Fauna in Oceania
Oceania has a rich variety of animals. Australia has hundreds of species of mammal, birds, reptiles, frogs, and freshwater fish. Some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 90% of fish and insects and 93% of amphibians that inhabit Australia are endemic, (exist only in Australia). Marsupials are the most well known of all Australian mammals. Included are Kangaroos, Wallabies, Koalas, Wombats, Tasmanian Devils, and Possums. Monotremes, a more unusual class of mammal includes the Echidna and Duck Billed Platypus.
New Zealand is a an island archipelago that is populated by around 70 species of birds that are endemic with over one third of these being flightless and almost a quarter nocturnal. Notable New Zealand birds include the Kiwi, Tui, Bellbird,Kakapo, Takahe, and Weka. The most spectacular of all New Zealand birds, the Moa, was hunted to extinction by the time the first Europeans arrived in New Zealand. Some Moa's reached heights of 15 feet, making them the tallest bird in the world. New Zealand has no snakes.
Dispersal to isolated islands is difficult for land-based animals, and Oceania (with the exception of Australia), has few native land-based animals in comparison to the world's other ecozones. Larger animals that are found on continents, didn't exist in the islands of Oceania until they were introduced by humans. The ocean is not a barrier for many bird species and for this reason, they are relatively common. A number of islands have indigenous lizards that probably arrived on floating vegetation. There are few indigenous mammal species in Oceania with some islands recording no mammal species with the exception of bats which are found throughout Oceania.