this page you have the dangerous water creatures in Cape York.
course, there are the big
and obvious ones like sharks
and the deadly saltwater
But apart from them, we also have some small marine creatures that you
have probably heard about and may never have come across, but they are
there and pose a smaller or bigger, but in a lot of cases a very real
most dangerous one of them all is box
jellyfish - known as the most
venomous animal in the world, that delivers stings that are known to be
extremely painful. It is found in the tropical northern waters of
Australia, including the waters of Cape York.
The other deadly jellyfish
painful and less
venomous but still able to kill a
human, and the tricky thing is that it is so small you can hardly see
it. It comes through the stinger nets that protect you from box
less dangerous is blue-bottle
jellyfish, but it's still able to give you
a painful sting. While the two above are only found in the tropical
northern waters of Australia, bluebottle is also found in the southern
By Angell Williams via Flickr.
is a small animal that usually hides under and
rocks and corals, and does not come to harrass you unless you threaten
it. It only gets the blue rings when threatened - which is when it's
try to poison you.
By richard ling via
we have snakes not only on the land but also in the sea and the ocean
water, and many of these so called sea snakes can be very, very
poisonous. But the good thing is most of them are not aggressive. Many
species are found in the tropical northern Australia.
ocean waters are also home to fire fish, aka lion fish - one of the
most beautiful fish that is also a very dangerous one. They are
found in coral reef and can even be aggressive.
fish is another well known Australian dangerous creature, and it is an
ugly one. It hides in the bottom of the sea and
may first seem to be a rock, but step on it and it fires some toxin
into your foot.
finally some - cone shells
- hard to believe
- are also dangerous.
Don't pick one up on the beach, not with bare hands anyway. If there is
a little guy in there, it will poke out its little harpoon and give you
dose of poison.
thing you should not pick up is cone shells.
pretty, often quite
large, and they can be laying on beaches or in tidal rock pools, and
with their colours and patterns they are attractive and tempting to
Don't pick up a cone
shaped shell -
they are poisonous.
inside the shell uses poison for hunting and will also use it for self
defence. The poison is powerful enough to
human, and children at at a higher risk because of their
Where Are They Found?
There are about 600 species of cone
shells world wide,
and they are found in
but also temperate
waters in Pacific, Indian
and Atlantic Ocean.
About 160 species
are known to
be found in Australia,
about 130 of them are found in Queensland
- they are most abundant in the tropics.
They typically live in coral
flats and sandy
bottoms, where they hide among
the rocks or corals, or bury themselves in the sand.
What Do They Look Like?
The cone shaped shells
can vary a lot in
pattern and colour, depending on
varies, the tropical
ones are larger (up to 23cm). The larger ones are generally the more
Inside the shell lives a
If you see the snail in the action (which is under the water), it has a
to a garden snail,
and it moves
in a similar way.
In the head end, there is a little snout
That's the dangerous tooth,
however it doesn't mean that the rest of the shell is ok to touch. Its
defence reaches everywhere on the shell's surface.
Sting and Venom
snails in cone shells eat
small marine worms, mollusks,
fish and even other cone snails.
As they hunt, mainly during the night, and sense a prey close to them,
they shoot a poisonous
barb (a modified
tooth, aka dart or harpoon) out of their snout.
You can imagine something
as slow as a
snail trying to kill a fast moving fish!
The barb needs to be fast, the
needs to be strong.
the prey so the
snail has the time to get to it and eat it.
It is strong enough that it also paralyses
a human, and is used in self defence when you go touching
venom can vary between different species, but commonly it is a kind of neurotoxin, with the
treatment the same as those of a blue
It is particularly the larger,
(fish eating) cone shells
that are deadly.
The most dangerous cone
tulipa and Conus
but also Conus pennaceus, Conus textile, Conus aulicus, Conus magus and Conus marmoreus.
The mollusk and worm eating ones are obviously not quite as challenged
catching and so have no need of so strong poison.
ones are also the ones with stronger harpoons that penetrate skin,
gloves, and wetsuits. Symptoms include
numbness, swelling and local pain, weakness, nausea, and vision and
breathing complications, that can develop to paralysis and respiratory
thing is of course
prevention - don't pick
Even if you find a dead looking one on the beach, there may still be a
snail in there that is alive.
But if you do get stung -
here is what
Seek medical assistance.
* Apply a pressure
bandage in the same way as in the case of a snake bite. It
smart to have one in your first aid kit anyway. * Provide
There is no antivenom,
exactly like with the bite of a blue ringed octopus, the victim's body
finally metabolises the poison.
Meanwhile the victim does
help or the bite can be fatal.
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You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
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and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
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background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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