Day 5 - Reptiles

Today featured a highlight of the entire trip!

Monday, 3rd December 2018

Today, like most days, was awesome! But, today included what I am declaring right now as a highlight of the entire trip! More about that later.

 4a

That scenery!

This morning I headed into the field with ANU PhD students, Ian Brennan and Christiana McDonald-Spicer, as well as fellow teacher, Jane. We drove quite a distance from the base camp, and our first stop was near Westerham's Hut. The objective was to collect some specimens, which will go into the the Australian National Wildlife Collection. In particular we were looking for a particular water skink (of the genus 'eulampreus') - one that even Ian had never seen.

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Ian, Jane and Christiana looking under rocks and logs for reptiles.

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Cute little skink.

Unfortunately, we did not find any of those, but we did find:

Rankinia diemensis (Mountain dragon)

- Acritoscincus duperreyi (Eastern three-lined skink)

- Pseudemoia spenceri (Trunk-Climbing Cool-Skink)

- Lampropholis delicata (Rainbow skink)

- Eulamprus tympanum (Southern water-skink)

- Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii (Southern grass skink)

- Liopholis whitii (White's skink)

- Egernia cunninghami (Cunningham's skink)

- Varanus rosenbergi (Rosenberg's monitor)

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Pretty stripes

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Dragon

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More gorgeous patterns

I deliberately placed Rosenberg's monitor on the bottom of that list, because the story of the 'trip highlight' involves that particular, magnificent creature.

As we were travelling between sites, Jane spotted a Rosenberg monitor on the side of the road. Ian swiftly pulled over, and jumped out of the car to see if he could catch it in order to collect a sample for another researcher. It was incredible to witness! The monitor was fast, but so was Ian, and he eventually emerged from some vegetation holding the monitor. It was incredible! A small piece from the end of the tail was taken as a sample before the reptile was released.

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Ian with the monitor he caught.

 4b

Christiana and I with the monitor.

We stopped at Gibraltar Falls on the way back to base in order to take in the scenery and dip our toes in the cool, fresh water.

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Gibraltar Falls

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The view!

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Cooling off

Thank you team reptile for an unforgettable (and picturesque!) day! 

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There were so many different flowers in our locations today.


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Westerham's Hut

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More pretty flowers.