Friday, January 13, 2006


Well, the Moon being in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligned with Mars, I've decided to use the conjunction to combine a few things that people have asked me about at one time or another. Jill was enquiring about our edible native animals, and jedimacfan and Universal Head have both shown an unhealthy interest in Australian 'Big Things'.

So herewith, for your viewing pleasure, the scourge of The Great Southern Land, the Giant Rabbit.

Yes, I know, technically not native animals, rabbits, but by golly, they may as well be there are so many of them.

The rabbit originally comes from Spain, you know. I'm sure it is a darling happy little critter as it hops around Spanish meadows. Here, it is a hideous feral menace.

The rabbit was introduced to Australia very early on. Opinions as to dates vary. There were rabbits on the First Fleet (1788), but it is generally accepted that the real problem didn't start until about 1859 when a small number of rabbits was released for hunting purposes.*

The introduction to Australia went something like this:
Englishman: Australia, this is the rabbit. Rabbit, this is Australia

Australia: Pleased to meet you Rabbit!

Rabbit: Howdy Do! (thinks: Jiminy Cricket - the whole freakin' place is EDIBLE!)

Think Hansel and Gretel seeing the witch's cottage, but with no witch.

Of course, while they were small, rabbits were hard to control and that was bad enough. But then the British, not content with just letting the jumping pests loose in the first place, carried out their atomic tests in Maralinga in the 1950s*, creating the first mutant bunnies, leading to the mega-Rabbit and all the disastrous consequences that followed. In the photo above you see a misguided attempt to usefully re-skill this Giant Rabbit, a government initiated project that was doomed to disaster from the first hop.

*Some things in this post are factual.


Anonymous anne arkham said...

I prefer to talk about big Russian things.

January 13, 2006 6:06 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Yeah, someone told me you were all talk.

January 13, 2006 6:45 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

I forgot to say Jill, you can eat rabbit. The giant ones will feed a family of six for a month. People still eat beef.

January 13, 2006 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually think I rode on that rabbit.They were doing rabbit rides up Uluru.Sure that was the one.Didn't half hop hard.

January 13, 2006 7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More about Aussie Rabbits:
There are two kinds of rabbits in Australia: the Estuarine, a saltwater rabbit and Johnsons, a freshwater rabbit. Both are found in the hot, tropical northern part of the continent.
The Estuarine rabbit, while it lives in the sea, is able to survive quite far up river in fresh water. It is one of the most dangerous of all the rabbit family, being the biggest and heaviest. It grows to between 4 and 7 metres long. The Johnsons grows up to 3 metres long. It is considered to be dangerous even though it is not known for attacking humans.
Rabbits have four sections in their hearts, like mammals and birds have. Their long, flattened tail moves from side to side as they swim through the water, with their legs by their sides. The legs are short with webbed toes, five on the front legs and four on the back legs. On land,rabbits can run very quickly, lifting their bodies up off the ground. The eyes and nostrils are on the top part of the head so that they can lie in the water almost completely hidden from view.
Rabbits have very strong jaws. They do not chew their food. They swallow it in large chunks. In the stomach the food is broken down. They feed on a large variety of prey such as small mammals, birds and even domestic livestock. They grab their prey and move to deep water, where they roll over to drown the animal. They can leap high out of the water to reach their prey if necessary.

After mating, the female rabbit lays about 50-80 eggs in a nest she makes near a river bank. She covers the nest with leaves and other vegetation. The rotting vegetation keeps the eggs warm and the nest moist. The female stays and guards the nest for 90 days until the eggs hatch.

January 13, 2006 8:04 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

anonymous: You might be confusing the rabbit with the bandicoot. Saltwater rabbits aren't dangerous, due to their lack of canine teeth.

January 13, 2006 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The golden bandicoot weighs 260 - 655 g (9.3 - 23.4 oz). It inhabits spinifex and tussock grasslands and was formerly found in Sydney and gay urban habitats. The golden bandicoot is terrestrial and nocturnal. It often makes long tunnels through the ass. The golden bandicoot also digs burrows in sandy soil during hot weather. It constructs a nest concealed in dense vegetation and made of flattened piles of sticks, leaves and grass, sometimes mixed with earth, with no obvious entrance. The nests are located on the ground or in a hollow log. The golden bandicoot is omnivorous, its diet including lattes, tapas and sushi.

January 13, 2006 8:16 PM  
Blogger jedimacfan said...

I remember reading in In a Sunburned Country about the rabbit problem there. Wasn't some disease introduced as well to try and kill them? I thought it killed most but a few are immune so those rabbits are mating and multiplying again.

The cure, of course, will not come from your atomic testing, but rather, Ye Holy Hand Grenade.

January 14, 2006 2:14 AM  
Blogger Joey Polanski said...

You shoud see th mutant bunnies we got over here, Revrend. Here their ears an tails come off at nite -- along wit their shoes an stockins. HOOOOOOO!

January 14, 2006 2:52 AM  
Blogger Joe Fuel said...

I'm with the Jedi on this one. The holy hand grenade is the way to go.

January 14, 2006 3:34 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

Wow, Anaglyph. Insanity on this blog, I tell ya. And all I wanted to know was about eating emu.

January 14, 2006 7:48 AM  
Anonymous anne arkham said...

Jill: Try Czimer's Game and Seafood,13136 W 159th St., Lockport, IL., 708-301-0502. They'll probably have not just the emu, but recipes for it, too.

January 14, 2006 10:26 AM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

My recipe for emu (or kangaroo - both taste good like this):

Take your emu fillet, roll it in lemon myrtle and ground pepper berry and a little salt, in much the same way your would use cajun spice mix, then barbecue on a very hot grill. Don't overcook or the meat will be tough. Serve with green salad.

January 14, 2006 10:48 AM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Joey: Stay AWAY from the comic strips. Your grasp of reality is slipping. Oh, what am I saying.

jedimacfan and joe: Stay tuned for my next post, in which I reveal one of the methods by which we control rabbits. And I'm not talking about a stern scolding.

January 14, 2006 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Cissy Strutt said...

I do a nice kangaroo cassoulet using a french recipe & substituting the 'roo for lamb.

January 15, 2006 1:59 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Thanks for the info!

January 17, 2006 6:14 AM  

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