There is no denying the fact that the wildlife of the continent of Australia is very far-removed from the rest of the world. Have you ever wondered how and why marsupials have been able to do so well in Australia, whilst they are very rare in other parts of the world, for example?
The main secret behind extraordinary Australia all boils down to a geological phenomenon known as plate tectonics. The fact is that Australia has been drifting alone now for many tens of millions of years and given the lack of influence from other land masses, this is what has permitted the diverse wildlife of the country to do so well.
If we were to go back in time several million years, marsupials were actually a far more successful branch of mammals than they are today. In fact, fossils prove that they were doing very well in South America. It was not until the isthmus of Central America joined North and South America together, that placental mammals (like us) invaded the south and pretty much obliterated the species of placental mammals in South America. (more...)