Category Archive 'Australia'
06 Dec 2016

Man Rescues Dog From Kangaroo

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28 Nov 2016

In Adelaide, the Reptiles are Restless

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red-belliedsnake
Red-bellied snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus). Yes, it’s an elapid.

ABC NET AU:

A snake catcher is warning of increased snake activity in South Australian towns and cities over summer after removing several dangerous reptiles from Adelaide’s CBD [Central Business District].

Adelaide’s Ian Renton said good spring rains had boosted food sources for mice, and while callout numbers were about average so far, they had the potential to increase.

Mr Renton said he had removed snakes from homes and businesses right across Adelaide, including the CBD.

“We’ve taken them out of Wyatt Street, out of Frome Road, Pulteney Street, both red-belly black snakes and brown snakes,” he said.

“People leave their doors open or snakes come in through pet doors or air conditioning systems.

Mice go into the roof space and the snakes follow the scent trail, and drop out through light fittings.”

Mr Renton said people needed to take care and use common sense around their properties.

“People need to be aware [and] watch where they’re putting their hands. Don’t put their hands in places where they can’t see,” he said.

“Make sure they’re wearing gloves, good leather gloves, when they’re doing gardening.”

He said SA Ambulance Service had been reporting almost daily calls to treat people for snake bites.

25 Oct 2016

Australian Spiders Kill Mice!

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Guardian:

Australia’s litany of fearsome fauna seems to have a new entry. Added to deadly snakes, man-eating crocodiles and poisonous jellyfish comes Hermie the huntsman, a spider so unusually large and strong that it had no problem carrying a sizeable mouse up the outside of a fridge.

Hermie’s feat was captured on film by Jason Wormal, a tradesman from Coppabella in Queensland, who was heading out to work in the early hours of Monday morning when he says he received an offer from a neighbour that he couldn’t refuse.

“So I am just about to leave for work about 0030 and me neighbour says ‘You want to see something cool’ and I say ‘Hell yeah’, he wrote on Facebook.

“So we proceed to his place and he shows me this. Huntsman trying to eat a mouse.”

On the video shot by Wormal a voice can be heard off screen wondering in amazement: “What’s he gonna do with him? Man that is so cool”.

Stills taken of the spider seem to show the arachnid clutching the mouse by its head with its chelicerae while it scurries up the fridge.

Huntsman spider in Wikipedia.

13 Oct 2016

From Down Under

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wedge-tailedeagle
On Nullarbor Plain near Cocklebiddy, Western Australia… a very isolated part of Australia with nothing but views of saltbush in all directions: Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) munching road-killed kangaroo.

09 Sep 2016

Australia Beautiful

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09 Sep 2016

Two Cups Might Kill You

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The Advertiser:

Adelaide [Australia]’s strongest coffee has caffeine levels so high, it comes with a health warning.

Christies Beach cafe Viscous Coffee is serving up the “Asskicker” iced coffee, which contains five grams of caffeine — about 80 times the amount of a single shot coffee — and half the dose considered to be lethal.

Owner Steve Benington said the caffeine fix was designed to be consumed gradually over three to four hours, and provides 12 to 18 hours of “sustained up-time”.

“Some people love it and some are broken by it but it’s all in the name of fun,” Mr Benington said.

A single espresso has about 60mg of caffeine, while a standard filter coffee has around 150mg, depending on how it’s brewed.

The Asskicker is a complex concoction made of quad espresso (four shots), four 48-hour brewed cold drip ice cubes, 120ml of 10-day brewed cold drip and is finished with four more 48-hour brewed cold drip ice cubes.

“Each cold drip ice cube is approximately equivalent of a bit more than two shots of espresso in caffeine,” he said.

Mr Benington said the aptly-named Asskicker was originally developed for an emergency department nurse with a need to be kept awake and alert for an unexpected overnight shift.

“I offer custom caffeine levels tailored to personal requirements,” he said.

“She consumed her drink over two days and it kept her up for almost three days — I toned it down a little after that and the Asskicker was born.”

The coffee’s health warning applies for people with heart or blood pressure issues, Mr Benington said.

07 Sep 2016

Ball’s Pyramid

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Ball’s Pyramid

Ball’s Pyramid is an erosional remnant of a shield volcano and caldera that formed about 6.4 million years ago. It lies 20 kilometres (12 mi) southeast of Lord Howe Island in the Pacific Ocean. It is 562 metres (1,844 ft) high, while measuring only 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) in length and 300 metres (980 ft) across, making it the tallest volcanic stack in the world. Ball’s Pyramid is part of the Lord Howe Island Marine Park in Australia.

Like neighboring Lord Howe Island and the Lord Howe seamount chain, Ball’s Pyramid is based on the Lord Howe Rise, part of the submerged continent of Zealandia. It is positioned in the center of a submarine shelf. The shelf is 20 kilometres (12 mi) in length and averages 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) in width and lies under an average depth of 50 metres (160 ft) of water. It is separated by a 500 metres (1,600 ft) deep submarine canyon from another shelf on which Lord Howe Island is located. The cliffs of the stack continue under the water surface to the level of the shelf.

