We have here today a special treat, a guest post by David our resident marine biologist. After reading one of his favorite books, Dangerous Animals and watching his DVD Deadly Down Under he put together this guide for those of you who think Australia is all about cute little hoppy kangaroos and fuzzy-cuddly koalas.
May I present: things in Australia that can kill you. He wrote out the list then dictated the details to me and though I can't guarantee the authenticity of the facts it'll at least give you pause the next time you think about that lovely Australian vacation you've been dreaming of.
1. Box Jellyfish. It can kill you with its fifteen-inch long stinging tentacles. They can kill you in less than a minute, in my movie it showed this lady walking in the water and she ran into a box jellyfish and she started screaming but when the people pulled her out she was already almost dead. Don't touch them.
2. Blue-ringed Octopus. Its bite can paralyze its prey--in a hour, probably? It's NOT the most toxic poison in the world because they say that about all sorts of things but its one of them.
3. Black Rat. The most common rat is the brown rat but that one isn't as deadly as the black rat. The black rat has bacteria in its mouth so when it bites you get all sorts of germs on you and you die. You can die from them if the doctor hasn't done the right thing to you.
4. Bulldog Ant. Ten stings by the bulldog ant can kill a human it is one of the most deadliest insects in the world. It has long pincers that can pinch you bad and probably you can get stitches from it. Let's go to the next one because I like this one.
5. Funnel Web Spider. One drop of the funnel-web spider's venom can kill a human. It is the most deadliest spider in the world. To trap its prey it has a big sticky web over three branches on a tree and a hole in the middle where the spider is hidden. When the insect comes down on the tree branch the funnel web spider scurries out and grabs its prey and sinks its fangs into it. By then the insect would be dead. It pulls it into its burrow for it to feed. And that's all.
6. Dingoes. They travel in packs, they eat meat, they're like all other wild dogs. They can pretty much attack you and rip you apart--kind of violent isn't it? Some animals are that way.
7. Black Widow Spider. The black widow was named that because it was black and because it eats its husband which pretty much makes her a widow which is why she's called the black widow. The black widow is the second deadliest spider next to the funnelweb. It is found all over the world. Except Alaska. Its bite is deadly to humans and can kill them in about a day. A lot of people are scared of spiders. I'm not but they are kind of shocking when they just appear out of nowhere.
8. Estuarine Crocodile. The estuarine crocodile is the fourth largest crocodile in the world. It has usually sixty teeth. It is like all other crocodiles because lies awake for its prey, feeds on meat and can harm humans. It is smaller than the Indo-Pacific [yes, he really used that word] crocodile and the saltwater crocodile. It is the length of--I don't know--probably thirty feet long. Salt water crocodiles are like sixty feet long. And that's all I want to say about that.
9. Black-headed Sea Snake. This is the most venomous snake according to my book. It is named the black-headed sea snake for its black head. It is a sea snake for its paddle-like tail which is flattened and can swim well. It is usually caught in fish nets when catching fish and gets threatened and bites the sailors. They will die in an hour. And that's all I guess.
10. Tapin. It's a snake. Its bite can kill 1,200 rats. It is very dangerous to humans. It is called the tapin for its s-like body. When its head is standing up it is shaped like an s. I don't know why but that's what it says in my book.
11. Great white shark. This is an endangered predator and the most dangerous shark thing in the sea. They're white underneath and grayish on top. Great white sharks eat mostly anything but they don't like to eat people because they're fattening.
And that's all.
Maybe Australia isn't as dangerous as he thought because he could only come up with eleven ways to die. Consider yourself lucky.
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