Tuesday 7 December 2010

A Little Known Menace

From the Australia Museum website - an article on Drop Bears


Drop Bears can be found in the densely forested regions of the Great Dividing Range in South-eastern Australia. However there are also some reports of them from South-east South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges and Kangaroo Island.

Drop Bears hunt by ambushing ground dwelling animals from above, waiting up to as much as four hours to make a surprise kill. Once prey is within view, the Drop Bear will drop as much as eight metres to pounce on top of the unsuspecting victim. The initial impact often stuns the prey, allowing it to be bitten on the neck and quickly subdued.

If the prey is small enough Drop Bears will haul it back up the tree to feed without harassment from other predators.
So be a little careful if you see a shape up in the trees. It may just be a Koala of course. But if it's a little bigger, and orange-brown rather than grey... best keep your distance. The larger ones are 120kg, 130cm long, and 90 cm at the shoulder. Call it 250Lbs, the size of a leopard. They can take down a 2 metre Red Kangaroo larger than a human quite easily, the powerful teeth severing the spinal cord just below the head.

Interestingly, there are no records of Koalas being eaten by Drop Bears. It may be that the Koala's diet, consisting of nothing but eucalyptus leaves, may taint the meat so it is unpalatable to its larger carnivorous relative, Thylarctos plummetus

They are also entirely fictional which may also account for it.


Stace said...

Wonderful account. Been reading any Pratchett recently :)


Emilia said...

Koalas are probably only eaten when animals have a sore throat.

Zimbel said...

If you're worried about these, just import some of our local Hoop Snakes. They'll kill off the Drop Bears' trees quickly enough.

Yeah - they're so poisonous that they can kill trees.

In real time.

With their tail source: Florida Museum of Natural History. (See the bottom of that page).
...the snake grabs its tail in its mouth and, like a hoop or a bicycle tire, rolls downhill toward its unlucky victim. At the last second, the snake releases its grip on its tail and straightens out like a javelin to hurl tail first into its victim.
...the only way a person can avoid this deadly skewering is to dodge behind a tree, into which the snake will drive its tail. So venomous is the tail that the tree promptly dies from the poison.

Lloyd Flack said...

Every Australian knows about the dange of drop bears and out of consideration to visitors warn them of that danger. They are especially attravted by the glint off the lenses of tourists' cameras.

Cereus Sphinx said...

I wonder if there's any convergent evolution going on between them and the Pacific Tree Octopus.



Chief DropBear Eugenicist said...

there's an economical way to eliminate this threat. Hire a cheap PR hack to release "alarming discoveries" of Korans, prayer mats, and hardcore gay porn, found in the deep bush (pun optionally intended). Tgaggers and their zombie kin will throng the area. drop bears will feast on the brains, unwittingly become infected with BSE. 4 or 5 years later drop bears will drop dead.

Laserlight said...

We looked for drop bears, dingos, spiders, snakes, etc etc, while in Australia; the only deadly animals we saw were sharks (which were technically off the coast of Oz, not in the country proper), and sheep. We were disappointed. :-(
On the other hand, we did survive the trip, so that's something.