Tag Archives: Tasmanian devil

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A Surprise Package Inspires Action!

Hello Battalion Bloggers,

I am sorry I have been mostly off line since the beginning of the year. The New Year is normally slow for me but this year has been very busy. I am trying to catch up a little now in between tasks.

One of Australia’s two major supermarket chains had a promotional idea. They decided to release animal cards children (including big ones like me) could collect. With the success of the first series on “grown up” animals, they ran a new very cute series on baby animals. I set to work and managed to collect three sets with the help of local staff and then had to decide where they should go. Australian children didn’t need them because they could get their own so two sets headed to Canada and one to USA.

I can see by your bar graph, some animals caught your interest more than others. I know I have favourites I like to photograph but my favourites are usually what I am photographing at that time.

Your comments…

TREE ANIMALS

Ethan – Flying foxes are very common in many areas of Australia (click Australia to see a map) and Asia. Sometimes at night I have been in my backyard and heard the flying foxes squabbling in a neighbour’s fruit tree. They are also found in cities. I know of colonies in Sydney. Bats are fascinating. I have even encountered bats (not fruit bats) when I tried some spelunking (cave exploring).

Now a less pleasant fact...

Some wild flying foxes and other bats have been found to have a problem for humans. They can carry a virus known as lyssavirus and so shouldn’t be handled as infection could be fatal if untreated. Lyssavirus is closely related to the rabies virus. I always find it safer not to handle wild animals.

Of course, human activity can be a problem for bats through habitat destruction or, in the case of what I think is a dead little broad nosed bat, collisions with cars.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Melvin – The grey-headed flying fox is the bat I most commonly see at night around my home. Their squawks as they feed and squabble are easy to hear. Pteropus poliocephalus – my Latin isn’t great but I think the scientific name stands for wing (ptero), work (opus), greyish (polio), head (cephalus) so pteropus poliocephalus probably means grey-headed working wing.

According to Wikipedia, there are 60 species of flying fox bats in the world of which I think Australia has four, the little red, spectacled, black and grey-headed flying fox.

Catherine, Hilary, Aya and Jenna – Koalas are certainly picky eaters. Eucalypt trees (we also call them gum trees) are common and have a number of species in Australia but koalas won’t eat the leaves of all kinds. If we were to eat the leaves, we would become very sick because of the eucalyptus oil in the leaves but koalas are adapted to digesting the leaves. This can take some time. This is part of the reason koalas spend so much time sleeping. It saves energy so, rather than being lazy, they are being energy efficient. Would that make the “green” koalas?
Koalas don’t normally need to find and drink water because they take it in with the leaves but I have seen video of koalas after a fire has come through. If they survive, they can be very thirsty. Firefighters and animal rescue people have poured water in their hands and wild koalas they find have drunk from their hands. They are amazing little animals.

Jenna, a little extra information – A number of animals are known to swallow rocks or gravel to help digest plant foods. Such stones are known as gastroliths (mean stomach stone) and were even used by some dinosaurs. Many birds also use them for the same reason, they help digest food. As you know, chickens don’t have teeth to help chew food.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.
This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

LAND ANIMALS

Kennedy – I have seen mobs (the name for a group of kangaroos) of red kangaroos bounding across drier areas of Australia. The males can be around my height and are very strong. Did you know the males fight using their strong legs? Until I was able to deliver it to a zoo, I had a young, orphaned red kangaroo. When it saw me, it would hop up and kick me but was too small to cause any damage. It was calm when it got into a sack. For the young roo, it was like being in its mother’s pouch. There are no red kangaroos near where I live now. We mainly have eastern-grey kangaroos and wallabies. Kangaroos are only native to Australia.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

eastern grey kangaroos

Kelly – Joey is a term we Aussies use for the young of most marsupials. So kangaroo and koala babies are joeys. My favourite name for a baby animal goes to the young of the echidna and platypus. Echidnas and platypuses aren’t marsupials (pouched animals). They are monotremes, egg-laying mammals. Monotreme young are known as puggles.
Only responding to movement might seem odd but it appears in other animals. I think I read t-rex dinosaurs probably only responded to movement so, if you ever face one, stay still. 🙂 It wouldn’t work with lions.
Here’s a puzzle for you, if red kangaroos only detect motion, does the world disappear if the kangaroos are still and no wind moves grass and trees? I suspect there is some vision at all times but kangaroos only respond to movement because the signal is stronger.

