O.Ed Study

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Date Submitted: 11/14/2012 03:26 AM

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3.1.1 – Australian environment before human inhabitation:

• Continental drift theory – suggests continents have drifted apart over millions of years and are continuing to do so.

• Evidence of this theory is that some of the continents that are completely separated by water have native animals that are similar and seem to have evolved from the same species.

• Main factors that contributed to Australia’s biodiversity are:

- Variations in Temperature

- Sea Level Fluctuations

- Periods of aridity (drought)

- Low lying, flat land

- Low volcanic activity – results in poor soil nutrients (geological stability)

- Biological isolation

• Went from:

- Pangaea 200 million years ago

- Gondwana and Laurasia 180 million years ago

- Began splitting up 140 million years ago

- Larger separated by 65 million years ago

- Australia separated from Antarctica 40-50 million years ago.

• Land formations are formed from continental plates colliding, volcanic activity and erosion.

• Erosion includes water AND wind erosion.

• Bushfires have greatly impacted on the Australian environment’s flora and fauna.

• Megafauna were large, slow moving herbivorous marsupials that lived around 65,000 years ago. Became extinct largely due to climatic changes but indigenous hunting practices also impacted.

• Land adapted as the climate changes; roots of some flora became longer to tap into underground water supplies and leaves shaped themselves in a way that best held moisture.

• Large majority of fauna were marsupials, which are mammals that have a pouch where gestation occurs.

3.1.2 – Indigenous relationships with Australian environment:

• Location is important rather than time.

• Land is there canvas for art.

• History is largely oral, not written.

• “Dreamtimes stories” are their form of history.

• These stories connect the land with the people and...