Animals Of The Australian
Thursday, February 8, 2001 - 12:00 AM ET
NEW YORK --While many of us will never be challenged in the outdoors like the cast of Survivor: The Australian Outback,
we can still appreciate what they're up against. On Thursday's Early Show,
Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin talked about some of the amazing animals that live in the area
where the Kucha and Ogakor tribes make their homes
Jeff Corwin has been working
for the conservation of endangered species and
ecosystems around the world since his early adolescence.
Currently, he is the executive producer and host of Animal Planet's
original prime-time series The Jeff Corwin Experience, He has a degrees in both
Biology and Anthropology.
Here are some of the animals found in the Australian Outback,
the first three are dangerous, the last three are harmless to humans.
SALT WATER CROCODILE (Crocodylus porosus)
Length of body: Adult males can reach sizes of up to 6 or 7 meters (20 to 23 feet), females are smaller, and do not normally exceed 3 m (10 feet)
Diet: Saltwater crocodiles eat a wide variety of prey, although young ones are restricted to smaller items such as insects, amphibians, crustaceans, small reptiles and fish. The larger the animal grows, the greater the variety of the diet, including crustaceans and vertebrates (e.g. turtles, goannas, snakes, shore and wading birds, buffalo and domestic livestock, wild boar, monkeys).
Behavior: Most crocodiles are more aggressive than the related alligators
For more information on saltwater
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DEATH ADDER (Acanthophis)
Length of body: Adults average between 50 and 90 cm in length, females tend to be the larger sex
Diet: Frogs, birds, small mammals and lizards
Number of Young: The number of young born are known to range up to 33, but average about eight in one litter
The venom of death adders is often deadly, especially for small women or children. They produce a neurotoxin, which has a disastrous effect on the nervous system.
For more information on death adders, click here. This will open a new Window to another page.
Length of body: Vary from about 1/2 in. to about 6 inches long
Diet: Other arthropods, including crustaceans, insects, centipedes, and millipedes
Scorpions are feared by humans, but there are actually only two species whose bites are deadly, neither of which inhabit Australia.
BENNET'S WALLABY (Macropus rufogriseus frutica)
Adult Weight: 30 - 50 lbs
Length of body: 16 - 40 inches
Diet: Strictly herbivorous, they eat grasses, leaves, and brush.
Number of Young: Embryos are able to undergo "embryonic dipause", where an embryo can live in the uterus in an arrested stage of development, while an offspring from an earlier mating is carried in the pouch. Once the young in the pouch reaches a certain age, the embryo will resume development.
Behavior: Bennett's wallabies may feed together, but usually do not
form permanent social groups.
For more information on wallabies, click here. This will open a new Window to another page.
SUGAR GLIDER (Petaurus breviceps)
Length of body: 4" - 6" plus tail of 5" - 7"
Diet: Eucalyptus sap and acacia gum, blossoms, nectar, insects, arachnids and small vertebrates.
Number of Young: One to three per litter
Behavior: Nocturnal animals, gliders find shelter during the day in tree hollows in groups of up to 6, usually related, males and females and young; groups are territorial.
For more information on sugar gliders, click
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KOOKABURRA (Dacelo navaguinae)
Family: Alcedinidae, Kookaburra is the common name for the Kingfisher family
Length of body: Up to about 26 inches
Diet: Lizards and snakes, insects, earthworms, fish, frogs and toads, mice, rats and other rodents
Number of Young: 1-6 eggs in a season with an average of 4 eggs to a nest
Behavior: Families often sit on one tree branch, and defend their territory.
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