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

Daniel – As you would have place names and other words taken from native languages, many names in Australia come from local Aboriginal names. Sometimes, names might be exactly native because early European settlers misunderstood.
For emu, we aren’t certain where the name originated. Wikipedia states it may have come from the Arabic for large bird and be used by early Portuguese explorers.
When checking on the world’s largest living birds, the emu may be second in height but I suspect the cassowary (found in Australia and New Guinea) is heavier and the Australian southern cassowary might grow slightly taller. The tallest bird know to have existed was probably the giant moa (Dinornis) originally found in New Zealand. They are thought to have become extinct mainly because of hunting by early Polynesian settlers (Maoris).

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.
This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

Here are just a few Aboriginal names for emu from the very many languages…
Ngurruy (Ngiyampaa people of N.S.W.)
Kalthi (Paakantyi people of N.S.W.)
Dhinawan (Wiradjuri people of N.S.W.)
Kawir – (Wembawemba people of N.S.W.)
Warrhukaathi – (Diyori people of S.A.)

These words are taken from “Macquarie Aboriginal Words” – ISBN 97809497571

Sam – While I have seen bilbies in zoos, I haven’t seen them in the wild where they are endangered.  There is a national plan trying to help the bilby numbers grow again.

It may interest you to know something about Easter in Australia. You probably know about chocolate Easter eggs and Easter bunnies but, here in Australia, you can also buy Easter bilbies. Money raised from their sales helps to save the bilby through donation to conservation programs

This picture is in the public domain because its copyright has expired and was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

This picture is in the public domain because its copyright has expired and was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

Alex – Bearded dragons are interesting and I have held the spiky little guys and have seen them in the wild. They can be bought as pets here but you must be licenced in my state because all native reptiles are protected. They are not allowed to be collected from the wild.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Isaac – Tasmanian devils are interesting carnivorous marsupials (pouched animals). Early European settlers in Tasmania would hear the sounds of the devils and feared evil spirits might be at work.
I have seen devils in zoos but didn’t see them in the wild when I was in Tasmania. Despite their snarls and strong jaws, they are cute little guys but I wouldn’t place a finger near their mouths.
Wombats are very strong diggers. I often come across their burrows when hiking. I suspect the Tasmanian devils find it much easier to use an empty wombat burrow than digging their own.

Click the link below to hear Tasmanian devil sounds.

TasmanianDevilSounds

This audio file was sourced through "Community Audio" where it was listed without a creator or any copyright instructions. I assume it is in the public domain.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I didn't have a Tasmanian devil photo in my collection but did have this drawing of mine.

Kate – I have not only seen many eastern blue-tongued lizards (skinks) in the wild, I have found them visiting my yard as they search for bugs or delicious snails (not the French escargot type). They are docile (not aggressive) but I tend to leave them alone unless they’re injured. I did once find one seriously hurt little guy in my yard and had to take it to a local vet but he didn’t survive the injury. I think perhaps a dog had attacked him. Dogs and cats can be dangerous for many small native animals. The video below is a northern blue tongue giving birth…

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.
This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

Noam – Short-beaked echidnas are native to most areas of Australia, including around my home. I have had one exploring my yard and seen them in parks in my town as well as in the wild. They’re aren’t aggressive and can’t bite but, being monotremes (egg laying mammals), they are fascinating little guys. When threatened, they use their strong claws to hold on to the ground while they show their spines.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Peng Peng – I have seen dolphins off our coast a number of times, including bottlenose dolphins. They are beautiful animals and seem curious when they see humans in our waters. Bulls, cows and calves are good names although people often only think of cattle but the titles are used for other mammals including elephants.
Dolphins are part of the Order Cetacea of animals. Cetacea include whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.
This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

I photographed these dolphins as they swam near the shore.

