If you enjoy travelling in Australia then keep your camera handy, as you never know just what type of animal you might come across. Australia has so many types of Reptiles, Lizards, Kangaroos, Emus and many more living in their natural environment.
Australia is a big country to explore so remember to get off the beaten track and capture photos of some of our beautiful Insects, Butterflies, and hundreds of Birds. If you are short on time, then why not visit the local Zoo where you will see many animals to capture wonderful memories with your camera.
Did you know that the Kangaroo is the largest marsupial mammal? They range in size from a tiny rock wallaby to a six-foot red kangaroo. Many were shot for their beautiful skins over the years. Others killed to feed the farm dogs. I have cooked many a kangaroo leg in a glad bag with spices and passed them off to our unsuspecting visitors as roast lamb. They could honestly not tell the difference.
A buck is a male kangaroo and the young kangaroo a Joey, which when born is approximately 2 cm long. It then crawls into the female pouch where it lives and feeds from its mother for about seven months. The kangaroo lives mainly on grass, feeding early in the morning or late at night.
The male can reach more than 50kmh an hour by hopping on its powerful back legs and rests by using its long tail as another leg.
Kangaroos cause a lot of damage to cars and trucks when hit by motorists while driving at night.
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Australia has about 23 species of freshwater turtles living in the waterways. There is the long and short necked, Murray River, Broad-shelled and the Red-eared slider turtle to name a few.
Most of these live in freshwater swamps, lakes, ponds, rivers and dams. They live mainly in the water, although they feed on shore and lay their eggs in a hole. They dig holes with their back legs and can lay as many as 25 eggs. These eggs hatch after a few months and the babies make their way into the water. Many live for 10 years or more.
Even though Turtles have a hard protective shell, they have many predators; Birds and Fish while in the water. On land dogs and foxes may attack them, and cars kill them when crossing the road, as they move so slow.
Did you know our Australian Koala is not actually a bear? The Koala is a marsupial mammal and related to the Kangaroo and Wombat. The Koala, now classified as an endangered species. This is due mainly to the destruction of their natural bush habitat from logging and agriculture.
Others attacked and killed by rogue dogs or traffic as they cross the busy roads. These days there has been an effort to encourage underground and overhead road crossings to protect the bears.
Photo taken at St Laurence in Queensland
Interesting facts about Koala’s
When a Koala is born, it is blind and lives in its Mother’s pouch for 5 months feeding on her milk. Koalas spend most of their life eating Eucalyptus leaves and sleeping for about 18-19 hours each day.
In my opinion a dingo is a dog that you either love or hate. Although, I love all dogs and as far as the dingo is concerned, I would always treat them with the respect they command asnd use caution at all times.
Many a night when travelling in the bush, we have heard a dingo howl. It is a sound you will never forget because it sounds so mournful. When camped away from people we have often seen them circle around our camp. Although these dogs are not scared of people and will often come very close, looking for food. We always keep our dog on a lead at all times as a lone dingo can attract a dog into a trap where other dingoes are waiting to attack.
Interesting facts about dingoes
The male dingo weighs between 12 and 20 kg, while the adult female on average weighs about 15 kg. Wild dingoes have larger teeth than domesticated dogs and live between 5 and 10 years in the wild, less than the normal dog. Most of the dingoes seen in Australia have ginger or sandy fur with white chests, although some do have darker fur.
When crossing the Nullarbor always look in the bush as you may have the chance to capture a photo of a dingo in the wild or Camels, Kangaroos and Wombats. Where possible avoid travelling in Australia in the early mornings or late evenings to prevent hitting these animals as they can cause a lot of damage to your car or vehicle.
Keep your eyes open wherever you travel as you may even see Camels coming down the road like these ones or while driving up North or crossing the Nullabor
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The Cane Toad
Now a Pest Introduced to Australia
The Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations introduced this creature first into Cairns, Queensland, in June 1935 from Hawaii in an attempt to control the Sugar Cane Beetle. Like the introduction of the rabbits, these are now a curse. The adult cane beetles will eat the leaves of the sugar cane crops, although the larvae feed on the roots, destroying the crops.
This average adult cane toad can weigh up to 4 lbs. They vary in color from brown to reddish- brown and even yellow. The underside is yellow to semi-white. They have prominent lumps on their backs.
Their back feet have tough webbing whereas the front have no webbing. Their parotid glands sit behind their ears. This gland produces a milky toxic and dangerous poison used in their defense against predators. Intoxication is painful, causing your eyes to burn and irritation of the skin, although this is not usually fatal to humans.
This toxin can kill many domesticated animals like chickens. A friend explained that the toads contaminate the chicken’s drinking water leading to their death. So never leave your pet’s water out overnight. Always empty and wash out containers and put out fresh in the morning.
It is said they travel about 40 kilometers in a year. Today they have travelled west to the Northern Territory.
This Cane Toad came off second best to a truck
Years ago many people were killing toads by spraying with Phenyl or Dettol which was said to be inhumane. This is illegal in most Australian states and territories now.
I find this very ironic that it is classified as inhuman to kill cane toads this way, yet it is not inhuman to lay baits in the bush with 10.80 poisons, which cause a painful death and often kill wild or our domesticated dogs in the process. Where is the logic?
Many volunteers now spend hours catching the toads, which they freeze and and then make fertilizers from them.
We were camped in a free camp at Berri South Australia and we heard something during the night. It turned out to be these little Possums. We got some bread and shone the torch up the tree. This one came down and eat the bread from our hands.
All Photos taken by the writers © Sharon and Eileen