The Whale and the Surfer, coastal Victoria.

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Image Credit: Photo by Mark Williams · · From Pic of the Week
I spent most of today photographing the whales, two cows each with calves close to shore, I got some nice shots but nothing really great.
I’m starting to get hungry and it’s lunchtime so I start to pack up, the whales have moved well to the east of my location so think I might come back later in the afternoon as they travel 2-3 kms up and down the beach each day during whale season.
A friend shows up and as we are talking we see some splashing, an adult female is tail slapping and there is some good surfing taking place in the foreground, I focus on the tail for most shots but thought it might be good to have the surfer in focus with the whale in the background.
I get home and viewing the photos I feel I have a nice Australian coastal photo that I am very pleased with.
Warrnambool VIC 3280
Source: ABC OPEN: Classic Coastal Aus || From Project: Pic of the Week

Endangered: The Vanishing Northern White Rhino, Kenya.

6896The last known male northern white rhinoceros at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya.
The conservancy is home to the planet’s last-three northern white rhinoceros.
As 2016 draws to an end, awareness of the devastation of poaching is greater than ever and countries have turned to high-tech warfare — drones, night-goggles and automatic weapons — to stop increasingly armed poachers.
Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images
See more images via The week in wildlife – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

Great British Pub Dogs.

Buster
Can be found at the Alma in Stoke Newington, north London. ‘If someone offered me £1m for him, I wouldn’t take it,’ says his owner. Buster has a phobia of drunk people.

See more Dogs via A bar’s best friend: Britain’s pub dogs – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian

Protecting the Kill, Svalbard, Norway by Joshua Holko.

A female polar bear guards a fresh bearded seal kill on the frozen Templefjord in Svalbard, Norway during the winter sunset.
This won the best Polar Bear photography award determined by FIAP, the International Federation of Photographic Art, at the World Arctic Award.
Prints are available from Joshua Holko’s website.
Image Credit: Photograph by Joshua Holko
See more stunning images via Joshua Holko’s award-winning Arctic photography

Extinct: Australia’s Marsupial Lion, the Kangaroo Hunter.

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A study, published in 1985, notes that the bones of the marsupial lion are most frequently associated with two genera of kangaroos, Macropus and Sthenurus, including giant kangaroos.
The bones of extinct giant kangaroos bearing marsupial lion toothmarks, found in the Lancefield Swamp in Victoria, suggest that, like the sabretooth cats of the northern hemisphere, it fed largely on the internal organs of its prey.
But all this tells us is that kangaroos featured in its diet. I believe we might be able to go further, and speculate that Thylacoleo carnifex was a highly specialised kangaroo hunter.
Kangaroos, some of which are much bigger and heavier than the marsupial lion, seek to escape by leaping.
An animal that can stand on its hind limbs and reach with its elongated forelimbs has a better chance of grabbing one than an animal that’s strictly quadrupedal.
Because kangaroos are so tall, Thylacoleo couldn’t go straight for the throat. Even standing on its hind paws it wouldn’t have been high enough, especially if it were hunting giant kangaroos.
But what it could have done was to hook onto the kangaroo’s belly or chest and use those tremendous forelimbs to pull itself up.
Attached to a very large, very powerful animal, with no purchase on the ground, the marsupial lion would then find itself in a perilous position.
It had to bring down its prey quickly, or find itself thrown from pillar to post.
The need to deliver sudden death might explain those extraordinary teeth and that powerful bite.
via ‘Like a demon in a medieval book’: is this how the marsupial lion killed prey? theguardian.com.

The delightful Quokka, Rottnest Island.

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The quokka, the only member of the genus Setonix, is a small macropod about the size of a domestic cat. Like other marsupials in the macropod family (such as the kangaroos and wallabies), the quokka is herbivorous and mainly nocturnal.
It can be found on some smaller islands off the coast of Western Australia, in particular on Rottnest Island just off Perth and Bald Island near Albany.
A small mainland colony exists in the protected area of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, where they co-exist with Gilbert’s potoroo.
The quokka was one of the first Australian mammals seen by Europeans. The Dutch mariner Samuel Volckertzoon wrote of sighting “a wild cat” on Rottnest Island in 1658.
In 1696, Willem de Vlamingh mistook them for giant rats and named the island “Rotte nest”, which comes from the Dutch words rattennest meaning “rat nest”.
Rottnest-Island
The word quokka is derived from a Nyungar word, which was probably gwaga.
The quokka weighs 2.5 to 5 kilograms (5.5 to 11.0 lb) and is 40 to 90 centimetres (16 to 35 in) long with a 25 to 30 centimetres (9.8 to 11.8 in)-long tail, which is fairly short for a macropod.
It has a stocky build, rounded ears, and a short, broad head.
Although looking rather like a very small kangaroo, it can climb small trees and shrubs. Its coarse fur is a grizzled brown colour, fading to buff underneath.
The quokka has no fear of humans and it is common for it to approach them closely, particularly on Rottnest Island.
It is, however, illegal for members of the public on Rottnest Island to handle the animals in any way.
They are considered to be a vulnerable species.
via Quokka – Wikipedia