Monthly Archives: March 2011

Not a nudibranch, but closely related

Hydatina physis, the rose petal bubble shell, is an ophistobranch, belonging to a group of sea molluscs that includes bubble shells, sea hares and nudibranchs, among others. This one, with an egg mass, was found in a shallow pool at … Continue reading

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The python and the possum – not for the faint-hearted

DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH  – THIS IS GRAPHIC. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! There are a lot of photos here (21), but I thought it was worth documenting in detail. John Spencer, near Grafton (about 3 hours’ drive … Continue reading

Posted in Animals on land | 4 Comments

Bird’s nest fungus

I’d heard about bird’s nest fungus (Cyathus novaezelandiae) but never thought I’d see it. Then, lo and behold, in my tomato patch of all places – there it was. The ‘eggs’ contain the reproductive spores of the fungus. Just goes … Continue reading

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Bigfoots breed under house in Larnook!

It’s opportunistic breeding time, folks! No, not you, gentle readers, unless you are so inclined – but our local wallabies. Kangaroos, wallabies and pademelons are classified scientifically as macropods, meaning ‘big foot’. On our property we have three macropod species … Continue reading

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Nudibranchs – enough said?

I don’t scuba dive any more, but every now and then I am in the right place at the right time to see a nudibranch in a rock pool. These little creatures are molluscs, but ones that lose their shells … Continue reading

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A tasty feast – for a bird

Shorebirds like oystercatchers make meals of limpets and chitons that sit on rocks, clamped down to conserve their water when the tide is out, like the one below. How the heck a bird recognised the camouflaged chiton below flummoxes me. … Continue reading

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Let Nature take its course … or not?

I’m often in a quandary about whether to ‘save’ an animal in distress, but I usually do. Take this example. It was a ‘king tide’ on the coast at the weekend – a combination of autumn equinox and full moon … Continue reading

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Dinosaurs in the top paddock?

I’ve certainly got kangaroos loose in the top paddock – well, wallabies and no jokes please, fellow Aussies – but I’m stopping short of actually calling birds dinosaurs. Many scientists think birds are descended from dinosaurs, and some the other … Continue reading

Posted in Animals on land, Birds | 4 Comments

Shining symmetry

Sea urchins are beautiful and fascinating, whether alive or dead. Some would say delicious, too, but I haven’t sampled them, despite living and working in Japan and Hong Kong for a bit and backpacking solo all over South-East Asia for … Continue reading

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Mother of monsters

Mazza kindly sent this photo of the elegant moth that comes from the clunky brown caterpillars I mentioned in the post ‘The monsters in the grapevines’. It is the pale brown hawk moth (Theretra latreillii ) and is quite common. … Continue reading

Posted in Insects | 2 Comments