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myths, vampires and drop-bears

The urban myth of the "drop bear" may be indirectly derived from knowledge of this rare branch of the Koala family.

from the diary of explorer Harold Smith (The missing pages; 10-25) "We were amazed to hear the trees filled with a symphony of flatulence. Our guide turned and attempted to run but was struck down by a large furry body which exploded with a soggy thump. The ejecta from the explosion stuck all over him and was toxic enough to end his struggles in less than an hour."

The effect of digestion on the condition
Phascolarctus cinereus phatarsus appears to develop a condition in its digestive system ending in a process which creates the fatal "drop bear syndrome" (koalas are not bears!) It is the only animal known to suffer from this condition.

At certain times of year the "drop bear syndrome" is aggravated by the seasonal diet of this koala. Bushwalkers, hikers and campers should beware of loud "farting" noises eminating from the leafy canopy of any eucalyptus forest. This is often accompanied by highly offensive odours. Koalas do not need to reach the final stage to be dangerous. The changes caused by this syndrome include a lengthening of the claws., massive weight gain and a tummy ache. All of which make the Phatarsus a cranky and dangerous animal to be near

Some scientists suggest the syndrome is caused by a viral agent. They claim the virus can move from marsupial to human and is more virulent than "Asian BIrd Flu". This may account for the high rate of phatarsus in western society these days

Phascolarctus cinereus phatarsus
What does Steve Irwin have to say....