Claire – Bottlenose dolphins can be found in oceans around the world but I don’t think they tend to reach Canadian waters because of cooler temperatures.
Did you know some sharks like bottlenose dolphins, especially the calves? The problem for sharks is the dolphins can often protect themselves. Dolphins turn and charge the shark. Sometimes groups attack and have been know to kill a shark.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.
This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

I believe this is a common dolphin. I photographed it while on a whale watching cruise off our coast.

Cohen – Port Jackson sharks can be found in Australian coastal waters but don’t tend to be along the most tropical areas. As the name suggests, they are also found in Port Jackson waters. You may not have heard of Port Jackson but it is the bay around which Sydney has been built.
As their diet includes mostly molluscs and similar creatures, they aren’t seen as dangerous to humans. Their egg cases are sometimes washed up on beaches and are easy to recognise.

This photo was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain.

This photo was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain.

Hannah – Black swans can be found on our saltwater lake or in large ponds. There is one area in a town only 35km from my home that can fill with water in wetter times. I once stopped to watch numerous black swans wandering along grassy areas near the water then realised all of the adults were being followed by cygnets. They can be aggressive if they think they or their babies are threatened.

Blac Swan pair

Amy – Turtles can be fascinating animals. My two nieces grew up in a Queensland town named Bundaberg. While Bundaberg is know for its fields of sugarcane, the coast east of the town is know for Mon Repos Conservation Park. Between November and March each year loggerhead, flatback and green turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in the beach sand.
Nightly tours during that period of the year allow visitors to see they turtles laying eggs or, 6 to 8 weeks later, see hatchlings emerging from the sand and heading to the water.
We all know humans are either male or female as they develop before birth but turtles are different. The temperature of the sand makes the difference for turtles. Higher temperatures help turtles hatch sooner and emerge as females. Cooler temperatures tend to result in males.

 

This photo was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain

This photo was sourced through Wikimedia Commons where it is listed as in the public domain

Martin – Australian sea lions can be seen around southern and south-western areas of Australia but not normally near where I live. We are more likely to find Australian fur seals in our waters. One old male was an annual visitor to a favourite rock in our town’s lake.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.
This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

These are New Zealand fur seals. They have also been found along Australia's coastline.

Well, what started out with an intention to write a short comment seems to have blown out into something a little longer. It’s like much in life, we start with some knowledge and seem to collect more as life moves along. We learn. We share. We are all both teachers and students in life.

Learning is a lifelong journey we all travel. When we travel it with others our journey is all the richer.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.
This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

2 Comments

For part 1 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/22/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-1-Koa-to-Jorja

For Part 3 of this post...

 http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-3-linden-to-the-end/

Part 2

Do I know about an Australian tree which has black hair on it?

This one need a little research because I didn't know what type of tree it might be. Here is a link I found that has some "hairy" trees. They might help you know what tree you mean. 🙂

Australian Tree Images

What types of animals are found in Australia?

 Australia has a large range of animals but some of our most famous are our marsupial (pouched) and monotreme (egg laying) mammals and our birds. In Part 1 of this post, I have shown some of our reptiles I have photographed so I will only show some mammals and birds.

Here are some of the birds I have seen visiting my home.

Kookaburra

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Magpie

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Australian Wood Duck

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Corella

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Crimson Rosella

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

King Parrot (male)

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Rainbow Lorikeet

This is the crazy type of bird I mentioned enjoyed a diet of sugary flower nectar. One of these birds flew between another person and me when we were talking.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Monotremes (egg laying) Mammals

The most ancient type of mammals are the monotremes. The females lay leathery eggs. On hatching, the young take milk from their mother like all mammals.

The only monotremes known to exist in our world today are the echidna and platypus. The platypus is only found in Australia. Echidnas are found in Australia and New Guinea.

