Desert Shrublands & Grasslands (Mulga & Spinifex)

Class Mammalia

Order Diprotodontia

Superfamily Macropodoidea: Kangaroos and Wallabies

Many species of kangaroo and larger wallaby are sexually dimorphic, with the males being a different colour and much bigger than females.

Family Potoroidae

(Barna Mia, Dryandra)

Bettongia lesueur, 'Burrowing Bettong', 'Boodie'. Once very common, this species is mostly extinct on the mainland, now survives only on islands. Lived in dry woodlands and arid grasslands. 

(Barna Mia, Dryandra)

Lagorchestes hirsutus, 'Rufous Hare-Wallaby', 'Mala'. This species is now mostly extinct on the mainland, and survives only on islands. Lived in arid grasslands. 

Family Macropodidae

(Alice Springs Botanical Gardens, N.T.)

Osphranter robustus, 'Euro', '(western) Wallaroo'. These large kangaroos have more developed fore-arms and longer fur than grey or red kangaroos (making them appear 'shaggier'). They live mostly on and around rocky hills, but are larger and clumsier in their rocky habitat than rock wallabies. They are usually seen in pairs or alone.  They are widespread across much of Australia.

Order Artiodactyla

Family Camelidae

Camels are the only hoofed mammals to mate in the sitting position. Lazy buggers. The males ejaculate three or four times during the mating session. Ok, not so lazy then.


Camelus dromedarius'Dromedary (one-humped) Camel'. Largest of the three extant camel species. As the name suggests, they have one hump on the back. When in heat, the males inflate part of their palate into a large red balloon (called the dulla), which hangs out of the side of their mouth like a swollen tongue. Apparently, the females are attracted to the male with their tongue hanging out (this doesn't work for humans). Also, it is not true that females attract the males with their camel toe. This is a domesticated species, and it is thought they have not existed in the wild in their native habitat for thousands of years. They are originally from the drier areas of northern Africa. They were introduced into Australia and it is thought there are over half a million feral individuals wandering around western Queensland, northern SA/southern NT, and mostly Western Australia.

Back to the page on Australian arid shrublands and grasslands

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