Australia is home to dozens of fascinating animals, especially marsupials. But one of the continent's most elusive and legendary critters is the Tasmanian tiger. This carnivorous marsupial, which looks like a cross between a wolf and a tiger, is said to be extinct. The last known animal of the species died in captivity in 1936. But plenty of Taz tiger fanatics believe the animal lives on, and they obsess over the creature's existence similar to how some Americans study Bigfoot.
The myth surrounding the Tasmanian tiger has inspired the upcoming film "The Hunter," in theaters this month. We don't want to spoil the movie, so instead check out more awesome Aussie animals then go see the movie!
Habitat: With over 40 different species of kangaroo hopping about Australia, you can expect to find this marsupial just about everywhere. Different types can be found roosting in all the terrains Australia has to offer, including desert, forest, swamp and grassland.
Fun Fact: Aside from the abundance of kangaroos in Australia, the country also put the animal on their flag.
Habitat: One of Australia's cuddliest residents, the koala makes its home in the land's eucalyptus trees. Koalas often live in groups taking up a patch of trees referred to as the "home range."
Fun Fact: Aside from some strange sleeping habits, koalas also stand out because they don't drink any water. They get all the hydration and nutrition they need from chowing down on eucalyptus leaves.
Habitat: Word around the barbie is that the best place to see a dingo is in the outback of Central Australia, but the animal is spread all over the country and can even be found chilling out in the land's snowy mountains.
Fun Fact: Part of the reason for the dingo's wide-spread population is due to breeding with other feral dogs. Today, about a third of the animal's population is believed to be dog/dingo hybrids.
Habitat: This noisy and opportunistic member of the kingfisher family prefers to live in the open forest and woodlands of Australia, but can often be found in residential parts of the country that have a water source nearby and plenty of friendly humans.
Fun Fact: The kookaburra is known for its distinct call that is said to remsemble echoing, human laughter. The bird's call is so charasmatic that it is often included in jungle soundtracks for movies and theme parks, even if the setting of these attractions are not a native home to the kookaburra.
Habitat: This unusual, semi-aquatic Aussie resident can only be found in the Eastern Coastal regions of Australia and in parts of Tasmania. The egg-laying mammal spends its time swimming in streams and rivers or relaxing on the wet coastal land.
Fun Fact: Every male platypus is equipped with an ankle spur full of a sinister mix of venoms. Be careful with those underwater hugs, guys.
Habitat: A relative of the platypus, this interesting-looking mammal also lays eggs. Echidnas lays their eggs all across Australia, but can still be hard to spot. Echidnas are very solitary and also are excellent hiders.
Fun Fact: Echidnas are also known as spiny anteaters because of their looks and diet of termites, but they are no more related to the anteater than any other non-egg-laying mammal.
Habitat: This sturdy bird can survive in the most wicked of Australia's weather conditions, which is why you can find them in the country's super dry center, along with other parts of Australia and its surrounding islands.
Fun Fact: Male emus are in charge of the child-rearing. After the female lays her eggs, she runs off to find another mate, leaving daddy to incubate and care for the babies.
BRUSH TAIL POSSUM
Habitat: Much like the opossums of North America, these nocturnal nom-nomers like to hang out in residential and urban areas where they can easily root through people's goods to find tasty treasures.
Fun Fact: Many possums are seen as pests by locals, but this marsupial cannot usually be baited. Instead, people looking to get rid of scavenging possums are advised to build them a nest somewhere else or ward them off with garlic.
Habitat: These creatures can be spotted only in Tasmania. Go figure. If you want to catch a glimpse of one, you'd better bring night-vision goggles, because these little devils tend to come out of their dry, coastal forest homes only when it's dark.
Fun Fact: You can tell a Tasmanian devil's health by examining its tail. The feisty animal stores fat there, so the chunkier the tail, the heartier the devil.
Habitat: This compact creature is rather versatile, surviving in the mountains, forests and heartlands of Australia and Tasmania. The wombat is known for his excellent digging, qand you can find them burrowing throughout all of South-Eastern Australia.
Fun Fact: Wombats love to burrow so much that they are evolutionarily inclined for it. Wombats are the only marsupial with a backwards facing pouch. This prevents the animal's young from getting covered in dirt while their mothers dig.
Habitat: Wallabies can be found throughout Australia and New Zealand thanks to populations being introduced in various areas. They prefer the protection of well-forested areas over arid, open plains.
Fun Fact: Wallabies often use their tails and powerful hind legs as weapons against predators, which include feral cats, foxes and dogs.