The platypus is hard to photograph in the wild. While I have seen them, they are more like a ripple as they surface in creeks after searching for food. Not having a photo, here is my drawing of a platypus.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The echidna (or spiny anteater) is a harmless animal whose only defence when attacked is to dig it's strong claws into the ground and show its spines. I have found one wandering in my garden. The photo is of a short beaked echidna. The long beaked echidna is found in New Guinea.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Marsupial (pouched) Mammals

Marsupial or pouched animals are born very tiny. They make their way up their mothers fur and into the pouch where they can attach to a nipple. When they grow too large, they start to come out of the mother's pouch and eventually stay out. Here are some photos and drawings.

Brushtail Possum

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Wombat - This joey (young marsupial) lost his mother on the road.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Tiger Quoll

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Koala - Sapphire is the baby of Blinky and Suzie

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Red Kangaroo - the largest of the kangaroos

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

Tasmanian Devil

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo mob - groups of kangaroos are called mobs.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 Diprotodon (extinct) - When the first native Australians arrived, these huge marsupials still roamed the land.

Wikimedia Commons graphic created by Dmitry Bogdanov

Wikimedia Commons graphic created by Dmitry Bogdanov

Thylacine - Tasmanian Tiger - hunted to extinction. The last known thylacine died in captivity in the 1930s. Some believe they still exist in isolated areas of Tasmania.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Our animals even feature on the Australian Coat of Arms. Take a kangaroo and an emu...

 

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Add a little wattle

 

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Show the seven pointed Federation Star and the emblems of each state and you have the Australian Coat of Arms.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

What did I teach when I was a teacher?

When I was at university, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree. This meant if I taught high school (Grades 7 to 12) I would have taught science and possibly maths. Instead, I chose to gain a Diploma of Education in primary (Kindergarten to Grade 6) education. By teaching primary students I could teach English, Science, Maths, Social Studies, Music, Art, and Craft.

When computers came along, I was able to teach computer skills to classes and teachers. I first used computers back in 1975 and in class in 1981. Because I have many interests, I thought primary school would allow me to share much more than high school. Now, I share many of my interests online with classes around the world.

For the Our World, Our Numbers post...

Topic 5: Animals

Hello everyone,

After watching the informative video made by Mrs. Watson and her class, I wondered if I could find similar animals found in Australia. We don't have  the same species of animals with one exception, Australia also has killer whales but more about them later.

For each Australian animal I show, you will see I mention one of the 16 animals Mrs. Watson's K/1/2/3's class shared. The Australian animals I share might have similar appearance, similar names, similar food or similar habitat. Some of my drawings were prepared for first time use in this post.

 

1. Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus

I don't have a photo I have taken so I prepared this drawing for you.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Class: Mammalia

Order: monotremata (egg- laying mammals)

Like the beaver, the platypus spends much of its time in rivers and streams. It doesn't build dams. Instead it lives in burrows in the banks. It has thick, water-proof fur. It's sometimes called the duck-billed platypus but its "bill" isn't like a duck's bill, its more flexible and is used to search the bottom of streams for grubs and worms. When a specimen was first sent to England, scientists thought it was a hoax made by sewing bits of different animals together.

"Weight varies considerably from 0.7 to 2.4 kg (1.5 to 5.3 lb), with males being larger than females; males average 50 cm (20 in) in total length, while females average 43 cm (17 in)." Wikipedia

Here is a link to a You Tube video of the platypus from National Geographic...

This is not my video clip.

 

2. Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpback_whale

Here is a drawing I prepared for another post.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Class: Mammalia

Order: Cetacea

Like the beluga, the humpback is a whale. It can be seen in any of the world's oceans whereas the beluga whale is only found in Arctic waters. Beluga are toothed whales whereas humpback whales are baleen whales. A beluga mainly feeds on fish like the Pacific salmon whereas humpback whales feed on krill (like small shrimp/prawns) and schools of small fish. Visitors to my town can take trips on boats to watch humpback whales on their annual migrations along our coast.

