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The bilby, also known as the Greater Bilby, is a medium sized marsupial with large rabbit-like ears. It has blue-grey fur with a long tail that is black with a white tip. They have poor eyesight, but a keen sense of smell along with great hearing.
Bilbies are nocturnal, foraging for food after dark. They are omnivores that have long snouts with long, slender tongues which they use to dig up plant roots, bulbs, fungi, grass seeds, termites, ants, beetles, insect larvae and spiders. The bilby gets most of its water from its food, meaning that it can survive in habitats where there is no free-standing water.
Bilbies have strong forelimbs and claws that help them build extensive tunnels, which provide shelter for the bilby from predators and intense heat. A single bilby may have up to 12 burrows at once, which measure at about 3m long and 2m deep.
Rainbow lorikeets are the ‘clowns of the bird world’, and with their bright multi-coloured feathers they are aptly named. They tend to roost in large groups and can be seen just on dusk arriving by the hundreds at their favourite roosting place, usually in tall eucalypts.
These colourful birds can be seen almost anywhere along the east coast of Australia. Unlike most other birds, it doesn’t eat seeds, which can be bad for them. Instead it uses its bristle brush tongue to get sweet sticky nectar and pollen from deep down in the bottom of native flowers.
Rainbow lorikeet behaviour is quite comical at times, especially at mating time, when the male tries to impress the female with a display of bobbing, bowing and prancing.
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.
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.
The Quokka is a type of small wallaby. It has thick greyish brown fur with lighter brown under surfaces. It has a brown face, short rounded ears, black
eyes and a black nose. Its feet, paws and short tail are brown. The males are bigger than the females.
The Quokka bounds and hops along the ground although it can climb trees if it needs to. It will sit on its hind legs to look around and will also use its
front paws to search for and pick up food. It is the only mammal which is native to Rottnest Island and can be found almost everywhere on the Island.
It is mainly nocturnal. This means that it is mostly active at night, preferring to rest or sleep in the shade during the day.
Bottlenose dolphins are found in tropical and temperate marine waters all across the world. They live in open coasts, sheltered waterways, lagoons, large estuaries, and even rivers. Within Australia the Bottlenose Dolphin is found along the coasts of all states, Northern Territory, and Norfolk Island.
Bottlenose dolphins are adapted for life in the open ocean, their light-long streamlined bodies are designed for swimming up to 37 km per hour and leaping high above the water. However, Dolphins are facing threats such as habitat destruction, getting caught in fishing nets, boat-strikes, pollution, and over-fishing.