Welcome to the second “3 of the best feature” that I (desleyjane) am honoured to write for PerelinColors – a wonderful blog dedicated to travel photography and advice. If you haven’t already done so, please check it out.
For this feature, we want to show you a small part of Australia and we thought that a good way to do that would be to choose 3 things each month based on a single theme. Last month was Bridges. This month is animals.
We are such a diverse country when it comes to animals. According to australia.com “Our unique animals are one of the many reasons people visit our country. Australia has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal.”
First up has to be the Koala. I did a post earlier this year about some koalas when I was away at a conference. They were in the wild and and it was great to see them that way rather than in a zoo. I’ve included some photos in both environments.
Remember, the koala is not a bear! It can be found mostly on the east coast of Australia and if you are looking for them in the wild, then they are generally found up in trees, usually eucalyptus trees. So the koala is a marsupial – meaning they give birth to immature young which they then carry in a pouch so that they can develop further. You can usually hold a koala in most of the zoos, although some places these days will only let you stand next to them.
Next up is the Kangaroo – we have 55 different species of kangaroos and wallabies (wallabies tend to be smaller). You can find them in most parts of rural Australia, although I have seen a few news reports of them fighting in suburban streets! The males do fight each other in mating season. They use their smaller forearms to hold the other kangaroo in place and they balance on their tales, while lashing out with their strong hind legs.
Kangaroos are also marsupials, carrying their immature young in a pouch. When born, they can be as small as a grain of rice, or up to the size of a bee! Despite the fighting video above, kangaroos are also lovely animals, you can interact with them in zoos all around the country.
Ok so finally I’m going to be a little controversial. This animal is not native to Australia. And it’s a fish. It’s a fish that I have huge respect for and I’ve been fascinated by since I was a child. It’s the Great White Shark.
I’m not sure how much people know about the great white. It’s found in most coastal surface waters of the major oceans. It can grow over 6m long and this is probably what it is best known for, along with the shark attacks that occur from time to time. It is believed that they can live for up to 70 years and can move very quickly (almost 60 km/hr). Of course, we all know of the great white shark from the novel and movie, Jaws, and that is where I first met the great white as well. The movies made the great white out to be a terrifying man-eater, and I don’t doubt how horrifying it would be to come across one in the water, but of course we aren’t designed to be their natural food source – sharks prefer to eat other fish and tasty seals.
For my 30th birthday, I went to South Australia and out on a boat to the Neptune Islands to see great white sharks in the flesh (so to speak). It was an absolutely incredible experience that I will never forget. We saw more than 11 great white sharks over the 3 days, the biggest was over 5m long. These photos are all photos that I took with my trusty little Canon IXUS400 (I only had a point and shoot back then!).
I hope you enjoyed this little foray into Aussie animals. Do you have any stories about seeing any of these animals before?