Tag Archives: Australia

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The photos appearing on this post were taken by me on 35mm slide film in 1985. They have been scanned at 3600dpi.

Declan and Connor wrote a descriptive piece about the Australian Desert. This post will share some photos of Australia's arid centre.

Back in 1985, I organised a trip for some families from my school through Australia's centre. Our journey in the minibus I drove covered over 6500km. Below shows the journey we took from Sydney to the north, through central Australia and back to Sydney.

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

The photo below shows the border country to the west of Mt Isa on the map. Some parts of Australia are very flat with few trees.

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

Occasionally, hills can break the dry scenery.

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

We stopped to explore Karlu Karlu (also known as Devil's Marbles)...

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You can see from this photo including two of our group just how large the rocks are. The rocks aren't balancing. They have been eroded over time with the base of the upper rock slowly wearing away from the base rock. Eventually enough rock will erode away and the upper rock will fall.

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

 The large town closest to Australia's centre is Alice Springs, also known as "The Alice". The site is known as Mparntwe to the traditional owners of the land, the Arrernte people. On our visit, we were able to see a rare rainbow across the town's surrounding MacDonnell Ranges.

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

Travelling south from Alice Springs, we turned west to reach Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) standing high above the ground in this low desert country.

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

You can see the size of Uluru in the next photo. Uluru is sacred to the traditional owners who would never climb the rock but they don't stop visitors who wish to climb but prefer people to respect their beliefs. Visitors have to take care to follow the trail because the climb can be dangerous.

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

Many areas around Uluru have traditonal art work painted on the rock. Some areas have a low fence with warning signs asking visitors not to enter as the sites are scared men or women areas where only traditonal people should enter. The photo below was taken in an area visitors could enter.

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

About 30 km (more by road) to the west of Uluru is Kata Tjuta (also known as The Olgas).

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Like Uluru, these rock formations are huge and tower above the surrounding land.

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

As we left Uluru and Kata Tjuta, we joined the main road south and passed through more flat country.

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Eventually we reached the opal mining town of Coober Pedy.

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To escape the high summer temperatures, some of the town's people have built homes into the low hills.

This photo was sourced through WIkimedia Commons. The information below shows the original author.

This photo was sourced through WIkimedia Commons. The information below shows the original author.

Heading south from Coober Pedy, we pass salt lakes...

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

...before heading east from Port Augusta back into the state of New South Wales and on to Sydney. Australia is a very large country but much of it is arid (desert) or semi-arid (almost desert).

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A student was learning about Australia and shared some facts and questions. Enjoying reading what was shared, I thought I would provide some information. To see the original Google document...

Why is Australia split into 5 parts?

Looking at the Facts

Here is a summary of information based on your Google document. If you scroll down to "About Australia" on this post, you can read some of the information used to find answers and facts.

There are six Australian states.

The first known Europeans came to Australia arrived in 1606 although the Chinese may have come in the 1400s. People from Indonesia and may have arrived much earlier and the Aboriginal people first came here as much as 60,000 years ago.

Western Australia is our largest state.

There were many language groups in Aboriginal Australia, each with their own cultures. They didn't have tribes like Native Americans.

Australia is the largest island and smallest continent. It is the only continent to be one nation.

Australia has a number of states and territories.

Australia borders the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans.

Australia is an island and not landlocked. Landlocked means no access to the sea.

Australia'c capital city is Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. Each state and territory has its own state/territory capital.

Your questions.

- What are these “parts” called? - The main part of Australia has six states (Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania)and two territories (Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory).

- Why are they so big? - Our states are large because of the arid and semi-arid areas, a much smaller population than the U.S.A. and finding most people live along or near the coast.

- How did they name them? - Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia were given their names because of their location. Victoria and Queensland were named in honour of Queen Victoria. Tasmania gained its name from the first European explorer to reach it Abel Tasman. New South Wales was named by Captain Cook. It's said the coast reminded him of parts of Wales in the United Kingdom.

- Who decided to split this country? - The country wasn't really split. Areas gained their names as new colonies were established.

- Who did this? - Each state had a governor representing the king or queen and a government. In a way, each state had been its own country and could set laws.

- How did this happen? - With all the states agreeing after many meetings of state leaders, Australian became a commonwealth and nation in 1901.

- Is it because a historical feature that slowly split them? - The historical feature was colonisation. With large distance between colones, it was better for each colony to control its own area while officially being governed by the king or queen through a governor.

- Was it because of a war? - Australia became a nation by agreement and not war. The English crown also approved Australia becoming a nation.

- When did this happen? - The first British colony was founded in 1788 in an area of Sydney near the now famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. The second colony was established was Van Diemans Land (later Tasmania).

- Why did it happen? - When there was only one colony, the east of Australia and New Zealand were all in the colony of New South Wales. As new colonies were formed, new borders were drawn up and New Zealand separated from New South Wales. Federation in 1901 came about because the states decided they should all be part of one nation.

