Aborigine (a-bow-ri-gee-knee)

Aborigine means "from the beginning". The Aborigines who came to Australia probably came from Asia about 50,000 yeas ago.

Arboreal (are-bow-real)

Arboreal means on the top of trees. Arboreal animals normally spend most of their life high up on the tree tops.


Nematocysts are individual cells usually on the outer surface of the organism which have a variety of functions, most usually in defence or capture of prey species. These cells are known as stinging cells sometimes used to inject toxins which in some cases are toxic to man.

Mammal (mam-mal)

A mammal is an animal which feeds its babies milk. It has warm blood and breaths air. It usually has hair or fur and has a backbone.

There are three types of mammals:


A monotreme is a mammal which lays eggs like a bird or reptile but feeds its babies milk once they are hatched. There are only two monotremes in the world. They are both found in Australia. They are the echidna and the duck-billed platypus. The babies lick milk from the fur on their mother's tummy.


The female animal carries its babies in a pouch on the outside of its tummy. The babies are born really small and can't see. They crawl up their mother's tummy and into her pouch. They feed on milk there. They stay in her pouch till they are quite big and can take care of themselves. Almost all native mammals in Australia are marsupials.


In placental mammals the baby is carried inside its mother's tummy until it is quite big. (Humans, cows and sheep are examples of placental mammals). Only two placental mammals are native to Australia. They are rats and bats. All other placental mammals now in Australia were brought here by man.


Manna(man-na): a sugary liquid produced by a eucaplypt tree at the spot where insects or something else has damaged its leaves or branches.


Nocturnal means in the night. Nocturnal animals are usually active during the night.


An omnivore is an animal that has a diet consisting of plants, animals, insects, algae and fungi. They are usually opportunistic feeders. Omnivorous means an animal that is an omnivore.

Prehensile (pre-hen-sill)

A prehensile tail is one which can be used to grip things with. It is normally used to grip a branch while the animal is climbing or feeding