Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kangaroo Valley: Wombats and Scenery

When at the Symbio Zoo, Tim and didn't actually see any wombats, but we did see this sign with these two fun facts on it: 
1. "Wombats have a specialized bony plate on their rump which they use as a defense mechanism; if a predator puts their head in their burrow, the wombat will use this to crush the predator's skull."

A head-crushing ass.  Awesome.

2. "Wombats can weigh up to 40 kg (88 lbs) and can run up to speeds of 80 km/h (50 m/h)"

I'll be honest- these guys do not look like they go anywhere fast.

  • They are marsupial and have a pouch like kangaroos, but they are backwards so that when the wombat digs its burrow, it doesn't cover its babies in dirt.
  •  Wombats have a slow metabolism and take 8-14 days to digest.
  • They have distinctive cubic feces
You're welcome.

On the way to Kangaroo Valley, we saw many signs like the one below, perhaps indicating that there is a problem with wombat roadkill... we did see at least one on the side of the road that looked like it had seen the business end of a ute (pronounced  "yoot" or "yoot-ee," short for utility vehicle, but really a modern Aussie version of the El Camino).

 Immediately upon arrival at the campground, we saw a couple wombats lumbering around, munching on grass.  They were definitely not particularly scared of us, but did wander away when we got too close:

As far as I can tell, they pretty much just eat grass and wander around:

The scenery at the campgrounds were pretty... that river looks like a good place to swim:

I liked the shape of these eucalyptus trees... plus we caught a glimpse of a wombat through them:

The moon rising over the kangaroo patch was pretty cool, too:

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