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crocodile, large, carnivorous reptile of the order Crocodilia, found in tropical and subtropical regions. Crocodiles live in swamps or on river banks and catch their prey in the water. They have flattened bodies and tails, short legs, and powerful jaws. The eyes, ears, and nostrils are located near the top of the head and are exposed when the crocodile floats on the surface of the water. The ears and nostrils have valves that close when the animal is submerged. Most crocodiles are more aggressive than the related alligators. The two forms are distinguished by the long lower fourth tooth: in crocodiles, but not in alligators, this tooth protrudes on the side of the head when the mouth is closed. The snouts of most crocodiles are narrower than those of alligators. Small crocodiles feed on fish and small aquatic animals; larger ones also catch land mammals and birds that approach the water. Members of some large species sometimes attack and eat humans. The female crocodile deposits her eggs, usually about 20 in number, in a nest of rotting vegetation or in a shallow pit on the river bank, and digs them up when she hears them hatching. In most species the average adult length is between 6 and 10 ft (1.8–3 m). The largest crocodile (the saltwater crocodile) is often 14 ft (4.3 m) long and may exceed 20 ft (6 m) in length. The Nile, American, and Orinoco crocodiles are commonly 12 ft (3.7 m) long, and specimens up to 23 ft (7 m) long have been reported for the last two species. The smallest crocodile (the Congo dwarf crocodile) averages 3 1/2 ft (105 cm) long. With the exception of the two African dwarf crocodiles (Osteolaemus) and the so-called false gavial (Tomistoma) of Asia, crocodiles are classified in the genus Crocodylus, with about a dozen species. The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is found in fresh- and saltwater throughout S and central Africa. In early historic times it ranged N to the Nile delta and the Mediterranean coast. It sometimes attacks humans, as does the saltwater crocodile (C. porosus), found on islands and in straits from SE Asia to Australia and Melanesia. The marsh crocodile, or mugger (C. palustris), is a freshwater species of India and Sri Lanka, regarded as sacred in some regions. The American crocodile (C. acutus) is found in fresh- and saltwater in S Florida, the West Indies, Central America, and NW South America. It does not attack humans without provocation. The Orinoco crocodile (C. intermedius) is a freshwater species of the Orinoco basin of Colombia and Venezuela. Two smaller species are found in limited areas of Central America and Cuba. Crocodiles are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Crocodilia, family Crocodilidae. See also gavial.
dingo [ding'gO]: wild dog of Australia, believed to have been introduced thousands of years ago by the aboriginal settlers of that continent. The only large carnivorous mammal found in Australia by the first European colonists, it stands about 24 in. (61 cm) high at the shoulder and has large, erect ears, a wolflike head, and rather long legs. It is usually yellowish red in color, with white markings on the underside, feet, and tip of tail. The dingo mates once a year and has a litter of up to eight pups. In the wild state it howls rather than barks, is nocturnal in its hunting habits, and usually travels in small groups. Although most often its quarry is small animals, the dingo's predation on livestock has caused serious economic loss in some areas of the continent. It has often been kept as a pet by the natives and used by them in hunting. The dingo is classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Canidae, genus Canis, species dingo.
Australian terrier, breed of small, hardy terrier perfected in Australia c.1885. It stands about 10 in. (25.4 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 12 to 14 lb (5.5–6.4 kg). Its weather-resistant double coat consists of a soft, short underlayer and a straight, harsh outercoat about 2.5 in. (6.4 cm) long. It is silver-black or blue-black in color with rich tan markings on the head and legs. The Australian terrier is descended from the now extinct broken-hair, or rough-coated, terrier, a dog of widespread popularity in the early 18th cent. and believed to be the progenitor of many terrier breeds. For show purposes the rough-coated terrier was crossed with several British sporting terriers, probably the cairn, Dandie Dinmont, Irish, and Skye, producing the Australian terrier of today. Originally used to guard mines and herd sheep, it is now primarily raised as a pet.
The lyrebird got its name from the lyre, a musical instrument. This bird was
named after the lyre because the male birds have long tail feathers that look
like lyres. The females are the size of chickens and have brown feathers.
There are two species of lyrebirds: the Superb Lyrebird and Prince Albert's
Lyrebird. The Prince Albert Lyrebird lives in forested areas of southeast Australia. These birds have beautiful songs and imitate songs of other birds. They don't
use their wings for flying but mainly run and leap on the ground. They eat snails and insects. Lyrebirds mate for life. The female builds a dome-shaped nest where she lays
only one egg. After the bird hatches it stays with its parents for 3 to 4 years.
The koala is known as the Australian bear, but is much closer to being a relative of the kangaroo. They are only found wild in the woods of Australia. Koalas are arboreal marsupials living in Queensland and Victoria. They eat the leaves on the eucalyptus trees. Koalas are 2 to 2 1/2 feet long, tailless, and have thick, soft, grayish fur. They have large furry ears, a curved, black nose, little eyes, and five toes on each foot so it can hold on to things and climb.
Australian kelpie, breed of medium-sized sheepherding dog originating in Australia c.1870. It stands from 17 to 20 in. (43.2–50.8 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 25 to 30 lb (11.3–13.6 kg). Its short, dense, straight coat is harshly textured and may be any of a variety of colors, e.g., black, black and tan, red, red and tan, fawn, chocolate, or smoke blue. It has generally been accepted that the border collie and probably the dingo were ancestors of the kelpie. Trained to respond both to hand signal and whistle, this rugged sheep dog is equally adept in pens or on the open plain and has proven indispensable to the Australian herder. The kelpie is exhibited in the miscellaneous class at dog shows sanctioned by the American Kennel Club.
The most obvious characteristic is the reason for its name, that is that its muzzle is long and pointed.
Its colour is mainly Greyish brown on their back, whilst their underside creamy white as is parts of their feet
Their coat is bristly and rough, and they have no bars on their rump like many other species of bandicoots do.
Total length: 12 to 17 inches (approx)
Tail length: 5 to 6 inches (approx)
Weight: 850 gram to 1.1 Kg (approx)
HABITAT & LOCATION
You can find long nosed bandicoots in forests including rainforests. They like plenty of moisture though.
They are found along the entire East coast of Australia including Tasmania
As already stated they are Nocturnal foraging for food at night and during the day living in their leaf and vegetation lined nests, often in logs, crevices or scrapped out burrows or tunnels.
They are very solitary animals and will chase other bandicoots away except in their mating seasons.
When called onto fight they use their hind legs and bite only as a last resort.
Long Nosed Bandicoots love to feed on insects, other small invertebrates and soft roots of plants.
They dig holes (using their forepaws) big enough for their long noses to reach in and eat insects etc. hiding underground or in rotting logs half buried in the forest floor.
These bandicoots can often be heard sniffing at night time whilst searching for food or issuing shrill whistles and grunt-like sounds when food is found.
Though breeding can take place throughout the year, winter is not a favoured time.
A mature female (5 months +) has 8 teats in a backward facing pouch, but usually only rears two or three young.