- When was this discovered? - The borders in Australia were made using rivers or latitude and longitude readings. The changes all came about over time so there was no great discovery.

Read on to see more information on Australia plus links to other blogs.

About Australia

Here is a map of Australia I have drawn...

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

The main part of Australia has six states (Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania)and two territories (Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory). It also has jurisdiction over Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands in the Indian Ocean and the Heard and McDonald Islands in the Southern Ocean.

The map also shows the capital cities of each state or territory. Canberra is our national capital.

Australia is said to be the world's smallest continent and the world's largest island. Any land mass larger is a continent and any small an island. It's the only continent that is one country. Much of it is arid to semi-arid (desert to very dry areas). You can see on the map cities tend to be near the coast or the wetter eastern coast.

Another student was interested in the "outback" and wanted to know if I'd been there. If you're interested, click the link below and you will see information about a 1985 trip through the Australia's centre.

The Outback and Other Information

 

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The Australian flag has three major features on a blue background. In the top left hand corner, there is the Union Jack as in the Union Flag of the United Kingdom. The large, seven pointed star under the Union Jack is known as the Commonwealth Star. Six points are for the six states and the seventh is for Australian territories. The five stars at the right represent the Southern Cross (Crux to astronomers). It's always in our sky.

The First Australians

Firstly, it's thought the first Aboriginal people came to Australia from Asia up to 60,000 years ago. At that time the world was cooler and sea levels lower because a polar ice. The islands of Indonesia would have seemed closer because the low sea levels meant coasts were further out. It was possible to walk across dry land from New Guinea to Australia and from the state of Victoria to Tasmania.

Much of Australia was forested with lakes. There is evidence, particularly around the dried lake bed known as Lake Mungo, of thriving people living along its shores. As climate warmed, the land links to New Guinea and Tasmania were covered with water as they are today. Australia's centre started to dry. Forests and lakes disappeared and the Aboriginal people adapted their habits to live in the arid and semi-arid conditions.

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

This photo is of Aboriginal art on Uluru (Ayers Rock).

Rather than one tribe, there were many language groups. The Aboriginal people didn't really have tribal groups as the Native Americans have. My area of Australia is Yuin land. There were many language groups and different beliefs across Australia. Each were rich in culture and belief. Click on this link to see the Aboriginal Australia map.

To find out more about Aboriginal Australia, here is a link to a post I wrote for a class looking at Australia's original people...

Aboriginal Dreaming Collection 

 

Australian Currency - $1 b

This is one side of Australia's dollar note showing Aboriginal designs. It has now been replaced by a coin.

Chinese and European "Discovery"

 I've always thought it a little strange when people speak of who discovered Australia. Surely that claim could only go to the first Aboriginal people coming to Australia fifty to sixty thousand years back. Who else "discovered"Australia?

There is apparently some evidence Chinese explorers as early as the 1400s. Between 1405 and 1453, a Chinese admiral sailed a huge fleet of junks south to Timor and so could well have visited Australia.

Here are some of the first known Europeans to make it to Australia were...

1606 William Jansz on the "Duyfken" saw the coastline of northern Australia

1616 Dirk Hartog on the "Eendracht" landed on Western Australia's coast

1642-1643 Abel Tasman reaches Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania)

You might have noticed the names are Dutch. The western area of Australia became known as "Hollandia Nova" (New Holland).

The first known Englishman known to have reached Australia was WIlliam Dampier in 1688. He also only reached the west coast of Australia. It wasn't until 1770 before the first European sailed along Australia's east coast.

This graphic was sourced through Wikimedia Commons and is listed as in the public domain in U.S.A..

This graphic was sourced through Wikimedia Commons and is listed as in the public domain in U.S.A..

Captain James Cook's 1769/1770 Voyage

Below is a photo of the H.M.B. Endeavour taken at Twofold Bay, in 2012. It is a replica of James Cook's H.M.S. Endeavour and visited Twofold Bay near my home. If you look at the background, little would have changed since Cook's voyage nearly 250 years ago.

To read more about this replica ship, click on HMB Endeavour at Eden.

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

In 1769, Captain James Cook set sail from England on the "Endeavour". His task was to take scientists to see the transit of Venus from Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean. His other task was to solve a mystery. Many had thought there must be an undiscovered continent south to balance the world's countries up north. Some maps named it Terra Australis (Southern Land). Cook was given the task of once and for all time showing no such land exists.

After heading south from Tahiti, he came to New Zealand in 1769. He mapped the islands before heading west. He first sighted Australia in 1770 at a place named Point Hicks a few hundred kilometres to the south of my home. He made maps of the land as he sailed north, naming it New South Wales.

New South Wales and a British Colony

At this point in Australia's history, the history of the United States overlaps ours. I'm certain you know the importance of the year 1776 for the U.S.A.. When England lost its American colony, they were looking for another place. English prisons were overloaded with convicts and couldn't be sent to America. It was decided to send a small fleet of ships to the land described in Cook's voyage.

