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Australian Geographic September - October 2021

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
R 96,04
R 264,32
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
no borders

LIFE-ALTERING, seismic events that affect us all on a worldwide scale don’t come around very often. We hear the current pandemic referred to as a “once in a century” happening, or the biggest upheaval since World War II, and I’m sure we all hope and pray that’s true. But this year marks the grim milestone of another era-defining event that none who witnessed the horrific scenes unfold in real time on our Aussie television screens late on the night of 11 September 2001 is ever likely to forget. It’s now 20 years since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. That’s almost a generation, and yet the impact of that day continues to cast a long and deadly shadow, as our infographic on page 24 starkly demonstrates.…

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2 min
long line of enquiry

SEVEN YEARS ago photojournalist Richard Robinson quit his day job at The New Zealand Herald to become a freelance photographer. At home, he stuck a note to his wall: Tuna. He’s been chasing the story ever since. Richard’s specialty is the underwater realm, but tuna posed a unique challenge (see page 58). It took a year to negotiate his first trip on a New Zealand tuna vessel to document the commercial fishery based on this lucrative marine creature. “Essentially I was on call all summer trying to get on a boat,” he says. Finally, he joined a Sanford skipjack tuna crew. Later, in Australia, he got in the water with a school of juvenile tuna. “The ones in Australia aren’t adults, but they’re still bloody big fish. You could kind of feel…

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5 min
your say

FEATURED LETTER Your article by Ray Martin on Running Man Rock (AG 159) was fascinating and eye-catching. It is located in an area of Australia not yet frequented by tourists but nevertheless has potential, as Ray so eloquently described. These rocks are products of an ancient sea that covered large parts of Australia 490 million years ago (the end of the Cambrian Period). The resulting rocks of limestone, dolomite, chert, shale and sandstone containing fossils produced the rock suite geologists call the Ninmaroo Formation. The slightly harder dolomite layer formed that whitish extensive bench in outcrops to form the figure 8 and the Running Man. This layer contains, and is formed largely by, stromatolites – a type of Cambrian reef made by particle trapping and calcium carbonate-precipitating algae, or cyanobacteria. This is very…

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2 min
a titanic discovery

PALAEONTOLOGISTS have announced the discovery of Australia’s largest dinosaur. Named Australotitan cooperensis (nicknamed Cooper) and measuring a whopping 6.5m tall ground to hip, and up to 30m in length, the fossilised remains of the new genus and species of giant sauropod, which lived during the mid-Cretaceous Period (98–95 million years ago), were discovered in 2007 in Eromanga in south-western Queensland. It took the Eromanga Natural History Museum 14 years to excavate the bones. Initially, museum staff had little idea what had been unearthed. “The first bone that we prepared was the humerus [from a forelimb] and it was 1.5m long,” says Queensland Museum palaeontologist Dr Scott Hocknull. “That’s enormous, so we knew it was bigger than the Winton guys, but we weren’t sure if it was a new species.” Not only…

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2 min
defining the southern ocean

TO COINCIDE with this year’s World Oceans Day (8 June), the National Geographic Society formally recognised the Southern Ocean as the world’s fifth ocean, adding it to the ranks of the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic oceans. In 2000 the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) designated the waters within the Antarctic Convergence as a fifth ocean. They combined the southern regions of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans to delineate a Southern Ocean with the unique distinction of being a large circumpolar body of water totally encircling the Antarctic continent, between 60 degrees south latitude and the Antarctic coast, encompassing 360 degrees of longitude. The IHO ensures the world’s seas, oceans and navigable waters are surveyed and charted, coordinates the activities of 95 national hydrographic offices worldwide and sets standards to promote uniformity…

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3 min
1953: fluoride added to aussie water

IN THE EARLY 1950s, many residents of Beaconsfield, Tasmania, believed the water supply was responsible for dental issues in their children. After the town’s municipal chemist and water filtration officer, Frank Grey, read a 1948 article entitled Supplementing Water Supplies with Fluorine, in the Journal AWWA (American Water Works Association), the council investigated fluoride as an answer. Grey provided a report that showed tooth decay in some US communities had decreased by 65 per cent after the introduction of fluoridated water. With the support of the council and permission from Tasmanian state health authorities, he oversaw a scheme to introduce fluoride into the town water supply beginning on 30 September 1953. On the basis of US studies, the safe fluoridation rate was deemed to be1 part fluoride to 1 million parts…

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