Posts Tagged ‘Queensland’

Milk that fish (yes, I said fish)

In July 2014 on July 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm

kirsti Stone fish

Kirsti: In Cairns recently for a conference on social insects, I visited my Honours supervisor Jamie Seymour – the guy I’ve previously talked about as being a big influence in my science life.

In his past life Jamie was an entomologist, using integrated pest management strategies to increase food production and efficiency. But now he’s a toxicologist, conducting research on some of the most deadly animals in the world.

It’s really cool. And he has a really cool aquarium where he studies box jelly fish and other nasties that could stop a fabulous tropical paradise holiday in its tracks.

Jamie’s been doing a series with SmarterEveryDay, the YouTube channel with ultra awesome science stuff on it, and there are some really interesting clips, including one on milking stone fish!

Seriously. You have GOT to watch this! (you seriously do, it’s way wicked – Sarah) It shows the hypodermic-needle-like spine of a stone fish shooting out deadly venom as some rubber exerts pressure on it (simulating a foot or other unfortunate body part). Apparently there are about 1000 victims of stone fish spine impalement in Australia every year. Footwear isn’t always an effective barrier!

While I was at Jamie’s workplace – just for 20 minutes or so – I was treated to a baby saltwater crocodile launching itself at me from a mangrove tank, and a massive barramundi nearly jumping out of the aquarium at me! I’m currently working on my reflexes so that the next time I visit my chances of survival are much greater……

There are blue ringed octopuses, sea horses, a leopard shark they raised from an egg, wobbegongs, white tip reef sharks and more. It’s fascinating stuff, deadly animals!

[image thanks to Tetsuhiro Kikuchi on Flickr]


Day 270. Australian dinosaurs

In May 2013 on May 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm


Queensland. Beautiful one day, perfect the next…or so they say.

It’s been the site of several disappointing school holidays for me – poor weather and childhood illnesses managed to collide not just once but twice – but now I have a new reason to visit.

The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History.

Located in the town of Winton in outback Queensland, the museum sits in the heart of a district inhabited by very large plant eaters about 95 million years ago, and has the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils.

It’s even been listed in Lonely Planet’s top ten global places to hunt for treasure. Yes, members of the public can actually participate in digging for bones in Winton! It’s not cheap, but the entire week-long package does include accommodation, meals, facilities and a few tours.

This experience is now placed firmly on my bucket list.

Thanks to Richard Fidler’s In Conversation chat with farmer-turned-paleotologist David Elliot for alerting me to this amazing museum.

[image thanks to ashleigh290 on flickr]