This is content that we can all agree on at all times.
Australia, a country/continent that already has a lot going for it—sunny weather, cultural treasures, booming cities, and world-class wineries—is perhaps, most importantly, home to some pretty dang cute fauna. We’ve rounded up a few examples to show you why we feel this way.
Aside from, say, kangaroos, koalas are arguably the country’s second most-recognizable native fauna. Actually, maybe it’s a tie. Actually, I don’t know. Anyway, located primarily in Australia’s coastal areas, the Koala’s closest relative is the wombat and their most comfortable in, as you may know, dwelling in trees (where they feed mostly on leaves). Their furry ears and stout-like body have been comforting animal lovers for ages and their recent unfortunate involvement in Australia’s devastating bushfires was deeply upsetting. Fortunately, in recent months (since the fires have subsided), many of the cute critters who were rescued in the country-wide disaster have been released back into the wild.
The kangaroo is synonymous with the island nation and, having visited recently myself, I can attest that the species roam as freely as deer do in the U.S. Indigenous to Australia, these marsupials can determine the sex of their offspring. That’s right, they “rely on some sort of unknown physiological mechanism” to do so—an evolutionary strategy that’s pretty revolutionary. Additionally, did you know there are more kangaroos in Australia than there are humans? Literally, too much cuteness to handle.
Another member of the marsupial family, these carnivorous, nocturnal pups can be quite fierce—they’ve been known to climb up and capture prey in trees—however, that doesn’t stop them from being objectively cute. Right? I mean, their meals consist of smaller mammals, birds, and insects, so major threats to humans who veer into their territories aren’t largely present. About the size of a cat, quolls typically live 2-5 years and can be found in a variety of environments in Australia and New Guinea, including forests, pastures, and deserts.
Fun fact: Quolls can’t see anything for the first 60 days of their lives.
Not to be confused with the quoll (or a baby kangaroo, actually), the quokka is about the same size and nocturnal, but strictly herbivorous. Their big eyes and fluffy appearance (not unlike that of a koala, actually!) make them extremely photogenic; just ask Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, who had a now-viral encounter with one not too long ago.
INSIDER TIPIf you come across one in the wild and choose to grab a photograph, please be patient and do not touch or invade its space—in fact, heed these instructions for every little pup on this list!
An Australia marsupial that you may get confused with one of the other mammals on this list (particularly the quokka and/or the quoll), wombats have short, stout legs and wide bodies making them, well, absolute units that can mostly in Australia’s forested areas. Wombats also have a backward pouch (where they store their young), so, when burrowing with their teeth/claws, dirt is not strewn in the wombat child’s face. Make no mistake though, while their teeth are powerful and they can actually run as quickly as humans, wombats are herbivores who, at the end of the day, use their butts as their main forms of defense. Hrm, on second thought, maybe that is kind of upsetting.
No, the platypus isn’t actually a Pokémon, but you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that it was. With its webbed feet and beaver-like tail, the duck-billed, semi-aquatic, egg-laying mammal can be found mostly in rivers and streams. In fact, platypuses are one of only two egg-laying mammals in the world and they can live to be up to 17.
Fun fact: The male platypus has a barb on its hind foot that emits poison. While there have been no recorded human fatalities—only swelling is likely to occur around the affected area—dogs have been unfortunately been said to have met an untimely demise via the venom.
Said to have roamed Australia for nearly 15 million years, these nocturnal critters (also known as rabbit-bandicoots), with their long snouts, dig out their dinner (ex: spiders, fungi, termites) after using their keen sense of smell to case the area (their eyesight is not good). They’re also found mainly in deserts/arid areas and, since they ingest all of their water throw their food, the bilby doesn’t need to actively drink water. Equally important, they, much like the platypus, would fit right at home in the Pokémon universe.