Monthly Archives: October 2012

2 Comments

To see the class blog...

Roadrunners

Hello Roadrunners,

I see you are going to be looking at three native peoples from around the world, namely the Aboriginal people of Australia, the Maori people of New Zealand and the Native American people of your own country. I thought I would see how I might be able to help. Living in Australia, I have had some experiences meeting people from various Aboriginal Cultures (there isn't one Aboriginal culture). I've also been to New Zealand a number of times and experienced some of the Maori (a group of the Polynesian culture also found as far north as Hawaii). I'll start by sharing some things about  the Aboriginal cultures.

There are a number of sites dealing with the Aboriginal people and the culture. Here are some links with  information...

The Aboriginal Culture site has good information on the history, religious beliefs and cultural aspects of Aboriginal society. You will also find it has links to other sites with useful information. Click the picture below to go to the site...

This graphic appears at the top of the site. It isn't my work.

I have often said one of the advantages of visiting blogs, commenting and sharing is what I learn in the process. In researching for this post I have come across a new website I think, even without viewing all its contents, offers a great deal to young students. The next link below is a treasure worth discovering.

This site is from the Yolngu people of Ramingining in the northern part of Central Arnhem in Australia's Northern Territory. Their traditions have been passed from generation to generation and now they offer to share with the world. Click the picture below to visit the 12 Canoes website and start your journey. Listen to their story unfold..

This is the opening screen from the site. The site is interactive by clicking a picture.

A major source of images in Australia comes from the National Library of Australia. You can search for images but here is a link for a search for "Aborigine". There are also book lists and many other resources for viewing and or purchase. Click on the picture below to go to the National Library of Australia site...

A search on the web for Aboriginal art has come up with a wealth of images. You can see modern art influenced by tradition in these mostly Aboriginal modern works. Click the graphic below to see what I found...

We can't forget Wikipedia also has sources of information...

Dreamtime

Indigenous Australian Languages

Indigenous Australian Art

Indigenous Australian Music

 

Now for some videos care of You Tube.

The first video is of a favourite Dreamtime story of mine

 

A traditional instrument played only be men and forbidden for women is the didgeridoo. It is a hollowed out tree branch. Listen to the sounds it can make...

The modern didgeridoo is also used in contemporary music. Here is a famous group from the 1990s named Yothu Yindi

Sad times for the people

The Aboriginal people weren't given the right to be Australian citizens until 1949. It was only by 1962 all states in Australia allowed Aboriginal people the right to vote in state elections. (Source: Wikipedia) . One tragedy for the people was what has become known as the Stolen Generations. During this period (1869-1969) Aboriginal children could be taken from their families and placed with non-Aboriginal families or made wards of the state. When I was growing up I knew a boy named Claude. Many years later I found he had been taken from his family and placed with another. Many people from the Stolen Generation were able to find their real families as did Claude. It was a sad time.

Unlike Native Americans, no formal treaties existed with Aboriginal people. It's only in modern times the status of Aboriginal people as the first Australians has been recognised through land rites and respect of their culture. Times are changing but there is still more to be done.

At official school functions, it is normal for a representative of the local Aboriginal people, in my case the Yuin people, to say the Acknowledgement of Country and recognise the traditional owners of the land. One of my tasks in my local area is to produce DVDs for school performances. During the making of this year's DVD for a performing arts festival, I recorded a high school girl saying the Acknowledgement of Country. Click below to hear this audio recording of what was said...

Acknowledgement of Country

 

 The study and comparison of cultures can enrich our life and help preserve traditional knowledge. I hope this post is of some use in your studies looking at Native Americans, Aborigines and Maoris.

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

A link to the original Mr.s Avery and Class post...

All Shook Up

In order to share some links on your post, I had to make a shorter extended post so they could be shared.

 

Hello Mr. Avery and class,

Our active Earth is an interesting topic to study. I shared a post with 4KM and 4KJ of natural disasters including earthquakes...

Natural Disasters

Australia, being more to the middle of its tectonic plate, is stable by comparison to many countries but we also have earthquakes, normally only small ones. I know I slept through one when young and felt the house move a little in another. The link below is mostly about the state of Queensland rather than my state but I like the maps

Earthquakes in Australia

Newcastle, a city to the north of Sydney here in Australia, suffered from a damaging earthquake in 1989...

Newcastle 1989 Earthquake

New Zealand is on the edge of two tectonic plates.

Tectonic Plates

Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand has had some tragic experiences with earthquakes in recent years...

