Australia became a separate continent more than 200 million years ago, plenty of time for animals to develop in a distinctively different way from animals on other continents.
More than 120 species of marsupials, mammals that give birth to very immature babies who continue to develop in their mothers’ pouches, live in Australia today.
These include kangaroos, koalas, Tasmanian devils, wallabies, and wombats.
Most species of marsupials can be found in Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands, but there are also many species in the Americas.
Australia also has the greatest number of reptiles of any country in the world, with about 755 species.
Among other well known Australian fauna are the the platypus, and birds such as the emu and the kookaburra.
The dingo is not a native species and was introduced by Austronesian people.