In ideal weather and habitat (e.g. supply of food) the female can have babies every seven weeks.
The young bandicoots suckle for eight weeks and then a couple of weeks later become independent.
There are two types of crocodiles to be wary of: the saltwater crocodile, the saltie, and the freshwater crocodile, the freshie.
Both are found in northern Australia, in swamps, billabongs, rivers, estuaries, or wherever water is found.
The freshie will leave you alone if you leave it alone. It will attack if provoked.
The saltie will attack even when unprovoked and is a real danger. Don't believe you are safe from salties if you are far from the sea as they have been sighted much further inland away from salt water.
Freshies have narrower snouts and are rarely more than three metres long. Salties are generally larger and with a fuller snout, and hey! watch out for those teeth.
If you can't distinguish between the two, or don't have the time or inclination to figure out what type of crocodile you see, be wary of any crocodile and don't venture anywhere they are known to be.
Both are protected species in the Northern Territory and are estimated to be around 100,000 in number.
In 1859, Thomas Austin brought two dozen wild rabbits to Australia and let them go. In 3 years the rabbit population reached 500 million. Myxomatosis, a virus disease that attacks rabbits, was brought to Australia in 1936, to kill a lot of the rabbits because they were becoming a nuisance. Wild rabbits have brownish fur with white, light brown, gray, dark reddish-brown or black mixed together. They live in shrubs, weeds, grasses, leaves or in holes in the ground. Rabbits eat plants, vegetables, and twigs and bark off of bushes and trees. Female rabbits have 4 to 5 baby rabbits at a time. They may give birth several times a year.
Bandicoots are native to Australia, New Guinea, Papua, and Tasmania. They are marsupials. The bandicoot ranges from about 10 to 20 inches long. Most species of bandicoot have long noses. Bandicoots fight with their hind legs and only bite if they have to. Bandicoots are very territorial and will attack other bandicoots that intrude on their territory.
Bandicoots' fur is orange, gray, brown, and sometimes striped. They use their clawed hind legs for hopping. Many species of bandicoot are either rare or extinct. This marsupial is usually nocturnal and hides in hollow logs, nests or crevices. They eat insects, small animals, and plants.
bustard quail or button quail,any of the small ground-running Old World birds of the family Turnicidae. Also called a hemipode, it resembles a true quail in appearance and way of life but is more closely related to sandgrouse and pigeons. Bustard quails have short tails and rounded wings and lack a hind toe. They are secretive birds, inhabiting grass and brush country and open woodlands, and are found throughout Australia, S Asia, and Africa, with one species extending into S Spain. They travel singly, in pairs, in small family groups, or, in some species, in covoys of 15 to 30 birds. Their diet consists of seeds, shoots, and small insects. The bustard quail female is larger and more colorful than the male, and takes the lead in courtship; she has a specialized vocal organ for giving the booming mating call. The nest is on the ground and is constructed by both sexes. After the female has laid her clutch, typically of four eggs, the male incubates the eggs and rears the young. There are 15 species of bustard quail, classified in two genera of the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Gruiformes, family Turnicidae.
numbat , small marsupial, of SW Australia, also known as the marsupial anteater. The numbat, Myrmecobius fasciatus, resembles a squirrel in size and general appearance, but is adapted for eating insects, with a pointed snout and a long, cylindrical tongue covered with a sticky secretion. The body is brown with white transverse stripes and the tail is bushy. The numbat lives in eucalyptus forests and feeds chiefly on termites, which it finds in fallen branches and under litter. It sleeps by night in a den in a hollow log. Like other marsupials, numbats give birth to very undeveloped young, which crawl to the mother's teats and remain attached to them for several months; unlike most marsupials, however, numbats do not have pouches surrounding the teats. Numbats are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Marsupialia, family Dasyuridae.
Only around 10% of Australia's snakes are really poisonous. There are about 140 species of snakes in Australia. The most poisonous land snake is the inland tiapan found in south-western Queensland and north-eastern South Australia. A very small amount of its venom is enough to kill a quarter of a million mice. Tiger snakes, death adders, copperheads, brown snakes, and red-bellied black snakes are all also highly venomous. They usually stay hidden. You should always wear boots, socks, and heavy weight pants when you're going some place where there may be snakes. Never stick your hands down any holes. They will usually only try to bite in self-defense.
Quokkas look like wallabies, but have short tails. They are a little bit larger than a house cat, ranging from 70-85 cm. in height. Their hind legs are about 10 cm. long. They have long, brown fur, small faces, small, fuzzy ears, and a hairless tails.
Quokkas live on two islands of western Australia. They used to live all over Australia, but now they can only be found on the Rottnest Island, off the western coast of Australia, where they have their own area fenced off for their protection. Since the Rottnest Island gets very hot during the summer, quokkas are able to reuse part of their own waste, if they can't find any food or water.
Nudibranch Psychedelic skin tones tell predators this shell-less snail packs a poisonous punch. But most nudibranchs weren't born toxic. Nudibranchs snack on sea squirts, sponges, and hydroids that are poisonous to other animals. But instead of breaking down their preys' toxins, nudibranchs incorporate them into their own armories. And that's not all they can recycle.So-called solar-powered nudibranchs eat soft corals, which generally have algae living in their tissues. When solar-powered nudibranchs eat soft corals, they don't digest the algae, they keep them in their outer tissues. There the algae continue photosynthesizing, converting sunlight into food for themselves and their new host
Croc attack prevention
There are thousands of attacks and fatalities from saltwater crocodiles in Australia and Asia, and from Nile crocodiles in Africa, here are a few prevention tips:
1. Do not swim or wade in areas crocodiles are known to inhabit.
2. Do not swim or wade alone, and always check out the area before venturing in.
3. Never feed Crocodiles.
4. Do not dangle arms and legs from boats, and avoid throwing unused bait or fish from a boat or dock.
5. Do not harass, try to touch or capture any croc.
6. Leave babies and eggs alone. Any adult crocodile will respond to a distress call form any youngster.
In most cases attacking crocodiles have been fed by humans prior to the attack. Feeding them seems to cause crocodiles to lose their fear of humans and become more aggressive.
Edited extract from ‘Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel.
Published by: Chronicle Books and available from Hardie Grant Books.
