Why are the Emu and the Kangaroo on the Australian coat of Arms? – Questions answered by Moylen Green, Agony Ent

 (First published on blogspot 2009, Things You Should Know.)
It’s often believed that the reason why the kangaroo and the emu are on the Australian coat of arms is because these are both animals that never walk backwards. And Australia will only go forwards.
This is of course rubbish. The real story, like most history, is much more interesting as you will discover if you keep reading.
Biologists have known for years that the emu actually DOES walk backwards. Take a look at the direction of it’s knees and you’ll feel foolish you ever thought otherwise. That long object with the pointy thing at the tip is not in fact the emu’s head and neck, but a fake head, which the emu evolved from it’s tail over millions of years in order to avoid being attacked and killed by drop bears. The real head of the emu is concealed and protected at the ‘back’ of it’s feathery body mass, it’s quite hard to see as the feathers of it’s forehead crest (or ‘tail’) tend to droop over and conceal it. Since drop bears became extinct in the Holocene era, the emu has been carrying around this useless appendage around with it, not a clever evolutionary strategy as it sucks up resources that could be better spent on other things. Of course we all know that evolution isn’t clear cut, so one day maybe there will be another use for the mock head other than stealing sandwiches from picnickers (in itself, not a totally useless strategy).
The next time you’re at Koala land petting zoo thing down near Wonthaggi (formally the Great Worm Exhibit which was much more interesting as you got to stand INSIDE a GIANT WORM), go up to the emu and have a look and a feel around for it’s true head. Don’t feel embarrassed, i never do whenever i do this.How the emblem evolved was this:
When McCubbin and Dame Edna and Ponting and Flinders and Batman (not the superhero) all got together around a stubby to discuss the design for the coat of arms, they decided to have the two main emblems on it of their two favorite things: The male ostrich, proud and fair, and the male Rooster, loud and proud. This was pure conceit on their behalf as they all thought they each resembled these things, but we all know that Batman was short and smelled bad and had an unnatural relationship with his pet robin bird.

At least Edna sort of looks like rooster. History records them writing down their design on the back of a chewing gum wrapper and handing it to McCubbin (Australia’s favorite artist),who put it in his flanny pocket to take home. He started work on it the next day. Unfortunately due to the fact he had been drunk on midouri and lemonades the night before, he forgot most of the details, and Pontings’ handwriting was so appalling that he misread ‘Rooster’ as ‘KangaROO’, which is why the kangaroo turned up on the design.

Of course we all know that Emus are actually male ostriches, tragically separated when Gondwanaland split from Africa. The fact that the genders are on separate continents is why you never see baby emus or ostriches of course, but this is primary school stuff and you all should know it.

The next time someone goes on about the ‘not walking backwards’ thing, you can ask them that if this is so important, then why does the USA have Micheal Jackson, INVENTOR of the moonwalk, on every dollar bill. That will keep them quiet and they’ll slink back to the hole they crawled from.


Why are the Emu and the Kangaroo on the Australian coat of Arms? – Questions answered by Moylen Green, Agony Ent

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