Australian Fauna

When Humans first came to Australia about 66,000 years ago Australia had a rich fauna dominated by the megafauna. The peak mammalian predator was the Thylacoleo carnifex, perhaps the deadliest large carnivore for its size that has ever existed anywhere on Earth.

Near the rivers and coast we faced the gigantic Estuarine Crocodile, Crocodylus porosus . On land, there was the Giant Roamer, Varanus priscus , a giant monitor lizard, probably the biggest terrestrial reptile since the dinosaurs and perhaps the biggest venomous animal that ever existed.

Some of Australia’s megafauna died out soon after humans arrived, but many of them survived alongside people for thousands of years. The introduction of the semi-domesticated Indian wolf that developed into the Dingo further disrupted the native Australian fauna on the mainland.

After the English colonized the continent, the rate of extinction of native animals accelerated enormously. We still have many animals which are not found anywhere else in the world.