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

On January 26, 1788, the English flag was raised in the new colony of New South Wales. At this point, New Zealand was also part of New South Wales.

1825 - the border with New Holland had moved to where the Western Australia border now lies. Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania in 1856) became a separate colony.

1829 - New Holland becomes known as the Swan River Colony and Western Australia in 1832.

1840 - New Zealand is no longer part of New South Wales, and the colony of South Australia is formed although it isn't until 1860 when South Australia has the borders we see now.

1851 - The colony of Victoria is formed.

1859 - Queensland is formed as a colony.

1901 - The Commonwealth of Australia is formed by the member states and Australia becomes a nation and not a collection of colonies.

1911 - Federal Capital Territory (Australian Capital Territory in 1938) and Northern Territory are formed.

Each of Australia's states started out as a British colony with their own government, money and banks. With federation in 1901, the states had agreed to join as a commonwealth. There wasn't a war between our states. Our political system is based on that of the United Kingdom. We have a Prime Minister rather than a president and Queen Elizabeth II is recognised as our head of state with a governor-general her representative here in Australia.

Until 1984, Australians sang "God Save the Queen" at official events, the same national anthem as in the United Kingdom. In 1984, "Advance Australia Fair" became our official national anthem. Click on the title below to hear a choir of about 100 sing our national anthem.

Advanced Australia Fair

Our states are large because of the arid and semi-arid areas, a much smaller population than the U.S.A. and finding most people live along or near the coast. The largest U.S. state by land is Alaska at 1,481,347 square kilometres. With Western Australia being 2,526,786 square kilometres and Queensland being 1,723,936 square kilometres. Alaska would only be the third largest if it were part of Australia.

The area of United States is about 1.3 times larger than Australia yet the U.S. population is nearly 14 times larger than Australia. We have much more space but few people live in much of Australia because of its harsh climate.

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

To see more links to Australian information as well as video clips of Australian animals, click the link below...

Australia – A collection of links to posts on this blog

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

Winter Holidays

SPRING

The grass is green and growing in the warming sunshine.

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The blooming flowers bring colour to nature and food for the animals.

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

SUMMER

The country show season begins each year.

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The surf at the beach when the days are hot.

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

AUTUMN

The days grow shorter and the weather cool.

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Mornings can be foggy and smoke from wood fires hangs in the still air.

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

WINTER

Some trees lose their leaves. The grass and reeds are brown. The days are short and the nights cold and long.

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

Winter storms bring rough seas.

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Which season is my favourite? Whatever season I'm in. There's always more to discover as the seasons change and the years pass.

For part 1 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/22/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-1-Koa-to-Jorja

For part 2 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-2-lily-to-may/

What kind of trees and plants are in Australia?

(Two questions in one)

Below is a photo of one of my favourite walking trails. It's a fire trail in Bournda Nature Reserve. While we have many types of trees, most of the tall trees you see are eucalypt trees. If you take a fresh leaf and crush it, you can smell the eucalyptus oil inside. Have any of you ever smelled eucalyptus oil?

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Another favourite trail is in town. It leads around our lakeside to the town's old wharf. Most trees along this trail aren't eucalypt.

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

Here are some photos of plants, flowers and fungi I have seen in my area. Not all flowers are Australian natives but are seen in gardens...

Wattle

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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.

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.

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This is a photo of one type of eucalypt tree flowers.

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

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

Bottlebrush

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Grevillia (a favourite nectar flower for rainbow lorikeets)

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Waratah

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

Grevillia

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

Banksia

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FUNGI

Apart from flowers, I also enjoy taking photos of interesting fungi (singluar fungus). All of these photos were taken in Bournda Nature Reserve

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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.

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.

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

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

What kind of berries grow in Australia?

There are many types of berries in Australia if you look for farms growing them. In the wild there are also berries but they aren't all edible. Blackberries grow wild in my area but they can be a problem on local dairy farms.

In my garden, we have an orange tree, two apple trees, lillipilli, guava and have had strawberries.

Oranges

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Lillipilli (they are edible but aren't sweet)

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

Guava

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

Do people swim in the ocean here?

As it is now winter, swimming isn't as big at this time of year. Surfers wear wetsuits and go surfing and, if the day is a little warmer, some do try swimming. In summer, spending time swimming, surfing, scuba diving and boating are very popular.

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

Kayaking

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

Kiteboarding

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

Windsurfing

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

Surfing

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Jumping from our old Merimbula Wharf

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How is tomorrow?

I liked this question. Where I am in Australia it is 17 hours ahead of K/1/2/3. While we started our Skype session at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday for K/1/2/3, it was 6:30 a.m. Wednesday for me. Being close to our shortest day of the year, the sun hadn't yet risen but the sky was growing light. For K/1/2/3, the longest day of the year  was near. Even though I was starting winter and they summer, the temperature of the day ended up the same at about 13C. In my summer, temperatures can exceed 40C and bushfires can be a problem. The photo of a fire at the edge of town started on a day when temperatures reached about 44C.