 Fully grown, the males average 13–14 m (43–46 ft). Females are slightly larger at 15–16 m (49–52 ft).

3. The Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_devil

Again, I didn't have a suitable photo. This drawing was prepared for another post.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Class:Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Dasyuromorphia

Comparing an Australian animal to the wolverine was difficult. We don't have any large, strong natural predators in Australia but the Tasmanian devil is a carnivore. It's only the size of a small dog and can only be found in the wild in Tasmania, Australia's most southerly state.

"Males are usually larger than females, having an average head and body length of 652 mm (25.7 in), a 258 mm (10.2 in) tail and an average weight of 8 kg (18 lb). Females have an average head and body length of 570 mm (22 in), a 244 mm (9.6 in) tail and an average weight of 6 kg (13 lb)." Wikipedia

I have a You Tube clip I found on the web. You will see and hear two Tasmanian devils having an argument.

 

This is not my video clip.

 4. Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_brushtail_possum

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Diprotodontia

 I chose to compare the brushtail possum to the raccoon because they both don't mind living in urban areas and getting any human food they can find. The one in the photo was seen on a school camp one night. It was watching to see if we would leave any food out.

The common brushtail possum has a head and body length of 32 – 58 cm (12.5in - 23in) with a tail length of 24 – 40 cm (9.5in - 15.5in). It weighs 1.2 - 4.5 kg (2.6lb - 10lb).

 5. Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus)

Reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_tiger

I don't have any photos of a Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) as it is thought to have become extinct in the 1930s. Here is a drawing I prepared.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Here is a link to a You Tube clip showing the last known thylacine.

This is not my video clip.

Class: Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Dasyuromorphia

Australia doesn't have any native cats in the wild (there are escaped domestic cats). To choose something like the cougar, I chose the marsupial Tasmanian tiger. It was a nocturnal (nighttime) animal that looked a little like a dog but it was a marsupial and the famales had pouches to carry its young. Like the cougar, the thylacine was carnivorous. It once also roamed mainland Australia with remains of one being found to be over 3,000 years old.

"The mature thylacine ranged from 100 to 130 cm (39 to 51 in) long, plus a tail of around 50 to 65 cm (20 to 26 in). The largest measured specimen was 290 cm (9.5 ft) from nose to tail. Adults stood about 60 cm (24 in) at the shoulder and weighed 20 to 30 kg (40 to 70 lb)." WIkipedia

6. Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos)

Reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_pied_cormorant

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Merimbula, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Aves (birds)

Order: Suliformes

Since first seeing a photo of the puffin, I found them fascinating birds. They look a little like penguins but aren't and can fly.  The little pied cormorant has similar feeding habits. It dives under the water looking for small fish or bottom-dwelling crustaceans.

It can measure 56–58 cm (22–23 in).

7. Dingo (Canus Lupus Dingo)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dingo

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

While Australia does have red foxes, they were only introduced to Australia in the 1800s. There were people who wanted to go fox hunting. The dingo was first thought to have been brought to Australia by Aborigines perhaps 6000 to 10,000 years ago. They are thought to be closely related to grey wolves and dingoes.

Dingoes can be 52 to 60 cm (20 to 24 in) tall at the shoulders and measure 117 to 154 cm (46 to 61 in) from nose to tail tip. The average weight is 13 to 20 kg (29 to 44 lb).

8. Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan

It was a surprise I couldn't find a black swan in my collection of photos so I added a photo of a pair today.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Merimbula, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Aves (birds)

Order: Anseriformes

Black swans can be 110 and 142 centimetres (43 and 56 in) in length and weigh 3.7–9 kilograms (8.2–20 lb).

Australia also has swans. The black swan is an Australian native and is part of the state of Western Australia's coast of arms and flag.

This graphic is in the public domain and was listed in Wikimedia Commons.

