I’m on a break over Christmas, so the blog is a bit science-lite this week. Despite my poor abilities as a photographer, I’ll probably post some fun sights from my trip back home.
I went to Healesville Sanctuary, a wildlife park for native animals, this week. Most of the animals there were the usual Australian marsupials, although I was very pleased to see some rodents also featuring! Yay for common rock rats, hopping mice and water rats!
However, I’d like to present (in no order) the two scariest birds in Australia:
The bush stone curlew, Burhinus grallarius, lives in woodland areas across a fairly wide chunk of Australia. It’s a furtive-looking, tallish, skinny bird that does not look particularly scary. Observe (one is standing and one is sitting):
What is terrifying about these birds is their call. It sends chills down my spine. The first time I heard it, I had no idea what it was. Listen:
The other scariest bird in Australia is the emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae. Taller than a person, this bird would bite your fingers off, given the chance. Eek!!
Finally, I’ll finish with the laziest animal in Australia. This is a tough one, because I saw wombats, echidnas, kangaroos and tree kangaroos all asleep or sitting around doing nothing. But the clear winner is this koala, who was so lazy it didn’t even hold on to the branch it was sitting on.