Opossum [upos'um, pos'–]
opossum , name for several marsupials, or pouched mammals, of the family Didelphidae, native to Central and South America, with one species extending N to the United States. With the exception of an obscure group found in South American forests, opossums are the only living marsupials outside the Australia–New Guinea region. Extremely abundant despite the encroachment of civilization and apparently little changed over millions of years, they owe their success to their adaptability, omnivorous diet, and rapid reproductive rate. Opossums are more or less arboreal, nocturnal animals, with long noses, naked ears, prehensile tails, and opposable hind toes tipped with flat pads. They eat small animals, eggs, insects, and fruit. The common, or Virginia, opossum, Didelphis marsupialis, ranges from Argentina to the N United States; it is found mostly in wooded areas and is common in the SE United States. The common opossum resembles a large rat, with a white face and long, coarse fur of mixed white-tipped and black-tipped hairs. It spends time both in trees and on the ground and makes nests of leaves, usually in holes in trees. When frightened it goes into a state of collapse; this involuntary “playing possum” sometimes saves it from predators, who lose interest in an apparently dead animal. The female usually has the typical marsupial pouch, although it is absent in some of the South American species. The 6 to 18 young are born after a gestation of 12 days and weigh 1/15 oz. (1.9 grams); they crawl through the mother's fur to the pouch where they are carried and nursed for three months. After emerging, they ride on the mother's back, clinging to her fur or tail with their own tails. Because it raids domestic poultry and corn, the opossum is hunted in the South as a pest, as well as for food and sport. Among the other opossum species are the tiny mouse opossums (Marmosa species) and the yapok, or water opossum (Chironectes minimus), which has webbed feet and leads a semi-aquatic existence. The yapok ranges from Guatemala to Brazil. Opossums are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Marsupialia, family Didelphidae.
See study by J. F. Keefe (1967).
Croc attack advice
If you have the gross misfortune to be attacked by a saltwater crocodile, the following tips may just save your life!
1. If you are on land, try to get on the croc's back and put downward pressure on its neck. This will force its head and jaws down.
2. Cover the Croc's eyes. This will usually make it more sedate.
3. If you are attacked, go for the eyes and nose. Use any weapon you have or your fist.
4. If its jaws are closed on something you want to remove (for example, a limb), tap or punch it on the snout. Crocodiles often open their mouths when tapped lightly. They may drop whatever it is they have taken hold of and back off.
5. If the crocodile gets you in its jaws, you must prevent it from shaking you or from rolling over- these instinctive actions cause severe tissue damage. Try to keep the mouth clamped shut so the croc does not begin shaking.
6. Seek medical attention immediately, even for a small cut or bruise, to treat infection. Crocodiles have a huge number of pathogens in their mouths.
Edited extract from ‘Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel.
Published by: Chronicle Books and available from Hardie Grant Books.
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.
Large, noise-producing insect of the order Homoptera, with a stout body, a wide, blunt head, protruding eyes, and two pairs of membranous wings. The front wings, which are longer than the rear pair, extend beyond the insect's abdomen. Male cicadas have platelike membranes on the thorax, which they vibrate like drum heads, producing a loud, shrill sound. Females of most species are mute. Characteristic songs are produced by members of different species; each also produces a noise indicating irritation, and some have special courtship songs. There are about 2,000 cicada species distributed throughout the tropical and temperate regions of the world; they are most numerous in Asia and Australia. There are about 180 species in North America; adults of these species range from approximately 1 to 2 in. (2.5–5 cm) in length. The periodical cicadas (Megacicada species), found in the eastern half of the continent, have the longest known life cycles of any insect. Because of their periodic appearance they are often called locusts, although they are not related to true locusts. Their life cycle takes 17 years in northern species (the so-called 17-year locusts) and 13 years in southern species; the two types overlap in parts of the United States. The female deposits her eggs in slits that she cuts in young twigs. In about six weeks the wingless, scaly larvae, or nymphs, drop from the tree and burrow into the ground, where they remain for 13 or 17 years, feeding on juices sucked from roots. The nymphs molt periodically as they grow; finally the full-grown nymphs emerge at night, climb tree trunks and fences, and shed their last larval skin. The winged adults, which generally emerge together in large numbers, live for about one week. Different broods mature at regular intervals, so that at least one colony is conspicuous in some part of the United States each year, and even in a given locality a brood may appear every few years. Other North American cicadas (Tibicen species and others) are known as dog-day cicadas, or harvest flies, because the adults appear in late summer. Their life cycle is thought to be similar to that of the periodical cicadas, but in most species it is completed in two years. Cicada larvae do little damage, but when adults appear in large numbers their egg-laying may damage young trees. Cicadas are sometimes kept for their song in Asia, as they were in ancient Greece. They are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Homoptera, family Cicadidae.
bowerbird, common name for any of several species of birds of the family Ptilonorhynchidae, native to Australia and New Guinea, which build, for courtship display, a bower of sticks or grasses. Usually the males construct the bowers, some of which are large (up to 9 ft/275 cm high), while others are like small cabins or runways. The crestless gardener bowerbird, Amblyornis inornatus, makes a lawn around its bower. Colored stones, shells, feathers, flowers, and other bright objects, which are replaced when they become withered or worn, are used to decorate the lawns and the bowers. The satin bowerbird, Ptilonorhyncus violaceus, prefers blue decorative articles. The bower is constructed by the male in his effort to attract a female and probably has no other function than for the courtship performance. After mating has taken place in the bower, a nest is built by the female away from the bower, and there the clutch of two eggs is laid. The birds are crowlike and lack the showy plumage of the related bird of paradise. The bowers may be high pyramids, such as those built by the five species of maypole builder bowerbirds, or lower, more intricate, and painted with blue and green paints made of saliva and pigments, such as those built by the satin bowerbird and regent bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus). The great gray bowerbird (genus Chlamydera) of Australia is the largest member of the family, being 15 in. (37.5 cm) long. Bowerbirds do not have very pleasant calls, but they are good mimics; sometimes other species' songs are included in their repertoires. Bowerbirds are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Ptilonorhynchidae.
The Tasmanian tiger lives in Tasmania and off Australia's southeast coast. There are very few left on Earth. They are also called Tasmanian wolves or thylacines. They aren't really tigers or wolves. They are just called that because they have short gray or yellowish-brown fur and dark stripes across their back. These tigers are about 5 feet long and 2 to 3 feet tall. They have strong legs, a slim bodies, and rounded ears. Tasmanian tigers eat kangaroos and wallabies. Since thylacine are marsupials, they carry their young in their pouches.
echidna or spiny anteater,primitive animal of the order Monotremata, the egg-laying mammals. A short-legged, grayish brown animal, the echidna is covered with sharp quills and can protect itself by rolling into a tight bristly ball. It may reach 18 in. (46 cm) in length. Padded soles and stout claws make it a clumsy walker but a strong and rapid burrower. The echidna has only a rudimentary tail and lacks both external ears and teeth. With its sensitive muzzle and long sticky tongue it probes for ants and termites. It is nocturnal and hibernates in winter. There are two genera and several species of echidna; all are native to the sandy and rocky areas of New Guinea, E Australia, and Tasmania. Females produce one or two eggs, which are deposited in a rudimentary marsupial pouch. The newly hatched young remain in the pouch, feeding on a milky fluid, until their spines begin to grow. Echidnas are not closely related to true anteaters, which are higher mammals. They are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Monotremata.
wombat, shy marsupial of Australia and Tasmania, related to the koala. The wombat is a thick-set animal with a large head, short legs (giving it a shuffling gait), and a very short tail. It is about 3 ft (91.5 cm) long. Its snout is either naked, as in the species Vombatus ursinus, or furred, as in Lasiorhinus latifrons. Its incisors, the only teeth, grow continually, like those of rodents. Wombats are native to savanna forests and grasslands. They are solitary, nocturnal animals that feed chiefly on grass, roots, and bark and have been known to gnaw down large trees. They are powerful burrowers, digging tunnels by lying on their sides and pushing out soil with their feet. Their burrows, which may be 100 ft (31.5 m) long, terminate in grassy nests. A single infant is carried by its mother in a marsupial pouch for a period of 6 to 12 months. Extinct wombats as large as hippopotamuses are known from fossil evidence. Wombats are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Marsupialia, family Vombatidae.
