Cane Toad

Image by Froggydarb, Wiki

During the beginning years of Native Symbols, I lost the revised manuscript due to a computer shop screwing up and deleting the hard drive. I lost a huge amount of revision and new stuff. The way I have worked on this book and its concepts has been a continual process …

Crocodile

Crocodiles belong to an ancient reptilian order, originating at least 160 million years ago when dinosaurs still roamed the planet. No wonder crocs are said to have a long memory! Only two species of crocodile are found in Australia, the fresh-water (or fish-eating crocodile) and the salt water (or estuarine, …

Frilled Neck Lizard

These lizards look really fierce and intimidating when they raise their hoods and hiss!  The purpose of this hood seems to be not only to deter predators, but to regulate body heat. You’re not opening your mouth too much, are you?! If so, you may seem as intimidating to those …

Frog

Frogs are found the world over.  Their relationship with water traditionally links them with the emotions, and the majority of the many native species live in areas which have a reasonable yearly rainfall.  Some frogs have adapted to living in the desert, breeding when opportunity favours it. They mostly live …

Gecko

According to folk lore, these pretty reptiles are considered very lucky to have around, and should not be disturbed. In a well-known Dreaming about Gecko, he fights a giant dingo[1].  Gecko ties some string around his tail to give him courage (to keep his anus closed – this concept has …

Goanna

Goanna appears to be a corruption of the word ‘iguana’ and the term is only applied in Australia.  Goanna has made its way into Australian folklore and bush colloquialism.  They certainly have some strange characteristics.  One comic image of Goanna is running, lifting his front legs from the ground with …

Jabiru

Australia’s only true stork, this attractive black and white bird stands an impressive 1.5 metres tall.  It’s large, powerful beak has been attributed to a spearing in the Dreaming, which also resulted in the bird staying around water to avoid its protagonist. “Jabiru” is not an Aboriginal word; it comes …

Shingleback Lizard

Mirages were called ‘shingleback’s water’ by the people in central New South Wales. The shingleback lizard lives in arid areas where it is difficult to find water, and so it was believed he drank the mysterious water seen in a mirage. The shingleback lizard (with Black Cockatoo) assisted in the …

Snake

Australia contains the highest proportion of venomous snakes in the world.  However, they are very shy of human contact and will flee before attack as first option.  For reasons unknown to modern science, (the Dreamings have an answer though!), the swift neurotoxins of the deadly taipan and tiger snakes are …

Turtle

Tortoises and turtles are found the world over and have been around for millions of years. In this guide, I refer to either as turtle because it can be very difficult to tell the difference between the two. Some species of both are endangered and highlight the importance of conservation, …