EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Science
Australian Geographic

Australian Geographic September - October 2015

Australian Geographic, Australia’s premier geographic journal, brings you the best of the country from those who know it best. Discover Australia’s rich cultural heritage, its beautiful landscapes, its unique and diverse plants and wildlife, and explore outback towns and the true-blue characters who call them home.

Country:
Australia
Language:
English
Publisher:
Australian Geographic Holdings Pty Ltd
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
online

AUSTRALIANGEOGRAPHIC.COM.AU The content doesn’t end with this issue of the journal. You’ll find thousands more articles, images and videos online. Discover all the stories highlighted here at: australiangeographic.com.au/issue128 FREE Australian GEOGRAPHIC Sign up to the Australian Geographic email newsletter on our homepage and we’ll deliver fresh content to your inbox every week! SUCCESSFUL BREEDING OF THE WORLD’S SMALLEST GLIDERS Seven exquisitely small feather-tail glider juveniles have emerged from their nest boxes at Taronga Zoo. APOSTLEBIRDS KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY These social birds are so reliant on the family that they’ll even kidnap babies to boost numbers. BIOLUMINESCENCE: ‘SEA SPARKLES’ LIGHT TASSIE WATERS Microalgae blooms in Hobart’s Derwent River emit a bioluminescent blue glow when disturbed at night. ACTIVATE YOUR WEB ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT Three decades of AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC at your fingertips! Subscribers have access to all of these great features: Entire digital archive of…

2 min.
our beautiful neighbour

THIS TIME last year, I was privileged to spend a couple of days in Timor-Leste (East Timor). I discovered a country that had suffered greatly because of its refusal to be subdued by a powerful neighbour, but also one experiencing a rapid transition to a contemporary Asian nation with all the aspirations, hopes and dreams we take for granted. It is a country that’s rich in natural beauty – and the Timorese are a culturally diverse population with a proud and colourful history that they want to share. We began to work with the Timorese government in late 2014 to create a documentary that would promote their exciting new tourism opportunities (the capital, Dili, is just a 90-minute flight from Darwin). Our documentary filmmakers Julian Harvey and Clark Carter joined presenters…

1 min.
contributors

Heidi Willis is a self-taught watercolour artist specialising in natural history illustration. Her powerful and distinctive works are meticulous, fluid reflections of our natural world. Painting full-time since 2003, Heidi quickly positioned herself as one of Australia’s emerging artistic talents. Her reputation as a leading natural history, wildlife and botanical artist is now well established, with her paintings found in signi ficant public and private collections around the world. SPRIGS OF HOPE, PAGE 22 Glenn Morrison is a journalist, author and musician living in Alice Springs. His work is widely published and has won him several awards and fellowships. Early studies in geography and engineering led Glenn to combine an interest in the environment with a desire to write meaningfully about politics and places. Formerly editor of the Centralian Advocate newspaper, Glenn now writes…

2 min.
where today becomes tomorrow

YOU’D THINK the International Date Line (IDL) would be geographically precise – but it’s more an ill-defined north-to-south path, roughly following 180° longitude. The IDL is the place where we declare that time shifts by exactly 24 hours to accommodate the fact that Earth’s movement causes confusion on an international scale, when the definition of a day is defined by sunrise and sunset. When you cross it travelling west, the day and the date skip forward, but the time of day usually remains the same – cross it travelling east and the reverse happens. Discussion about the need for a defined marker arose during the 1884 International Meridian Conference, which convened to set the prime meridian – 0° longitude. This was needed for geographical and nautical charts. The conference overwhelmingly agreed to…

3 min.
a relationship restored

THIS IS a tale of two strange and fascinating species, both of which evolved unusual life histories during millions of years of isolation on the islands of New Zealand – two species that, we now know, once had a close ecological relationship. The first is the kakapo: a large, fragrant, nocturnal bird, and the world’s only flightless parrot – its numbers have dwindled to about 125, most of which are found on Codfish Island, a small speck off the south of the South Island. Here the kakapo’s breeding success is linked to the infrequent fruiting of a single tree, the rimu (see AG 115). The second, you’re less likely to have heard of. It’s Dactylanthus taylorii, also known as the Hades flower or wood rose, or as pua o te reinga to…

3 min.
the new age of dinosaurs

IT WASN’T EXACTLY a fork in the road David Elliott encountered that day back in 1999 while out mustering sheep on Belmont station near Winton. But the unexpected rock-like object which caught his eye that morning in outback Queensland – poking up from an otherwise flat, black-soil paddock – signalled the start of a journey for David and his family that would sweep them and their local community back 100 million years into Australia’s prehistoric past. That was a time when massive dinosaurs roamed across what was then a vast river plain with abundant lakes and swamps, shaded by a lowland forest of ferns and conifers. David’s rocky discovery was famously identified as the fossilised femur of a giant sauropod, previously unknown to science, and the rest, as they say,…