BY DAY, the wilderness is tranquil and quiet. But at night, spine-chilling growls and screams echo through the forest. The source of the screeching? A feisty marsupial with an unfortunate name
These devils can clear the forest of carrion with amazing speed. Their powerful jaws and teeth can devour almost any carcass
Far more endearing is the gentle common wombat, a stocky animal with a cuddly appearance. Like all marsupials, female wombats have pouches and suckle their young. Yet, unlike their relatives’ pouches, those of the wombat face backward, doubtless to keep baby clean while mother scoops out their burrows. Wombats also have teeth that never stop growing
Another strange creature is the platypus. This odd-looking creature has a bill and webbed feet like a duck, a body and fur like an otter, and a tail like a beaver. It lays eggs like a chicken, burrows like a wombat, and suckles its young like a mother bear. Little wonder that the first scientist to examine one suspected that it was a hoax!