.. never been to far north Qld but spent some time in the wilds of Papua and New Guinea (trump your casowary with a bird of paradise .. well Ok it was dead and offered for sale at a villiage market
The dry scolipheral forests down here support less insects than a tropical rainforest but a much more diverse and incredable array of unique flora and fauna ..from echidnas & platypus to wombats and lyrebirds. If you just pass though you'd have trouble believing it. We have the worlds biggest hardwood trees (mountain ash - almost as tall as Californian redwoods but thick all the way up).
The animals down here grow bigger than anywhere else too. World record size eels, giant lace monitors (almost the size of komodo dragons) No one knows why but even the Pelicans grow to 8Kg (1Kg bigger than anywhere else) On my place are a number of endangered species. Red Breasted Black cockatoos, Golden gliders... There are less than 200 Powerful Owls left in the wild. They're scary beasts, stand 2ft tall and are
the worlds largest owl and I'm lucky enough to have a nesting pair.
Another unique creature is the golden tipped bat which has a symbiotic relationship with a small bird (the brown warbler) The warbler makes a pendulous nest 1.2 metres above a creek bed. At night the bird roosts on its eggs while during the day 1 or 2 of these insectivorous bats roost under the eggs keeping them warm.
There is another symbiotic relationship between the potoroo, a large tree and a fungus .. if any one of them dies in a given area all three die.
Herpetalogical - yes this ain't called death adder country for nothing (australias answer to the rattlesnake but silent).
geez, I thought you were a practical bloke, unc
ps: you shoulda said you were in the area - we coulda sipped tea at greencape lighthouse and sampled cheeze & stuff