Readers’ wildlife photos

July 15, 2018 • 7:45 am

Reader Joe Dickinson recently went to Australia and New Zealand (lucky guy!) and has sent us some photos. His notes are indented, and some of the IDs could use confirmation:

23 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing. I was in Sydney in 2002. I remember petting a koala at a wildlife park and being so surprised the fur is not soft as it appears but like wool.

  2. Ah, those incredibly cute Aussie animals.

    But – they’re Australian. It’s been said that every form of wildlife in Australia is trying to kill you, and that’s maybe not such a wild assumption.

    Kangaroos – just Google ‘kangaroo attack’. Here’s a kangaroo being an asshole (ignore the silly captions):

    The Tasmanian Devil is “characterised by its stocky and muscular build, black fur, pungent odour, extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding. The Tasmanian devil’s large head and neck allow it to generate among the strongest bites per unit body mass of any extant mammal land predator”. Also, carnivorous. So, do not feed it by hand if you like your fingers.

    The platypus is renowned for being an egg-laying mammal, but aside from that peculiarity, it is also one of the few species of poisonous mammals. Of course.

    The koala has fearsome claws and is reputed to be extremely bad-tempered. (So would anyone be if they had to live on toxic eucalyptus leaves). It is also likely to have chlamydia and piddle on you if stressed. So, not the sort of cuddly creature you want to pet.

    Probably the least risky one to pet would be an echidna.


      1. Very possibly, though not consciously, and it does reflect a general impression I have of Australian fauna.

        Terry Pratchett may have made a similar comment in The Last Continent, about Fourecks (the Discworld analogue of Australia), though I can’t recall for sure. (But then, almost everything was always trying to kill his hero Rincewind anyway)


      1. I think it’s possible that, being zoo creatures, they were relatively tame and quite likely the zoo staff had sequestered any really aggressive ones.

        Auckland Zoo also has (or had) a walk-through area populated by wallabies and similar ‘wild’ creatures.

        Those Australian kangaroo-type creatures** are certainly fascinating.

        (**Is there a generic word for jumping-on-huge-hind-legs-and-balanced-by-a-tail ? I can’t think of one).


  3. What great photos!I love all these photos.The upside down “Joey” is really cute. I just love the Tasmanian Devil and Koala with his tongue out…
    Thank you!

    1. Those are just interlocking concrete paver blocks. They make for a more interesting pattern than plain rectangular bricks.

      Very common in NZ (and obviously in Oz too).


  4. “…my wife who, once again, must never know I posted this.”

    Great! When do the cheques start to arrive? I have to say, Big Pharma, Big Mercury,and Big Fluoride have been a bit slow with the cash recently…

    1. I’m still getting my checks from big coconut water and big graphite mechanical pencil. They know how to maintain true world domination.

  5. Wonderful photos, thank you! The story we heard as to how the Tasmanian Devil got its name is based on the phenomenon where the ears, when lit from behind by the sun, appear to glow red. This can be seen here in the photos, and I’ve seen an even more intense brilliant, scary-devilish flash of red from some zoo dwelling Tasmanian Devils.

    1. I always thought it was because of their spine-chilling yell and really fierce, badass manners.
      Did not know about the glowing red ear thing.

  6. The Dingo is the odd man out. A placental mammal introduced by early humans, and probably the reason the Tasmanian Devil and the Tasmanian wolf are Tasmanian.
    I have always been intrigued by marsupials and monotremes. Their ancestors were not infected by the retrovirus that gave the placentals their placenta.Must have happened more tha 100 million years ago?
    Yet the faces of say wallaby and devil look so very ‘placental’.

  7. Thanks for sharing mate…. here is a bit of wallaby news and a nice story for their kin.
    “In a historic first, Australia will welcome home about 20 Kawau Island tammar wallabies today, members of a “lost generation” brought to New Zealand more than 100 years ago but now extinct in their native land.
    Two years ago, Australian scientists discovered that the Kawau tammars belonged to an extinct sub-species, and with an island community group planning to eradicate all the wallabies by 2005, decided to fly some home before it was too late.
    This first consignment of tammars arrive in Adelaide today and will be quarantined at Monarto Zoological Park, 70km east of the city, for six months before being released into the wild.
    Kawau’s brush-tailed rock wallabies are also being deported in a separate project. They are endangered in their native New South Wales”.

    “The Kawau Island Pohutukawa Trust has DoC-sanctioned plans to rid Kawau of wallabies in just over two years – although many people believe that is unrealistic because of the scale of the work.
    The wallaby head-count is unknown but they number in the thousands.
    Wallabies, along with other exotic wildlife and plants, were introduced to Kawau 140 years ago by Governor George Grey. But the marsupials feed on native plants and many people argue that they have no place on the island.”

    NZ Herald 2003

Leave a Reply