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The Australian Water Dragon Lizard
I am the Crush Kangaroo and my name begins with the letter K. You can see me and my friends hopping around because we cannot move our legs independently.
Most of us are left-handed. In case you thought that humans are the only species that have a dominant hand, so do kangaroos. We use our left hands for tasks like grooming and feeding.
You may also be interested to know that we do not sweat and we hang out and relax in shaded areas when it is hot outside. When we want to cool down, we lick our forearms until our fur is soaked or lick our paws and rub the moisture on our chests.
A baby kangaroo is called a joey. Newborn joeys are about the size of a grape. A newborn joey can't suckle or swallow, so the kangaroo mom uses her muscles to pump milk down its throat. Joeys crawl into their mother's pouch immediately after birth and stay there for about six months.
I am the Crush Emu and my name begins with letter E. Just like the kangaroos, I can’t walk backwards, which is why I am considered a symbol of progress. Did you know that in 1932 the Royal Australian Artillery were brought in to try and stop an emu migration as were destroying farmers’ crops. Despite tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, the army failed to stop our march over a two-month campaign.
Emus are very good swimmers, in fact we love to play in the water and mud.
We are able to store fat very efficiently. This allows the emu males to incubate the eggs laid by the females over a 48 to 56 day incubation period. During that time, the male neither eats nor drinks and loses up to one-third of his body weight. Chicks stay with their dads for about four months, until they are able to eat on their own. Meanwhile, the females have moved on, sometimes mating with a different male in the same season.
When it comes to food we love seeds, fruit, bark, nuts and stems which helps us to store large amounts of fat. We also love eating insects, small reptiles, amphibians and other small animals.
Our bodies contain 13.5 liters of oil which can be used in lotions, soaps, shampoo or health care products.
I am the Crush Koala and my name also starts with the letter K. I am one of Australia’s most famous animals and I can make even the coldest hearts melt. Not only that, but I am also one of the world’s most special creatures.
When it comes to food, I am a picky eater as I would only choose less than 50 of the 700 eucalyptus species that exist and even then I only choose the leaves at the top of the tallest trees that contain more liquid and nutrients. Did you know that eucalyptus is poisonous to most animals? We koalas have a special fibre digesting organ, called a caecum, which helps to detoxify the chemicals in the eucalyptus leaves. Because our food is so low in nutrients we need more sleep than most animals which basically helps us conserve our energy. We can sleep for up to 18 hours a day!
Like all marsupial babies, baby koalas are called joeys. The name “joey” comes from the aborigine language and means 'small animal'. Joey is the collective norm for any small animals.
A koala joey is the size of a jellybean! When born, it has no hair, no ears and is blind. Joeys use their strong sense of touch and smell to crawl into their mothers’ pouch immediately after birth, and stay there for about six months. That's about how long it takes for them to see, grow ears and hair, and walk (or waddle) on their own.
Due to excessive tree-clearing, drought and bushfires, around 80% of koala habitat has been lost and many koala populations are faced with nowhere to go. For this reason koalas are spending more time on the ground in search of food and shelter. Sadly, this is when they are most vulnerable to being hit by vehicles, attacked by dogs and falling ill to stress-induced diseases.
I am the Crush Lizard and my name begins with the letter L. I eat nearly everything as I am an omnivore (I eat both meat and fruit) and my diet varies with my age. When I am young, I tend to feed on ants, spiders and crickets and when I get bigger I feed on small mice, fruits, berries and flowers. We water dragons live in groups which consist of several females, juveniles and a dominant male who will defend as much of the territory as possible from other males.
Female water dragons make their nests in sandy or soft soil, in an area open to the sun. The gender of the babies is determined by the temperature of the nest site. Once born, the babies are fully-developed and independent and when they leave the nest, they tend to group together away from the adult population.
Those of us living in cooler Autralian climates, hibernate over winter between rocks and logs and in or near riverbanks until spring arrives.
In order to communicate with each other we use a variety of dominant and submissive signals including arm-waving, saluting, head-bobbing and substrate licking. Fast arm-waving signals dominance, while slow arm-waving signals submission.
My tail is capable of growing again if I lose it and this can happen several times.
Although we look confident and friendly humans should not approach us as we have very sharp claws and can also give serious bites.
I am the Crush Jewel Bug and my name starts with the letter B. You can find me in all Australian terrestrial habitats from lowland rainforests to high alps, from the lush vegetation of rivers to the edges of dry, sun-baked inland lakebeds.
I come from a family of true bugs that have mouths that suck, rather than beetles that have mouths that chomp. My diet consists of plant juices. When I feed, I alter the plant by injecting an enzyme from my saliva into the plant matter, which turns the plant into a liquid state.
My gleaming, metallic wings act as a form of camouflage allowing me to hide in plain sight. Iridescence has a masking ability that creates the illusion of inconsistent features and depth which confuses potential predators and this could explain why iridescence has evolved in so many different species of animals.
My wings can also change colour depending on the angle from which they are viewed, creating a shiny, rainbow-like effect seen in everyday objects such as a CDs or soap bubbles.
In many countries like Japan, Thailand, and India, my colourful shells are used for making beetle wing jewelry, clothing, decorative boxes and even religious shrines.
I am related to the stink bugs, as I can produce a specific smell when I am irritated.
In 1978 jewel bugs were listed for protection under the WA Wildlife Conservation Act — a first for invertebrates in Australia.
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