 

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

Have I seen a flamingo? Are there zoos?

Flamingos aren't native to Australia but I have seen them in zoos. There are many zoos and animal parks around Australia. In Sydney, there is Taronga Zoo and the linked Taronga Western Plains Zoo in the middle of the state. Melbourne has the Melbourne Zoo. Our Australian capital city of Canberra is about three hours drive from here. It has the National Zoo & Aquarium. Mogo Zoo is about two to three hours drive from here.

Closest to me at about a ten minutes drive is Potoroo Palace. It's a native animal sanctuary run by volunteers. Many of my animal photos and video clips were taken there.

More About Australia

One class had been looking at Australia. In April this year I prepared a post for them. It included photos and links to some of my animal videos and some audio clips. Click on the link below to visit the post.

Australia

2 Comments

For part 1 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/22/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-1-Koa-to-Jorja

For Part 3 of this post...

 http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-3-linden-to-the-end/

Part 2

Do I know about an Australian tree which has black hair on it?

This one need a little research because I didn't know what type of tree it might be. Here is a link I found that has some "hairy" trees. They might help you know what tree you mean. 🙂

Australian Tree Images

What types of animals are found in Australia?

 Australia has a large range of animals but some of our most famous are our marsupial (pouched) and monotreme (egg laying) mammals and our birds. In Part 1 of this post, I have shown some of our reptiles I have photographed so I will only show some mammals and birds.

Here are some of the birds I have seen visiting my home.

Kookaburra

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Magpie

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Australian Wood Duck

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Corella

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Crimson Rosella

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King Parrot (male)

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Rainbow Lorikeet

This is the crazy type of bird I mentioned enjoyed a diet of sugary flower nectar. One of these birds flew between another person and me when we were talking.

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

Monotremes (egg laying) Mammals

The most ancient type of mammals are the monotremes. The females lay leathery eggs. On hatching, the young take milk from their mother like all mammals.

The only monotremes known to exist in our world today are the echidna and platypus. The platypus is only found in Australia. Echidnas are found in Australia and New Guinea.

The platypus is hard to photograph in the wild. While I have seen them, they are more like a ripple as they surface in creeks after searching for food. Not having a photo, here is my drawing of a platypus.

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 echidna (or spiny anteater) is a harmless animal whose only defence when attacked is to dig it's strong claws into the ground and show its spines. I have found one wandering in my garden. The photo is of a short beaked echidna. The long beaked echidna is found in New Guinea.

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.

Marsupial (pouched) Mammals

Marsupial or pouched animals are born very tiny. They make their way up their mothers fur and into the pouch where they can attach to a nipple. When they grow too large, they start to come out of the mother's pouch and eventually stay out. Here are some photos and drawings.

Brushtail Possum

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

Wombat - This joey (young marsupial) lost his mother on the road.

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

Tiger Quoll

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

Koala - Sapphire is the baby of Blinky and Suzie

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

Red Kangaroo - the largest of the kangaroos

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

Tasmanian Devil

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

Eastern Grey Kangaroo mob - groups of kangaroos are called mobs.

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

 Diprotodon (extinct) - When the first native Australians arrived, these huge marsupials still roamed the land.

Wikimedia Commons graphic created by Dmitry Bogdanov

Wikimedia Commons graphic created by Dmitry Bogdanov

Thylacine - Tasmanian Tiger - hunted to extinction. The last known thylacine died in captivity in the 1930s. Some believe they still exist in isolated areas of Tasmania.

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

Our animals even feature on the Australian Coat of Arms. Take a kangaroo and an emu...

 

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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.

Add a little wattle

 

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

Show the seven pointed Federation Star and the emblems of each state and you have the Australian Coat of Arms.

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

What did I teach when I was a teacher?

When I was at university, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree. This meant if I taught high school (Grades 7 to 12) I would have taught science and possibly maths. Instead, I chose to gain a Diploma of Education in primary (Kindergarten to Grade 6) education. By teaching primary students I could teach English, Science, Maths, Social Studies, Music, Art, and Craft.

When computers came along, I was able to teach computer skills to classes and teachers. I first used computers back in 1975 and in class in 1981. Because I have many interests, I thought primary school would allow me to share much more than high school. Now, I share many of my interests online with classes around the world.

For part 2 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-2-lily-to-may/

For Part 3 of this post...

 http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-3-linden-to-the-end/

At 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19 I was waiting for a call on Skype. Mrs. Watson and her K/1/2/3 had planned a Skype session. For them, it was 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. When the Skype call came, we started our question and answer session. Each student had the chance to ask questions about Australia.

I have broken this post into three parts because of the amount of its content.

Below is some of what was asked and answered...

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

To hear Australia's national anthem sung by  a school choir I have filmed, click the "Advanced Australia Fair" link below

Advanced Australia Fair

How long have I been in Australia?