Christchurch Earthquakes

I believe there are many who think our world would be a better place without volcanoes and earthquakes but, in my post for 4KM and 4KJ, I wrote I find these events important for our survival. Our active world makes our planet a safer place to live. Mars is cold and inactive. It no longer has a strong magnetic field protecting it so, even if we could breathe its atmosphere, we would need protection from solar radiation.

We all live on the thin, shaky bit called the crust.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Keep learning everyone. Posts like yours always teach me new things. 🙂

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

4 Comments

To see the 4KM and 4KJ post...

Learning About Shape

 

Hello 4KM and 4KJ,

I found your post on shapes interesting. Many times my classes had looked at the properties of 2D and 3D shapes. I have also had to draw shapes very many times but some of my favourites include 3D shapes we might be able to draw on paper but they don't make sense in the real world. Here are two examples.

If I were to cut out a triangle and a hexagon from a piece of timber, paint the triangle red and the hexagon blue then place one on top of the other, would they appear as below? What is wrong with this picture?

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Some 3D shapes we draw can be impossible in the real 3D world. Below is a shape known as a blivet. Look at it carefully. What did you notice?

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

To see 6D's original post...

Creative Science

Hello 6D,

The chatterboxes look brilliant. I must say I have never thought of using them this way but it's a great way of reinforcing ideas and facts.

When at university, one of my majors was in zoology, the study of animals. We were often looking at the interdependence and adaptations in species so your post started me thinking and that can mean an extended comment is on the way.

Interdependence...

This is an important issue when we look at ecosystems, especially when we look at the way human activity can interfere with systems. What may seem an unimportant plant or animal species may be an essential part of the ecosystem. If it disappears, there may be a flow on effect where more species die out. Here’s a hypothetical example...

Mosquitoes can be a problem so some have proposed spraying to kill them off. Now, suppose there are tadpoles that rely on their larvae for food and spiders that rely on capturing mosquitoes in their web. Further along the food chain, there are snakes that rely on the frogs as food and small birds relying on mosquitoes. Higher still in the food chain, there are birds relying on capturing snakes and small insect eating birds. You see, the interdependence of these species mean the loss of mosquitoes can also cause the loss of other species. Here is a clip on food chains, food webs and energy pyramids…

This is why modern societies carry out environmental impact statements. Scientists hope to be able to identify the harm to species and the environment by the changes proposed. It was a study like this that changed the plans for the development of tennis courts for Sydney’s 2000 Olympic Games.

The green and golden bell frog was rare in Sydney and had disappeared from as much as 90% of its original range but a colony had been found in an old brickpit in the Olympic district. The discovery meant changing the plans so the frog could be protected. They are now thriving in this small area. A link about the frog…

Wikipedia frog information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_and_Golden_Bell_Frog

 A video of the Olympic Park Brickpit Walk:

Adaptation...

Have you ever heard someone say no two people are exactly alike, even identical twins? It’s these differences that can become important. Two animals of the same species may have slight differences. One may be a little faster or better able to catch prey. When times are good and there is plenty of food, there may be no advantage but if there is an increase in predators or less food, the faster, better hunter is more likely to survive and pass on their advantage to their young.

One of my favourite examples is a moth known as the peppered moth in England. They came in two main forms, white-bodied and black-bodied.

The light-bodied form was the most common because its dappled colour better blended into the lichens and bark on trees so fewer were taken by birds but the Industrial Revolution changed this when more and more soot from burning coal settled of everything. The black-bodied forms became more common because the darker moths were then harder to see. Now, with better environmental standards, the white-bodied moth has again become more common.

Wikipedia peppered moth information...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution

 A video about the peppered moth

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

There's an old saying, "Extinction is forever."

It's up to us to try to protect what we can.

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

1 Comment

Global Grade 3 asked how the nose was made on a smiling face used in a post on dots...

Global Grade 3 post and comments

Dot post with smiling face

Hello Global Grade 3,

Since the mid 1980s, I’ve been using graphics on computers to help me when creating worksheets or other things. While I do use graphics created by others at times, some having been in my graphics collection for over 20 years, I am trying to create unique graphics in all my latest extended comments. This is so students will be able to use them without fear of having a copyright owner chase them. The smiling face has become an icon in modern communication and appears in many forms all based around a simple pattern.

My smiley version was created using Photoshop. I used circles, the only exception being the curved marks at the end of the smile. They were added using a graphics tablet and stylus pen although I could have added them using the mouse.

