I Saw Them. I Saw More than a 1,000 of Them

Kangaroos that is.  Unfortunately all but about 50 were dead – typically on one- or two-lane roads 100km from any town. 

 The dinosaur dig was 66 km (40 miles) west of Winton, Queensland (population 900) on the way to Middleton (Population 3 – yes that is a 3) – more than 1,400 km (840 miles) west of Brisbane.  Once we got more than a couple hundred miles from Brisbane, you couldn’t drive a mile without seeing a dead kangaroo by the side of the road.  We (I went on the trip with Graeme Potter, the Director of the Queensland Museum) almost hit two kangaroos in his four-wheel Toyota Land Cruiser.  One jumped across the road about 30 feet in front the car.  The other headed directly at us from the right.  I was sure it was going to hit us – but it bounded across the road just behind the car.  I couldn’t tell if it was oblivious to our presence or was “pacing itself” to cross right behind us.

The dead animals were a boon for the kite hawks and crows that scavenged on the carcasses. 

 

The best view we had of kangaroos was a mob (that’s what they call a grouping of kangaroos) of about 10 kangaroos near the Australian Age of Dinosaur fossil storage and preparation facility.  I couldn’t get a photo of the kangaroos, but they looked much like the kangaroos on the masthead of this blog site. 

There was other wildlife to see — a number of emus, including one that came to see what all these people were doing digging in the middle of a sheep and cattle paddock.  The cattle stopped to see what we were doing.  For a time it seemed they wanted to use the dunny – what Australians call a port-a-potty.  Saw many gray and pink galahs (a parrot looking bird) and a bustard, a bird about half the size of an emu with long neck and large head.

And then there were the insects.  Not as many flies as I expected since the dig site leaders said they had fly nets for our hats if we needed them.  But we did uncover many spiders – one carrying its egg sack – and a six-inch poisonous centipede.

 I drove for about 800km (480 miles) of the trip, so got plenty of practice driving on the left side of the road.  That experience — and the Road Trains —  I’ll save for another post – along with what it was like to play in the dirt for three days hunting for dinosaurs.

Update on the election – it is three weeks and counting since election day and there is still not a new government.  The tally is now 74 in support of Labor and 73 in support of the Coalition party (76 are needed to form a government).  Three independents who have yet to declare the party they will support went home for the weekend to “think.”  The claim is they will make a final decision this coming week.

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3 Responses to I Saw Them. I Saw More than a 1,000 of Them

  1. Angie says:

    I remember seeing mobs of kangaroos in Queensland and those galahs are noisy buggers! A giant flock of them used to sit in this huge tree outside our hostel every night at sunset and have themselves a parrot party. I am very impressed by your ability to whip out your camera to catch all these amazing shots while you’re supposed to be digging 🙂

    Can’t wait to read about your left-side driving adventures. Did they call you Dennis the Menace?

  2. Meena says:

    What an exciting and interesting week you’ve had. As I read the blog, Lucian peeked over my shoulder and wanted to know about the pictures. He said “Why does that spider have only six legs?” I have some research to do now.
    Looking forward to more posts.
    Meena

  3. Karen says:

    As always, it is a delight to have a window on the “Down Under” through your eyes, Dennis. I am grateful you take the time to share with us. Happy holidays to you.
    Karen

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