycentre/wild/victorianenvironments/mallee/red-kangaroo/ Date viewed: 18/10/2013 Figure 4: Platypus http://www.cachecrazy.com/2012_08_01_archive.html Date viewed : 18/10/2013

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