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Australian monotremes, marsupials and placentals

Learn more about Australia's iconic mammals - monotremes like the echidna, marsupials like the kangaroo and koala, and placentals like the Australian dingo. The continent is the only place where representatives of all three surviving mammal lineages - monotremes, marsupials, and placentals - coexist. It is also the only continent in the world dominated by marsupials, mammals that carry their young in a pouch.

Discover the wombat, platypus, brown rat, and the Tasmanian devil, the largest surviving carnivorous marsupial in the world.

Although most mammals are traditionally thought to live on land, many have adapted to living underground, in the air, on tree tops and underwater.

With around 57 species of marine mammals that live off the Australian coastline, Australia has one of the most interesting underwater mammalian life in the world. Marine mammals such as sea lions, whales, dolphins and seals cannot breathe underwater but have developed adaptations to aquatic life. Learn about the Museum's largest marine mammal specimen: the sperm whale.

Discover some of Australia’s extinct mammals including the Tasmanian Tiger, scientifically known as Thylacinus potens, which was the top mammalian predator in Australia.


Mammal factsheets

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