Humpback Whales are highly social and intelligent mammals. At 14 to 18 metres long and nearly 40 tonnes, they are the fifth largest animal on earth. They
breathe air, have hair on their bodies,and give birth to live young which suckle from their mothers.
Humpbacks are renowned for long distance travel and are a regular sight close to shore in Australian waters, along the east and west coasts, as they reach
their breeding areas from May to August.
It would be pretty alarming to wake up to find a fur seal in your backyard, but they are our ocean buddies. The Australian fur seal is the most common
seal in Tasmanian waters: however, it is the fourth rarest seal species in the world.
They live around Bass Strait, Tasmania, southern Victoria and southern South Australia but can venture as far north as NSW. They spend most of their time
in the sea and come ashore to breed on rocky islands and beaches.
Fur seals are excellent swimmers but they can also get around out of the water by raising the front of their body onto their front flippers. The males
and females are physically quite different although they all have big heads, pointy faces with big eyes and long whiskers and very sharp teeth, like
a dogs. A thick layer of fat helps them keep warm in the frigid ocean.
The males are larger than the females and can weigh up to 350kg. Males are usually brown or dark grey and have a coarse mane on their neck and shoulders.
Females weigh up to 120kg and are more slender and a slivery grey colour with a brown underside.
Fur seals have a dense coat of two layers – a wool-like underfur and long, coarse outer hairs. This double layer traps air which waterproofs and insulates
the seal. All seals moult each year, replacing their old fur with new growth.
After rain on a hot day, the Green Tree Frog will emerge. You may find them in your house, your water tank, your drainpipe, toilet, pool, or even mail
box, in search of a cool moist spot.
The rain brings Australian native frog species out in droves - and if you don't see a Green Tree Frog, you may hear them. Green Tree Frogs love to
get into downpipes and tanks during the mating season in spring and summer. These locations act like a microphone to increase the volume of their
low, slow 'brawk, brawk, brawk' call.
Your outside lights attract the frog's favourite food - bugs. Green Tree Frogs are a great garden helper. They eat moths and other insects, as well
as spiders, mice and other small animals. They catch their food in their strong jaws and use a hand to force it down.
Green Tree Frogs are very docile amphibians that love to climb. They are well equipped for it, using the large gripping pads on their fingers and toes
to scale smooth, vertical surfaces. They can even climb directly up glass.
Koalas might look like a bear and have the nickname 'Koala bear', but they are marsupials.
The closest living relative to the Koala is the wombat. Newborn Koalas are so little they could fit on your thumbnail. Koala joeys stay in their mother's
pouch for about seven months.
Koalas are perfectly built for climbing trees. They have rough paw pads with sharp claws which help them grip tree trunks and branches.
Koalas live in eucalypt forests in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. Koalas are fussy eaters, eating only a few types of eucalypt
leaves. They eat up to one kilogram of leaves each day.
Little Penguins are also called fairy penguins. They are the smallest type of penguin in the world.
They weigh just 1 kg and are only 30–40 cm tall. While excellent swimmers, they cannot fly.
Often they have the same mate for life. Both parents feed and care for the young, who leave the nest at 7–9 weeks and live for up to 7 years.
There is a colony of Little Penguins living in the middle of Sydney – at Manly.
Little Penguins come ashore to breed, raise chicks and moult. They nest in burrows or among rocks on the harbour foreshores at Manly – sometimes even
in people’s backyards or under houses.
You can see them from a boat or the Manly ferry as they swim and fish around the harbour. You may even see them at the beach. And, if you’re quiet,
you may hear them calling with a short sharp bark – or even making growling noises.
Sugar Gliders live in the trees and glide between them using flaps of skin between their front and back legs. These small marsupials live in eastern and
northern Australia and nest in tree hollows or nest boxes. Adults can weigh as little as 150 grams. They are grey to brown with a prominent dark stripe
over their foreheads, and have prehensile tails which they use to grip on to branches.
Sugar gliders especially like forests with an understory of acacia, the sap of which they devour. They also eat acacia seeds, nectar, pollen and invertebrates.
Unlike some larger gliders, sugar gliders are able to live in relatively small areas of fragmented forest. They may be living in a remnant forest
in your area but with the destruction of so many forests, many sugar gliders are losing their homes. Putting up a nest box for them can be a big
Tree kangaroos really are kangaroos that live in trees. They are marsupials and macropods and are the largest tree-dwelling mammal in Australia.
In Australia, they live in far north Queensland. Other tree kangaroo species live in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. The two Australian species are the
Lumholtz's and the Bennett’s tree kangaroo.
They do look like kangaroos but have shorter legs, strong forearms and very long tails. Their feet have long curved claws and spongy soles for gripping
Tree kangaroos generally feed on leaves and foliage but will also eat fruits and flowers from native trees in the rainforest where they live. You will
be lucky to spot one in the wild as they spend most of their lives in the high treetops. The best way to spot one is to look up and across the tree
canopy in late afternoon after a light rain – they often move to the edges of a branch to catch a drying breeze.