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Australia Day, January 26: Learn About The Country's Incredible Animals (PHOTOS/VIDEO)


First Posted: 01/25/11 06:02 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:25 PM ET

From BBC Earth:

Happy Australia Day everyone! We really hope you can spare a minute away from the barbeque, footy or fireworks to check out this great video.

Tracing Australia's roots back to millions of years ago, Sir David Attenborough explains how the country was part of a supercontinent called Gondwana. A continent that spawned some strange wildlife, most of it extinct today, as well as the current animal inhabitants of Australia.

Watch the video to connect the dots and realise exactly where the great country of Australia came from, and scroll down for photos of our favourite Australian animals.


Australia supports one of the largest collections of the Earth's species! A fact not so hard to imagine when you consider it's diverse habitats ranging from barren deserts to alpine heathlands and tropical rainforests.
One favourite fact about Australia: it has the greatest amount of reptiles of any country in the world - with an incredible 755 species! Here's a few of our favourites.

This large monitor lizard has a feverish habit of flicking its tongue which enables them to seek out the scent of prey that may be hidden or buried.

Second is the Sleepy Lizard or collectively called Shingleback - because its colours range widely from white to deep reds, therefore at times mimicking the shingles used for roofs.

This thorny dragon is a master of defence with its armour of sharp, hard spines, this rigid structure enables it to collect and channel water straight to its mouth, from any part of the body. And we thought having a false head on its back was enough it make it our best-loved Australian reptile!

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Filed by Travis Donovan  |  Report Corrections