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Drop Bear

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Drop-bear

Drop Bear or Dropbear is a fictitious Australian marsupial. Drop bears are commonly said to be unusually large, vicious, carnivorous marsupials related to koalas (although the koala is not a bear) that inhabit treetops and attack their prey by dropping onto their heads from above. They are an example of local lore intended to frighten and confuse outsiders and amuse locals, similar to the jackalopehoop snakewild haggis or snipe hunt.

Various methods suggested to deter drop bear attacks include placing forks in the hair, having Vegemite or toothpaste spread behind the ears or in the armpits, urinating on yourself, and only speaking English in an Australian accent.

The Australian Museum has a purportedly serious entry on drop bears in its catalogue of Australian fauna, classifying them asThylarctos plummetus. The description says they are about the size of a very large dog, have coarse orange fur with dark mottling, have powerful forearms for climbing and attacking prey, and bite using broad powerful premolars rather than canines. Specifically it states that they weigh 120 kilograms (260 lb) and have a length of 130 centimetres (51 in). However, elsewhere, the museum acknowledges that this was not a serious entry, and was inspired by the "silly season". The Australian Museum also established a small display in the museum itself, exhibiting what it said may have been drop bear related artifacts.

Australian Geographic ran an article on its website in 2013 claiming that researchers had found that drop bears were more likely to attack tourists than people with Australian accents. This article was done as an April Fools' Day prank. The article was based on a 2012 paper published in Australian Geographer, and despite referencing the Australian Museum entry on drop bears in several places, images included with the Australian Geographic article were sourced from Australian Geographer and did not match the Australian Museum's species description.

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