Reasons why Australia is infested with flies

Seems simple enough to cross a marsupial with a cow. Put them in a barn, dim the lights, play some Barry White. You guys have tried that, right?

Heading out to try it now. Can’t believe we’ve never thought of it.

“Tie me kangaroo down, sport”.

It’s been done.

I believe that was tried in the late 70s. Unfortunately the result was animals that still produced the traditional wetter cowpat but were now nocturnal. More troubling for the clothing of local people was that many of these marsupial cows became tree dwelling. Lucky they didn’t cross them with a bird.

Rabbits are herbivores, which are not usually considered predators, especially as indigenous species. Under the right circumstances, I suppose a rabbit population could be introduced to a non-native ecosystem as an herbivory predator, but there’s no evidence that this is the case in Australian history. They were probably imported by Europeans as livestock.

Cane toads on the other hand (another invasive species in Australia) are omnivorous and were absolutely brought in by Australians as predators to control native beetle populations in sugar cane crops.

Neither idea worked out very well for Australia in the long run.

What do you get if you cross a sheep with a kangaroo? Wooly jumpers

What do you get if cross an elephent with a kangaroo? Great big holes all over Australia…

You joke, but there are actuallytree kangaroos.

I’m going out on a limb here :wink: but I reckon our venerable antipodean colleague don’t ask would be well aware of that fact.
Of more concern would be that recent findings suggest that the marsupial lion Thylacoleo carnifex. was an arboreal ambush predator.

You guys thought we were kidding about drop bears, didn’t you.

I don’t want to alarm anyone; but a few years ago, on a site which I used to frequent, there was a guy (admittedly, somewhat eccentric), resident in remote northern Queensland, who believed – I should add, without first-hand experience – that Thylacoleo carnifex was still hanging on alive and well, though under the radar of modern science, in his local tropical forests.

I am now imaging bunny rabbits with bandana tied in bands around their heads, Bowie knives in hand, looming ominously over some lettuce.

Obviously, I thought the rabbits were imported to combat the kudzu.

My Dad told me that the US military research budget trained attack rabbits (as you would) that would front up and fight alsatians.

The dogs would rip their throats out, so it didn’t lead to any practical military applications.

I think my reply was considered and reasonable. I’m not sure why you think it should be obvious to anyone that you thought European rabbits were introduced to Australia to eradicate Asian kudzu.

The OP has apparently never visited Alaska nor the Canadian tundra in summer. Thick swarms of flies are hardly unique to Australia or hot arid places.

General Woundwort in real life :smiley:

Worst flies I ever saw where when the (500,000) caribou approached the village I was living in up in the Arctic Circle one april. I was on the edge of town, the caribou were a good 40 miles away and I saw a black mass on the tundra getting larger. It looked exactly like thick black smoke from a tire fire and the flies really did dim the sun when they hit.

Because there were no mongoose available?

The problem with Australian flies is they drink sweat, so are landing on your face all the time. That’s what really makes them annoying.

No, that’s the Irish you’re thinking of. Or black spots.

No, we realized long ago that everything in Australia will try to kill you.

So they’re like human Strines, with sweat instead of beer?

Those are completely different kinds of flies, being bloodsucking blackflies. The ones in Australia mostly don’t bite humans, but as has been mentioned are extremely annoying.

Serious question: is that why the stereotype of an outback Australian is always someone wearing a hat with corks dangling from strings? Is that what that’s for? To swat away flies?