This is one of the slowest growing wattles, taking up to 10 years to reach a height of 0.5 metres, and 150 - 250 years to reach 6 metres. The population of this species has been dramatically affected by the introduction of rabbits and sheep.
Sheep in particular cause a twofold damage, in that, apart from grazing, their hooves disturb the ground around younger trees, which can result in the death of these junior trees
Dingoes are not native to Australia but they were introduced to it so long ago that they might as well be. Some dingoes have been domesticated, but most are wild. People do not generally like dingoes because they go after sheep and cattle although they have helped by killing small (or large) rodents. Since they have been introduced to Australia, the number of marsupial wolves and Tasmanian devils have dropped to almost nothing while on Tasmania they still thrive. This may be because the dingo actually hunts them or just because there is less prey. Whatever the reason, though, they are quickly becoming extinct on the mainland. Dingoes look like wild dogs and can be dark brown, reddish or black, and sometimes they have spots, lop ears and upswept tails. They have been known to go after sheep, cattle, other dingoes intruding on their territory, and small rodents, such as rabbits, Tasmanian devils, and marsupial wolves. Sometimes, they will even go after kangaroos.
Sharks are responsible for more deaths in Australia than in any other country. Still, sharks have killed fewer than 100 people since the first recorded attack in 1791. Some of the world's most dangerous shark species can be found in Australian waters. Great white, hammerhead, grey nurse and tiger sharks rarely attack without provocation, but nets are placed along much of the Australian coastline to reduce the odds further. Out beyond the breakers, the mesh netting suspended between buoys and anchors keeps the sharks at bay.
IF you stay in, or are close to, the bush (or even just some gardens), there could be a danger from some types of spiders, particularly the funnelweb, redback or white-tail.
These are poisonous spiders and anyone bitten by them should immediately be brought to a hospital where the correct antivenin can counteract the poison.
It is important to know which spider is the culprit. If you can't recognise one from another, and have been able to kill the spider, bring it along to the hospital for identification.
Otherwise, make sure you can describe the spider carefully.
Check shoes and socks
The funnelweb, found in eastern Australia, particularly New South Wales, is a relatively large, stubby-looking spider with hairy legs and body. They may attempt to go indoors when the ground is wet and hide in shoes and socks, so put on footwear only when you're sure it's free of them.
The redback is distinguished by its red back and the white-tail by its white tail. (Of course.)
All these spiders may live in the garden so be careful when you have to move small rocks or stones or dead twigs and leaves.
Since you will no doubt have difficulty knowing which spider is dangerous and which is not, avoid spiders altogether and take precautions during those wet times when they are likely to seek refuge indoors.
marsupial , member of the order Marsupialia, or pouched mammals. With the exception of the New World opossums and an obscure S American family (Caenolestidae), marsupials are now found only in Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and a few adjacent islands. They are generally distinguished from the higher, or placental, mammals by the absence of a placenta connecting the embryo with its mother, although in a few forms the female has a rudimentary placenta that functions for a short time. The embryo is nourished during its brief gestation by a fluid secreted by the mother's uterus. The young are born in a very undeveloped state; at birth the great gray kangaroo is about 1 in. (2.5 cm) long and the opossum about 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm) long. Immediately after birth the young crawl to the mother's nipples and remain attached to them while continuing their development. As they are still too helpless to suckle, milk is squirted into them by the periodic contraction of muscles over the mother's mammary glands. In nearly all marsupials the female's nipples are covered by a pouch, or marsupium, formed by a fold of abdominal skin. Even after the suckling stage the young return at times to the pouch for shelter and transportation. In many species the young are carried on the mother's back after the suckling stage. In addition to having a less efficient reproductive system than the placental mammals, marsupials are of generally lower intelligence. They were once widespread over the earth, but were displaced in most regions as the more successful placental mammals evolved. The Australian region, which has been isolated from contact with other regions since the Cretaceous period, had almost no native placental mammals, and the marsupials were able to continue their evolution there without competition. They underwent an adaptive radiation in Australia comparable to that of placental mammals in the rest of the world, evolving many forms that superficially resemble various placental mammals and fill the same ecological niches. Thus, there are animals known as Tasmanian wolves (see thylacine), marsupial moles, marsupial mice, and native cats (see dasyure), which live very much like the correspondingly named placental mammals and, in many cases, are strikingly similar in appearance. See bandicoot, numbat, phalanger, Tasmanian devil, wombat.
See H. Tyndale-Biscoe, Life of Marsupials (1973); A. K. Lee and A. Cockburn, Evolutionary Ecology of Marsupials (1985
There are ten species of dunnart. Some of them are the common dunnart, white-footed dunnart, and the Darling Downs dunnart. There is also the fat-tailed dunnart. They are called the marsupial mouse and are usually 10 to 16 cm. long. All dunnarts are fearless and will protect themselves if they are scared or threatened. They all have litters of up to 10 babies about 3 to 4 times a year. They live in Australia and New Guinea. These marsupial mice live in deserts and rainforests and eat grasshopppers, spiders, lizards, mice and small animals. The fat-tailed dunnart is the smallest and has soft, fine, gray or black fur. They also have large ears and thick tails with short, stiff hairs. The dunnart stores all its fat in its tail.
Many potoroos are land animals and have tails that are adapted for seizing, grasping or taking hold of something. Potoroos are "rat" kangaroos. They have gray and black stripes on their faces. Their ears are short. Potoroos are like jumping mice.
The potoroo is one of Australia's rarest animals. It wasn't discovered until 1980. It is 70-75 cm. long and finds food at night. It eats roots, fungus, and insect larvae.
The wallaby is a small kangaroo. This name comes from a word in the
Australian Aboriginals' language. Wallabies live in Australia, Tasmania, and
on the island of New Guinea.
The biggest wallabies are 35 inches long and the smallest are 12 inches. They hide in scrubs and bushes, so dingoes don't eat them. Wallabies eat grass, leaves, fruit and tree bark.
They carry their babies in pouches like kangaroos.
There are two types of wombat; Vombatus which has coarse fur and no hair on its nose, and Lasiorhinus with soft fur and a hairy nose.
For the most part, the Australian heaths are small shrubs but a few species occur as small trees. They can be found in a range of habitats and are a common component of low, exposed vegetation known as heathland. Often they will be found in areas of constant moisture but also occur in temperate open forest and woodland, sub-alpine areas and the coastal zone.......
