Where Kangaroos Cross
If you happen to find yourself, Down Under, in the Land of Oz, or Australia as it is formerly known, or you may be one of the lucky ones who already live there, you will see these road signs. They are diamond shaped, bright orangey-yellow and have a picture of a black bouncing Kangaroo on them. They are often also seen on T-shirts in souvenir shops too.
I have been lucky to have visited Australia many times, having friends and family over there to provide free accommodation really helps to bring down the cost of the trip. The flights are still expensive and the fact that I developed a fear of flying that has gone from panicking a bit on landings and take-offs to full-blown total hysteria has meant that I don’t expect to see Australia for a while.
There are all kinds of strange creatures in Australia, that are unique to this Island that is also a continent.
Marsupials are a type of mammal that give birth to live young, but when they are still underdeveloped. They spend time developing further in a pouch that is external to the body.
Kangaroos, Koalas, Wallabies, Wombats, Possums, these are all Australian Marsupials.
The Opossum, known as Possum in the Southern United States, are, I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) the only marsupial to exist outside the Australasian area. Funnily enough it is only very distantly related to the creature called a Possum in Australia.
Another creature that I saw while in Australia, although it is only found up in the Tropical rainforests of Queensland, is the Cassowary.
Scientists believe that birds are the closest living relatives to the Dinosaurs. Anyone who has kept chickens would be aware of how Dinosaur like their behaviour can be sometimes. If anyone doubts the Bird/Dinosaur relationship, then meeting a Cassowary will put those doubts to death.
Here is a picture of a Cassowary:
Not only do they have talons that can disembowel you, they use the bony plate on their head to ram into people. There are signs scattered around the rainforest, not quite as cute as the Kangaroo Crossing one, that says “Beware of the Cassowary”. Unfortunately, foolish tourists have died because they didn’t take heed.
There are a few warning signs that I saw in Australia, “Do not feed the Kangaroos” Is one and “Beware: Crocodiles” Is another. It is wise to listen to these signs. After all they would not have gone to the great expense of putting them up without good reason.
But coming back to the original Kangaroo Crossing sign, what always fascinates me is how they can be so Wise to know to cross in that particular spot in the first place.
Clearly they are more clever than we give credit for. 😉
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 24/July/2018
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