Kalbarri Wildlife

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Father Emu

On a recent trip to Kalbarri, in Western Australia, Don noticed a male emu looking after a brood of chicks.

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

Emus are large, flightless birds. Although they can’t fly, they are very fast runners, reaching speeds of around 50km/h. Emus have an average height of 1.75m. They weigh 50-55k, with females about 5k heavier than the males.

Females lay clutches of around 6-12 dark green eggs, which are incubated by the males. During incubation, the male birds do not eat, drink or defecate. When the chicks hatch, the males take full responsibility for their care. Chicks are camouflaged with cream and brown stripes, making it easy for them to hide from predators.

WA Frog

Don came across a burrowing frog on the road to Kalbarri, in Western Australia. These amazing creatures are able to survive in very harsh, dry conditions. They do this by burrowing underground away from the heat, and storing large quantities of water in the form of diluted urine. Burrowing frogs have hard lumps (called tubercles) on their feet for digging.

Even though burrowing frogs may remain inactive underground for months or even years, their muscles do not waste away. They emerge with a fully functioning muscle system at the beginning of the wet season, ready for a frenzy of breeding and feeding.

There are over 45 different species of burrowing frog in Australia. They are a varied and diverse group, belonging to the family Myobatrachidae.