Taronga Zoo

This Saturday several colleagues and I went to the Taronga Zoo in Sydney. It is just a short ferry ride from Wharf 2 in the Circular Quay. There is a large variety of animals here (but there's only a few for each species), ranging from crocodiles, giraffes, gorillas, kangaroos (are they playing dead in the bottom photo?), koalas, lions, parrots, peacocks, to zebras.

It's alarming to see there are several posters in the airport warning of dangerous animals in Australia, some of which can be lethal to humans. The Taronga Zoo do exhibit some dangerous animals. The largest living lizard, Komodo dragon, seems to be pretty normal, but it has been filmed to be able to take down a big bull. The Komodo dragon bites on the bull's legs and since its bites are venomous, the bull will eventually fall and become a feast to these beasts.

The Fierce Snake seems very scary. It is very restless and agile in the glass tank, and it may seem like if the snake were in the wild it would come fast right at you fearlessly because its venom is so deadly -- the sign says a bite can kill 200,000 mice!! Fortunately reading wikipedia revealed that "fierce" only describes its venom and not its temperament.

And the Tasmanian devil looks like a harmless dog until you read the descriptions on the sign and the associated photos and skeleton of this small beast. Their jaws can open very wide and have power to crush bones -- apparently it "generate the strongest bite per unit body mass of any living mammal."
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