Friday, December 9, 2011

Featherdale Wildlife Park Introduces Children To New Species

One of the biggest draws to Australia is the wildlife. The land down under is an animal lover's paradise, offering endangered species and iconic animals you can't see anywhere else. Of course there is the Koala and the Kangaroo but the Australian outback—especially the Blue Mountains region—offers a glimpse at some rare wildlife even your local zoo can't bring you.

Wombats: Wombats are small, rodent-like creatures native to the mountainous regions of Australia like the Blue Mountains. They are known for their ability to burrow long, underground tunnel systems with their front teeth and powerful claws. Like kangaroos, these marsupials have pouches but theirs are backwards facing so that their young are not covered in dirt as they dig.

Dingos: Famous for more than just eating Lindy Chamberlain's baby, dingos are one of the older species in Australia, thought to have arrived with people from Southeast Asia. Dingos have lived largely away from people as wild dogs, more akin to wolves in their pack mentality. As the continent's largest terrestrial predator, they play an important role in Australia's ecosystem, keeping Blue Mountain small animal populations in check. If you come across one on your Blue Mountains tour, you needn't fear as these creatures steer clear of humans as much as possible.

Tasmanian Devils: Known most for their cartoon depiction in cartoons as wild, snarling tornados of laughter, Tasmanian Devils are not without their quirks. About the size of a small dog and known to frequent mountainous areas you are likely to see along your Blue Mountains trip, these large marsupials are known for their stocky and muscular build, black fur, pungent odor, extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding. Come to think of it, that cartoon may not be far off.

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