Join a campfire and hear the poetry of the outback people at the spiritual homeland of the Aussie ‘bushy’. Here you can learn about the history of the outback and the people who call it home at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame. Home of the world’s first flying surgeon and the birthplace of our national airline Qantas, there’s much to do in and around this legendary outback town.
The reptiles of Australia are a diverse group of animals, widely distributed across the continent. Three of the four orders of reptiles are native to Australia: Testudines, Squamata and Crocodilia. The only missing extant order is Sphenodontia, containing the tuataras, which are endemic to New Zealand. Australia has a large diversity of reptiles, with over 860 species. This is rich in comparison to other continents. For example, North America has approximately 280 species of reptile. The most diverse group is Squamata, also known as the snakes and lizards. The snakes and lizards are especially diverse in the arid areas of Australia, where diversity of other fauna is generally low. Spinifex grass is a major habitat which allows them to remain in a relatively cool, moist area.
Australia has a large array of reptiles which can be dangerous to humans. The world's largest reptile, the saltwater crocodile, is native to Australia.
The Red Kangaroo
The most famous species in the macropod family is the huge Red Kangaroo. Others that are well known are the Western and the Eastern Grey Kangaroo.
The Australian Dingo
Dingoes don't bark, they only howl.
The Australian dingo breeds once a year (twice is normal for dogs), usually starting at the age of one or two. The breeding season is from March - June and the average size of a litter is four to five.
Both parents take part in the raising of the pups. The den can be a hollow log, a rock shelter, an old rabbit warren or similar.
Young dingoes will start leaving the den for short periods of time at about 3 weeks of age, they will be fully grown at 7 months.
The normal life span of a dingo is up to 10 years in the wild, but can reach 13 to 18 years in captivity.
The Freshwater Crocodile
The Australian freshwater crocodile occurs only across northern Australia. Its main habitat are lakes, swamps, billabongs and the upstream areas of small rivers. They can tolerate salinity. The reason they aren't found in the more tidal parts of rivers near the coast is that the bigger and aggressive Australian saltwater crocodiles don't tolerate "Freshies".
Freshwater crocodiles are small. Females grow to about 2m, males can reach up to 3m, but it takes them 30 years to reach that size. Most of them are a lot smaller.
Their maximum weight is about 90kg (compared to over a ton for a saltwater crocodile).
The head is very distinctive, nothing like the heavy, solid, strong head of a saltwater crocodile. A freshwater crocodile has a small slender head with an unusually long snout for a crocodile.
Freshies are mainly fish eaters, but also take a variety of other small animals, whatever they can get hold of.
The breeding season is the dry season, from July to September. The females dig holes in sandy river banks and lay about a dozen eggs. They don't guard the nest like saltwater crocodiles do, but they do return when the young crocodiles hatch. The also carry their young to the water and keep an eye on them for a while, but nowhere near as long as a saltwater crocodile would.
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