Jigsaw animals for Lola and Kenzie
Mountain pygmy possum
The mountain pygmy possum (Burramys parvus) is a small, mouse-sized nocturnal marsupial found in alpine trees and rock screes and boulder fields, mainly in the higher parts of the mountains of south east Australia, especially around Mount Kosciuszko in Kosciuszko National Park. Its diet is mainly insects, as well as fruits and seeds of native plants.
(More information can be found in Wikipedia, which is where most of the text below came from).
The black swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large waterbird which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. The species was hunted to extinction in New Zealand, but has been reintroduced. Within Australia they are nomadic, with erratic migration patters dependent upon climate. They are large birds with a soft flute-like call, and feed generally on submerged vegetation in fresh, brackish and salt waters. They are monogamous breeders that share incubation duties and cygnet rearing between the sexes. They build large nests close to the water's edge.
Australia has three species of Wombats, the Common Wombat and two Hairy-nosed Wombats. All are in the family Vombatidae. They are medium-sized nocturnal animals which create burrows by digging holes in the ground. Adult Wombats are usually around a metre in length. They are marsupials, that is animals which have a pouch to hold their young. Wombats are herbivores, eating only plants, mainly roots and grasses. They excrete faeces in roughly cubic shape, and use these to mark their territories.
The Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is an arboreal (tree-dwelling) herbivorous marsupial found only in Australia. It is found predominantly in Eucalypt forests of coastal Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. Its diet consists of Eucalypt leaves, of very low nutritional value. Adults are usually around 60 to 85 cm in length, and weigh 10 to 15 kg. Koalas have few natural predators and parasites, but are threatened by some pathogens, such as Chlamydiaceae bacteria, and the Koala retrovirus. Bushfires and droughts also can reduce or eliminate local populations. Koalas are solitary animals, with the only significant bonds between mothers and their joeys (baby Koalas).
The Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is the second-largest living bird by height, after the African Ostrich. It is endemic (found only in) Australia, where it is the last of three sub-species: the King Island Emu and the Tasmanian Emu (both smaller birds) were hunted to extinction following the European invasion of Australia in 1788.
Emus are soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds with long necks and legs, and can reach up to 1.9m in height. Emus can run fast when pursued by predators (such as dingos) and can travel great distances as local weather and climate changes the availability of their foods, which include a variety of plants and insects.
Breeding takes place in May and June, and fighting among females for a mate is common. Females can mate several times and lay several clutches of eggs in one season. The male does the incubation: during this period he hardly eats or drinks, and loses a significant amount of weight. The chicks hatch after 8 weeks, and are nurtured by their father. They reach adult size after about six months, but can remain as a family unit until the next breeding season.
Marsupial mouse, or Antechinus
There are several species of Antechinus in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Antechinuses are small carnivorous animals, feeding mainly on insects and spiders. Most species nest communally in tree hollows. Their habitat is primarily rainforest, dry and wet eucalypt forest, and woodlands. Adults vary in length from 80 to 120 mm. Antechinus in Papua New Guinea are poorly documented, and undescribed species may await discovery. They are not related to common mice or rats.
The budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) is a small, long-tailed Australian parrot. In its native habitat, the drier inland parts of Australia, it forms large flocks. The budgerigar eats mainly seeds, and breeds opportunistically when good supplies of food are available (the Australian inland is often a harsh environment, broken by the arrival of occasional large storms and floods). Budgerigars are naturally mostly green and yellow, but other colours have been bred into captive birds. The species has been bred as a cage bird for two hundred years, and is now the third most popular pet in the world, after the domesticated dog and cat.
Brush tailed possum
The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula, from the Greek for "furry tailed" and the Latin for "little fox") is a nocturnal, semi-arboreal (mostly tree-dwelling) marsupial of the family Phalangeridae. It is a native to Australia, and the second-largest of Australia's possums. It eats leaves of trees, notably the Eucalyptus species in which it nests in tree hollows, but it also eats a variety of other leaves including grasses. It has four colour variations, silver-grey, brown, black and gold.
It is the Australian marsupial most often seen by city-dwellers, and is one of the few that thrives in cities. These possums are inventive and determined foragers with a liking for fruit trees and vegetable gardens. It was introduced to New Zealand to establish a fur industry, but in the mild climate, with few natural predators, it thrived to the extent that it has become a major agricultural and ecological pest.
