6 months ago


Wildlife in Asia,

Wildlife in Asia, Oceania and Indian Ocean The saltwater Crocodile Mainly present from India to the Salomon Islands, the saltwater crocodile, also called “salty”, is known as the largest living reptile in the world. These astonishing predators can reach up to 6.5 metres (21 feet) in length. They are easily recognisable by their large body, their scales in shades of grey and brown and, above all, the four rows of bony scales that run along their body and tail. During the wet season, they spend most of their time in freshwater rivers, and in the dry season they head for the coast. The short-eared Rock Wallaby Short-eared rock wallabies are small, playful and adorable marsupials belonging to the macropod family. They have short grey fur, yellow-orange feet and a striped tail. They are particularly fond of arid environments, where they take shelter in caves and crevices to keep cool. They are easy to spot and observe as they hop between rocks and cliffs in the North of Australia, using their long tail for balancing. This is a very sociable species that likes to live in small groups composed of one male and 5 or 6 females, sometimes gathering in large colonies of more than a hundred individuals. The Komodo Dragons On the remote island of Komodo, a protected natural reserve home to the largest lizards still walking the Earth, distant cousins of the dinosaurs: the monitor lizards of Komodo - the Komodo dragons. Do not miss the visit to the Komodo National Park, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991. These volcanic islands are inhabited by around 5,700 giant lizards, who earned their name of “Komodo Dragon”. These reptiles can grow to 4 metres in length and weigh around 70 kg, and are found nowhere else on earth, so they present a huge scientific interest for the study of evolution. The Tropicbird An aerial symbol of purity and freedom, the tropicbird is one of the emblematic animals of the Scattered Islands. Boasting immaculate white plumage when seen from the ground, the upper side of its wings is made up of black feathers with perfectly symmetrical line. Another distinctive sign, the tail of this seductive bird is very long and consists of two very fine feathers resembling two white straws, floating elegantly behind the bird in flight. Tropicbirds commonly capture their prey − such as flying fish − by plunge diving. They are generally silent, but can sometimes be heard making a series of clicking sounds during courtship. The Lemur A species endemic to Madagascar, it is believed that the first lemurs arrived on the island riding on floating tree trunks. Considered to be a distant cousin or ancestor of the monkeys, this tiny animal with its pointed nose is recognisable for its brown silky fur. A sociable animal, it likes to live in a group and hide in the tops of trees, jumping from branch to branch, feeding on fruit, leaves and bark. Don’t miss your chance to come face to face with these adorable mammals that don’t hesitate to hop on the shoulders of people walking by. The giant Tortoise Also known as the elephant turtle for its feet that resemble those of a pachyderm, the Seychelles giant tortoise is the largest species of tortoise on Earth, with males weighing up to 300 kg. Its shell is brown or beige in colour and domed in shape, whilst the head and feet are covered in tiny scales. Its favourite hiding places are the islands and islets of the archipelago, deep in the coral reef, the mangroves and the coastal dunes. This tortoise is active early in the morning and takes refuge in mud puddles or in the shade provided by small shrubs as soon as it starts to get hot. 56 | Summer 2018 / Winter 2018 - 2019 Cruises

1 2 3 4 5 6 1 - The saltwater Crocodile 2 - The Komodo Dragons 3 - The Tropicbird 4 - The short-eared Rock Wallaby 5 - The Lemur 6 - The giant Tortoise Asia, Oceania and Indian Ocean Expeditions by | 57