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Флора и фауна Австралии / Flora and fauna of Australia

The isolated geographical position of Australia had great influence on its fauna and flora. That is why many animals and plants developed differently from those on other continents.

Australia is a land of birds and animals which can not be found anywhere else in the world.

Australia’s endemic animals and birds are:

  • the kangaroo
  • the koala
  • the wombat
  • the echidna
  • the platypus
  • the dingo (wild dog)
  • the emu
  • the kookaburra

The most peculiar feature of Australian animals is the pouch (that is a kind of a pocket). The best known of them are the kangaroo and the koala bear.

The kangaroo is a marsupial animal, i.e. an animal that carries babies in the pouch for eight months. It is the largest marsupial in the world. It can weigh 85 kilogrammes.

Australians call a male kangaroo "a boomer", a female kangaroo — "a flyer" and a baby kangaroo — "a joye".

Why a "kangaroo"? When European explorers first saw these strange hopping animals they asked a native Australian Aborigine about their name. He answered "kangaroo" to say "I don’t understand your question".

The explorers thought this was the animal’s name. That is how the kangaroo got its name.

The koala is a small bear - like animal which lives in the eucalyptus trees. Most of its time the koala spends in these trees sleeping. However, they like to eat only some kinds of eucalyptus trees that grow in Australia.

Koala has a black nose and thick furry coat. It can weigh 10 kilogrammes. Though it looks very cuddly it has very sharp teeth and very sharp claws.

The koala’s nickname is a "native bear".

Many people believe that koala is a bear but it is not even related to bears. The koala is related to the kangaroo and the wombat.

The reason why it is called "bear" is that it looks very much like a teddy bear.

The name "koala" is the Aboriginal name for "no water".

The echidna and the platypus are the only two egg-laying mammals in the world.

The echidna is a toothless ant-eater and is an egg-laying mammal.

The platypus is a small animal with a beak of a duck and it also lays eggs.

The dingo is a wild dog about 50 centimetres high and usually sandy-coloured.

There are also such endemic animals as the Tasmanian Devil and the opossum.

Tasmanian Devils live on their own, and come out at night to hunt for food. They eat small birds and mammals, as well as insects. They have black coat and a small bear-shaped head.

There are 800 varieties of birds in Australia. Among them there are emus, eagles, hawks, parrots, cockatoos, lyrebirds, bower-birds, kookaburras and black swans.

The emu is a large bird which runs well but cannot fly. The emu and the kangaroo are represented at the emblem of Australia.

The kookaburra is a popular Australian bird that sounds like a human laughing.

Many beautiful Australian birds have unmelodious voices.

Some of Australia’s fauna can be very dangerous to people. There are crocodiles in the North. There are also spiders and poisonous snakes (death-adder and tiger snake, for example).

Though the emu and the kangaroo are symbols of Australia, there is a very popular animal which is less exotic but it also symbolizes the country. It is a sheep merino which is famous for its fine wool. There is even a monument to the sheep in one of the Australian cities.

Because Australian climate is good for sheep-farming there are a lot of sheep farms (called "sheep stations") in many parts of the country where wool is produced for export. There are around 150 million of sheep.

The climate in Australia is very dry. Because of this there are places like deserts where very little or almost nothing grows.

In the North there are tropical forests, in the north-east there are savannahs and grassland, in the south-east there are forests of eucalyptus or other ever-green trees which never lose their leaves, even in winter.

Some plants cannot be found in other parts of the world either. They are endemic. Its main native plants are wattle (or acacia), eucalyptus (or gum), mulga (mimosa), palm, fern and cedar.

Australia is sometimes called "Kangarooland" and "the Land of wattle", "the Lucky country" or "Down Under".

Перевод некоторых слов:

endemic — эндемический; свойственный данной местности; the kangaroo — кенгуру; the koala bear — коала; the wombat — вомбат (травоядное сумчатое животное); the echidna — ехидна; the platypus — утконос; the emu — эму (страус); the kookaburra — кукабарра, смеющийся зимородок; marsupial — сумчатый; the Tasmanian Devil — тасманский дьявол; merino — меринос (порода овец); wattle — австралийская акация или мимоза; eucalyptus — эвкалипт; gum — камедное дерево (сорт низкорослого эвкалипта); mulga — акация безжилковая; fern — папоротник; cedar — кедр

Данный текст поможет вам написать сочинение по английскому языку для 8, 9, 10, 11 классов на темы "Флора и фауна Австралии", "Животные и растения Австралии", "Австралийская флора и фауна".

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