January 23, 2012

0105 AUSTRALIA - This is so relaxing!

Quite many areas in the world are associated in our minds with some animals that live there, but I don't think there is a closer and unmistakable connection as between the kangaroo and the Australia. The kangaroo is a national symbol of Australia: its emblem is used on the Australian coat of arms, on some of its currency, as well as by some of Australia's well known organisations.

Natural predators of the kangaroo - the Tasmanian wolf, the marsupial lion, the Megalania (a giant goanna) and the Wonambi (a very large snake) - have disappeared one by one, more or less with the contribution of the humans, so once reached adulthood, don't graze him too many dangers.

The invasive species, brought from Europe or elsewhere and out of control, are a serious threat to the native biodiversity of Australia, but not for kangaroos. Only Dingo, arrived with humans from southeast Asia thousands of years ago, dare to include kangaroos in the diet, if they manage to avoid the defense tactics of these marsupials, because, despite the innocent appearance, they aren't helpless. Kangaroos can hit very hard with the hind legs, can catch the attacker with the forepaws and disembowelling it with the hind legs, or can flee into waterways, and if they are followed they use its forepaws to hold the predator underwater so as to drown it.

In conclusion, kangaroos generally doing well today, as can be seen from this photo (This is so relaxing! by Amanda Morrison), winner in the category Freedom of Living Australian Potography Competition 2011. I don't know much about kangaroos, but the one from the image seems to belong to the Red Kangaroo species (Macropus rufus), not only the largest of all kangaroos, but also the largest surviving marsupial. The species is also the most widespread, so that Australians have allowed only in 2000 to kill 1,173,242 specimens for commercial use.

In terms the etymology of the name, linguist John B. Haviland demonstrated in the 1970s that the word kangaroo derives from the word gangurru, which in Australian Aboriginal language Guugu Yimithirr designate the grey kangaroos. Personally, I like most the legend that says that Lieutenant Cook and naturalist Sir Joseph Banks asked a nearby local what the creatures were called, and the aboriginal responded "Kangaroo", meaning "I don't understand you", which Cook think to be the name of the creature. 

Returning to the postcard, Australia Post, co-organizer, along with Australia Day Council of New South Wales (ADCNSW), of the mentioned photo contest, with the general theme Who We Are, went ahead and issued on July 5, 2011, a series of stamps (and maxicards) featuring the top five finalists. One of these maxi cards, behold, has reached to me, due to Heather, whom I thank from the botom of my heart.

sender: Heather Massese (direct swap)
sent from Perth (Western Australia), on 10.01.2012


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  2. Thanks for the appreciations. I try, but my poor English doesn't allow me to do what I would like. :)

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