40 Australian Creatures You Never Thought Existed

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Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

Image: That History Nerd

The second largest living bird by height, these feisty feather balls can do some serious damage. They grow up to 1.9 metres and when tested can run at speeds of 50km/h. An emu will not intentionally hurt you, but if it feels threatened it will lash out and kick. With sharp talons they can lacerate vital arteries, and have done so in the past.

Culturally, the emu has significant meaning, it appears in much of Aboriginal folklore and can also be found alongside the kangaroo on the Australian Coat of Arms. Much like kangaroo, it too is cooked on the barbeque and eaten.

Fun fact: Australians are the only people in the world to eat the animals that appear on their coat of arms.

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