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Australian Geographic July - August 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.

Australian Geographic Holdings Pty Ltd
R 96,04
R 264,32
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min

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/issue127 FREE Sign up to the Australian Geographic email newsletter on our homepage and we’ll deliver fresh content to your inbox every week! TREE MONITOR’S MYSTERIOUS COLOUR This lizard from our northern neighbour, Papua New Guinea, sports a type of pigment that’s highly unusual in nature. ECHIDNA PUGGLE ON ROAD TO RECOVERY After being accidentally dug out of its burrow and injured, a baby echidna is recovering, thanks to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. INTO THE EYE OF THE DRAGON Check out this great image from AG Flickr group member Michael Chong – and find out how to submit your own. THE WORLD IN MACRO Featured in a photographic competition hosted by Photocrowd.com, these macro images…

2 min
victorian splendour

I RECENTLY SPENT two consecutive summer breaks on road trips that started in Melbourne and took me home to Sydney. The first year, we headed west along the Great Ocean Road, eventually turning north up through centres such as Bendigo and Echuca before heading back into NSW. The second year, we journeyed east through Gippsland before crossing the border just past Genoa and travelling homewards up the east coast. What struck me most during my first trip, and inspired me to go back for the second trip, was the mix of experiences available within relatively short drives of each other. As much as I love an epic outback odyssey, when you’ve only a week or so to spare, Victoria’s compactness is a real gift. Between the natural wonders of the Great…

1 min

Dan Down is an adventurer, nature lover and writer who, after 10 years working on BBC science magazines in the UK, upped sticks for a life in Australia, where he is now sub-editor for Australian Traveller. In 2013 he spent a year studying marine biology. Marine conservation work in Madagascar and trekking remote areas of Nepal led to room-sharing with massive cockroaches, which inspired this issue’s Nature Watch. BEAUTIFUL BUGS, PAGE 20 Michael Burleigh completed his Bachelor of Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle and achieved First Class Honours, illustrating an identification guide to the agricultural beetle pests of Timor-Leste in 2014. So far, he has specialised in illustrating insects and other arthropods, which led him to volunteer at the Entomology Collection at the Australian Museum. He is a keen…

1 min
blood relations

THE FIRST successful blood transfusion was carried out in 1665 by English physician Dr Richard Lower, using dogs as donors and recipients. When transfusions were first trialled on humans, recipients tended to die. It wasn’t until 1900 that Austrian Dr Karl Landsteiner discovered the ABO blood group system, and realised human patients needed to be given compatible blood. He was awarded a Nobel Prize for his discovery. There are more than 30 blood group systems, but most important for transfusion or transplantation is the ABO system. Every human is of blood group O, A, B or AB (or a minor variant of these groups). In fact, there are only two determinants in the ABO system: A and B. O is the absence of either A or B, and AB is the…

3 min
logged into oblivion

THE LEADBEATER’S POSSUM, one of the world’s most endangered marsupials, is in a perilous position, which is why the federal government followed the advice of scientists in April and listed it as critically endangered. Along with the helmeted honeyeater, it is one of Victoria’s state faunal emblems, an honour bestowed on this adorable-looking nocturnal creature in 1971. Leadbeater’s possum was already rare when it was discovered in South Gippsland in 1867. Up until 1909, only six specimens had been collected and by the time of the 1939 Black Friday fires it was presumed to have died out. It was officially declared extinct in the 1950s, but the listing was premature, because in 1961 naturalist Eric Wilkinson discovered a small colony 100km east of Melbourne, at Marysville. Today, the Leadbeater’s possum persists primarily…

4 min
beautiful bugs

NEXT TIME YOU reach for insecticide to smite a cockroach out of existence, think twice. Although some are introduced pests, others have been here for millions of years, and are deserving members of Australia’s intricate ecosystem. There are more than 530 known species in Australia, about 90 per cent of which are found nowhere else – and experts believe there may be twice that number yet to be discovered. Cockroaches are closely related to termites and have a characteristic flattened body. Their lives are short but varied and often unique. Some have elaborate mating rituals and others use chemical sprays to defend themselves. Some species take parental care of their young. They range in size from the tiny Nocticola, at just 3mm long, to the giant burrowing cockroach at a whopping…