I was born in Australia.

My first known relative on my father's side of the family arrived in Australia (the called New South Wales) as a convict in 1789. The first with my family name arrived around 1850 as a free settler from England. The first known relative on my mother's side of the family arrived from Scotland in 1847.

Do I have any pets?

I have had many pets over the years although I don't have one at this time. I have had one cat, many dogs, budgerigars (small parrots), a galah (large parrot) and once was looking after a young kangaroo for a week until I could take it to a zoo. It's mother had been killed by a car.

Below is an old photo taken around 1960 of the first dog I remember having as a pet. Her name was Topsy.

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

What is my favourite place in town?

I am a movie fan. I like going to the cinema (movie theatre) and I enjoy filming and making DVDs for schools and community groups so, in the town itself, my favourite place is the cinema. The next nearest cinema is a twoto three hour drive north but we are a tourist town and are lucky to have one.

Near town, my favourite places are Bournda National Park, Bournda Nature Rerserve, Ben Boyd National Park, South East Forests National Park and Potoroo Palace Native Animal Educational Sanctuary. When not blogging, visiting schools, making DVDs, walking around town and going to the cinema, I like hiking in our national parks near my town.

I have loaded a short video clip showing my town and Merimbula Lake taken from a bridge in 2010. The quality of the video isn't high but it does show much of the town.

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I live in the state of New South Wales. Is there an old South Wales?

The eastern half of Australia was named New South Wales by Captain James Cook in 1770. In his ship's log he recorded the name but didn't explain his choice. It's thought the coast might have reminded him of the southern coast of Wales in Great Britain. It was an interesting choice because I think part of Hudson Bay in Canada had been named New South Wales by the Welshman Thomas James on 20 August 1631 (according to Wikipedia).

In 2012, a replica of Captain James Cook's ship, Endeavour, visited Twofold Bay, Eden about 20km from my town. Below is a video clip I made of its departure.

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If you want to see more of the Endeavour replica, there is a post on another of my blogs...

HMB Endeavour at Eden – May, 2012 – Cook and his Endeavour

Do we have tumbleweeds in Australia?

Tumbleweeds are really only the tops of plants dried, broken off and blown in the wind. While we can have this happen to our plants, we don't tend to call them tumbleweeds.

Being in a small school.

 K/1/2/3's school only has 41 students and two teachers. They normally talk to students from much larger schools. I shared a little about my first teaching position. In the two years I was there, I had from 12 to 20 students from surrounding sheep and cattle properties. The closest town was 100km distant. I was the only teacher with children from Kindergarten to Grade 6 in the room. My next school had over 800 students and was in Sydney. It was very different.

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

Do we have any geckos or lizards?

Being a much warmer climate than Canada, we have a large range of reptiles from skinks and geckos right through to crocodiles in the warmer north of the country. I'll share a few of my photos with you...

 Bearded Dragon

They are harmless although they can bite. They may be called dragon but they can't breathe fire.

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

Red Bellied Black Snake (poisonous)

Unlike the local brown and tiger poisonous snakes of our area, the black snake is a little shy and tries to keep away from humans.

red-bellied black snake

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Goanna (Lace Monitor)

Goannas are the largest of our lizards.

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

Blue-tongued lizard (skink)

I have found these in my garden. They like snails and slugs.

Blue-tongued lizard

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Olive python and handler

Being a python, these snakes aren't poisonous. Potoroo Palace volunteer is hold "Olive" the female olive python.

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

Snapping Turtle

There are a number of turtles and tortoises around Australia.

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

Black Headed Python (non-poisonous)

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

Lizards 1

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

Lizards 2

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

Eastern Water Skink (?)

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

 

 Have I travelled to other places including Canada?

I have travelled to many places in Australia and have been to New Zealand several times. I've visited friends in Singapore and travelled on to Paris and United Kingdom. I've also been to Hawaii. Here are some photos from my travels overseas.

London

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

Paris

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

Singapore

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

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

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

York, England - York Minster Cathedral

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

Edinburgh Castle

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

Wellington, New Zealand - 1996

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

While I haven't yet been to Canada, I took a photo of a community play. The men were wearing a uniform but I'm not certain what type is was supposed to be. Do you know?

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

 

3 Comments

Mrs. Ranney and her class prepared a post looking at adaptation in desert dwelling animals...

Desert Dwellers, Announce Your Adaptations!

Hello Mrs, Ranney and Class,

 

Your post on desert dwellers and adaptations was fascinating so I thought I might prepare a post on some animals found in Australian deserts. Unlike your post, I haven't been able to find any animals to tell their story so I'll have to write for them.

Deserts in Australia

Wikipedia Reference: Deserts of Australia

Deserts cover about 18% of Australia's land. That's about 1,371,000 square kilometres (529,000 square miles).

