Pencil sketch head study of the Red Panda, also known as the Firefox.
Concluding the series on Australia’s unique and fascinating animals is the ever popular – Koala. Sometimes called Koala “bears” these marsupials are not bears at all. Spending most of it’s time in the eucalyptus trees where it feeds on the leaves, these fascinating creatures can sleep up to 18 hours a day. When on the ground, Koalas can run as fast as a rabbit.
A very unique mammal found along the eastern edge of Australia – the Duck-Billed Platypus. These semi-aquatic creatures are bottom feeders that hunt for insects, larvae, worms and shellfish. With their webbed feet and strong tail they move very gracefully through the water in search of prey. Like the Echidna, the Platypus is the only other mammal that lay eggs. Male Platypuses possess venomous stingers in their rear feet.
In honor of Waitangi Day (Feb 6) in New Zealand are two featured sketches of the national bird – the Kiwi. A flightless bird indigenous to the island nation, the Kiwi are the only birds with nostrils at the end of it’s beak. There are six varieties of Kiwi found in New Zealand. A nocturnal bird that feeds on worms, insects and berries they form mating pairs for life. A female Kiwi can lay up to 100 eggs during it’s lifetime.
The second largest bird in the world – the Emu – is common throughout most of mainland Australia. The Emu is a flightless bird capable of sprinting at speeds up to 30mph (48 km/h) and is the only bird with calf muscles. The powerful legs of the Emu allows them to jump up to heights of 7 feet – straight up.