G'day Jennifer, 

Nothing commandeers global attention as powerfully as Olympic Games and it would seem that all eyes are on London.  August has always been our busiest month of the year, but this year it is exceptionally devoid of forward bookings.  Through its astonishing revelations, the Daintree Rainforest continues to be an endless source of fascination.  The following snippets reveal highlights from over these past few month to hopefully contend with the Olympics (perhaps during ads):
m_spilota1b.jpg Rarely seen in Cooper Creek Wilderness, the Jungle Carpet Python (Morelia spilota cheynei) was out and about last night, when most snakes are expected to be semi-torpid. Visually striking with its contrasting black, beige and white under-belly, this beautiful constrictor is considered to be the prima donna of the herps. Preferring to be the apex predator within their ecological range, their infrequent sightings within Cooper Creek Wilderness are reflective of their awareness that they are out-matched by Australia’s largest snake (which dominates the Cooper Creek area), the much larger and stronger Amethystine or Scrub Python (Morelia amethistina).  MORE >>
e_aurantia.jpg The Fruit Piercing Moth (Eudocima aurantia) is another master-of-disguise. In case it isn’t obvious, the up-turned elongate ‘horn’ (right) mimics the petiole of a dead leaf, complementing the greater character of the moth’s design for the same purpose – to convince the world that it is a dead leaf. Replete with venation and even the speckled adornments of mould-colouring, the design is very convincing. Camouflage through mimicry can be enhanced by the behaviour of the exponent, as well. This image was taken of the moth as it was placed onto a leaf at a convenient height for photography.  MORE >>
i_australiense1a.jpg A communication published by Wet Tropics Management Authority has accepted recent findings by D. J. Metcalfe and A. J. Ford in their study of Floristic Biodiversity in the Wet Tropics and have informed us that the Wet Tropics contains 16 of the 28 primitive angiosperm lineages. One of these 16 primitive plant families is only found here in the Wet Tropics (Austrobaileyaceae). Five of the plant genera within these 16 families are endemic and each is represented by one species only (is monotypic): MORE >>
nephila_hatchlings.jpg These spiderlings are the babies of our resident Golden Orb-weaving Spider (Nephila pilipes). It is Australia’s largest two-dimensional wheel-web weaving spider, creating a magnificent orb of golden silk that is one of the toughest substances, weight for weight, known to humankind. ‘Aunty Neph’ occupies the centrepiece of her web, catching flies and moths when they collide. The web is so strong that small microbats, birds and larger insects can be caught in its web. The response is always the same. The female spider feels the vibrations from the middle of its enormous web, then erupts into either attack or retreat behaviour.  MORE  >>
tttg.jpg Dr Richard Smith, producer, director and presenter takes us on a journey of discovery across the continent of Australia. Using brilliant technology and great sound effects, Richard invites us to join him on a “rollicking adventure” that describes evolutionary processes and explains some research that has contributed to humankind’s understanding of this extraordinarily diverse landscape. In four one-hour episodes Richard takes us from the birth of the solar system to the present day. We speed from one side of the continent to the other, piecing together the amazing story of how Australia with its unique flora and fauna, was formed. 

If you know of any friends or family that are planning to travel into the not-too-distant future and you think it would be in their interests to consider a visit to Cooper Creek Wilderness, then please forward this email as an introduction to the world’s oldest rainforest.

We look forward to return visits and meeting new friends during the year and thank you for your interest in Daintree Rainforest.

Prue, Angie & Neil Hewett and the three rainforest rascals, Tulli (13) Taiga (11) and Tkoda (10)

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