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Copyright holder: Martyman at the English language Wikipedia

Deserts may not be completely without plants but the plants are sparse and low. In the photo below, the area is not really part of a desert and is taken from on top of Uluru (Ayers Rock) looking west towards Katatjuta (The Olgas). The Great Sandy Desert begins further west of Katatjuta but you can see the arid (dry) landscape of central Australia.

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Some Animals of the Australian Desert and Their Adaptations

Feral Camels

Wikipedia Source: Australian feral camel

I know the first reaction when people read 'camels' might be picturing them roaming the deserts of a Middle Eastern country but camels can be found wandering Australian deserts. They were first brought to Australia, mainly from India, in the 1800s to carry supplies to isolated communities in central Australia. By the 1900s, trucks started to replace them so they were released into the wild. They have become a problem where their numbers are too high. Australia now exports wild camels to the Middle East.

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Camels have adapted to dry conditions and can go a long time without taking a drink of water. They store fat in their humps to help them through dry times. Their long fur helps protect them from the heat of the daytime desert. Even when they breathe out through their noses, much water vapour is trapped and reabsorbed.

Red Kangaroos

Wikipedia source: Red Kangaroos

Other Source: Nature Notes - Red Kangaroos

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

Red kangaroos (Macropus rufus) are the largest of the kangaroos. They can be found in much of Australia's drier and desert climates. In my first school as a teacher in western New South Wales I would see them bounding across the countryside.

Red kangaroos are mainly active at dawn and dusk, resting in the heat of the day.

Their hopping has been found to save energy. At low speeds, there hopping uses about the same energy as a similar sized animal running on four legs. At high speeds they use less energy than a four legged animal. They can reach speeds of 35 to 30 kph (13 to 16 miles per hour). While I don't have a video clip of red kangaroo, below is one showing eastern grey kangaroos at a local animal sanctuary. Eastern greys are smaller than reds but fully grown males are almost the same height. I have seen some about my height of 185cm (73 inches). The video clip shows mostly females and young kangaroos and includes some hopping.

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

Emus

Wikipedia reference: Emu

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Emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) are the second largest bird found in our world today. They can reach up to 2 metres (78 inches) in height and are flightless. Only the ostrich is larger.

In the wild, they are found across huge areas of Australia. Again in my first school in western New South Wales I would see emus running across the plains. The above photo was taken as I drove to school one day. They can run long distances at speed but can reach around 50kph (31 miles per hour) in a sprint.

Their feathers protect them from the heat. They don't need to drink frequently but when they do they take in as much water as possible. Below is a video clip I took of emus in a local animal refuge...

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Dingo

Wikipedia Reference:  Dingo

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Dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) are a subspecies of the grey wolf. They are thought to have first arrived in Australia with seafarers perhaps 12,000 or more years ago. They are found from desert to grassland areas but can't roam too far from water. They live in dens, deserted rabbit holes or logs and are Australia's largest predator. Dingoes don't bark like domestic dogs. Their bark is short. They do howl.

 

8 Comments

For the Mr. Avery and Class "Our World Our Numbers post"...

Our World, Our Numbers on: Population and Area

Of Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand and U.S.A., which country is largest by population density?

Seeing a post looking at people and land area, I wondered how the population densities of Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand and U.S.A. might compare.

Population density is how many people there are for every square kilometre or mile of land area in a country. We take the population of a country and divide by the land area.

Which country has the highest population density?

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The United Kingdom

Let's look at the order of the countries according to the information I used to find the answer.

Area

1. U.S.A.   (9,826,675 square kilometres)

2. Canada   (9,984,670 square kilometres)

3. Australia   (7,692,024 square kilometres)

4. New Zealand   (268,680 square kilometres)

5. United Kingdom   (243,610 square kilometres)

Population

1. U.S.A.   (314,000,000)

2. United Kingdom   (62,640,000)

3. Canada   (34,480,000)

4. Australia   (23,000,000)

5. New Zealand   (4,466,424)

Population Density

1. United Kingdom   (257.13 people per square kilometres)

2. U.S.A.   (31.95 people per square kilometres)

3. New Zealand   (16.62 people per square kilometres)

4. Canada   (3.45 people per square kilometres)

5. Australia   (2.99 people per square kilometres)

I was asked to supply a chart (graph). This column graph has been inserted to show relative population densities, including Japan mentioned in the comment section.

.

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Can you see the smallest country by area has the highest population density? (N.B. Adding Japan changed this slightly as it became the third smallest country by area yet had the highest population density.)

We must remember, when looking at Canada and Australia and their low population densities, Canada has large parts of the country in Arctic regions and Australia has large areas of desert. Below is a link I made comparing Great Britain and Australia. It gives information about Australia and its land.

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/05/06/great-britain-and-australia-compared-for-our-world-our-numbers/

 

 

 

4 Comments

Click below to see the original Our World, Our Numbers post...

Topic 6: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – Area & Population

 

Hello A Room With a View,

Your Our World, Our Numbers entry is a brilliant information packed post. When I visited Great Britain (I wasn't able to make it to Northern Ireland), I enjoyed all from the busy, history laden streets of London to driving minor and major roads across England, Scotland and Wales.