Australia has four species of Quoll (from the genus Dasyurus) and Papua New Guinea has another two. These species vary greatly in size, with adult weight from 300g to 7kg. They have brown or black fur, with pink noses, and often paler spots. They are largely solitary and nocturnal animals, creating a den in dense undergrowth or rocky terrain, where they spend most of the day. Mating occurs in winter, with up to six puppies surviving.
The Quoll eats small birds, small mammals, lizards and insects. Its natural lifespan is between two and five years. All species have drastically declined in numbers since Australia was colonised by Europeans, with one species, the Eastern Quoll, becoming extinct on the Australian mainland, now being found only in Tasmania. Major threats to their survival include predation by dogs, cats and foxes, loss of habitat to agricultural and urban development, the introduced cane toad (they die after eating it due to its poison glands), and poison baiting laid for dingoes, foxes and feral dogs.
Australia and Papua New Guinea have four species of Echidna, and with the Platypus, these are the only surviving members of the order Monotremata, egg-laying mammals. A 'mammal' is a warm-blooded animal which suckes its young. The Echidna's diet consists mainly of ants and termites. Some species are fairly common, being regularly seen in dry Eucalypt or coastal forest and woodland. They have poor eyesight, and their only defence against predators is to dig into the ground, or curl in a tight ball, with their sharp spines pointing outwards.
Australia has four species of Rosella, with adults ranging in size from 26 to 37 cm. They are native to Australia and nearby islands, where they inhabit forests, woodlands, farmlands and suburban parks and gardens. They are confined to the coastal mountains and plains, and are absent from Australia's dry outback. Introduced populations have established themselves in New Zealand and Norfolk Island.
Rosellas feed predominantly on seeds and fruit, with food held in the foot. They enjoy bathing in puddles of water. They scratch their heads with the foot held behind the wing. Their courtship display is simple: the male waves his tail sideways, and engages in some head bobbing, and the female reciprocates. They nest in hollows in old trees, and have a clutch size of several eggs which are incubated by the female for 21 days. The male feeds the female throughout this time, and for some time after incubation ends.
The Grey Kangaroo has two species, the Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and the Western Grey Kangaroo. These species are widespread in the scrublands and woodlands of Australia, and are commonly seen due to their size, and the fact that they often travel in family groups. They feed on grasses mostly in the early morning and late afternoon, while resting, often in the shade of a tree, during the day. An adult male Eastern Grey can reach a weight of 66 kg, but is not the largest of Australia's kangaroos, with an adult Red Kangaroo weighing up to 90 kg. The Red Kangaroo is the largest and heaviest living marsupial, and inhabits the dryer parts of the Australian continent. The adult female of the Eastern Grey is smaller than the male, typically weighing around 30 to 40 kg. Females carry their young (typically one only) in a pouch. They can move at considerable speed by hopping, with their large tail used as a balancing weight. Speeds of up to 40 kph have been recorded.
Sand goanna, or Gould's monitor
The Sand Goanna (Varanus gouldii) or more correctly Gould's Monitor, is a terrestrial (ground dwelling) reptile which excavates large burrows in the ground for shelter. Rock escarpments and tree hollows also provide suitable dwellings. The reptile inhabits a vast range throughout Australia, being adaptable to a wide variety of natural habitats, although they prefer open woodlands and grasslands. If threatened, they are quick to climb if a tree is nearby.
The goanna is a diurnal (active by day) forager, with prey including anything it can catch which is smaller than it is. Adults can reach a length of 140cm and a weight of 6 kg. The diet of hatchlings and juveniles often consist mostly of insects and small lizards, while adults prey on small mammals, birds, lizards, snakes, and dead animals. The female goanna often lays its eggs in termite mounds to protect them from the harsh climate. The introduced cane toad is a major threat: the goannas die after eating a poisonous toad.
Like all goannas and snakes the sand monitor has a forked tongue, with which it "tastes" the air. Scents are picked up on each side of the fork which, when retracted, brushes over an area in the mouth called the Jacobson's organ, which identifies on which side the scent is stronger. Upon identifying this difference in scent strength the sand monitor can alter its direction accordingly.
Rock wallabies are a medium-sized Australian macropod (part of the kangaroo family, macropod meaning "big foot"). They are often colourful and are extremely agile. They live where rocky, rugged and steep terrain can provide a daytime refuge. Males are slightly larger than females, with a body length of up to 60cm and a 70cm tail. They are mostly nocturnal and live a fortress existence, spending their days in rocky terrain where they find shelter (a cave, overhang or vegetation) and moving out into surrounding areas at night to feed. Their greatest activity occurs three hours before sunrise and just after sunset.