9. Tiger Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_quoll

Again, I don't have a tiger quoll photo in my collection so here is my attempt at drawing one.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Class: Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Dasyuromorphia

Australia doesn't have any native cats  such as the lynx but does have escaped domestic cats in the wild. I chose the quoll because it is also a carnivore. It is an endangered species. Climate change, predation and even poisoning from baiting for feral animals are some of the cause of their decline in the wild.

Quoll males weigh around 3.5 kg (7.7lb) and females around 1.8 kg (4lb).

10. Dromedary Camel (Camelus dromedarius)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_feral_camel

 This is the scan of a 35mm slide I took near Alice Springs in Central Australia nearly 30 years ago.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Australia doesn't have native deer or, for that matter, native camels, so white-tailed deer might only be found in zoos and on deer farms. I chose to add feral (gone wild) camels because they can be seen wandering Australia's deserts. Australia has the largest population of feral camels in the world (estimated around one million in 2009. In the early 1800s, exploring inland Australia's desert regions needed a good means of getting around. Camels were used by some explorers. In the early days of settlement, camels also provided a way goods could be taken over desert regions. They aren't used now, except for tourists as those in the photo. Road, rail and air has replaced them. They cause problems for native wildlife and cattle fencing so the numbers have to be controlled. Many are exported to the Middle East from where they once had come.

Camels can weigh 300 to 600 kg (660 to 1,300 lb).

11. Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koala

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Diprotodontia

Australia doesn't native bears like the grizzly bear but sometimes the koala is called the koala bear. The grizzly  bear is a placental mammal whereas the koala is a marsupial mammal. The female koala (Suzie) in this photo had a joey (marsupial baby) in her pouch when this photo was taken.

The koala has a body length of 60–85 cm (24–33 in) and weighs 4–15 kg (9–33 lb)

Below is a video I had taken on one of the first times Suzie's baby looked out of her pouch. Like all marsupials, the young are born very small and have to make their way into the pouch where they remain until ready to leave the pouch.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

12. Diprotodon (Diprotodon optatum)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diprotodon

Wikimedia Commons graphic created by Dmitry Bogdanov

This is a Wikimedia Commons graphic by Dmitry Bogdanov.

Class: Mammalia

Infraclass: Marsupialia  (pouched mammals)

Order: Diprotodontia

We don't have any bison native to Australia. There are feral species of water buffalo in the north but I have chosen an Australian megafauna (big animal) example.

Imagine a giant wombat taller than a human at its shoulders. They are thought to have become extinct 28,000 or more years ago. The first Aboriginal people coming to Australia probably saw them but I have only seen fossils and bones of them. It may look a little like a bear but it's a marsupial so females had a pouch for their young.

The diprotodon can be up to 3 metres (10 ft) from nose to tail, standing 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 2,800 kilograms (6,200 lb).

13. Short-beaked Echidna or Spiny Anteater (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short-beaked_Echidna

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Mammalia

Order: monotremata (egg- laying mammals)

You can see why I chose to compare the porcupine with an echidna. They both have a spiny defence. With the platypus I showed as number 1, the different species of echidna and the platypus are the world's only surviving species of monotremes, i.e. egg laying mammals. The short-beaked echidna in the photo is common in most areas of Australia and I have even found one in my garden.

The short-beaked echdina can 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 in) in length, with 75 mm (3 in) of snout, and weigh between 2 and 5 kg (4.4 and 11 lb).

Below is a video clip of an echidna.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

14. Killer Whale (Orcinus Orca)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_whale

We also have orcas here in Australia's water. They are widespread throughout the world's oceans and seas. Below is a photo of an orca skeleton to be seen inside the Eden Killer Whale Museum about 20km from my town. The skeleton is of Old Tom. After you look at his photo, I will tell you why he is locally famous.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Eden Whaling Museum, Eden, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Mammalia

Order: Cetacea

Whaling was banned in Australian in 1979. The town of Eden was once a whaling town. Whales were hunted as they made their way along our coast. It's at Eden a strange relationship began between the whalers and a pod of killer whales began. The whales began helping the whalers by herding other whales (baleen whales such as the humpback) into Twofold Bay. The killer whale thought to be the pod leader, Old Tom, would come to alert the whalers. The whalers would head out in their boats with Old Tom sometimes taking hold of a rope and towing a boat out.