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The large family of plants which includes the genus Boronia is distributed over many parts of the world. Botanically the family is known as the Rutaceae and it includes a number of commercially important plants such as the citrus group of fruit trees (oranges, lemons, lime, etc) and popular ornamental plants such as Diosma which is native to South Africa. Within Australia there are about 40 genera, many of which are cultivated. The most widely cultivated of these are the genera in the "Boronia group".
Generally the Boronia group comprises plants of open forests and woodlands. They only rarely are to be found in rainforests or in arid areas. Overall the group is distributed throughout Australia but certain genera within the group may be restricted in their distribution (eg Correa is not found in Western Australia)........
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Bandicoot, small marsupial mammal native to Australia and nearby islands. There are 19 species in eight genera. Bandicoots have long, pointed, shrewlike faces; gray or brown fur; and long, bushy, ratlike tails. They range in size from that of a rat to that of a rabbit. Their feet are equipped with sharp claws, used for digging food; they feed nocturnally on insects, worms, roots, and vegetables dug from the ground. The second and third toes of the hind legs are bound together and the paired claws are used as a comb for grooming the fur. Bandicoots are able to hop about like rabbits on their strong hind legs, but they also commonly creep on all fours. Bandicoots are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, order Marsupialia, family Peramelidae
Kookaburras are birds that can be found in Australia and New Guinea. They are 18 inches long. They sometimes catch fish and live on large insects, mice, small birds, and small snakes. Kookaburras live in tree holes. The female lays 2 to 3 white eggs and the male protects their home against predators. The kookaburras' call sounds like a laugh.
The continent of Australia has a distinctive flora that includes many species not found elsewhere. Of the 22,000 species of plants in Australia, more than 90 percent occur naturally there. Some 840 species are threatened with extinction, and 83 have become extinct since the beginning of European settlement.......
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The platypus or duck-billed platypus is an egg laying mammal of Eastern Australia. It has a duck-like bill, and wide, flat tail. It is about 61 cm. (24 in.) long and weighs about 1.8 kg. (4 lbs.). It has dark brown or yellow fur and its webbed feet and tail help it to swim. Males have poison spurs on their hind feet that kill small animals and wound larger ones. Using plates on its bill it crushes and eats worms, mollusks, crustaceans, and plants.
Mating takes place in early spring. The female digs a hole about 4.5-18 m (15-60 ft.) deep. There she builds a nest and usually lays two eggs. They hatch in about eight to ten days and nurse for about 5 months. The average life span is about 10 years. They usually live by a river bank. They are able to move around on land, but they have to walk on their knuckles because their webbing gets in the way.
The possum is the only marsupial that doesn't live only in Australia. The common possum gets to be about 50 cm. (20 in.) long, plus a long, hairless tail. It can weigh up to 6.5 kg. (14 lbs.). The possum is covered with coarse, gray hair. It has 50 teeth and a very large mouth. They are omnivores, eating mostly fruit and insects.
One of the great icons of Australia, the kangaroo shares center stage with the Emu on the Australian Coat of Arms. It is a variety of hopping marsupial, or pouched mammal, of the family Macropodidae. The 45 varities can range from the tiny rat kangaroo at 12 inches, to the Red Kangaroo at 9 feet tall and the Eastern Greys topping 200 pounds. Kangaroos have powerful hind legs designed for leaping, long feet, short forelimbs, and long muscular tails. The hind legs are also used to deliver blows at enemies when the animal is cornered; the feet are sharply clawed. The tail serves as a balance when the animal leaps and as a prop when it stands; the usual posture is bipedal. The handlike forepaws are used for grasping. As in most marsupials, females have a pouch surrounding the teats. The single young is born in an immature state after a gestation period of about 40 days and is suckled in the mother´s pouch for about six months. After it begins to graze it returns frequently to the pouch for shelter and transport until it is too large to be carried. Kangaroos feed on grass and other vegetation; they are the chief grazers of the Australian plains. Day-active animals, they move about in herds called mobs and sleep on the ground at night. Males are called boomers, females flyers; the young are called joeys. They inhabit all parts of Australia and in many areas compete with livestock for grazing land. Determining the state of the kangaroo population is difficult as interest groups on both sides of the issue give conflicting assesments. It is safe to say that the kangaroo population is strong but that there is an ongoing "culling" program.
Forests cover 5 percent of Australia. The main forest regions, found in the moist coastal and highland belts, consist predominantly of eucalyptus, a hardwood. Eucalyptus wood is widely used in the production of paper and furniture. The jarrah and karri species, which grow in Western Australia, are noted for the durability of their woods. Queensland maple, walnut, and rosewood are prized as cabinet and furniture woods. About one-quarter of the country's forests are permanently preserved in state reservations. Because of the deficiency in coniferous forests, the country imports large quantities of softwoods. State, federal, and private pine forests have been established to help overcome this deficiency by raising extensive stands of Monterey pine.
Tasmanian devil, extremely voracious marsupial, or pouched mammal, of the dasyure family, now found only on the island of Tasmania. The Tasmanian devil, Sarcophilus harrisi, formerly found also in Australia, is about 2 ft (60 cm) long, excluding the 12–in. (30–cm) tail. It has a large head, with powerful jaws, and weak hindquarters. Its blackish fur is marked with white patches on the throat, on each side, and on the rump. The animal has a fierce appearance. It is very strong for its size and preys on animals larger than itself, such as small kangaroos, as well as on rodents, lizards, and other small animals. It lives in burrows in rocky areas. Like the related thylacine, or Tasmanian wolf, the Tasmanian devil has been relentlessly hunted because of its inroads on domestic livestock and poultry; however, it survives in fair numbers in remote areas of the island. It is classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Marsupialia, family Dasyuridae.
CATERPILLAR & BREEDING & CUTWORM
The Bogong moth lays its eggs (up to 200) on a foodplant near the soil.
The caterpillar (larvae) breaks out in four weeks The larvae varies from a light brown to almost black colour The Bogong larvae lives in a burrow under the soil at the base of a foodplant. At night time they feed on the plant often cutting right through it just above the soil. This is why they are referred to as Cutworms and are a pest to farmers They like such plants as cereals, peas, linseed, cauliflower, cabbages, alfalfa and silverbeet. They then go into a cocoon in their underground (or at least "under litter") burrow where 4 weeks later the moth emerges
At up to 2.5 feet (75 centimeters) long, titans are the largest of the triggerfish, which wield an intimidating arsenal of hunting behaviors. Squirting water from their mouths and flapping their fins, triggerfish “dig” for crabs, worms, and other prey. When attacking sea urchins, triggers often flip them over, exposing their less spiny undersides. It all adds up to a predator so successful that smaller fish swim in its wake and survive on its scraps.The trigger is equally resourceful, and tenacious, when it comes to egg rearing. After female triggers lay their eggs in nests on the seafloor—a rarity among reef fish—they continually blow water on them to ensure a good oxygen supply. They're also known to put the bite on approaching fish or photographers swimming in for a close-up.
