Animal Diaries Archive
25 August 2006
When you wake up tomorrow morning, walk outside and take a deep breath, what’s that smell? That’s the smell of spring my friends, you can almost feel the excitement in the air. The long, hot summer days are just around the corner!
As a result, some of the wild residents that call the grounds of Australia Zoo home are emerging for the first time this season to get amongst the sunny weather.
Aside from the Zoo's collection of reptiles and amphibians, many other local species can be found around the park. In fact, if you take a while to stop and listen you’ll be surprised at the number of wild animals you’ll see running around the Zoo. The Reptile Department is constantly inundated with e-mails and photos asking what sort of frog or reptile people have encountered during their visit, particularly over the hotter months.
To find the two wild animals featured today you’ll have to pull up a seat next to a creek, perhaps in the wetlands section of the Zoo, and listen quietly; you’ll have even more luck on rainy or overcast days. The first little guy is a beautiful Graceful Tree Frog (Litoria gracilenta). Common throughout the Zoo, you can find them tucked up on the underside of leaves along waterways. Characterised by their gorgeous yellow underside and green back, listen out for a long, drawn-out “aaaaare” sound, especially after rain, and one won’t be too far away.
Although not as photogenic as the Graceful Tree Frog, the warty little Tusked Frog (Adelotus brevis) is a lot more spectacular then a first glance would suggest. The under belly of these little fellas is a beautiful motley cream and brown, with a bright red groin. As the name suggests, they actually have tusks on the lower jaw. Occupying a different niche to the Graceful Tree Frog, Tusked Frogs can be found under logs and leaf litter alongside streams or moist ground. Lsten out for their characteristic slow “cluck”, especially near the entrance to the Zoo.