Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Travelled south towards the Victoria border yesterday with a view to then heading eastwards to the coast. Stopped at midday by a river supposedly in platypus country, but were advised that the best time to spot the little creatures was dusk or dawn so we had no expectations. However within minutes of arriving we were watching platypus swimming around and diving for food. Amazing.

You will have to trust us that the blurry pic is genuinely a duck-billed platypus, they were very hard to capture. With the binoculars you could watch them dive and then follow the line of bubbles until they surfaced again.

Fact of the day: juvenile platypus are called ‘puggles’, and when the female is ready to lay her eggs she builds a special burrow called a ‘puggle palace’.

Strange things the monotremes. Another one of those bizarre evolutionary phenomena specific to this continent are these egg laying mammals. As we get to understand the way Aussies function it becomes easier to comprehend how evolution stalled..

Bruceypus: Hey Darl’ fair dinkum to you with the milk producing thing, what do you reckon about the whole mammal phenomena? I think it is the way forward, everyone is talking about it.

Sheilypus: Look mate, egg laying is no picnic- you think I am prepared to put myself through that whole live-bearing thing? Think of my figure?

Bruceypus; well how about the marsupials, you could have tiny puggles and carry them in a pouch. You would have breasts too- that would be knock-out.

Sheilypus: you can have the pouch if you are so keen on the mammal idea, I am not carrying a bulge around like that, I would look crap on the beach.

Bruceypus: No worries Darl’, we will stick with the eggs. Mammalian evolution probably a fad anyway. Coming for a swim to catch us some yabbies for the barbie?

Sheilypus: Too right. I'll invite the Echidnas.

Very close to the coast now, off to encounter some sharks.

Pic below is an enormous lace monitor lizard, approx 1.5 m in length. Good job Ness is fleet of foot because these reptiles can cover some ground, but she caught him and got this great shot. She was somewhat alarmed when he stopped running away and turned round to face her off but survived unharmed.

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