Tag-Archive for » Australian Animals «

Surfing With Sharks in Australia

Yup, I did that…It all seems a little surreal today as I think back, but I did it. In fact, if you’re surfing anywhere, you’re likely to be surfing with these heavily teethed fish… I felt very secure where we were – inside a coral reef by Lancelin Island in Western Australia. The friends I was with surfing had been coming to this very beach year in and year out from their youth. I was learning how to boogie-board (sometimes called body boarding) and progressing up to a surfboard. We never saw anything suspicious – in fact, we never even saw dolphins there. We surfed at [ ... ]

Whale Sharks in Australia

What do I know about sharks? Well, I know a little bit about sharks. I’ve swam with them, I’ve seen them, and I’ve surfed with them. Yeah, I know them a little bit! I traveled around Australia back in 1995 for a few months backpacking my way through the center of Aussie, hitting the Northern Territory and going West back down the coast all the way back to Perth, Western Australia. On my journey, I stopped in Exmouth, Western Australia where I had the amazing opportunity to swim with whale sharks out past the reef. A helicopter would relay the coordinates of the whale sharks [ ... ]

My First Shark Sighting – Whitetip Reef Sharks

Well, the day before we went whale shark swimming in Exmouth, Australia, I took a tour where we snorkeled off of the coast of Exmouth’s pure, white sand beaches. I was a little nervous about the sharks and asked the “local girl” that came with us if it was pretty safe. She said that the only sharks you’d see would be white-tipped reef sharks and they don’t bug you unless you provoke them, but that we probably wouldn’t even see any of them where we were. So, I got up the courage to get out there, since I had to be ready [ ... ]

Swooping Magpies in Australia

I’ve never been so scared of a bird before… In fact, I’ve never been scared of a bird before this! When I lived in Western Australia, I was there to play softball. So, I jogged in the mornings each day. The very first morning I went out through our neighborhood alone, I was shocked to see the amazing wildlife, parrots everywhere covering trees, a kangaroo or two, some kookaburras, some lizards and lots of flies! LOL… …But there were these large birds called magpies, or “maggies” as their nicknamed there. They are large like a big seagulls with pointy beaks, but are black and white [ ... ]

Cassowary of the Great Barrier Reef

A Cassowary is a flightless Australian bird, and is native to the tropical forests of New Guinea. It’s funny because Australia has another flightless bird, the emu, making it and the cassowary the 2nd and 3rd largest flightless birds in the world, behind Africa’s ostrich. Females are larger than males and are more vividly colored, and may reach up to 2 meters tall! That’s a big bird! Known to be a timid bird, it can inflict serious injury to human adults, and fatal injury to dogs and children. They have 3 toes and extremely sharp talons/claws. Check out this great, but short, video showing [ ... ]

Potato Cod on the Great Barrier Reef

As you saw in the last post’s video, there were some really amazing cod fish shown. So, I figured I would show you a little bit more about them. As you could guess, they are regular inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef. They can actually reach a length of 2 meters – that’s about as big as a reef shark, but it’s so much heavier and more bulky too! Wasn’t that awesome? I would love to do this one day…They are real gentle

Whitetip Reef Sharks on the Great Barrier Reef

The very first shark I ever saw in the ocean was a Whitetip Reef Shark! Not only that, it was the very first time I had ever snorkeled either…I went under the water for the first dip and there was a shark! It was probably about 5 feet long! Sure…It brought me right back up to the surface and ready to head back to shore, but our guide told me they’re harmless, unless you really mess around with them and bother them, which I was not even about to attempt. This wasn’t on the Great Barrier Reef, but on the Ningaloo Reef on [ ... ]

Saltwater Crocodiles on the Great Barrier Reef?

Northern Australia has the largest population of “Salties” in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is no exception, although you may be shocked to see one swimming in the ocean…Well, that’s why they’re called saltwater crocodiles. Plus, there’s plenty of food out there for them. In fact, according to WWF, it has unique habitats and breeding sites for the saltwater crocodile. I found this short video showing a saltwater crocodile that caught a large turtle on the shores of an island in the Great Barrier Reef: I’ve been to the Northern Territory of Australia and I can truly vouch for the large number of [ ... ]

Octopi of the Great Barrier Reef

The Octopus is known to be the most intelligent invertebrate in the world. They have 8 legs and no internal or external skeleton! (Isn’t that just the best octopus poster you’ve ever seen?) They are truly amazing creatures that can change color, shape and texture in an instant. Octopi (plural) have the ability to camouflage themselves in any environment. They are able to fit into tiny areas. In fact, large octopi can fit into a quarter-sized tunnel or hole. Unbelievable! Check out this fabulous video taken on the Great Barrier Reef of the octopus’ marvelous adaptations: They have a super short lifespan of 2-3 yrs. I’ve been [ ... ]

Humpback Dolphins of the Great Barrier Reef

Humpback dolphins frequent the Great Barrier Reef. There are as many as 5 different species of Humpback Dolphin, but it’s often disputed. 2 species were known to exist even as late as mid-2000, the Atlantic Humpback Dolphin and the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin. However, since then studies have shown that these species have diverged into more distinct species. Here’s a short video I found of some humpback dolphins off the coast of South Africa: The humpback dolphin that frequents the Australian waters, including the Great Barrier Reef, is the