This time we look at Robert Greenberg's fantastic book Australian Wildlife – The Shocking Truth!
The introduction really says it all:
Everything in Australia will kill you! Whether it grows, swims, flies, crawls, slithers, hops or glides etc; it will either kill you, kill you then eat you, “violate” you or just settle for laying its eggs in your brain!
Frankly this is the perfect book to give your overseas friends especially, perhaps, if you wish to discourage them from visiting. Even better if you give it to them after they've paid for their tickets!
Here's a sample of what you can expect:
Slow with a clumsy waddling gate and no bigger than a house cat and nowhere near as aggressive or as spectacular as the mighty Platypuses, the Echidna is nonetheless the most feared of all Monotremes due to its highly unpleasant feeding and breeding habits.
The Echidna is a stealthy and cautious predator that comes armed with an acute sense of smell and a fearsome array of sharp, toxic quills that it is capable of propelling to about 5 metres. The quills themselves are nonlethal but the toxin they carry contains a remarkably strong anaesthetic that can sedate a victim for a day or more. After sedation, the Echidna will then nonchalantly shamble up to its fallen prey and delicately chew a small hole through the victim’s nasal passage or ear canal with its long snout. Once a sufficiently sized hole is dug, the Echidna will then use its lengthy tongue to suck out the victim’s nutrient rich brain.
In the mating season, this feeding habit changes with the Echidna carefully depositing a single small egg while leaving the brain intact. If the host regains consciousness, the mother will simply launch a few more quills to quiet them down again.
After a few days, the larval echidna (known as a Puggle) will hatch and chew its way out of the host where it will then be transferred to the safety of the mother’s pouch and remain for several weeks until it is ready to fend for itself.
The Paper Wasp
The average Australian Paper Wasp has a wing span of up to 30cm and are capable of carrying off small cats and dogs to feed their young.
Although an aggressive and frightening looking insect with a vicious sting, they are highly susceptible to any common household insecticide or Tennis racket…
"And poor Mr fluffy bum was never seen again..."
It certainly gels with our sense of humour. If it's your idea of fun it is available for purchase here: https://boolarongpress.com.au/product/australian-wildlife/