Welcome, Meredith Shayne!
Author Meredith Shayne is our Down Under Author of the Day. Originally from Australia, Meredith now resides in New Zealand, so she’s Down Under times two! For more about Meredith Shayne, her bio, her books, her interview, and, of course, her giveaway, visit her page coming up shortly.
Now for our Down Under Facts of the Day!
Unlike Australia, there are no dangerous plants or animals of any kind in New Zealand (excluding sharks that is)! The more common ones can create discomfort rather than pain or illness. If you’re tramping or hiking in New Zealand take a few simple precautions and any problems will be minor. How minor? Well, according to the official New Zealand animal page, the New Zealand Kea is mentioned. Why? Check out the Kea!
This is the New Zealand parrot, found in southern alpine regions of the South Island. This bird is not so much dangerous as a nuisance. It is quite cheeky and will attack your personal belongings if you leave them unattended. However, the biggest damage they cause is to cars. They have a particular taste for the rubber on windscreens, mirrors and car doors and can be quite destructive. They are not a threat to humans, however.
AUSTRALIA IS INFAMOUS FOR its dangerous animals, unlike New Zealand. With more deadly snakes than any other country worldwide ( 8 of the 10 most deadly snakes are found here), it isn’t surprising. Think about the scenes in some of the stories from our Australian authors, Can you remember where and in which story some of these animals are mentioned? I can.
Though sharks, spiders, and snakes get the majority of bad press, it is actually an awesome array of predators and venomous critters that have earned Australia its fearsome reputation.
Top 30 dangerous animals in Australia (This list was developed by the Australian Museum in Sydney. Museum staff rated animals out of 10 based on the threat they pose, combined with the likelihood of encountering one.) For more information and pictures, visit Australia Geographic!
Danger rating: 10/10
Danger rating: 9/10
2. Honey bee (Apis mellifera)
3. Irukandji (Carukia barnesi)
Danger rating: 8/10
4. Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas)
5. Eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis)
6. Saltwater or estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
7. Sydney funnel web spider (Atrax robustus)
Danger rating: 7/10
8. Blue-ringed octopus (Genus Hapalochlaena)
9. Coastal taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus)
10.Common death adder (Acanthopis antarticus)
11. Cone shells (Conus sp.)
12. Dugite or spotted brown snake (Pseudonaja affinis)
13. Mulga snake (Pseudechis australis)
14. Red-bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)
15. Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)
16. Tiger snake (Notechis scutatus)
17. Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) (low, yes, low on the list)
18. Yellow-bellied sea snake (Pelamis platurus)
Danger rating: 6/10
19. Bluebottle (Physalia physalis)
20. Common lionfish (Pterois volitans)
21. Collett’s snake (Pseudechis colletti)
22. Highland copperhead (Austrelaps ramsayi) not the same as ours!
23. Inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)
24. Redback spider (Lactodectus hasselti)
25. Reef stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa)
26. Smooth toadfish (Tetractenos glaber)
27. Blue-bellied black snake (Pseudechis guttatus)
Danger rating: 5/10
28. Australian paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus)
29. Bull ant (Myrmercia pilosula)
30. Giant centipede (Ethmostigmus rubripes)
I’m having fun delivering these facts to you all, learning tons as I go. How about you? What has been the most interesting, unexpected fact from New Zealand and Australia to date?
While exploring our Down Under Authors and their books this month, don’t forget to visit the Down Under Author Showcase Page on the menu for Bottom Drawer Publications contest and link!
Now on to Meredith Shayne! Have you read Cutting Out yet?