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Queensland, Australia

Daintree National Park

Trip Day Thirty-seven: Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Elusive Cassowary

Signs of a Cassowary

Fruits with large seeds depend on the cassowary to distribute them.
Scientists have found that the seeds germinate much more reliably after having passed through the cassowary.

The threatened Cassowary is the largest land creature in Australia and the second heaviest bird in the world, after the ostrich. It is 5 to 6 feet tall and third tallest after the ostrich and emu. A cassowary's three-toed feet have sharp claws; the dagger-like middle claw is 5 inches long. This claw is particularly dangerous since the Cassowary can use it to kill an enemy, disembowelling it with a single kick. They can run up to 32 mph through the dense forest. They can jump up to 5 feet and they are good swimmers

A Trail of Eggs

We found the cassowary eggs scattered along a trail much like those deposited for an Easter Egg Hunt.
We counted eight eggs in this picture. How many can you find?

Disclaimer: We did not see a cassowary in the wild, nor do I think Tony expected to see one.
The dung and the eggs were pictured as we found them.

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