David Rabbitborough's A to Z of Australian Species



In our journey through the species of Australia we finally come to the letter Z. This means that it is time to consider one of the most fascinating species in Australia and the world: the Zoologist. The Zoologist was once virtually unknown, a reclusive creature only encountered in the musty back rooms of universities or occasionally on some tropical islands.

Recently, due to a lot of attention and nurturing - mainly by the media - these amusing fussy creatures have been on the increase. Nowadays one can scarcely turn on the television without coming upon one of these specimens poking into the soil, ripping ant's nests apart or clambering down cliff faces. One of the most common, the English species Davidia Bellaminus is a florid robust mammal with a brisk scampering gait that seems to dwell mainly in marshes and wetlands, while the slower moving, dusty grey Australia species Harributleria seems to prefer the dry outback regions.

One species, Davidia Attenburrensis is so widespread that it has come to be regarded as a pest, invading birds' nesting colonies, crashing its way through forest glades and even chipping away at the Great Barrier Reef.

The problem with Zoologists is the host of fauna that travel with them which includes cameramen, sound recordists, research assistants, caterers, make-up artists and personal therapists. A single Zoologist with entourage has been known to destroy a natural environment in fifteen minutes. So, next time you see a series called something like Our Vanishing World, you will know why it is vanishing.

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