Famous Fauna: A List of Australian Animals which have Made it into a David Attenborough Documentary

Occasionally an Australian animal hits the world headlines and becomes the focus of attention for a day or two. The Australian Tennis Open for example, always provides a platform to get international recognition for some Aussie animals at this time of year. Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the past have cuddled a Koala, and more recently in this years Australian open, even Chinas top ranked woman tennis player Zheng Jie was shown the Australian wildlife experience. However its unanimous that the most prestigious honour and fame an animal can get is to be featured on a David Attenborough Documentary. Some of the entries into this ultimate fauna fame are obvious and are the typical Aussie icons, yet some are less well known but definitely deserve the lime light.

Each Aussie animal that has been featured has both the series and episode they are featured in collated with there name. Representatives of all animal groups of Australia have been featured, some being featured more than others. Whether you are into Aussie birds, reptiles, mammals or frogs, there are some high quality and must see footage while highlight the unique ecology of Australian fauna. The Marsupial Frog (Assa darlingtoni) for example, has the first ever (and only) recording of a male tucking its tadpoles into its hip pockets. On the other hand, the Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandie) boasts one of the funniest moments with Sir Attenborough.

Below is a comprehensive list of all the Australian animals that have been graced by the presence of the king of conservation himself, David Attenborough.

 

Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis) – Life of Birds (1998), Episode 10 “The Limits of Endurance”  

Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

 

Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) – Life of Mammals (2002), Episode 1 “A Winning Design”  

Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) | Copyright Lucy Kidson 2014

Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) | Copyright Lucy Kidson 2014

 

Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) – Life of Mammals (2002), Episode 1 “A Winning Design”  

Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

 

Honey Possum (Tarsipes rostratus) – Life of Mammals (2002), Episode 1 “A Winning Design”  

 

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) – Life on Earth (1979), Episode 9 “The Rise of Mammals”  

 

Marsupial Frog (Assa darlingtoni) – Life in Cold Blood (2008), Episode 2 “Land Invaders”  

Marsupial Frog (Assa darlingtoni)  | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Marsupial Frog (Assa darlingtoni) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus) – Life of Mammals (2002), Episode 1 “A Winning Design”  

 

Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster) – Life of Birds (1998), Episode 10 “The Limits of Endurance”  

 

Perentie (Varanus giganteus) – Life in Cold (2008), Episode 3 “Dragons of the Dry”  

 

Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) – Life of Birds (1998), Episode 8 “The Demands of the Egg”  

Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2014

Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2014

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) – Life of Mammals (2002), Episode 1 “A Winning Design”  

 

Pygmy Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua adelaidensis) – Life in Cold (2008), Episode 3 “Dragons of the Dry”  

 

Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) – Life of Mammals (2002), Episode 1 “A Winning Design” & Life on Earth (1979), Episode 9 “The Rise of Mammals”

 

Regent Bower Bird (Sericulus chrysocephalus) – Bowerbirds: The Art of Seduction (2000)  

 

Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa) – Life in Cold (2008), Episode 3 “Dragons of the Dry”

Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

 

Spotted Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) – Life on Earth (1979), Episode 9 “The Rise of Mammals”  

 

Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) – Life of Birds (1998), Episode 7 “Finding Partners”  

 

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) – Life of Birds (1998), Episode 6 “Songs and Signals”  

Mating pair of Superb Lyrebirds (Menura novaehollandiae) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Mating pair of Superb Lyrebirds (Menura novaehollandiae) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) – Life on Earth (1979), Episode 9 “The Rise of Mammals”  

 

Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus) – Life in Cold (2008), Episode 4 “Sophisticated Serpents”

Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

 

Wombat (Vombatus ursinus) – Life of Mammals (2002), Episode 1 “A Winning Design” & Life on Earth (1979), Episode 9 “The Rise of Mammals”

Wombat (Vombatus ursinus) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Wombat (Vombatus ursinus) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa) – Life of Birds (1998), Episode 8 “The Demands of the Egg”

 

Wildlife documentaries are important as they not only bring the natural world to the doorstep of those who don’t get to wander, but they also highlight animal species which are not well known and are critically threatened. Animals such as the Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster) received a lot more donations and attention after they were featured on David Attenboroughs Life of Birds series. Overall a good wildlife documentary can inspire and impact many peoples lives, showing them that there are amazing natural curiosities out there to explore and discover.

Comment below on what your favourite moment is between Sir David Attenborough and Australian wildlife!