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Latest Fauna of Australia Stories

kangaroo Macropus robustus
2014-08-04 03:00:02

Lee J. Siegel, University of Utah Australia’s Aboriginal Martu people hunt kangaroos and set small grass fires to catch lizards, as they have for at least 2,000 years. A University of Utah researcher found such man-made disruption boosts kangaroo populations – showing how co-evolution helped marsupials and made Aborigines into unintentional conservationists. “We have uncovered a framework that allows us to predict when human subsistence practices might be detrimental to the...

grey wolf in yellowstone
2014-06-17 04:58:51

Gerard LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Fur trapping records across North America have shown the population of wolves in a given area has a dramatic effect on smaller animals, according to scientists. The study included areas from Alaska and Yukon to Nova Scotia and Maine. In areas where wolves are present, red foxes are favored. In areas where wolves are absent, coyotes are favored. Coyotes outnumber foxes an average of 3-to-1 where wolves are present. However, in the...

2014-05-08 08:56:02

As a fresh wave of extinctions sweeps through the ranks of Australian native animals, scientists are deploying their most powerful weapon yet in the struggle to understand and head off the wipe-out. Progress in developing the first nationwide database of Australian mammal observations, and understanding what is driving the dramatic rate of disappearances, will be reported to a national conference in Canberra today. With a hundred marsupial species at risk of extinction across the...

Australian Dingo Found To Be A Distinct Species
2014-04-02 07:05:34

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online When I think of a dingo, I think of a sad scene in the Tom Selleck movie, "Quigley Down Under" where the dingoes are attacking and Cora has to decide if she will repeat her mistakes, or let the aboriginal child cry. Like many of you, I'm sure, I considered them to be just another version of a coyote, no different from any other. A new study from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Sydney, however, reveals...

Wolf Dog Relationship Complex
2014-01-17 10:34:12

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online According to popular belief, all of today’s dog breeds are descended from wolves domesticated thousands of years ago. However, a new study published on Thursday in PLOS Genetics has found that today’s dogs are more closely related to each other than they are to wolves – an indication that dogs were domesticated after they diverged from wolves. "Dog domestication is more complex than we originally thought," said study author John...

Cane Toad Caught Trying To Eat A Bat
2013-09-25 04:20:50

[ Watch the Video: Cane Toad Couldn't Stomach This Bat ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Talk about a Kodak moment – a park ranger working in the Peruvian rainforest managed to capture a picture of a cane toad attempting to dine on a bat, complete with the airborne rodent’s wings sticking out of its mouth. According to Phil Torres of Rainforest Expeditions, the picture was taken by park ranger Yufani Olaya at a remote guard station in Cerros de Amotape...

Dingoes Wrongly Accused Of Animal Extinctions
2013-09-10 17:32:10

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online Scientists writing in the journal Ecology say that despite popular belief, the Australian dingo should not be blamed for mass extinctions. Dingoes have been blamed for the extinctions of the Tasmanian tiger and the Tasmanian devil on the Australian mainland about 3,000 years ago. Instead, the scientists blame Aboriginal populations and a shift in climate. "Perhaps because the public perception of dingoes as 'sheep-killers' is so...

2013-06-13 12:37:03

Tooth enamel reveals diet, habitats of extinct marsupials in southeastern Queensland The teeth of a kangaroo and other extinct marsupials reveal that southeastern Queensland 2.5-5-million-years ago was a mosaic of tropical forests, wetlands and grasslands and much less arid than previously thought. The chemical analysis of tooth enamel that suggests this diverse prehistoric habitat is published June 12 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Shaena Montanari from the American Museum of...

Kangaroo Poo DNA Test Aids In Conservation Efforts
2013-06-07 07:31:05

April Flowers for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online A simple and cost effective DNA test has been developed by researchers at the University of Adelaide's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) and Environment Institute to identify kangaroo species from their droppings. This will boost the ability to manage and conserve kangaroo populations. DNA extracted from hundreds of droppings collected across north-eastern Australia was used to develop the test, according to a paper...

Tasmanian Tiger Extinct Because Of Humans, Not Disease
2013-02-01 09:55:41

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study led by researchers at the University of Adelaide concludes that humans alone may have been responsible for the extinction of Australia's iconic native predator, the Tasmanian Tiger (thylacine). The study, published in a recent issue of the Journal of Animal Ecology, used a new population modeling approach to contradict the widespread belief that disease must have been a factor in the thylacine's extinction. The Tasmanian...


Latest Fauna of Australia Reference Libraries

Freycinet’s Frog, Litoria freycineti
2014-05-26 10:47:29

Freycinet’s Frog (Litoria freycineti), also commonly known as the Wallum Rocket Frog, lives in coastal areas from Fraser Island, Queensland, south to the Jervis Bay Territory of New South Wales. It is a variable species of frog, reaching 45 millimeters long. It is usually brown on the dorsal surface with large lighter or darker colored patches or raised dots; in some specimens, these patches can be very indistinct to almost nonexistent. A triangular shape of the same color as the patches...

Western Quoll, Dasyurus geoffroii
2014-05-24 17:09:58

The western quoll (Dasyurus geoffroii), also known as the western native cat and by many native names, is a species of marsupial that can be found in Australia. This species once held a large range, but it is now limited to the southwestern corner of Western Australia. It prefers to reside in arid and moist mallee and sclerophyll forests. It was first described by John Gould in 1841, when it was abundant in Australia. It is most closely related to the recently described bronze quoll, which is...

Common Mist Frog, Litoria rheocola
2013-10-08 10:57:47

The Common Mist Frog (Litoria rheocola) is a species of tree frog native to north-eastern Queensland, Australia. Reaching a length of 1.5 inches, the Common Mist Frog is moderately sized. It is slender with long arms and legs, fully webbed feet, and partially webbed hands. The feet and hands have large toe pads, wider than the fingers. The dorsal surface is a dull brown or slate color, with a dark patch running from between the eyes and fading at the middle of the back. The shape of the...

Australian Waterfall Frog, Litoria nannotis
2013-10-07 15:50:53

The Australian Waterfall Frog (Litoria nannotis), known also as the Torrent Tree Frog, is a species of tree frog that is native to Far North Queensland, Australia. The common name “waterfall frog” is indicative of its habitat of moist and rocky streams and is often found along waterfalls within its range. The waterfall frog is large, reaching up to 5.5 centimeters long. The dorsal surface is spotted with puck brown. The patterning on the back is much like its habitat, allowing for...

Common Wombat, Vombatus ursinus
2013-09-27 10:45:36

The common wombat (Vombatus ursinus), also known as the bare-nosed wombat or the coarse-haired wombat, is a species of marsupial that is native to Australia. Its range includes Tasmania and the mountainous areas just south of Queensland, although it is declining in drier areas of its range. It was first described in 1800 by George Shaw and it holds three subspecies. The common wombat has a sturdy body, reaching an average length between 2.6 and 4.2 feet and a weight between 37.4 and 88.1...

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Word of the Day
bodacious
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'
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