Australian cattle dog, breed of medium-sized herding dog developed in Australia. It stands from 18 to 20 in. (45.7–50.8 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs about 33 lb (15 kg). Its double coat consists of a soft, dense underlayer and a moderately short, straight topcoat that forms a fringe of slightly longer hair on the back of the forelegs and thighs. The coat may be blue, blue mottle, or red speckled in color. Believed to be the product of crosses among the Australian kelpie, the dingo, and the smooth collie, the Australian cattle dog ranks among the world's best herding dogs. It is sometimes called the Australian heeler, a name derived from the dog's habit of nipping at the heels of stray cattle to direct them back to the herd. The breed is exhibited in the miscellaneous class at dog shows sanctioned by the American Kennel Club.
Banksia flowers are quite small but they occur in dense clusters which, in some species, can number several thousand individuals. Banksias are classified into two broad groups; sub-genus Isostylis and sub-genus Banksia. The former consists of only three species, all native to Western Australia, and is recognised by having flowers in cone-shaped clusters. This group is similar in many ways to the related genus, Dryandra. The sub-genus Banksia has its flowers arranged in the more or less cylindrical spike familiar to most Australians.......
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Acacia podalyriifolia is one of the most popular and widely cultivated of wattles. It is a tall shrub or small tree which reaches about 5 metres in height by a similar spread. Like most members of the genus the mature plant does not have true leaves but has leaf-like flattened stems called phyllodes. In A.podalyriifolia the phyllodes are silvery grey in colour, oval in shape and 20-30mm long.
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The Callistemon "flower" is really an inflorescence formed by a cluster of small flowers arranged linearly along and around the branches. Because of this arrangement, the familiar "bottlebrush shape" is formed by the colourful masses of stamens.....
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Emus live anywhere in Australia's open country. The emu is the second largest bird, standing about 1.5 m. (5 ft.) tall and weighing 55 kg. (120 lbs.). If endangered, they can defend themselves by kicking and although they can't fly, they can run as fast as 50 km. per hour (30 miles per hour) and they are good swimmers. The female lays 8-10 dark green eggs. The male then sits on them until they hatch which is usually about 60 days. They are covered with grayish-brown hairlike feathers. They have a long neck and legs and a short, stubby tail.
One of the great features of grevilleas in gardens (apart from the colourful flowers) is that many attract honey-eating birds which act as pollinators for the plants. A number of species rely on other methods of pollination, eg, beetles, moths, bees, ants, and even small marsupials.
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There are two main types of owls. They are the common owl and the barn owl. They range in size from the tiny elf owl to the largest, the great gray owl.
Owls' eyes are usually big and set on the front of their face. They have to turn
their head to see to the side of themselves. Owls can turn their heads 270 degrees. They have short, thick bodies, hooked beaks, and sharp claws called talons. Their feathers are so soft that when they fly, you can't hear a sound. Their feathers also make them look bigger than they are.
The Bogong moths provided a rich food source for Australian Aborigines of the area. The moths would be hunted or collected by the male members as the moth lay at rest (aevistate) in the mountains The moths were prepared in various ways, cooked in sand and hot ashes to remove wings and legs or mashed and roasted into moth cakes Many huge Bogong Moth feasts occurred with members from various tribes getting together.
The smallest rats are bigger than the biggest mice. Rats are rodents that have front teeth made for gnawing. They carry diseases like food poisoning and typhus. They sometimes desroy crops and kill lambs and baby pigs. Rats have slender tails and sharp claws. Rats can grow to be 5 to 12 inches long, have large or small ears, pointed snouts and soft fur. Their fur is black, gray, brown or white. They usually have long tails. Rats eat our food, plants, and sometimes go in a group and kill a chicken or pig. They have 3 to 6 litters a year with 8 to 9 babies at a time. People get rid of them by making sure they can't get any food or wreck their home. They also kill rats by traps, poison, or shooting them.
A brolga is an Australian crane. There is an Aboriginal legend that says girls
that do too much dancing and not enough working were changed into brolgas
because brolgas are tall, slender, and like to dance a lot.
The Aborigines copied the brolgas' dance and did it themselves. Brolgas eat grass, roots, insects, frogs, and lizards.
The cuscus is a marsupial found in Australia, Tasmania, the Solomon
Islands, Moluccas, and Celebes. It ranges from about 6 to 26 inches long.
Their tails are 17 to 24 inches long. Another word
for cuscus is phalanger. They are arboreal animals. This means that they are adapted for living or
moving around in trees. Phalangers eat fruit, leaves, nectar, insects, and
sometimes small birds. Cuscuses have dense, woolly fur and long tails. They live in hollow trees and carry their young in their pouches.
Bogong moths breed on the flatlands (see "Breeding" section) but to escape the summer heat they migrate to the higher country of the Australian Alps which includes the Great Dividing Range and the snowy mountains and high plains of Victoria and N.S.W. (see map) Strong winds can be a problem to the migratory path of these moths and that is why sometimes there are Bogong Moth plagues in the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra which are situated between the highlands and Australia's eastern seaboard They return to their breeding grounds in early Autumn to mate and lay their eggs. This trip can be up to 3,000 kms in length and a greater % of the moths perish.
The box jellyfish, which has enough poison to kill three adults, is usually present in Queensland's northern coastal waters between the months of October and May. Always ask the locals about the state of the coastal waters where you are.
As for sharks, it's always wise to check that the seas where you want to swim, snorkel or dive are safe.
drongo , any of the insect-eating Old World birds of the family Dicruridae. Most species have black plumage with an iridescent purple or green shimmer and long, deeply forked tails. They have long pointed wings and stout, hooked bills ornamented with long bristles about the mouth. Most have ornamental crests or head plumes. Drongos range in body length from 7 to 15 in. (18–38 cm); the tail in some species is as long as 28 in. (71 cm). Solitary, arboreal birds of forests, wooded savannas, and fields, drongos are most numerous in S Asia, but also occur in S Africa and NE Australia. Typical of the family is the king crow, Dicrurus macrocerus, found from India to Java and Taiwan. Drongos are powerful, aggressive birds and will drive off birds much larger than themselves, incidentally providing protection to more docile species that nest in the same trees. Members of some species follow cattle in order to feed on the associated insects. There are about 20 drongo species, classified in two genera, Dicrurus and Chaetorhynchus, of the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Dicruridae.
Sea anemone and anemonefish
The stinging tentacles of a sea anemone offer the immune anemonefish shelter and a safe place to lay eggs. In return the anemone gains a “guard dog.” Anemonefish prune harmful parasites from their hosts and drive off fish that prey on anemones, such as some butterflyfish. After a day of feeding on plankton, an anemone gathers itself into a bunch for the night. Anemonefish, protected by a mucus on their skin, snuggle into the stinging mass, protected till daybreak.
Echidnas, or spiny anteaters, are egg-laying mammals. They have strong bodies, short legs, and large feet and claws. They use their claws to dig up and eat ants, termites, and worms. They are covered with coarse hair and spines. Female echidnas lay eggs which hatch in 7-10 days. When the young come out, they stay in the mother's pouch for 6-8 weeks. During that time they nurse and develop a spine. The average life span for an echidna is over 50 years. Humans are the only longer living mammals. Echidnas can get to be 50 cm. (20 in.) and can weigh 6.5 kg. (14 lbs.).
