Wednesday, January 28, 2009

what do me & Ephippitytha trigintiduoguttatas have in common?

Would you like to take a guess? No, my favorite food is not Eucalyptus leaves. No, I do not resemble a chewed up leaf. NO, I do not dress to match my dinner (although it happens sometimes and is a little bit embarrassing. I mean how was I supposed to know that we were eating lobsters for dinner and I just HAPPENED to be wearing my lobster suit). And NO, it's not because they hang out on treetops during the summer and yell out for the world to hear. Alright, alright, I'll tell you! It was my nickname growing up! No, no, no, not Ephippitytha trigintiduoguttata! My nickname was Katydid, as in the common name for the Ephippitytha trigintiduoguttata. Well to be exact. The common name is really The Spotted Katydid. And they happen to have 22 spots on their wings--and I happen to be 22 years old--I know, what a coincidence!

So you're wondering why I randomly decided to talk about Katydids. Well, I decided to do some research on Queensland and some of their wildlife and I happened to come across an insect with my childhood nickname and was a little bit curious. Is that a good enough answer for you? Well along the way I found animals that are far more exciting than the Katydid. For example, the very well known, Koala. Who also happens to have Eucalyptus as his favorite food...All this talk about Eucalyptus made me want to try it out. Until I came across the fact that an essential oil extracted from eucalyptus leaves contains compounds that are powerful natural disinfectants and which can be toxic in large quantities. Several marsupial herbivores, notably koalas and some possums, are relatively tolerant of it. Well aren't they special!! And Koalas spend about three of their five active hours eating!!

Did you know that The Koala is one of the few mammals (other than primates) that has fingerprints. Koala fingerprints are similar to human fingerprints; even with an electron microscope, it can be quite difficult to distinguish between the two.

Do you remember this song?
"Kookaburra sits in the old Gum Tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
How gay your life must be!"
Well that totally brought back some good 'ole memories of childhood. It's funny how being a kid, that was just a fun song to sing while swinging on a swing. I mean, I don't know about you, but I was completely oblivious to what a Kookaburra was. And if I recall, I was calling it a Kookoburro. But anyway. A Kookaburra is the largest Kingfisher in the WORLD! It is also known as the "Laughing Jackass" because of its distinct laugh it makes. The laugh actually was hated by early settlers because they thought that the Kookaburra was actually laughing at them!
alright. I guess I'm done being a wildlife nerd. Next time on "Kate ny the Wildlife Guy", the exciting adventures of the three-toed-sloth! haha, just kidding. . See you soon!
Queensland Government