Why would killer whales do this?

Killer whales naturally hunt other whales along our coastline but it can be an effort for them. Their reward was the whale tongue and lips. The whalers would use most of the whale but would throw the tongue and lips to the killer whales. The tongue and lips were favourites of the orcas. Old Tom died in 1930, his skeleton now in the Eden Killer Whale Museum. His mouth shows the wear caused by towing the boats.

Killer whale males typically range from 6 to 8 metres (20 to 26 ft) long and weigh in excess of 6 tonnes (5.9 tons). Females are smaller.

15. Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawny_Frogmouth

Australia has a number of native owl species but the snowy owl isn't one of them. I could have chosen an owl but I instead chose the tawny frogmouth. It is a bird sometimes mistaken for an owl and one I have seen while hiking.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Aves (birds)

Order: Caprimulgiformes

(Owls are in the order Strigiformes.)

Like owls, the tawny frogmouth hunts at night. Unlike owls, they catch their prey with their beaks. When scared, they will stand perfectly still with their heads pointing upwards in the hope their camouflage will protect them. While I have seen them doing this, the pictured tawny frogmouth simply opened its eyes, looked at me and didn't seem to worry I was nearby.

They can grow to 35–53 cm (14–21 in) long and can weigh up to 680 grams (1.5 lbs).

16. Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-bellied_black_snake

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Wolumla, N.S.W., Australia

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Like the rattlesnake, the red-bellied black snake is poisonous. The black snake, or any other Australian snake, doesn't have a rattle in the tail. I have seen this species a number of times when hiking but it's not a very aggressive snake and generally is more interested in getting away from people.

They can grow to 1.5m to 2.0m (5ft to 6ft 9inches).

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Katey was wondering about extinct species in Australia. I have gathered some references for extinct and endangered animal species in Australia...

 

The First reference is of extinct species as listed on Wikipedia...

List of Extinct Animals of Australia

One of our wonderful Australian magazines, Australian Geographic, has featured extinct and endangered animals. I have been collecting this magazine from it's first issue. Here is a link to their listing of endangered animals...

Latest Endangered Species

 

Looking at Some Animals

Being extinct or endangered, I don't have photos of most mentioned species but I can share some information on related species.

Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat

There are three known species of wombat to be found in Australiia. They are...

Of these wombats, the northern hairy-nosed wombat is listed as critically endangered. There is a protected colony in the state of Queensland where some births have taken place.

I don't have any photos or videos of my  own of the northern or southern hairy-nosed wombats but I do have photos and videos of the common (or smooth-nosed) wombat. Below is a photo of a wombat joey (baby) named Bert. He was orphaned and has been raised in an animal sanctuary known as Potoroo Palace. Potoroo Palace is run by volunteers. They care for injured and sick animals with the hope of returning them to the wild. Donations and entry fees from visitors help fund the animal sanctuary.  This photo and video clip was taken at a visitors' encounter with Bert.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

I uploaded this video clip so you can see this cute little guy.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

For the general Wikipedia information about wombats...

WOMBATS

Long-Beaked Echidna

The only monotreme (egg laying) mammals we know still to exist in our world are the platypus and echidna. The platypus is only found in Australia but echidna are found in Australia and New Guinea. Australia is home to the short-beaked echidna and New Guinea to the long-beaked echidna. Long-beaked echidna were thought to be extinct in Australia but there is a chance they might still exist. If they are found, they would also be seen as critically endangered. To read about the possible rediscovery of the long-beaked echidna in Australia...

Extinct echidna may be alive and well in Western Australia

The photo and video clip below are of the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus). I have found one wandering in my yard but the below was taken in Potoroo Palace. This is another video clip prepared for you.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

 Tasmanian Devil

The Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) are now only found in the wild in Tasmania. The devil has become endangered in the wild due to a facial cancer first identified in 1996. It's thought 85% of wild devils may have died. There are breeding attempts in zoos and sanctuaries. Below is a link to an article on the Tasmanian devil.

