Did you know
Before Australia was settled by Europeans, Bilbies could be found in about 70% of the Australian mainland.
The female Bilby's pouch opens backwards to avoid filling with dirt while digging her burrow.
At only 14 days, the Bilby has one of the shortest gestation periods of all mammals.
Baby Bilbies are carried for the first 75 days in their mother's pouch.
The non-native foxes and feral cats prey on Bilbies and one of the causes for the Bilby decline.
Hybernating in Australia
Robin wrote, "We are studying about animals that hybernate. Do Australian bears hybernate like our bears?"
Discovered in the Australian Alps in 1966, the little Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus) is the only Australian marsupial that hybernates. They are also the only mammal to live exclusively in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia where there is a continuous period of snow cover.
The total population is estimated to be less than 3,000. This is due to loss of habitat in Victoria and New South Wales ski areas.
The Mountain Pygmy-possum weighs only 45 grams and easily fits into the palm of your hand. The Healesville Sanctuary has a research and breeding program to help avoid the probabilty of extinction. An excellent article about this animal is at Australian Department of the Environment.
The Australian Shepherd
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Emilio asked if I was scared of drop bears. Drop bears are not real.
It is a story told to scare tourists for fun. People have made videos and posted photos online. But they are fake, not real. Fun to look at as long as you know it's a joke.
In case you were wondering, Australia has no native bears. The koala bear is not a bear. It's real name is koala, not koala bear. No worries. Lots of adults who do not live in Australia call it a koala bear. We call those people tourists.
1873 ... A group of explorers led by Peter Egerton Warburton were looking for a crossing from the Overland Telegraph Line in Alice Springs to Perth, WA. Included in his party were 17 camels.
During this trek, which began 15 April 1873, they were constantly forced to head north to search for water. Being low on provisions, they began eating their camels.
On Christmas Day 1873 the expedition ate its last camel. It was probably necessary, but it could not have been a Christmas they would fondly remember.
Cathy M. thought some people might think Australia didn't have camels any more. While the Warburton explorers might have eaten their last camel, it certainly wasn't Australia's last.
In 1840 the first camels were brought into Australia from the Canary Islands. 26 years later Sir Thomas Elder at Beltana Station, SA setup the first stud operation providing quality breeders for the next 50 years. Imports from India and Palestine, however, continued until 1907 bringing in an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 camels.
The camels brought into Australia were almost exclusively the one-humped camels (Camelus dromedarius) because they are highly suited to the Australian climate. Only a few two-humped camels (Camelus bactrianus) were imported (Two-humped camels are best suited to cold deserts.)
Today camels can be found roaming wild in the interior of Australia. Camel racing occurs in different parts of Australia and there are camel treks for tourists to enjoy.
Take an Australian tour on the back of a camel.
Steakhouse restaurant serving camel, crocodile, emu, and kangaroo meals.
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