Box Jelly fish
In need of a new name
Even though the Quoll is mainland Australia's largest native predator, Australia doesn't have any professional sporting team named after it. Perhaps this is because the name Quoll just isn't scary enough. A one syllable name tends to be the domain of herbivores like the cow, horse, or sheep. It is in the second syllable where the predators such as tigers, cobras, lions, and pumas rein supreme. Admittedly, a few predators carry over in the third syllable, such as hyena, crocodile and chimpanzee, but these start to develop a comical edge. Fortunately, one syllable names are better than those in the 4th syllable and above, such as hippopotamus and snuffleupagus, as these sound ridiculous.
On rare occasions, some predators have been able to get away with a one syllable name, such as shark and hawk, but this is only because the k gives their names an abrupt end. Quoll can just be drawn out far too much, almost like an old man drooling.
The current name of the Quoll appears to be the result of Captain Cook being stranded in nth Queensland. As he worked away on is damaged ship, he was befriended by a local Aboriginal tribe who entrusted him with their word for the fierce nocturnal that had intimidated his crew. In their language, they referred to it with a solid two syllable words that may have been dekol, taquol, jaquol or je-quoll. Inexplicably, Cook only recorded the one syllable; forever tainting the Quoll as having a name that belongs in the realm of the herbivore.
Even though the Quoll doesn’t have an intimidating name, it is the type of animal that tourists would love to see on their Australian safari. It sort of resembles a cat except it has a pouch, bright eyes, a moist pink nose and a powerful bite. It can grow to up to 75 cm in length and weigh up to 7kg.
Unfortunately, they are quite rare so few have ever caught a glimpse of them. They spend the day in one of their many dens, although spotted-tailed Quolls and northern Quolls sometimes forage and bask in the sunshine. Some Australians have been lucky enough to make pets out of them. According to Professor Mike Archer, former Director of the Australian Museum, who once kept a Quoll:
With luck, the laws may one day change and the opportunities afforded to Australia's elite will also be afforded to the commoner. Quolls, so often ignored and misunderstood, will then occupy a proud place in Australian homes as an honoured pet. Perhaps some will escape where they will do Australia a service by cleaning up suburbia’s decaying meat, rabbits and other introduced vermin.
Activity 1- Give it a new name
The quoll needs a new name. If you speak Latin, write three characteristics of the quoll and then translate into latin to give it its name. If you don’t speak latin, write three characteristics of the Quoll and write them with a latin sounds. For example, Coolest Native Catus (It’s close enough. In movies, speaking English with a German accent has always been good enough to be passed off as a Nazi and so Latin sounding English words is good enough for the Quoll.)
If you can’t see the point of latin, chose one of the Aboriginal names that it might have been (dekol, taquol, jaquol or je-quoll) and make an argument why this suits its character.
Activity 2 - Industry
Below are methods that could allow some people to make money out of the Quoll. How do you think working in each industry would affect attitudes to the Quoll?