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Along with abundant birds and fish, dolphins appear regularly at beaches around Australia, and whales are frequent sights in winter. Phillip Island, off the south-east coast, is a breeding ground for fairy penguins, while sea lions and fur seals shelter a bit further west. The world's largest sea turtles turn up on beaches in the north.
Not all native beach dwellers are cute, though. A unique set of stinging creatures lurks in rocky pools and crevices. Bubble-like stinging fish called bluebottles, although relatively harmless, wreak havoc with their long, stinging tails. Box jellyfish and stonefish are more dangerous, but less common.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|