Apart from the brilliant scenery and historical locations of my ancestors, I found Great Britain very compact in comparison to Australia. Looking at your post, I found Great Britain has approximately 2.7 times Australia's population yet Australia is approx. 33.4 times larger than all of Great Britain. Our population density is quite low in comparison but it must be remembered much of Australia is arid (desert) or semi-arid so most people are found along our coastline.

This is a photo I took back in 1985 when I arranged a trip for families from my school to travel to Uluru (Ayers Rock) in central Australia. In the distance you can see Katatjuta (The Olgas) and the surrounding desert areas. I drove a 20 seater bus on a round trip from Sydney to Uluru and back, covering about 6000km (3728 miles).

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Location: Looking west towards Katatjuta (The Olgas) from Uluru (Ayers Rock)

To give you an example of distances, my first school as a permanent teacher sat on a flat clay pan area surrounded by sheep and cattle properties. I stayed in a house on a property of around 100,000 acres (that's about 405 square kilometres). I would drive the 20 km (12.5 miles) to school without passing another house and only very rarely seeing another car. The closest town to the school was 100 km (62.5 miles) distant. Here is a photo of the school.

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Location: Marra Creek, N.S.W.

You probably already know the national link Australia has to England. Like New Zealand and a number of other countries, we have the Union Flag at the top left hand corner of our flag but that wasn't the flag first raised when convicts arrived here from England in 1788. Below is the flag that was raised on January 26, 1788...

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This is a photo of Old Sydney Town taken in 1983. It was an historical reconstruction of Sydney set around 1800. You can see the above flag flying on the flagpole.

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Location: Somersby, N.S.W., Australia  (closed 2003)

A check into history and I see this flag was used from 1606 to 1801 (Wikipedia link). Notice it didn't have the flag for Northern Ireland? If you look at the date when this flag was first raised, you can calculate how long ago it was. Australia only became a nation on January 1, 1901. Before that, we were a collection of British colonies. 4KM and 4KJ would have been in the colony of Victoria and I would have lived in the colony of New South Wales. The Union Flag shows our link to our colonial past.

Australia's Flag Today

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

I've added an additional photo of my first school as a permanent teacher so Mrs Monaghan & "A Room with a View" can see how small it was. There was one classroom and a small office inside. At that time, it was considered the sixth most isolated school in the state of New South Wales. The top five were all in small isolated towns so this school looked more isolated. There was only one teacher for the children ranging from 5 to 12. I had up to 20 students from surrounding sheep and cattle properties who would arrive in two mini-buses from up to 50 km (about 30 miles) distance. I have many good memories from my time there. 🙂

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Location: Marra Creek, N.S.W.

For Techie Kids and their post

Hello Techie Kids,

After looking at your post and your "Michigan Animals" book, I looked at the your questions. When I came to, "What animals live in your area or are unique to your area?" I wondered what more I could share as you have seen many of my animal photos.

Yesterday morning I was walking along Tura Beach North not far from my home, I was taking more photos for my photo library. Looking through these, I had an idea. I have shown animals but what about their tracks? When hiking, I sometimes see tracks left by animals whether lizards, snakes, birds or mammals. It's interesting to see them and guess what animal left them behind. Sometimes I can follow the trails and sometimes I find only a few tracks. Here are some photos.

This is Tura Beach looking north towards Bournda National Park. There are many tracks but mostly human. Can you see the wallaby tracks in the sand?

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Location: North Tura Beach, N.S.W., Australia

Below is the track left behind a swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor). It wasn't hopping. It was walking. When doing this, they place their front paws on the ground then bring forward their large hind legs while dragging their tail along the ground. In the bottom right hand corner of the beach photo you might be able to see where a wallaby had been. If I hadn't seen the paw prints, I might have thought this was the track of a snake. If the paw prints had been small and clawed, it might have been a monitor lizard (goanna).

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

Location: North Tura Beach, N.S.W., Australia

These are the tracks are of a bird. Judging by their size and shape I knew they were from a smaller bird. I suspected they might be the prints of a bird like the pied oyster catcher (Haematopus longirostris).

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Location: North Tura Beach, N.S.W., Australia

The next track was a little easier. It was reasonably large (you can see the sand grains are larger in this close up shot than the one above). I believe this is the rear paw print of a common wombat (Vombatus ursinus).

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Location: North Tura Beach, N.S.W., Australia

The following tracks are the easiest for me. I see them so often. They were too small to be a kangaroo. No tail or front paw marks were in the sand, they are the prints of a hopping swamp wallaby.

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Location: North Tura Beach, N.S.W., Australia

I think these are the prints of a wombat, both front and rear feet.

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Location: North Tura Beach, N.S.W., Australia

I don't think I need to tell you what animal made this print. While its track can be found at any time of the year, it is most common to find at beaches on hot summer's days. This was from an adult. The size and depth of the footprint showed it was not a child.

