Australia is home to many unusual creatures that are found nowhere else in the world. But, why does Australia have so many unique animals?
Well, the answer is pretty simple – but we have to go back in history to about 250 million years ago when this planet was covered in by huge landmass called Pangaea. Pangaea was a supercontinent that was made up of all the continents on Earth. Over time, this supercontinent broke apart, and the pieces slowly drifted away from one another.
About 60 to 80 million years ago, Australia became separated from the other continents by oceans and seas. Once this happened, Australia’s plant and animal species were cut off from the rest of the world. This meant that they evolved separately.
Today, 95% of mammals in Australia, 88% of reptiles and 94% of birds aren’t found anywhere else in the world.
One of these creatures is the koala. Even though it is called a koala bear it’s actually a marsupial, or pouched mammal. It’s only called a “bear” because of its teddy bear like appearance.
As an animal lover, I REALLY wanted to hold a koala during my Aussie adventure. However, I learned that koalas are not very social animals. Since they require about 20 hours of sleep per day, cuddling or even touching a koala disturbs its slumber. This can cause it a lot of stress, which can make a koala very sick. I’d never want to do that!
Even though I did not get to cuddle a koala, I did get very close. And let me tell you – they are just as adorable as I imagined!