There total numbers and range has been reduced drastically since European settlement of Australia, with colonies becoming extinct from the south. They are affected by predation by foxes, wild dogs and to some extent feral cats, as well as loss of habitat to agriculture and urbanization. Competition for food from rabbits and goats has also played a part in their decline.
Banded sea snake
The Black-banded sea snake (Laticauda semifasciata) is a found in most of the warm waters of the Western Pacific Ocean, including Queensland and Papua New Guinea. It frequents coral reef areas. The tail is extended skin, spread wide like a fin. In the breeding season they congregate near the shore, and lay eggs on adjacent land. The snake is mostly nocturnal, and requires oxygen from the air, so it breaks the surface to breathe at least once every six hours.
It is too slow to catch fish in a straight chase, so it hunts for fish by hiding amongst the coral: it is called an "ambush predator". While the bite is highly venomous (poisonous) it is a shy animal, and will not bite unless it feels threatened.
The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal found in Eastern Australia including Tasmania. It has a duck-like bill and a flattened, beaver-like tail. It is one of only a few mammals carrying a poison gland: the male has a spur on the hind foot that delivers venom capable of causing severe pain in humans. The platypus has been featured on Australia's 20 cent coin, and is also the animal emblem of New South Wales.
Until the early 20th century it was hunted for its fur, but it is now protected throughout its range. While the numbers and range of the platypus have been much reduced since European settlement, the species itself is not under immediate threat. Threats are the reduction of habitat by agricultural and urban expansion, as well as introduced predators such as the fox, cat and feral dog. Forest logging, particularly activities affecting streams and river-banks, can also destroy Platypus burrows and habitats.
The Platypus nests in hollows excavated in the soil of river banks, and feeds mainly on small aquatic crustaceans. It is most active just before sunrise, and just after sunset. It is rarely seen during the day. It is a shy animal, and will hide quickly if it senses danger.
Duck, Grey Teal
The Grey Teal (Anas gracilis) is a dabbling duck found in open wetlands in Australia and New Zealand. It feeds on both aquatic vegetation and invertebrates. A common bird, the grey teal nests near its favoured freshwater lakes and marshes, usually on the ground, but also in tree holes or abandoned rabbit burrows. This is a vocal duck, especially at night. The male gives a soft preep, and the female has a loud quack. The grey teal is a gregarious species, travelling both in family groups and flocks. In Australia it is nomadic, rapidly colonising suitable habitat following rain. In 1957, large numbers fled Australia, moving to New Zealand to escape an Australian drought.
Owl, Powerful Owl
The Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) is a species of owl native to south-eastern and eastern Australia, the largest of Australian owls. It is found in coastal areas, mostly the forests of the Great Dividing Range, rarely more than 200 km from the sea.
The powerful owl has a long tail and a small head, lending it an atypical silhouette for an owl and imparting a more hawk-like appearance than any other large Australian owl. The protruding bill and distinct brow ridges enhance the hawk-like appearance of the species. The tail has six narrow white bars contrasting with grey-brown. This species has large yellow eyes, with greyish feathering down to the base of the toes and feet of a dull yellow colour. They are aptly named, with very powerful and heavy claws.
Adults measure 45 to 65 cm in length and span 112 to 135 cm across the wings. Unlike the vast majority of owl species, the male is slightly larger than the female on average. Adult male weight is 1 to 2 kg. Among all the owls in the world, the powerful owl is the ninth longest from bill-to-tail, the tenth heaviest and the eighth longest winged.
The male's song is an impressive low, rather mournful-sounding and far-carrying double-hoot, whoo-hooo, each note lasting a few seconds at least, broken up by a brief silence and the second note being usually higher pitched than the first. The female has a similar call but has a higher pitched voice. Duets are not infrequently heard at the onset of breeding. Unpaired males frequently call much more regularly than paired ones.