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Location: North Tura Beach, N.S.W., Australia

Judging by the shape, size and depth of this print, I suspect this animal was about 185cm (6ft 1in) tall and goes by the name of Ross.

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Location: North Tura Beach, N.S.W., Australia

I'm sure you have seen this one. It's the print of a small dog. You can see there had been some rain overnight but as the print doesn't show any signs of raindrops, it had probably been on the beach not too long before I arrived.

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Location: North Tura Beach, N.S.W., Australia

This is the print of another bird. Its size suggests something the size of a seagull but I can't see any sign of webbing between the toes so it couldn't be a seagull or small duck. It is larger than the bird prints above so it isn't something like a pied oyster catcher. Perhaps its from a masked lapwing (plover).

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Location: North Tura Beach, N.S.W., Australia

 The tracks left behind by animals can sometimes tell a story. If we follow them we may see where they stopped to search for food or rested. Have any of you photographed the tracks of animals?

 

 For a class looking at Australia -

Australian Flag

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Aboriginal Flag

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Torres Strait Islander Flag

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Some Audio Files

Australia's National Anthem - as sung by a combined choir in a performance I filmed...

 Advanced Australia Fair

Many official functions start with an Acknowledgement of Country in order to recognise the traditional owners of the land...

Acknowledgement of Country

The didjeridoo was made from a hollowed branch and was part of many ceremonies. The hitting of sticks or boomerangs together often accompanied them.

Sticks and Didjeridoo

Below are links to Australian related posts on my blogs including links to others. I hope they are of some help...

HMB Endeavour at Eden - Replica of Captain James Cook's HMS Endeavour visited  in 2012. James Cook was the first explorer from Europe/UK known to have sailed along Australia's east cost.

My Region of Australia - A general look at my area of Australia featuring the old family dairy farm, scenic photos, beach activities, and Australian animals.

Tasmania – Sharing old photos - Looks at the Australian island state of Tasmania and a little of our convict heritage.

Older Australian Currency - Australia uses dollars and cents these days but before 1966 used pounds, shillings and pence.

Aboriginal Cultural Resource Links for the Roadrunners - Information about the Aboriginal people of Australia and their traditional culture. Check the "Twelve Canoes" link in particular.

Class 6 – Olympic Countries – Australia - History, the Australian flag, National Anthem, animals, Sydney Harbour Bridge, sport

ANZAC Day for 2/3 Class - Looking at ANZAC Day and its meaning for me.

For Emily from Michigan who was interested in Australia - A collection of photos taken in different parts of Australia (including animals).

More photos and information on Sydney for Emily - Some photos of Sydney past and present.

Spring has Sprung in Australia – for 4KJ and 4KM - Looks at the seasons of the Southern Hemisphere.

 Australian National Parks near me in answer to ♥Ell♥e♥ and ಢAcacia✄ - Information about Australia as well as some national parks in my area.

Australian Birds – Mostly Close to Home…

Some plant photos taken in my area…

The family dairy farm for someone who loves everything farming

Maoris, Volcanoes and Aboriginal Rock Art (some notes) for Roadrunners and their comment. Includes the Aboriginal flags of Australia, information about paintings and engravings

Australian Animals for Mrs. Watson’s K/1/2/3 and “Our World, Our Numbers” - An assortment of photos, drawings and information.

Koalas and Kangaroos - Two video links I prepared for a class

Australia’s Extinct and Endangered Species – for Katey of Techie Kids

Tasmanian Devils for Christian and Techie Kids

Some More Aussie Animals for Alexis & Techie Kids

 

You Tube Video Clips

These are my own video clips uploaded to my You Tube Channel. Some are already embedded into the above posts but can be viewed here as well...

Eastern Grey Kangaroos

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

The life of "Sapphire" the koala

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Echidna (Spiny Anteater)

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

"Bert" the wombat joey (baby)

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Walking koala from a series of photos

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

The Song of the Lyrebird

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

"Lyrebird Story" by Alexandra Seddon

This video clip may not be copied or distributed in any fashion.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Suzie the koala's baby makes an appearance

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Black-Headed Python Experience

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Potoroo "Daniel"

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Koala encounter with "Blinky" and "Suzie"

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Echidna "Spike" Encounter

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Ringtail Possum "Estelle" Encounter

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Swamp Wallaby "Serena" Encounter

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Emus

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

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Many of the above animal video clips were filmed at Potoroo Palace . It is a native animal educational sanctuary operated by volunteers and funded by visitor entry fees and donations. Potoroo Palace is a not-for-profit organisation passionate about caring for the Earth. The aims of Potoroo Palace are...

  • To improve the habitats and wellbeing of the native animals already in our care

  • To promote public awareness of their plight in the wild

  • To educate the community about the importance of the conservation of our unique Australian native animals and plants.

At times I have been invited to film their animals.