The large flightless cassowary bird (pictured) plays a vital role in the Daintree Rainforest's ecosystem. The bird helps disperse seeds in the rainforest, promoting plant growth. The cassowary is not friendly toward humans and will lash out with its large claws if cornered or disturbed when nesting. The adult cassowary stands just more than 5.5 feet in height and should not be fed by tourists.
The friendly azure kingfisher will fly close to visitors. The blue and orange birds are one of 11 species of kingfishers found on the continent.
While walking the winding trails of the Daintree Rainforest, look in the trees and on the ground for large goannas. The lizards can jump among the tree branches, swim or run along fallen leaves looking for insects, small mammals and scorpions for dinner. Do not approach a four-legged goanna standing on two legs, as they are frightened.
Other lizards to watch for in the Daintree Rainforest include the northern leaf-tailed gecko, eastern water dragon and the chameleon gecko.
The amethyst python, which can grow to a whopping 28 feet in length, is a common presence in the Daintree Rainforest. Known as the longest snake to inhabit Australia, the amethyst python climbs tress and slithers along the forest floor to hunt its prey.
Expect to also see eastern brown tree snakes. Stay away from this highly venomous snake.
Feral pigs are present and considered a nuisance in the Daintree Rainforest. The mammals spread root-rot fungus with their hooves and eat both native trees and animals. Visitors are amazed at the strength and force the pigs exhibit. Spying a feral pig is difficult since an average of only three pigs are found per square kilometer of rain forest.
Go on a night hike and look for the spotted cuscus hanging from an overhead tree limb. The nocturnal sloth-like creature is very shy. Take note of its two-thumb paws, opposable toes and small round face.
Visitors to the Daintree Rainforest expect to see kangaroos and are pleasantly surprised when they see the small kangaroo-like bandicoot. The marsupial hops on his hind legs, mimicking the kangaroo. Since the bandicoot is nocturnal, day visitors have to peek in logs and tunnels to spot the furry creatures. Sign up for a night hike to see the bandicoot in action.
The striped possum is also active in the evening. After leaping from branch to branch, visitors may see the marsupial hunt for beetles by tapping its feet on the bark of a tree. When the slight sound of running beetles is detected, the striped possum vivaciously tears into the tree bark to get its dinner.