There are about 500 species of eucalyptus. Many are site-sensitive and have particular soil preferences, like black-soil plains, siliceous or gypseous dunes, sandy soils with lime content, sandstone-derived soils, etc., while other species are distributed over wide geographic and environmental gradients and show a relatively wide tolerance to soil type........
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A very common and widespread species, it was of considerable importance to them. The foliage was used to cover the dead before burial which did not take place immediately after death. The relatives would visit the dead person from time to time to observe what was happening to the covering leaves, and there was significance in the way in which the leaves lay. The body was buried at a depth of about an arm's length after about a month and was again laid on and covered by the Varti-varka foliage (Eremophila longifolia).
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Frilled neck lizards inhabit Northern Australia. They have a frill folded up around their neck, and when they are startled, it spreads out and makes the lizard look twice as big as it normally is. Then the lizard makes hissing noises and shows its teeth. They're about 30 cm. (1 ft.), plus the tail. They eat insects and some small rodents.
Individual lizards' scales are different colors, depending on where they live. They reproduce by laying eggs.
Aside from Australia, monitors can be found in Africa, Asia, Indonesia, and New Guinea. Different species can grow to different sizes and weights. The short-tailed monitor is 20 cm. (8 in.) while the komodo dragon can get to be 3 m. (10 ft.) and weigh 135 kg. (300 lbs.).
phalanger , any of the numerous and varied marsupials, or pouched mammals, of the family Phalangeridae, found in Australia, New Guinea, and adjacent islands. Many are somewhat like squirrels in appearance. They are also called Australian opossums, although true opossums belong to a different marsupial family and are found in the Americas. The koala is a well-known but atypical phalanger. Typical phalangers are nocturnal, arboreal animals with woolly fur, long, often prehensile tails, dexterous forepaws, large claws, opposable first hind toes, and joined second and third hind toes. They feed on fruits, leaves, and insects. Commonest is the brush-tailed phalanger, or possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), with a thickly furred tail, heavy hindquarters, a pointed face, and large pointed ears. It is found throughout Australia and adjacent areas, especially in woods, but also in towns; it has adapted well to human settlement and clearing. Cuscus is a name applied to several species of slow-moving phalangers about the size of house cats. Cuscuses have rounded bodies and heads, inconspicuous ears, and large round eyes. They display a wide range of colors. The honey phalanger is a mouse-sized, shrub-dwelling animal of SW Australia, with a very long tongue used to gather nectar, pollen, and insects from flowers. Several types of phalanger have evolved a gliding mechanism consisting of a parachutelike fold of furry skin between the front and hind legs. These animals are called gliders, or flying squirrels, although they are not related to the true flying squirrels. Phalangers are classified in several genera of the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Marsupialia, family Phalangeridae.
Bogong Moth ROCK RESTING (aestivating)
During Australia's summer November to march the Bogong moth rests (remains inactive) in rock crevices or caves living off body fat reserves. As the picture shows there is so many moths they can completely cover crevices or rock floors and walls.
Melaleucas are commonly known as "Paperbarks" in the tree forms and "Honey Myrtles" in the smaller forms. These names refer to the flaky bark of many species and the nectar produced in the flowers. The term "Tea Tree" is also applied occasionally by this is more commonly used with the related genus Leptospermum....
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anteater, name applied to various animals that feed on ants, termites, and other insects, but more properly restricted to a completely toothless group of the order Edentata. There are four species classified in three genera, all found in tropical Central and South America. The great anteater, or ant bear (Myrmecophaga), has an elongated, almost cylindrical head and snout, a long sticky tongue, a coarse-haired body about 4 ft (1.2 m) long, and a long, broad tail. The large, sharp claws on the forefeet are weapons of defense and are used to open the hard earth mounds of termites and ants, which are then picked up on the saliva-coated tongue. The tongue extends to a length of about 2 ft (60 cm). The collared, or lesser, anteater (Tamandua), less than half the size of the great anteater, is a short-haired yellowish and black arboreal creature. The arboreal two-toed anteater (Cyclopes) is the size of a squirrel and has a prehensile tail and silky yellow fur. Other animals called anteater are members of other groups. The banded anteater of Australia is a marsupial; the spiny anteater, also of Australia, is a monotreme related to the platypus. For the scaly anteater, see pangolin. True anteaters are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Edentata, family Myrmecophagidae
Be sure to avoid the blue-ringed one (Octopus maculosus).
This is a small octopus found in eastern Australia and marked by blue to purple banding. It has a highly venomous bite.
Also watch out for:
Snakes, when traveling through bush or undergrowth. There are several poisonous species.
Barrier Reef cone shells.
Stonefish, which looks like a flat piece of rock on the sea bed but isn't. Found in tropical waters.
To avoid bites and other assorted attacks, it's best when outdoors to always be fully clothed without any bare skin showing or open to attack. (Not much fun on the beach, but you can, of course, go bare in safe areas.)
When walking, be sure to have protective shoes on, meaning the feet should be fully covered.
When you consider a list of nasties you may meet on a visit to Australia, it may look like there's quite some danger in traveling in the country. This is extremely far from the truth, especially if you only stay in cities and towns.
The point is it's always best to know what and where dangers may exist and how best to avoid them.
Numbats or marsupial anteaters live in Australian forests and deserts. They are the only living species of the family Myrmecobiidae. They can grow up to 27.5 cm. (11 in.) long, plus a 17 cm (7 in.) tail. They can weigh up to .45 kg. (1 lb.). They have gray, brown, or dull red backs which are crossed by six or seven white stripes. They have 52 small teeth and a long, sticky tongue that they use to pick up ants and termites.
The great white
First, the sharks. Real danger comes from the great white shark which frequents the Southern Ocean, but you'll find sharks in most seas, and occasionally they do come close to the beach where you may be having a swim. Chances are, if you only go to beaches where there are people around, you won't come face to face with a shark. So go to known beaches and do swim between the flags -- this is an area where surf lifesavers keep an eye on the water and the people who swim in it, and this would generally be an area free of sharks.
Shark sightings: Surf lifesavers will clear a beach if there is a shark sighting. If you go for a swim, the other danger is being caught in a rip, and marked off areas are generally safe. If you go to a relatively deserted beach, you can risk being laughed at if you ask the locals about shark danger. Better to be laughed at, of course, than to be foolhardy.
The flower clusters of most Dryandra species are cream, yellow, brown or orange in colour. There are one or two species where the inflorescence can have a pink colour in certain forms (eg. D.praemorsa, D.fraseri).
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A kultarr, when full grown, is 18 to 25 cm. long. Their fur is long, soft, grey on top, and white on their stomachs. People call them the Jumping Pouched Mice. Their nose is pointed and their ears are oval shaped. Kultarrs like to jump. They eat insects, spiders, and lizards. This Jumping Pouched Mouse has about 4 babies at a time. Kultarrs are marsupials, so they carry their young in their pouches.
