Animals of the Australian steppe

In Australia, the steppe covers nearly one half of the backcountry. The typical inhabitant of the Australian steppe is the kangaroo, but there are also many other species of marsupials, such as the Virginia opossum and the wombat, that looks like a small bear. Many Australian birds are no longer accustomed to flying: the emu and the cassowary are big, and, like African ostriches, are very good at running. The kiwi is a small nocturnal bird that cannot fly; it feeds on the invertebrates it can find on the ground with its smell and hearing. In Australia live impressive reptiles, such as the monitor lizard, the collared lizard and the moloch, a sort of 20-cm-long iguana with a thorny body. Man brought in animals that did not belong to the typical Australian fauna, such as rabbits, mice and dogs. Dingoes, dogs made wild, have replaced marsupial wolves, taking up their ecological niche.

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Facts

  • 17 May 2011

    Sputnik in the steppe

    The steppe was the protagonist of one of the most important events in the history of space explorations. The very…

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    A peculiar trait of these soils is that they are easily...