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What is the global location of Australia?
Southeast of Asia between the South Indian and South Pacific oceans
What is the size of the country?
Australia is large about the size of USA's lower 48 (not including Alaska)
What are the 5 physical conditions of Australia?
- 1. Much of Australia is arid and desert-like
- 2. Much of the interior is covered by dry scrublands or grasslands
- 3. Flattest of all continents- lowest elevation
- 4. Oldest continent
- 5. Driest of all continents- 10 inch rain per year
What are the 4 major biological regions?
- 1. The coastal area, narrows fertile region, especially along the east and the south west, "good" rainfall
- 2. The Vast interior, covering more most of the continent, often called "The outback"
- 3. The Tropical North primarily central north and northeast, "good" rainfall
- 4. The Great Dividing Range a mountain chain that seperates the narrow eastern coastal strip from the vast interior
What does Flora mean?
This refers to all the plants of a particular area, such as the flora of southern New England or the Flora of the Caribbean Islands
What does Fauna mean?
This refers to all the animals of a particular area, such as the fauna of southeast asia or the bird fauna of massachusettes
Why are so many species are endemic?
- Geographic isolation for about 65 million years
- Many different ecological habitats for speciation to occur
What is gondwanaland?
an ocean southern super-continent (Africa, Antarctica, South America, and Australia) that split up some 130 million years ago
What are the 3 examples of uniqueness among vertebrates?
- 1. Freshwater fish
- 2. Birds
- 3. Mammals
What are some examples of freshwater fish?
the australian lungfish, african, australian, south America Lungfish
What are some examples of birds?
- The emu- large flightless bird, can run very fast, on national seal of Australia
- The Brush-Turkey, malleefowl (monund builders)
- Black swans
What are some examples of mammals?
- Koala- marsupial, feeds on leaves
- Kangaroo and wallabies- planteaters
- Platypus- egg laying mammal
What are the 2 bird families with great diversity in Australia?
- Parrots- Australia has about 50 species
- Honeyeaters- birds which primarily gather nectar from flowers, as on eucalyptus trees
What are the two mammal groups notable in Australia?
- Egg laying mammals
What are 2 examples of egg laying mammals?
- 1. Duck-tailed platypus
- 2. The echidna, the spiny anteater
What are some examples of marsupials?
What is convergent evolution?
Refers to the development of similar adaptations for local habitats in closely related groups of animals in widely seperated portions of the globe
What are the 4 highly dangerous animal types on this continent?
- 1. Snakes (serpents)
- 2. Sharks (reef and Hammerhead)
- 3. The sea wasp
- 4. crocodile
What are the two groups of plants?
- 1. Eucalyptus
- 2. The proteast
What are the features of the Eucalyptus family?
Tallest hardwood trees in the world
What are the features of the proteast?
small trees or shrubs with large flower clusters
What are the three premier biological preserves?
- 1. Kakadu national park
- 2. Great Barrier Reef
- 3. Royal national Park
What is the name given to native people in Oz before Europeans Arrived?
What is outback?
An aussie term for the "vast, dry, largely unpopulated inland area of Australia" also the countryside out beyond civilization
What is endemic?
A biological term meaning species or other groups of organisms found only in one particular are of the world
What is down under?
under the equate