dragons, parrots & the cassowary
Boyd's Rainforest Dragon
Restricted to the rainforests of Northern Queensland, the Boyd's Rainforest Dragon is not an easy reptile to find. Although it has very enlarged cheek scales, a prominent crest, and a yellow dewlap under its chin, the dragon camoflauges itself well when approached, and will usually move around to the opposite side of a tree, keeping the trunk between it and you. These diurnal, arboreal lizards perch themselves on tree trunks at head height so keep alert as you wander through the rainforest to get a glimpse of this handsome creature.
The Eclectus Parrot is unusual in the parrot family.The contrast between the brilliant emerald green plumage of the male and the deep red/purple plumage of the female is so marked that the two birds were, until the early 20th century, considered to be entirely different species.The upper mandible of both male and female juveniles are brown at the base fading to yellow towards the biting edges and the tip. They are extremely friendly birds, that often will perch themselves on the shoulder of a passerby.
This large, flightless bird is native to the rainforests of Tropical North Queensland, and classed as endangered. Cassowaries eat fruit whole, and then disperse the seeds of these fruits. As such they are a “keystone species” – the loss of the Cassowary may eventually lead to the loss of these plant species. The Cassowary is unique in its appearance, with a hard and stiff plumage, a brown casque, blue face and neck, red nape and two red wattles hanging down its throat. Its three-toed feet are thick and powerful, equipped with a lethal dagger-like claw up to 12cm long on the inner toe.
The Rainbow Lorikeet is a medium sized parrot, ranging from 25-30 cm in size, and has a wingspan of about 17 cm. The plumage (hence the name) is very bright and colourful. The head is deep blue with a greenish-yellow collar, and the rest of the upperparts (wings, back and tail) are deep green. Rainbow Lorikeets often travel together in pairs and occasionally respond to calls to fly as a flock, then disperse again into pairs. These Lorikeets feed mainly on fruit, pollen and nectar, and possess a tongue adapted especially for their particular diet.