The Australian Rakali (Hydromys chrysogaster) is the only member of the genus Hydromys, with a range extending beyond Papua New Guinea and Indonesian West Papua. The Rakali is semi-aquatic and nocturnal, and lives in burrows on the banks of rivers, lakes and estuaries. It feeds on aquatic insects, fish, crustaceans, mussels, snails, frogs, birds' eggs and water birds. Adult Rakali have a body 23–37 cm in length, weigh 340–1,275 grams and have a thick tail measuring around 24–35 cm. Females are generally smaller than males but tail lengths are normally the same. They have partially webbed hind legs, waterproof fur, a flattened head, a long blunt nose, many whiskers and small ears and eyes. The body is streamlined with a skull that is large, flat and elongated, with two molars on the upper and lower jaw, similar to the False water rat Xeromys meroides. They are black to brown in colour with an orange to white belly, and dark tail with a white tip. Hunted for their soft fur and considered a nuisance animal to farmers and fishermen, numbers were under threat until legislation protecting the species was passed in 1938.
Quail, Stubble Quail
The Stubble Quail (Coturnix pectoralis) is a native Australian species which is the most common quail species in Australia. Stubble quail are widespread and found throughout Australia's six States and two Territories. While their habitat has been reduced by urban development, agricultural development has in some cases provided additional area. Predators include the introduced fox, and feral cats and dogs. They remain common thanks to their adaptability and high breeding rate.
The stubble quail is a ground-dwelling bird that is characterised by its dark brown feathers with a cream coloured strip down the centre of each feather giving rise to stripes down the length of the bird. It is a plump species that is larger than other native quails. Male birds will mature at about 18.0-18.5 cm long and females are generally slightly larger. Adult males weigh around 100g and the females around 110g with all birds having a wingspan of between 25–33 cm. The stubble quail can also be identified by the loud whirring noise made by their wings during take-off into flight once disturbed from on the ground. They feed on seeds, and make nest amongst the grass where they spend most of their time. They are active by day.
The Stubble Quail is a member of the family Phasianidae. Geographic isolation occurred between the Australian species and the New Zealand species when the Tasman Sea became too wide for the birds to fly the journey. This geographic isolation enabled genetic divergence to occur and two separate species resulted. The two species then independently lost the ability to fly long distances.
Sulphur crested cockatoo
The Australian Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, like several others of the parrot family, is noisy and fun-loving. It is a large bird found widely in the north and east of Australia, from the Kimerley to Tasmania. As it nests in tree hollows, it avoids the dry inland where there are few trees. They are numerous in suburban habitats in cities such as Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane. They also occur in some parts of Papua New Guinea. It travels both as solitary birds and in flocks. Its diet consists mainly of seeds and fruits.
Within Australia, sulphur-crested cockatoos have also been introduced to Perth, which is far outside the natural range. Outside Australia, they have been introduced to Singapore, where their numbers have been estimated to be between 500 and 2000. They have also been introduced to Palau and New Zealand. In New Zealand the introduced populations may number less than 1000. This species has also been recorded as established in Hawaii and from various islands in Wallacea (e.g. Kai Islands and Ambon), but it is unclear if it has managed to become established there.
Adults grow to a total length of 44–55 cm. The plumage is overall white, while the underwing and -tail are tinged yellow. The expressive crest is yellow. The bill is black, the legs are grey, and the eye-ring is whitish. Males typically have almost black eyes, whereas the females have a more red or brown eye.
Bat, Bent-wing Bat
The Bent-wing Bat is a medium-sized insectivorous bat with a high domed forehead, short muzzle, small rounded ears and long narrow wings. The fur is dark brown or red-brown on the back, becoming lighter underneath. Adults grow to around 65mm in body length. It is found in Northern and Eastern Australia, in a range of habits including rainforest, sclerophyll forest, woodlands, monsoon forest, open grasslands, mangroves and paperbark forest.
This bat is nocturnal and fast flying, preferring to roost in caves, rock crevices, overhangs, road culverts, old mines, bridges and other man-made structures. They feed on moths, beetles and other flying insects. In tropical areas they are active all year, but in the south they enter periods of torpor or hibernation during the colder months.
During the breeding season (September to October) most of the population migrates to a limited number of large maternity roost sites and they remain there over the spring and summer. A single young is born between October and January. Females reach sexual maturity the year after they are born and may live for more than 22 years. Predators include owls, rats, cats and foxes. Habitat has been reduced by agricultural and urban expansion, and by limestone mining. The Southern Bent-wing Bat is classed as Critically Endangered.
Bats are normally harmless, but it is best to avoid handling any bat because they may carry the potentially fatal Australian Bat Lissavirus (ABLV), which is transmitted through scratches or bites.