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Australian Animals with Marc

Martha Stewart Living Television

Australia's separation from other landmasses has meant that its indigenous animals have evolved in isolation, so they aren't found anywhere else on earth. We're all familiar with such beloved native creatures as the kangaroo and platypus, but as pet expert Marc Morrone explains, there are countless other animals living in the Australian wilderness, some of them with unusual characteristics.

One such animal is the laughing kookaburra bird, whose name is inspired by the loud, maniacal birdcall it emits. A member of the kingfisher family, this bird feeds on snakes, lizards, small birds, and insects, and lays its eggs in burrows carved in termite nests. The kookaburra has dull plumage and is about the size of a raven. Another Australian bird of note is the rose-breasted cockatoo, with its pink-and-gray-colored body and pinkish-white-tinged head feathers. Though considered a pest by the Australians, this bird is highly sought after in the United States and makes a good pet.

One of Australia's more unusual snakes is the jungle carpet python, so named because of the rich yellow-and-black patterns of its scales, which often resemble a Persian carpet. The snake's colors are usually consistent, but the pattern of the scales can vary to include bands, stripes, blotches, freckles, or some combination thereof. Native to the rain forest of northeastern Queensland, jungle carpet pythons spend much of their time in trees and feed on mice and rabbits.

The sugar glider is another curious Australian animal. Nocturnal and belonging to the marsupial family (the same family as kangaroos), this animal has soft gray fur with black markings. The tiny sugar glider bears a resemblance to the flying squirrel, gliding from tree to tree with limbs spread to reveal a webbing of fur that looks like a superhero's cape. Sugar gliders, which earned their name because of their taste for tree saps and nectars, live in almost every type of habitat Australia has to offer.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to Marc Morrone for sharing this information.