Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Koala habitat revival; the gross diet of Ice Age sloths; fairy penguin racers; and the rise of Frog Bread.


Fairy penguin race call:

Frog Bread:






Long before the coronavirus was a thing, the biggest news story to sweep the country in 2020 was the bushfires that ravaged so many parts of the country.

And no animal came to symbolise the destruction more than the koala. Sadly, many koalas died in the fires and a lot of their habitat was destroyed.

Now, thanks to a big effort between animal conservationists and farmers, koala habitats are slowly being restored. 

A special Koala Habitat Planting Map has been released online to help people who own land to plant the right sort of trees to encourage koalas to come back. 

Just by clicking on the map where their property is, a list of appropriate koala food trees for planting pops up. And it’s not just a case of planting any old gum tree. According to experts, the koala gut is a really complex organ – and for proper health, koalas need the right leaf chemistry in the right locations. So they’re picky eaters … like half the kids I know.


Victorian Squiz Kids – the party’s over. Your premier, Daniel Andrews yesterday announced that all Victorian school kids would be back in the classroom from June 9 … with classes starting to return from May 26. Time to get that rotting banana out of your backpack  and polish those shoes..




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in .. Ecuador, in South America  .. where scientists have discovered the remains of a group of giant sloths from the Ice Age – and worked out they most likely died after eating their own pooh.

The Ice Age sloths, who walked the Earth about 20,000 years ago – measured about three metres high – and according to the clever people who study these sorts of things, the most likely explanation for how they all died at the same spot at around the same time, is that the watering hole they were all drinking from was also the watering hole they were pooping in. And look, I’m no doctor, but even I know that’s a pretty dumb idea.




Fairy penguin racing may not technically be a sport, but we live in interesting times. And that’s why a video of a British sports commentator putting race commentary over the top of a video of penguins scrambling to the sand dunes of  Phillip Island, in Victoria, has gone viral on the internet. Broadcaster Andrew Cotter started creating funny sports-call videos using his dogs as subject matter a couple of months ago – and they proved so popular, he turned his attention to our fairy penguins. Who, let’s face it, are funny to watch at the best of times. There’s a link in today’s episode notes to the penguin race – and also to an adorable bone grabbing contest between his labradors, Olive and Mabel. 




Humans are inventive creatures – and the lockdown can inspire us, it seems, to great heights of creativity. Take, for example, the emergence of Frog Bread – possibly the weirdest thing to have come out of the pandemic so far. And that’s saying something. As people compete on the internet to bake the perfect sourdough bread, a new movement has emerged on both Tik Tok and Twitter in the shape of a quest to produce the perfect loaf of bread baked in the shape of a frog. 

Which is at least a tad more healthy than the other food craze sweeping the internet for stay-at-home cooks – that of tiny cookie cereal. Which is a bowl of tiny choc-chip cookies with a splash of milk. That sound you can hear? Your dentist screaming in horror.




Every Wednesday we pop our head into the kitchen to see what recipe Squiz Kids ambassador, Rosie has been whipping up. And this week, she’s been very happily preparing a listener recipe – sent in by eight year old Mithra, from Sydney. 

It’s a chocolate pudding recipe – which is as delicious as it is easy to prepare. And it comes with a warning: the likelihood that your brother – or sister – tries to get their hands on the whisk for licking is very high, according to Rosie. So be warned. 

The recipe and photos of the process and finished product are all on the Squiz Kids website. 

Remember, if you have a recipe you love – whether it sweet or savoury – that you’d love Rosie to test and feature on the podcast, email it through to [email protected].




 This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. What do scientists believe a group of Ice Age sloths ate that contributed to their demise?
  2. What pint-sized critters from Phillip Island have been the subject of a British broadcaster’s latest race call?
  3. What sort of bread are people baking in a craze that’s sweeping the internet? 



Today’s birthday shoutouts… Piper from Minnamurra, Hanano from Sunbury, Nicholas from Canberra, Hamish from Kingsville, Emily from Kangaloon, Harry from Orange, Kady and Thomas from Melbourne, Amelia from Fletcher, Emma from Broadford, Hannah and George from Kiama, Grace from Blairgowrie, Maya from Cairns, Riley from Newcastle, Myah from Adelaide, Dallan from Batemans Bay, Ayesha from Auburn, Aidan from Karrinyup, Piper from Kiama Downs, Edward from Haberfield, Chloe from Putney, Gayton from Maroubra, and John and Sidney from South Australia. 

And a belated birthday shoutout to Amalin from Taree.

Happy birthday one and all.

Classroom shoutouts…5/6P, 5/6M, 3/4J and Mrs Boyle’s class at Abbotsford Public School, 2CD and 2S at Inverell Public School, Lowanna Public School, 4 Purple at Kororo Public School and Coffs Harbour Public School, where Ms Railwood is celebrating a birthday today. 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Pooh. Specifically, their own pooh.
  2. Fairy penguins
  3. Frog bread.