In Australia, there are about 140 genera and 1,100 species of pea plants. They are found in every state and territory of Australia, from coastal cliffs to alpine areas, from the tropics to the arid inland....
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This type of grouper may be overfished in some parts of the Great Barrier—at least partly due to its popularity in Asia, where diners often order it live from restaurant aquariums. Concerns for the coral trout aside, fishing is strictly regulated on the Great Barrier, but countless other reefs aren't so lucky. Elsewhere many are obliterated by blast fishing—in which reefs are often blown to bits in hopes of an easy catch—and cyanide poisoning, the dark secret of the aquarium trade.In cyanide fishing, divers generally squirt the toxin onto coral reefs, then search the newly dead reef for live-but-stunned fish—or so they hope. More than half of all fish caught this way die in the poisoning process or in shipping.
Bogong is an Australian Aboriginal name for Moth and the Bogong Moths scientific name is "Agrotis infusa" belonging to the family Noctuidae
The main physical difference between a moth and a butterfly is their antennae. Butterflies have thin long ones with a clubbed tip, whilst a moths antennae is more of a feather type shape and feel. The colour of the Bogong Moth ranges from a light brown through to black The Bogong moth has a wingspan of around 5 cms and like all moths has 4 wings On each fore wing the Bogong moth has a dark arrow-marked streak with one comma shaped spot and one pale round spot The hind wings are predominately a light brown with dark edging.
After sniffing out worms and other prey on the seafloor with its tubelike siphon, this toxic mollusk extends a sharp, spearlike tooth at the end of an organ called a proboscis. When the fang finds its mark, the cone snail injects a neurotoxin that induces immediate muscle spasms and quick death. The same fate may await humans who encounter especially venomous species of cone snails, though deaths are rare.
Australian waters contain a great variety of marine life, but the annual catch is relatively small—214,227 metric tons in 1997. More than 85 percent of the yearly value of exported fishery products is made up of various shellfish, principally scallops, shrimp, spring and green rock lobsters, oysters, and abalone. Marine fishes marketed include orange roughy, sharks and rays, skipjack tuna, mullet, southern bluefin tuna, and escolar. Pearls and trochus shells have been harvested off the northern coast since the 1800s. Darwin, Broome, and Thursday Island are the main pearling centers, but cultured pearls are now more significant. The cultured pearl industry is dominated by Japanese-Australian ventures. Australia was a principal whaling nation until the late 1970s, when it agreed to halt most whaling activities in cooperation with an international effort to maintain the whale population.
Don't get stung by the deadly box jellyfish, also known as stinger or sea wasp, from around November to April along the Queensland coast north of Great Keppel Island.
While stings from any type of jellyfish will cause pain and discomfort, the box jellyfish is said to contain enough poison to kill three adult human beings.
Persons stung by the box jellyfish are to be treated like snakebite victims and should be rushed to hospital after first aid.
First aid treatments
First aid treatments include dousing the stings with vinegar. Imbedded tentacles should not be removed. Artificial respiration may be required.
Always ask the locals for advice if wishing to venture into the water. Some beaches may look enticingly uncrowded, but there could be a reason for that.
The deadly box jellyfish is not believed to be anywhere else in Australia.
When you're in Queensland, you should be safe on beaches south of Great Keppel Island such as on the Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast.
Tasmanian devils are found in Tasmania, off the southeast coast of Australia. They are 3 to 4 feet long and have almost all black fur with a little bit of white on their chest. They eat small mammals, birds, lizards, insects, and carrion (dead or rotten animals). They are very strong for their size and have big teeth. Tasmanian devils look almost like small bears, but are marsupials. Their young are carried in a pouch. They have four babies at a time.
Hakeas generally flower in winter and spring. The flowers are followed by hard, woody seed pods each containing two seeds and, in the majority of species, these pods remain tightly closed unless stimulated to open by heat, such as following a bushfire, or by the death of the plant. The seeds themselves have a papery wing which allows them to be distributed by wind......
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Marsupial moles are small, burrowing mammals with sensitive snouts, nearly blind eyes, no ears, and large claws that they use for digging. They have fine, velvety fur that can be white or golden red. They range in length from 6-21 cm. (2.5-8.5 in.) and in weight from 10-170 g. (.3-6 oz.). Although they may be similar in appearance to normal moles, they are marsupials. In good soil, they can dig as fast as 5.5 m. (18 ft.) per hour. They dig deeper for living quarters and nurseries. Mating occurs during spring. The young are born in 4-6 weeks with 2-5 young in a litter. They usually live about two to four years. They eat insects and worms, eating their own body weight in food every day. They sometimes starve if they go 12 hours without eating.
dasyure [das'Eyoor"]: name for several small, predatory marsupials, or pouched mammals, of the family Dasyuridea, found in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. Typical dasyures, known in Australia as native cats, are furry animals with large eyes, pointed snouts, and long tails. The largest are the size of house cats; most are somewhat smaller. They are variously colored, and most species are spotted. Dasyures hunt by night and are able to climb trees. Once found all over Australia, they are now extinct in many regions. They are not related to true cats. The fierce Tasmanian devil is a large, atypical dasyure. Dasyures are classified in several genera of the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Marsupialia, family Dasyuridae.
Hard corals Each no bigger than a fingernail, hard corals build reefs by growing atop the stony skeletons of previous coral colonies. Assuming such shapes as plates, domes, and branches, coral colonies have created the largest structures ever made by living things. But like any masterpiece, a coral reef takes time, growing about a half inch (1.3 centimeters) a year. Armed with tentacles that help them “fish” for meals of minute plankton, the individual corals, or polyps, are tubelike animals related to jellyfish and sea anemones. Unlike most of their cousins, though, corals harbor their own built-in food factories.Inside corals' clear outer tissues live microscopic algae, which transform sunlight into sugars through photosynthesis. The hosts help themselves to some of the sugars and even gain a bit of added color.
The mint bush family, known as the Lamiaceae (formerly the Labiateae) is widespread throughout the world and contains a number of well-known, commercially cultivated plants which are used in cooking and for perfumes....
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The Green Tree Ant.
These ants found in the tropical climates of North Queensland are interesting to say the least. They Build their nests by making a line along a leaf and pulling it toward another. Meanwhile, other ants have gone to the nursery to get a lavae, which contains the precious silk which will stick these leaves together, it is then returned to the nursery and another one brought out for the building process. Just a small part of what becomes a nest approx. 1'6" long X 10" round.
Green Tree Ants are not agressive naturally, though will attack in numbers if provoked. They bite, but that does not sting, they break the skin with a bite then secrete an acid into the bite which really does sting, so best to observe them from a distance!
The other interesting thing is, the base of their abdomen secretes a citrus/menthol tasting oil, yes people have tasted it! In fact the Aboriginal women used it, rubbed onto their nipples during feeding to relieve children with breathing or digestion problems.