on 30 January 2004
Researching Australia for an impending trip, I heard all kinds of horror stories about how I could end up being injected with poison by innocent-looking toads, ripped to pieces by blood-thirsty tiger sharks or even have a couple of bites taken out of me by cute-looking caterpillars. What I discovered by reading Dangerous Creatures of Australia however, was that that is all they are; stories. In fact, on the first page the author’s opening statement is “Many people believe that Australia is full of dangerous wild animals. Although it is true that we have many potentially dangerous creatures, most of them are rarely encountered and indeed even hard to find.” Whilst he goes on to admit that “Australia has more venomous snakes than any other country, both the world’s most venomous spiders and the world’s most venomous octopuses,” Robinson covers many pages on reassuring the reader via a table of statistics regarding accidental death, that you are more likely to be murdered, poisoned or even struck by lightening than you are to die from a snake bite. There is also material regarding precautions the reader can take to avoid being attacked by a dangerous animal and many maps showing the precise locations of the creatures’ whereabouts.
The author splits the book into the following sections: Large land animals (including feral pigs and snakes), small land animals (spiders and scorpions), large water animals (sharks and crocodiles) and small water animals (jellyfish and octopuses). One thing that particularly enthralled me about the book was the strange and sometimes downright bizarre creatures that can be found in Australia. The sea snake, for instance, with its paddle-shaped tail, single lung and short (yet deadly) fangs. Fire coral, as the name suggests, is a type of coral which looks no different than the regular kind, yet one brush against it could cause nasty stinging.
I found the full colour photographs together with the information very useful, as I could get a clear picture of exactly what was being described, should I be unlucky enough to come across the creature in question. Those with a tendency for being faint-hearted should steer clear of the rather nauseating pictures graphically depicting injuries sustained from encounters with leeches and snake bites. Whether you are planning a short break in Australia or a backpacking holiday, the book is very small and lightweight, and therefore can slip into your bag without adding any significant weight. A down side however, is the price – for a book so concise, I found the asking price a bit much.
Anyone with an interest in the fascinating country that is Australia may also like the wonderfully funny ‘Down Under’ (by travel writer Bill Bryson), or ‘Wild Down Under: The Natural History of Australia’ (by Damon Smith). Both are excellent, with the latter depicting the natural wonders of the country in hundreds of beautiful photographs. I sincerely hope that I won’t bump in to any of the dangerous creatures shown in this book on my travels, but just in case, it’s handy to have a copy nearby.
on 1 September 2009
This is a great little book for any body who is thinking of going over to Oz.It is crammed with info on everything that could bite, sting or harm you.
And I do mean eveything from Sharks right down to a Caterpillar.
It gives you a brief location of where to find the critters, good close up photos of them and more importantly how to avoid getting hurt and what 1st Aid is needed if you do.
Before you get too scared it does inform you that 19 people died with been struck by lightning and only 18 died with a snake bite
on 5 May 2014
Having returned from a trip to Australia I have a Grandson, thanks to TV programmes, a fascination for dangerous animals. this book gives a good insight to this type of creature and has good illustrations and descriptions plus as an added extra tips on what to do if you are bitten by one of these! I must admit on my trip I did not see any of these creatures in the wild, but I did see some of them in a Zoo. Well worth buying.
on 27 April 2011
I know that the worlds most dangerous creature are the funnel web spiders because they can inject deadly venom into people in two minutes and can kill in as little as fifteen minutes, and plus they have killed more ten 30 people and can kill 100 people with just one drop of their deadly venom.