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AUSTRALASIAN Temperate Forest

The unusual and endemic mammals of the Australian temperate forest and woodlands include famous and 'classic' marsupials such as the koala, and many species of kangaroo and wallaby... 

Kangaroos hopping in a mob (image by Damon Ramsey)


kangaroo penisDid anyone see me taking this photo of a kangaroo penis? (John Forrest National Park, W.A.)

In marsupials, the penis is usually located anteriorly (behind) the testicles.

Order Diprotodontia

Family Phascolarctidae: Koalas

The Koala feeds mostly on the leaves of about 30 species of Eucalyptus trees.

With such a low nutrient diet, Koalas spend a lot of their lives asleep; they are usually resting for 20 hours out of every day.

Koalas two opposable digits on their 'hands', enabling grip on branches. Another adaptation to climbing and holding onto trees are their sharp claws! So even though they look calm and cuddly, don't try to pick one up, or they will scratch you with those claws!

Family Vombatidae: 'Wombats'

This family includes three species of living wombat.

(Maria Island, Tasmania)

Vombatus ursinus, 'Common Wombat'.


In Australia, this loose term covers various different arboreal species from different families.

Family Pseudocheiridae: Ringtails


As suggested by the name, Ringtails have a tail that is often held curled, and are usually not as fluffy as 'brushtails'.


Pseudocheirus peregrinus, 'Common Ringtail Possum'.


Pseudocheirus occidentalis, 'Western Ringtail Possum'.

Greater Glider (image by Damon Ramsey)(Borania Calrossie Forest reserve, Queensland)

Petauroides volans, 'Greater Glider'. This species has now been split into 3 species. Not related to the other smaller gliders, but is in the ringatil possum family. Large fluffy possum. Often stays still in same tree for some time. They are found in Eucalyptus forest and woodlands along eastern Australia.

Family Phalangeridae: Brushtails


Trichosurus vulpecula, 'Common Brushtail Possum'.

Family Petauridae

(Coochin Creek, Beerwah, Queensland)

Petaurus norfolcensis, 'Squirrel Glider', Similar looking to Sugar Glider, but this species is larger, with larger ears and much bigger fluffy tail. Found in Eucalyptus forests in eastern Australia.

Kangaroos & Wallabies

(Whiteman Park)

Kangaroos are the largest animals in the world to using hopping as locomotion, or indeed that have ever lived.

Family Potoroidae

The smaller hopping marsupials. Includes many increasingly rare species.

Rufous Bettong (image by Damon Ramsey)(Crow's Nest National Park, Queensland)

Aepyprymnus rufescens, 'Rufous Bettong' 'Rufous Rat Kangaroo'. The largest of all the potoroids, but still a small marsupial. Often stands with kangaroo  like stance, but with tiny arms. Usually solitary, but sometimes in loose groups. Found in drier Eucalypt woodlands eastern Australia, from North Queensland south to northern NSW (it was once found down to Murray River). Shy and hard to see, one of the best spots are around the campfire at Undara.

(Barna Mia, Dryandra)

Bettongia penicillata, 'Woylie', 'Brush-tailed Bettong'. Once lived in temperate forest and arid habitats across a large part of Australia, now very rare and restricted to small pockets in south west and south east of continent.

Family Macropodidae

The larger hopping marsupials! Including the classic and well known kangaroos.

(Grey Lloyd Jones Weir, Queensland)

Macropus giganteus, 'Eastern Grey Kangaroo'. The common large kangaroo in temperate Australia, east of the Great Dividing Range.

(Dryandra, W.A.)

Macropus fuliginosus'Western Grey Kangaroo'. The common large kangaroo in temperate Australia, west from the Great Dividing Range.

Kangaroo scat(Dryandra, W.A.)

'Western Grey Kangaroo' scat.

(Wineglass Bay, Tasmania)

Macropus rufogriseus, 'Bennet's Wallaby'. This is the Tasmanian subspecies of the Red-necked Wallaby'.

(Rottnest Island, Australia)

Setonix brachyurus, 'Quokka'. Endemic to the south west of Australia. Most commonly seen on Rottnest island, where they are habituated to people and hang around the restaurants.

Placental mammals

Order Chiroptera: Bats

Family Pteropodidae: Flying Fox, Fruit bats

(Sydney Botanical Gardens, Australia)

Pteropus poliocephalus, 'Grey-headed Flying Fox'.

For the page on the Australian temperate forest and woodlands

For a video of a guided walk looking for Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies

Well it looks like my first trip after the virus now might be as an Expedition leader in Tasmania with Coral Expeditions. If you can't go travelling until everything settles down, then until then, here I am doing online guided walks for Noble Caledonia and online lectures for Silversea.