Genetic diversity gives hope to Tassie devils

I don't seem to have a photo of a devil in my collection but I prepared the below drawing for another student and thought I would also share it with you.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Here is a link to the Tasmanian devil post I wrote for Christian...

Tasmanian Devil

Some Animals from the Past

When we go back in time, we can find many animal species have become extinct. You have heard of dinosaurs and perhaps the dodo bird and passenger pigeon. Australia has a number of creatures from the past. Let's see what you think of a few extinct species from Australia's past. I will given you links for more information if you are interested...

Diprotodon optatum - This large marsupial looked something like a large bear but, like all marsupials, the females carried young in their pouch. They could grow to nearly 4m (11ft) long from head to toe. They existed when the first Aborigines came to Australia but habitat change brought them to an end. Fossils have been found.

Dromornis stirtoni - What would you think if you saw a 500kg (1100lb) flightless bird about 3m (9ft) tall? Some scientists believe this bird might have been a meat eater.

Muttaburrasaurus langdoni - The muttaburrasaurus was a large plant eating dinosaur.

 

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Hello again, Christian.

As promised, here is some information on the Tasmanian devil. Firstly, I was surprised to find I didn't have a photo of a Tasmanian devil in my collection. While I know I have photographed them years back, the photos no longer seem to be here to scan and share. As such, I have prepared a drawing of one for you using Photoshop.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Here are some Tasmanian devil facts...

* Tasmanian devils are marsupial mammals. The females have pouches and give milk to their developing young.

* Their scientific names is Sarcophilus harrisii.

* They are only found naturally in Tasmania but are also in many mainland zoos. They had once lived on the mainland.

* With the extinction of the Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) in the 1930s, the Tasmanian devil became the largest marsupial carnivore. They are the size of a small dog.

* For their size, they have a very strong bite.

* Being carnivores, they eat meat. They hunt for prey but will eat carrion (dead animals) or even household scraps from humans.

* They normally live alone but can be found in groups if there is a large dead animal available for feeding.

* Like all marsupials, the young are born quite small (0.20 g or 0.0071 oz) and must make their way into the pouch to attach to a nipple to feed.

* After around 100 days, the young are ejected from the pouch but they become independent after about nine months.

* Whereas foxes and cats introduced to the mainland have caused problems for many small mammals, the devil's habit of eating carrion and their ability to kill cats and foxes has kept the introduced animals under control in Tasmania.

 Wikipedia reference used...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_devil

 

The Devil's Future

In the wild, the Tasmanian devil is now classed as endangered. A devil facial tumour disease has been reducing their numbers since the 1990s. The Tasmanian state government is trying to save them by establishing isolated colonies free from the disease. Mainland zoos also have breeding devils.

 

You Tube

Here are some You Tube clips I've found. I don't have clips of my own because my local animal sanctuary doesn't have devils.

 

The first introduction many people have had to the Tasmanian devil is through Bugs Bunny cartoons. Tassie, the Tasmanian devil, is shown as a spinning creature capable of going through any object. Here is a cartoon of Tassie I found on You Tube.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

Now let's look at some You Tube clips showing the real Tasmanian devil. This first clip shows a captive devil in a zoo enclosure...

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

You can see them feeding in this clip taken in a zoo...

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

Why are they called devils? Early settlers in Tasmania would hear sounds coming from the forest and thought something evil or threatening was lurking in there watching them. Listen to the sounds they made. If you didn't know what was making the sound, what would you think?

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

For a last clip, I found this copy of a silent film made in 1936. It shows the last known living Tasmanian tiger (thylacine). When it died on 7 September 1936, the Tasmanian tiger was classed as extinct. Some people have claimed to have seen them in isolated areas of Tasmania since then but no proof has ever been shown.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.