When you create shapes in Photoshop, they are added in layers. Think of layers like in an onion. Each layer can be a different part of a picture. This allows us to work on just one layer at a time without changing the others. The nose is really a copy of the mouth layer. Once copied, I compressed the smile from the side (made narrower) until it was the width you see. Next, I compressed the smile vertically (made less tall) until I was happy with the shape of the nose.

The mouth itself was really a copy of the two circles I used to make the face and the eyes were copies of the black circle used for the face. I adjusted the sizes and erased the unwanted parts of the circles.

It does seem a little tricky but I having been doing things like this for a very long time now. Here is a series of pictures showing the face take shape. There are other ways of doing this but these steps show you how I made the face.

The first layer was a black circle.

I copied the black, pasted it on as a new layer, made it a little smaller and turned it yellow to give yellow face a black border a black border.

Next, I copied the two face circles and made them smaller. The yellow circle was made a little smaller again to make the mouth look a little larger than the face outline. I then merged (joined together) the two smile circles and erased the unwanted part so just a smile remained on the face.

This is when I used the graphics tablet to add the small curves at the two ends of the smile. You can do this using a mouse.

I then copied the smile layer and pasted it on. Using a tool called Skew, I was able to compress the copied smile laterally and vertically (I made the copied smile thinner and shorter) until the nose was the shape I wanted and was in place.

Finally, I copied the main face’s black circle and reduced it in size to make an eye. This only left me needing to copy the eye then place the two eyes in position.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

3 Comments

To see Global Grade 3's original post and the comments relating to this post, click below...

Global Grade 3

Hello Global Grade 3,

Looking through some old 35mm slides, I found some interesting ones I had taken years ago. I decided to start scanning them. You are the first with whom I have shared these photos since they were taken.

The volcanoes in New Zealand tend to normally be more ash volcanoes than lava volcanoes. I have seen magma thrown out in photos but I am not aware of any recent lava flows.

Mt. Tarawera is a popular tourist attraction. You can hike up its slopes or go on a four-wheel drive tour. I have taken the easy way up twice now. Once on the rim, you have to hike and climb (not hard) along a trail to the far side of the main crater before going down a steep scree slope to the bottom of the crater. I made the walk with a video camera and tripod plus a 35mm camera in hand. You can see two craters along the walk. The main tourist accessible crater you can see in this extended comment…

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/samples-scree-obsidian-samples/

The other crater is to the south of the trail and is shown below.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Tourists aren’t allowed in that one. You need to be experienced rock climbers due to the dangerous slopes. Below is another slide I scanned with the first. It shows sulphur (sulfur) crystals and was taken near an active vent. Sulphur crystals break down when exposed to water but near a vent, they are kept warm and dry and keep their crystal shine. I have a sample of sulphur crystals in my collection. It has spent 20 years in a clear perspex water-tight container so it keeps its shine.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

In 1996, I was able to travel to Hawaii when my brother won a trip. We also flew down to The Big Island (the real island of Hawaii). I took a chance to take a helicopter ride over the very active Kilaeua volcano.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

In the photo below, we can see gases escaping from a fumarole on the side of Kilaeua. We were able to fly nearby and peer down to see lava flowing below.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

At this point the lava was flowing below ground through lava tubes. These underground lava tunnels are formed when lava cools at the surface but stays liquid inside the tube. When the lava flow stops, long tubes are left. Below is a photo of an old lava tube now with access for tourists.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

When the lava flows out of the tube and into the sea, the seawater boils and steam rises. In the photo below, you can see steam rising as lava hits the water. Look carefully and you can see the yellow glow of the lava as it emerges from tubes at the water's edge near the centre top of the photo.

Have you ever wondered what happens to trees when lava flows above the ground and around trees? In the aerial photo below, you can see finger-like structures jutting above the ground. Lava had surrounded trees. The trees had burned away and hollow tubes were left to mark where trees had been.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

There are walks on Kilaeua. The photo below was taken on a walk. It shows a large caldera. Calderas are formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption. Can you imagine it once being filled with hot glowing, bubbling magma?

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Now for some new photos I took today to show other volcano associated rocks from my collection. As lava cools, flows might crack or gases may be caught inside the cooled lava both leaving spaces. In time water carrying dissolved minerals can seep into the spaces, the water leaving the minerals behind as it evaporated. Here are some photos of what can result. These are photos of thunder eggs and geodes. While not all geodes (a geode is a rock with a space in it) are formed in association with volcanoes, these were.

