Australia: Wild Extremes

Experience Australia's
Wild Extremes

Australia: Wild Extremes

Winner of the 2008 AZA Exhibit of the Year

This exhibit depicts a typical northern Australia river gorge. This slice of Australia in Baltimore offers visitors a truly immersive experience: as you walk through the bottom of the gorge, get close to 1,800 individual native animals representing 120 species, including freshwater crocodiles, turtles, fishes, snakes, lizards, free-flying birds, and flying foxes. Many of these unique and unusual animals are found only in Australia.

Australia's Majesty

Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, the continent of Australia is roughly 3 million square miles in size. Its six different climatic zones give Australia a wide variety of habitats.

From the Great Barrier Reef to the Outback, Australia is home to more than 5,700 different animal species…a staggering number when you consider how much of the island continent remains unexplored.

Did you know? Seventeen of the world’s 26 most venomous snake species live in Australia. Death adders inject, on average, 40–100 mg of highly toxic venom in each bite.

The Great Barrier Reef

Australia is also home to the world’s largest living structure, the Great Barrier Reef, which is 1,500 miles in length. Comprised of over 3,000 individual reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef hosts thousands of species of fish, mollusks, sharks, marine mammals and sea turtles. It is the world’s largest marine sanctuary and just one of the countless biodiverse natural wonders Australia has to offer. View our coral reef infographic.

Meet the Laughing Kookaburra

The laughing kookaburra is Australia’s national symbol. One of four known species of kookaburra, it is the only species that is recognized for its laugh-like call. Laughing kookaburras make a variety of call sounds, which are used for everything from courtship to marking territory. FUN FACT: The call of the kookaburra is commonly used in movies to imitate the sound of monkeys in a jungle!

Animals in This Exhibit

  • Australian Freshwater Crocodile

    Australian freshwater crocodiles have strong legs, clawed webbed feet, and powerful tails.

    Austalian freshwater crocodile
  • Barramundi

    The Australian barramundi is a silver fish that thrives in the coastal and fresh waters of northern and western Australia.

  • Black-Headed Python

    Learn more about one of Australia’s more beautiful pythons.

    Black Headed Python
  • Broad-Shelled Turtle

    This turtle’s long neck can add another 80 percent to its body length

    Broad Shell Snake-Necked Turtle
  • Death Adder

    The death adder is extremely venomous.

    Death Adder
  • Gouldian Finch

    Gouldian finches are small, brightly colored birds. They have green backs, yellow bellies, and purple breasts, with a light blue uppertail and a cream undertail. Sometimes called lady gouldians, their facial color can vary, but black is the most common, followed by red and the very rare yellow. The birds inhabit open woodlands near water sources and generally nest in hollowed tree branches.

    Gouldian Finch
  • Grey-headed Flying Fox

    The grey-headed flying fox is the largest of the flying foxes.

    Gray-headed flying fox
  • Irwin’s Snapping Turtle

    The National Aquarium is the only place in the world you can see this turtle outside of Australia!

    Irwins Turtle
  • Kimberley Snake-Necked Turtle

    As its name indicates, this turtle is found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, Australia.

    Fitzroy River Snake-Necked Turtle
  • Laughing Kookaburra

    The laughing kookaburra is Australia's national symbol.

    National Aquarium – Laughing Kookaburra
  • Mouth Almighty

    The mouth almighty is a freshwater fish typically found in ponds and slow-moving waters of northern Australia.

    Mouth Almighty
  • Pig-nosed Turtle

    This aquatic turtle, also called the Fly River turtle, is a strange animal! It is the only freshwater turtle with flippers resembling those of marine turtles.

    Pig-Nosed Turtle
  • Spiny-Tailed Monitor

    The spiny-tailed monitor, also known as the ridge-tailed monitor or spiny-tailed “goanna,” exists in a number of sizes and colors throughout northwestern Australia.

    National Aquarium – Spiny-tailed monitor
  • Swainson’s Lorikeet

    Swainson’s lorikeets might seem like an easy bird to spot. But in their native habitat, lorikeets' vibrant colors provide the perfect camouflage.

    National Aquarium – Rainbow Lorikeet
  • Tawny Frogmouth

    The tawny frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl.

    National Aquarium – Tawny frogmouth

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John Seyjagat
Curator of Australian Exhibits

pressroom striped fish

As curator of the Australian exhibits, John's daily tasks include managing the exhibit staff and making sure all of our animals are healthy and happy! Learn More

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