Ball’s Pyramid is uninhabited.

31 May 2016

“Can’t Legislate Against Human Stupidity”

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Croc2
Just a generic Australian saltwater croc photo.

Telegraph:

Tourist Cindy Waldron, 46, was swimming in waist-deep water with a friend at 10.30pm on Sunday night and yelled that she was being attacked by a crocodile before disappearing.

Her friend, a local resident aged 47, was grazed on the arm after she tried to pull the victim from the jaws of the crocodile.

“[She] tried to grab her and drag her to safety and she just wasn’t able to do that,” police senior constable Russell Parker told ABC News.

“They had been walking along the beach and they’ve decided to go for a swim just in waist-deep water and [it was] probably a very nice, clear night, but obviously [they] may not have been aware of the dangers.”

The incident occurred at Thornton Beach in the popular Daintree region in north Queensland, where a 16–foot crocodile has been spotted in recent weeks.

The area, north of the tropical city of Cairns, is known for its large crocodile population, which has been a drawcard for tourists.

“The whole of Cairns and up into Cape [Tribulation] is known for its large crocodiles,” said Neil Noble, from the state ambulance service.

“Certainly one has to be very careful around our waterways. Stay well away from the water when you can, especially when you can’t see.”

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CNN:

North Queensland member for parliament, Warren Entsch, who represents the region, said the victim should be blamed for the attack, not the crocodile.

“You can’t legislate against human stupidity,” Entsch said on Monday, noting that Thornton Beach lies next to a creek where tourism operators run crocodile-spotting tours.

“This is a tragedy but it was avoidable. You can only get there by ferry, and there are signs there saying watch out for the bloody crocodiles,” he added.

“If you go in swimming at 10 o’clock at night, you’re going to get consumed.”

13 Feb 2016

Australian Spider Identification Chart

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25 Jan 2016

“Big Boy” the Funnel Web Spider Captured

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BigBoy
“Big Boy,” a Funnel Web Spider with a 10 cm. (4 inch leg span)

Sydney, Australia is basically the centter of the natural range of the deadliest spider in the world, the Funnel Web Spider, Atrax robustus. Funnel Web Spiders additionally are aggressive, equipped with large fangs, and inclined to stand their ground when confronted. Death from Funnel Web bites was extraordinarily painful and was preceded by horrific symptoms. Death was certain before the creation of an anti-venom a generation ago.

Australia has so many deadly creatures that they have a poisonous varmint service which will come to your home and scoop up the lastest nasty, then carry him away to be used for anti-venom production.

A nice large Funnel Web, described as having “fangs dripping with venom, was recently encountered, totted off to the Reptile Park for milking, and christened “Big Boy.”

Daily Mail

04 Dec 2015

Hanging Around the House

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Goanna

People in Florida sometimes find alligators clinging to their houses, but Down Under in New South Wales they get instead the Lace Monitor Lizard (Varanus varius).

Interestingly, those Monitor Lizards, which can grow to be up to 7 feet (over 2 m.) long have recently been found to be somewhat venomous. The aborigines apparently think they are delicious.

29 Sep 2015

Exactly What Australia Needed

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KimberlyDeathAdder
Kimberly Death Adder (Acanthophis cryptamydros)

IFLScience reports that a new species of snake –though to be among the ten deadliest in the world— has been discovered in Western Australia.

A new species of viper-like snake discovered in the Kimberley region of northwestern Australia is highly venomous and expertly camouflaged. … [T]he Kimberley death adder is a sit-and-wait predator – ambushing frogs, lizards, and small mammals passing by.

A team led by Simon Maddock from London’s Natural History Museum discovered the new species after analyzing mitochondrial and nuclear DNA of Australian death adders in the genus Acanthophis. Previously, populations from the Kimberley region of Western Australia were thought to be the same species as those occupying the Northern Territory.

The new species name comes from the Greek words “kryptos” for cryptic or hidden and “amydros” for indistinct or dim. The findings were published in Zootaxa [pdf] last month.

The back of this 65-centimeter (26-inch) long snake is a pale orange-brown with 33 dark bands. Like others in its genus, the new snake has a diamond-shaped head and a stout body. But in addition to its unique mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences, the new death adder can also be distinguished by the slightly higher number of cream-colored scales on its underbelly. These scales are unpigmented except for one to three rows of spots.

Its range within Western Australia extends from the grassy, shrubby woodlands of Wotjulum in the west and Kununurra in the east, and it also occurs on some offshore islands including Koolan, Bigge, Boongaree, Wulalam, and an unnamed island in Talbot Bay. “Surprisingly, the snakes it most closely resembles aren’t its closest genetic relatives,” Maddock said in a statement. The team’s mitochondrial DNA analysis indicates that it’s closely related to the desert death adder, A. pyrrhus, and not the Northern Territory death adders, A. rugosus. Similarities between the Kimberley death adder and others in the area may have come about through evolutionary convergence: They ended up with the same traits because of their similar environments.

It’s unclear how many Kimberley death adders there are in the wild, but according to Maddock, they’re probably quite rare.

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