The first photos show agate and quartz crystals, both forms of silicon dioxide (SiO2)...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The next one is a favourite. It is only about 10cm (4") across and shows amethyst crystals inside. Amethyst is a form of quartz.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Now one last photo I had taken along a highway about eleven kilometres (about 7 miles) from my home. It is a rock cutting.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Look at the coloured layers of rock. My area was, millions of years ago, a place with a number of volcanoes. Now imagine a massive volcanic eruption from beneath shattering these layers of rocks into small pieces (scree also known as talus). You can see why scree can have many colours. Scree is not only found in and around volcanoes like Mt. Tarawera, it can be found anywhere where small fragments of rock break away from larger rocks such as cliffs and mountains.

Isn’t geology interesting?  I hope you enjoyed looking at this collection of photos. 🙂

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

 

2 Comments

To view Global Grade 3′s original post, click below…

Global Grade 3

The following photos were taken because if a promise in a comment I left.

Hello Global Grade 3,

I promised to photograph and share fossils in my rock collection so here they are. There is nothing too spectacular, not even a single dinosaur although I have something connected to them. You'll find some links on the names of the samples if you want to find out more.

Ammonite

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Ammonite this time it has been cut to show the inside,

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

DInosaur coprolite from U.S.A.. Coprolites are fossilised animal droppings.

 Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Fossilised leaf. I gathered this at a rock fall. I found it when out hiking.

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Petrified wood.

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More petrified wood.

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 Trilobite

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 Trilobite

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Kauri wood. This is not a fossil. A kauri log was found in a swamp in New Zealand. It was tested and found to be around 44,500 years old but looks as though it was freshly cut. The quality of the wood and the lack of oxygen in the swampy waters probably protected it.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Shell. This is also not a fossil. The shell was found in a quarry in South Australia. The rocks are thought to be about 30,000 years old.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Another shell from the same rock deposit.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Tree fossil. It seems to have come from rock about 220 million years old. If you can see the blacker colour on the front of this fossil, that's coal formed from the original tree. I suspect the tree was covered perhaps because of flood. In time the wood was replaced by minerals. You can see it's reasonably large.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

To see the original post, click below...

Retracing Our Steps in the Evolution of Technology

Marc?

I found this post interesting. It made me consider how technology has changed throughout my years.

I was born in the time before Australia had television. It was to come along in 1956 because Australia was hosting the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. My family was able to have one of the first TV sets in out area, not because we were wealthy and could afford the cost of six months of the average wage. My grandfather owned the local electrical store and set it up as an in house demo. Each day people from the neighbourhood would fill the room to stare at the box.

It was a time when phones in our area only had six digits, ours starting with UY rather than numbers. Neighbours would call in to make a phone call or we would take messages. We weren’t out in the countryside. This was suburban Sydney in the 50s. It was the late 50s Australia had its first supermarket.

I was in school in the 60s and, in 1963, was made class ink well monitor. My job was to check ink was in desk inkwells so pens could be dipped. It was late that year we were first able to use ballpoint pens in class and I lost my job. In the early 60s our first shopping centre (mall) was built. I was 10 and found the place pure magic.

It was 1971 when I saw my first computer when visiting the Atomic Energy Commission centre at Lucas Heights as part of a school visit. It was large and required punch cards to operate. I first used and programmed one when at university in 1975 but home computers were a long way off. It didn’t have a screen, hard drive or even disks. It had a telex printer and stored programs on cardboard tape.

It was in the 70s I started teaching. Many teachers in schools I visited considered me a techie. My multimedia lessons were well known. I used the latest gear, an overhead projector, 8mm movie projector and a cassette player.

It was 1981 before I gained a permanent teaching position in a small, isolated one-teacher country school in western New South Wales. Our phone was a party line. You would pick it up. If someone was on your would replace the hand set and wait. If not used, you’d replace the handset, wind the handle, pick up the handset and ask for a number from the operator. Television was one channel affair if the weather conditions were okay but we did have a Umatic 1” video tape machine to play tapes I could arrange to borrow. Of course I still had my 8mm projector.

It was the 80s tech took off. In 1981 I used my first computer with students. Because of limited software, I had written some of my own programs. The first VHS and Beta home video recorders appeared and I bought one. Movies cost $80 but only from a few outlets in my state. A rental could cost $10 to $20.

In 1982 I bought my first personal VHS video camera with its large side pack and lead batteries. People, on seeing me with the camera, would think I was from a television station. My first school video was shot in that year and still exists in my collection now transferred to DVD. Thirty years of filming in schools is stored in my media library.

In 1983 I returned to Sydney and introduced computers to another school and then a third school in the mid 80s. The 80s saw me send my first emails using an Apple IIc, 300 baud modem and a phone extension cord. I also bought my first mobile phone with its large lead battery. It was more the size of a handbag than mobile phone.

