Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Land Down Under- Wildlife and Wax

Today was all about Australia's wildlife: Mammals, insects, marsupials, fish etc. Well we started with the Wildlife Sydney. This place was full of snakes. It had Kookaburras, Kangaroos, Koalas- So cute, they looked like dolls you see in stores- Butterflies, frogs and crocodile.

We started with the Butterfly Tropics. This place was a huge room, super warm and had butterflies fluttering above your head in every direction. All in different colors sizes and speed. Some just flew slowly so you would see their beauty. Some just flew past you like there was some huge predator after them. It was like stepping into some childhood story where there are majestic butterflies flying around. After this walk through the butterflies and trees we reached the place with most of the snakes. At the same time across the snakes there was an area with Koalas, and Wallabies. The snakes were just sleeping on a branch or on the soil in their cases. There was one snake, the Scrub Python that was 5 meters long, but compare to its relatives in the wild its small. The average of a Scrub Python is 8.50m. That’s really long, like super long. I'm getting shivers up my spine describing that cold-blooded, slithering snake. There were other snakes but not so interesting.

The Wallabies shared an open space with Kookaburras and some other animal. I think one was the Emu, a flightless bird related to the Ostrich. We continued and saw some Grey-Backed Kangaroos. They didn’t look very gray to me, but they were very small. Some were active, some not so much. One looked like a big pillow with a fluffy tail, feet, short paws and a bewildered head placed in a blood red sandy carpet.

We continued and saw some parrots, with wonderful colors, but they looked like multi-colored blurs when they flew past the glass window. We continued and saw some chicks, with black and white striped, though I can’t remember which bird they were, sorry.

We visited a lonely crocodile, named Rex. This big fellow, sun bathes for about 2-4 hours a day and the rest spends his time in his personal little pool. Now in most places there are mates, female and male. Rex had two attempts to mate but in both attempts the female died, from murder. Rex stays a Bachelor for now. After this nice visit to this lonely, violent reptile, we headed to the nocturnal animals. I’m sorry to say I didn’t see much, I didn’t bring my glasses, plus it was so dark I wouldn’t have been able to see anything with them or without them. I saw some small mice but that’s all.

After the several attempt to see the creatures which live at night we headed to the Koalas upstairs. There were four to see and one which was at the back having along rest. We took some photos of the Koalas and had some photos taken with them. We petted them and took more photos. Later we had a little talk about the Koalas. They sleep most of their time. Their diet isn’t very healthy, they either eat, Eucalyptus leaves or the Gambia tree leaves. Both of these trees, have tough leaves and are kind of poisonous, but no other animal eats them so they have a big personal supply. Koalas sleep for about 17-22 hours and the rest of the time they eat. They sleep so much because their diet isn’t vet nutritious and it doesn’t provide much energy. Another fun fact about them they have a very hard bone in the buttocks. So when they sleep the position they sleep in doesn’t bother them because the hard bone absorbs all the pain. Continuing with the Koala lesson, the mating time of the Koalas is about the November- February months. The males make some burping sounds to try and attract mates. If that doesn’t work, they rub their scent all over a tree and a female will sniff and see of she likes it if she does then she goes up and they mate. The time it takes the fetus to go inside the stomach of the mom is about the same time span as a human, 9 months the only difference in the family is the father after mating leaves. The baby koala is born in the size of a jellybean.

After the fetus is born, now it’s called a Joey, climbs into the mothers pouch and drinks milk from the mom’s nipples for a few months. Now after all the growing, the Joey needs to learn to eat the actual diet, but he still cant, why? Because he still can’t digest the food it’s too dangerous, so he eats his mom’s poop for about a month. I know it’s disgusting. It’s this greenish thing, but it gives the Joey the bacteria that later settles in his stomach and it will help him digest the ‘normal’ food. After the Joey is mature enough the mom leaves him, and this is the life of a Koala.

After seeing animals we went to see a wax exhibit. They had different figures on display. From historical people who shaped history, to famous politicians, sports players, actors, scientists, writers etc. Some were very lifelike. There were the famous, couple- Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. There was Captain Cook, and the fabulous Albert Einstein.  There was Obama himself and Gandhi. Also the Australian Prime Minster, Julia Gillard.  Also you could sit beside the Queen of England. We saw how the process to make each wax figure takes 3 months of so, to make the stand for the statue and than the facial features and lastly the costumes.

Later after leaving the Wax museum, we went to the Sydney Sea life Aquarium. There were thousands of fish, and many facts about crabs. We saw sharks, and stingrays, everything you see in an aquarium. But the experience was worth every minute. It told something’s that you probably wouldn’t know. Like what a baby platypus is called, or what Dugong is related to, or even the rough size of the Great Barrier Reef. The place was just fantastic. The sharks you could see up close. And I learnt that some stingrays can create electrical shocks like an eel can. Fact: Stingrays have three ways to fight off predators, 1) electric shocks, 2) their size (Biggest Manta ray is 8m long) and 3) Shape- the shark stingray looks like a shark. We saw some penguins but I’ve seen the same species in New Zealand, the Little Blue Penguin.
               
Good Night my fellow readers; tomorrow is my last day in Sydney. :D

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