Showing posts tagged with: Marsupials

Taronga Zoo

by Edgardo Gubelin on August 30, 2016

Taronga Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals and birds. There’s plenty happening and you’ll always have a new reason to visit the zoo. Events include, more than twenty zookeeper talks, daily shows, guided tours and concerts.

If your time is limited, we highly recommend the Australian wildlife park. Home to some of the most fascinating marsupials in Australia. You’ll experience Tasmanian Devils, Wombats, Koala’s, Kangaroos, Bandicoots and a host of other Australian indigenous wildlife. The Platypus is one of our favourites. It’s only one of three egg-laying mammals.

We also recommended the seal and bird shows, the cable car ride and wild ropes challenge. Your children will enjoy every minute. It’s a day filled with excitement and adventure, in a relaxing atmosphere, overlooking the beauty of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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Not so cute, Bandicoot!

by Edgardo Gubelin on July 15, 2016

Traveling the local roads, we pass signs along the route, making us aware, to beware of the “endangered Bandicoot”. Does this mean “Hoot for a bandicoot”?

My first thoughts on seeing my first bandicoot, was that it resembled a cross between a miniature kangaroo and a rat! It has the same posture as a kangaroo, with large back legs and small front legs and it seems to hop around in the same old fashion. Really weird! Being an Australian mammal, it is marsupial (active at night) and has a rear facing pouch as it spends most of its time digging.

The Long-nosed Bandicoot, is the most common species and is known to visit suburban backyards, leaving tell-tale conical holes in the garden. They eat insects, earthworms and spiders including the poisonous “Funnel Web” spider.

Over the past few years on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, there have been several outbreaks of “Salmonella Java Infections” caused by accidental swallowing material such as sand containing these harmful germs. Long-nosed Bandicoot droppings taken from the area have tested positive for Salmonella Java. Bandicoots are protected in NSW, so next time you are cornered by a Bandicoot, just use the words “Scoot Bandicoot!”

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What? A Wombat?

by Edgardo Gubelin on May 4, 2016

On a recent trip to the Jenolan Caves with a German client, I was heartbroken to pass a dead wombat lying on the side of the road that had been been knocked over by a car. And then sadly, another one within a short period of time. One normally never sees wombats during the day, as they are nocturnal and come out to graze after dusk. And seems like they nibble on the grass verges alongside the roads.

So, when I got home that evening, I decided to investigate what the Wombat’s dietary needs were. Australian native grasses and the roots of some shrubs, seems to be their staple diet. Wombats dig underground burrows, to set up home. What fascinated me was that the wombat’s pouch (being marsupial) was back to front which prevents it from filling up with sand, when digging its burrow. I was blown away, when I realized how mother nature had thought of everything!

Reading on, I was more fascinated to find out that the Koala was its closest relative and for a moment, I tried to visualise a wombat climbing a tree. A weird thought then went through my mind. Surely, that despite these two marsupials, being so closely related, there was no doubt in my mind that the Koala, which spends its entire life in the canopies of the eucalyptus trees, would no doubt have its pouch facing upwards to avoid its young joey from falling out…

Mother nature, yes back to her. It seems that when she created the Koala, it must have been at the end of a very busy week, as she sewed the pouch on back to front. I have never seen a baby Koala falling out of a tree, maybe thats because mother nature quickly recovered and slipped a strong “sphincter muscle” at the opening of the pouch to prevent the joey from falling out!

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