The 90s saw me introduce the internet, websites, digital photography, desktop publishing, digital video, digital audio to my lessons and to teachers. I even served as President of an educational computer group dealing with 150 schools so I could share my skills. My computer ownership reached its peak at 45 machines. Many would be lent out to students for home usage. The school computer lab had 16 computers, only one belonging to the school. I installed the first network in the computer lab and, once expanded across the school, managed sharing between classes and with teachers. I left this school in 2000 with a school wide network and lab with teachers using them as part of their lessons and to create presentations.

It wasn’t until 2000 I arrived at a school where computers were already in use and network with the internet was already installed. I was finally able to sit back and let others run the school while I could concentrate on developing presentations for classes, spend greater time developing their skills and promote new uses.

The 00s was the decade I retired from full time teaching because of health issues but my technology journey didn’t stop. These days I comment on student blogs around the world, operate my own blogs, a You Tube channel, and make DVDs and CDs for community groups and schools.

I was an analog and now am a digital native. Even retired, I seek ways to incorporate technology to enhance presentations and now share with the world. My outlook and use of technology hasn’t change. It’s only the technology that’s changed and allowed me even greater capabilities.

You asked, “What will we have to adapt to next?

I say bring it on and let’s see how it can adapt to me.

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

 

This is an image taken from my first video made with my own VHS camera in 1982. The school was 100km (60 miles) from the nearest town. I lived next door to the school on a sheep station, a short 20km (12 miles) drive.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

To see 2/1's original post, click below...

Class 2/1 = Our class bears

Hello 2/1,

Lily – I have never been to Brighton but I recognised the Brighton Pavilion and Brighton Pier from photos I have seen. It looks like you and Eleanor had fun. 🙂

Douglas and Max – The party looks like you had fun. I’m sure Max enjoyed being with you. 🙂

Douglas and Cara – Did Skyla or Max come along to keep you both company? Seeing penguins can be very interesting. I have seen them in Australia and New Zealand. If you see them underwater, they look as though they’re flying through the water. There’s even a colony of little penguins not too far from where I live. Here is a photo of a crested penguin I took in New Zealand.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Douglas and Skyla – When I was in London, I made sure to visit the Science Museum and also have a photo of The Rocket. There were so many interesting things to see.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Lily in Australia? I hope you had a wonderful time. Koalas do tend to sleep 20 to 22 hours a day but that’s because the eucalypt leaves they eat take some time to digest and aren’t packed with energy.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Baby koalas (joeys) are born about the size of a peanut but grow in their mother’s pouch. When they are big enough, the babies start looking outside the pouch. If it’s okay for you to watch, here is a link to a video clip I made of Suzie the koala and her baby girl’s first look at the world.

Douglas and Charlie – I also visited the Natural History Museum and found it interesting. I see you are pictured with a whale model. Each year whales migrate along our coastline. From my town people can take boat or plane rides to see them. I didn't have a whale photo handy so I'll share one of dolphins I took from the beach.

 

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News from Lily – Wow! You certainly have been doing some travelling. Canberra is the closest city to where I live on the coast but it is a three hour drive from here. Snakes are a part of Australian wildlife. While out walking, I have seen diamond pythons (non-poisonous) , eastern browns (poisonous), black snakes (poisonous), and tiger snakes (poisonous). Around here, black snakes are the most common but they are shy and would rather keep out of our way. Here is a photo of Olivia. She is an olive python (non-poisonous) and is being held by a friend in a nature reserve...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Crocodiles aren’t native to my area because they like warmer places but I have seen them. I also have seen many types of lizards in my area, the largest being goannas. Here is a collection of four I've photographed. The goanna is bottom left.This one was over 1m long...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I see you are pictured with one of our flowers, although it isn’t a bottlebrush. They flower is a banksia. There are many types here and are beautiful to photograph. Here is a banksia I photographed near my home...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Meeting an emu… When I was teaching in western New South Wales, I often saw emus. Did you know it’s the fathers that look after the babies? Mother emus lay their eggs in nests then leave. The fathers then take over. Sometimes a father emu looks after a crèche of babies. I can remember once seeing a father emu with about 15 babies following They are magnificent birds second in size to the ostrich (not a native bird here).

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

We have termite mounds in my area but the biggest are to be found in northern Australia. The redness of the soil out has to do with iron in the soil (rust). We have red soils and ironstone in my area because millions of years back we had volcanoes around here.

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia