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Old Jan 14 2008, 04:16 PM   #1
ghyle
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1) what wild animals are native to Australia?
There are a number of animals that are native to Australia, too many to list all of them here. A lot of birds are native, such as the sea-eagle and the wedge-tailed eagle; the latter's wingspan is over ten feet from tip to tip. There are many snakes and lizards. Of the former, there are the taipan, the red-bellied black snake, the carpet python, and many others. The latter includes thorny devils, and many types of goannas, skinks and geckos.

There are also very many birds. I'll just list birds that I have personally seen. There are magpies (not to be confused with the European magpe, after whom it was named, because both are black and white; the Australian magpie is a songbird, with the most complex song in the world), currawongs, crows, sea eagles, wedge-tailed eagles; galahs, sulphur-crested cockatoos, budgerigars, gang-gangs; kookaburras, which are a type of kingfisher, as are butcherbirds; red wattlebirds; noisy minahs; grey herons, spoonbills (several species, I have seen two) and so forth. Just so you know, Australia has the most number of nectar-feeding birds in the world.

There are also many invertebrates. Alongside the usual assortment of wasps, native (and stingless) bees, cicadas, ants, beetles, praying mantises, velvet worms, worms, and so forth, we have many named species: there are red-backed spiders (related to black widows), funnelweb spiders, mouse spiders, and so forth. With the cicadas, we have slang terms for them, based on their colour--green Mondays, yellow Mondays, and, most prized, black Mondays.

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2)What place are MUST SEE for visitors?
That all depends upon the visitor, where they are, and how much time they have. To give you an idea of what I mean, Australia is roughly the same size as continental USA, minus Alaska. Think of how much is in the States, and you have a rough idea of how much you can expect for a place a tenth of its population.

The obvious candidates, though, include the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and so forth. For the bookish, I would include the State Libraries of New South Wales and Victoria, as well as the National Library in Canberra. Each state has its own state library, which helps fund and coordinate local libraries throughout that state.

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3) How does your culture differ from the U.S?
There are many ways that the cultures of the USA and Australia both differ and are alike. I will mention only those that affect myelf in my life, as I have many friends Stateside.

Our slang terms differ. Some is native to Australia, such as Seppo, or drongo, or boofhead. Some is derived from English. One type of slang, rhyming slang, is common to Cockneys and Australians, although we have our own as well as shared terms; Seppo, from "septic tank" means 'Yank", and Kerried, meaning tired, comes from "Kerry Packer" (a media owner and business man) which rhymes with the slang term "knacker", meaning "to tire out".

We also have a different dialect and accent. There are three general accents in Australia: broad Australian, general Australian (mine) and educated Australian. We treat the former as rednecks, or "bogans", and the latter as up themselves, or "wankers" (meaning they have tickets on themselves).

Our dialect is different: we spell things more like England does, and we have different terms. Our slang is part of that, and so are our idioms. We say "different to" for example, rather than "different from" or "different than". We also have regional variations in our dialect. Cocktail sausages, in one state, are called "little boys" and in another are called "cheerios". Swimsuits can be called "bathers" here, "cossies" there, and "togs" elsewhere.

There is too much to go into, so I will let other add onto this.

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4) Do you live near any museums?
Yes: there is a regional Tweed Museum in town. Many towns have their own regional museum. There is also an art gallery in nearby Murwillambah, for the region.

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5) What type of goverment do you have?
We have what, in technical terms, is called a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth is our sovereign, and her representative for the whole of Australia is the governor-general. We have a Prime Minister, who is currently Kevin Rudd. Each state also has Governors, as well as Premiers. We also have local governments, run by mayors. The three levels all have different duties, like they do in the States, and this is called a federal system, making the nation a federation.

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6) What side of the road do you drive on?
We drive on the left, the same as they do in Great Britain.

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7) What is a typical day like?
It varies from person to person. I will discuss mine.

During the week, I get up at 7 am, and go online for 2 hours or so, and get breakfast. I do not answer emails. At 9, I do work until 12, when I get lunch and rest until 1. At 1, I work on university stuff, during the school year, until 4, when I answer emails and chat until 5:30.

At 5:30 I get dinner, and then, at 6:30 work on poems for an hour. At 7:30 I submit poems to various places online. At 8:30 I might watch tv, or I will read. Usually tv is finished at 9:30 to 10, when I read for at least an hour before going to sleep.

On Thursdays, I go food shopping in the morning. I read in the afternoon.

On wekends, I work on various things, and clean the house. I often watch more tv during the day, if I feel like it, and I read quite a lot.

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8) What native food would you sugest trying?
I would suggest meat pies, which are small pies suitable for one person. Also chiko rolls, and fish and chips. Chips are similar to French fries, being fatter, really.

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9) How is your counrty devided? (states, districs. ect..)
Our country is officially, as had been said elsewhere, into 6 states and 2 territories. It is also divided into local government areas, usually called shires, as in the UK.

There are also unofficial regions or districts. Two such are Gippsland in Victoria (where I was born), and New England in northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland (my university is in Armidale, which is in New England). The region that I currently live in is called the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

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10) What is your major export?
There are many exports. A lot are primary exports, materials used to make other things, such as iron ore, uranium, wool and grain. Some are secondary products, finished material. Vegemite is one, wine is another.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, and I will answer them as best as I can.

Phillip
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Old Jan 14 2008, 06:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Questions about Australia

I thought that kangaroo and other native animals were on the menu as well. I can go to a restaurant here and order kangaroo or ostrich as something exotic.

Sheep would be on the land and on the menu, right? Or is it just in the films?

Do you grow potatoes or import chips?
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The Rowan is my favourite!

"The name rowan is believed to derive from the Norse runa - "a charm". It was often planted outside houses to ward off witches. On May Day a spray of rowan leaves was hung over doors to repel evil, and wells dressed with rowan to keep witches away. The rowan, or mountain ash, is found commonly in Scotland, sometimes clinging to a rock face."
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Old Jan 14 2008, 08:07 PM   #3
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I thought that kangaroo and other native animals were on the menu as well. I can go to a restaurant here and order kangaroo or ostrich as something exotic.
Yes, kangaroo and other native animals are on the menu. Some other native animals we eat are snakes, witchetty grubs, honey ants, crocodiles and fish, including barramundi and other species. There are two species of crocodile, freshwater and saltwater; it is the saltie which is dangerous, although the freshie can give a nasty bite if provoked.

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Sheep would be on the land and on the menu, right? Or is it just in the films?
There are sheep on the land, yes, but they are not native. The merino, a sheep used for its wool, was developed in Australia. And yes, sheep is on the menu.

I don't know about elsewhere, but land in which sheep are raised is called sheep country, and where cows are raised it is called cattle country. Indeed, there is a sort of joke relating to Christmas; it goes:

As the shepherds were watching their flocks at night, the angel of the Lord came down and said unto them: "P**s off, this is cattle country."

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Do you grow potatoes or import chips?
Yes, we grow potatoes here. Many are grown in Tasmania, although many are also grown in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Until recently, Maccas in Oz here used only Tasmanian potatoes, before importing cheaper ones from o/s (overseas).

You'll notice that I have silently used some Aussie slang; it should be obvious, with a bit of thought, what is meant by the terms I use.
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Old Jan 15 2008, 06:32 AM   #4
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Just to add further to Ghyle’s comments. I’ll probably address a different question each day.
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1) What wild animals are native to Australia?
Monotremes, Marsupials & Mammals
Australia is home to the monotremes & marsupials. The more advanced placental mammals didn’t get a chance to develop here, so the marsupials had free reign to develop & fill most of the ecological niches.
The only land placental mammals native to Australia are various bat species & some rodent species (mainly water rats).

The monotremes are the most primitive mammals. They lay eggs but suckle their young once they have hatched. There are only two surviving types of monotreme; the Platypus & the Echidna (Spiny Anteater). The Platypus is also the only venomous mammal.

Marsupials are midway between the monotreme & placental mammals in development. The marsupial young are not born fully developed & remain in pouch until they finish developing.
Marsupials range in size from the tiny pygmy possums & marsupial mice up to the red kangaroo which can get over 1.5 metres (5 feet) tall.
There were other large marsupials but they supposedly died out after the last ice age. These included marsupial lions, giant kangaroos & the diprotodon.

Various seals, dolphins & whales live around our coasts.

Birds
Almost every type of bird is represented in Australia. Like the marsupials birds have colonised the various ecological niches.
No poisonous birds have been discovered in Australia yet, but the most dangerous bird is Australia is probably the Cassowary. It is related to the Emu & similar in size.
Australia also has the most number of birds that are black & white in colour. They range in size from the tiny Willie Wagtail up to the Magpie Goose & Black Swan.

Reptiles
Australia has some of the most venomous snakes in the world. Top of the list is the Taipan, it has been rated the most poisonous in the world. Other less poisonous snakes include, the Red Bellied Black, the Tiger, Eastern Brown & Death Adder.
There are also a number of species of pythons. Also various species of sea snakes.
It use to be thought that only the Gila Monster and the Mexican Beaded Lizard from North America were poisonous, but it has been found that a number of Australian lizards have glands in their mouths that secrete venom.
Various species tortoises & turtles.
Fresh water crocodiles & the dangerous estuary (salt water) crocodile.

Amphibians
No salamanders or newts, but plenty of frog species, that unfortunately like most frog species world wide are becoming extinct.
Some frogs have even managed to live & survive in the desert.
Our strangest frogs are Gastric Brooding Frogs. They swallow their eggs and brood them in their stomachs. There are two species of this frog but unfortunately very rare.

Fish
Plenty of freshwater & saltwater species here.
Again quite a few poisonous & dangerous species, like the Stone Fish & Lion Fish (Scorpion Fish).
Various species of sharks that are considered dangerous.
The largest fish in the world, the Whale Shark, is a regular visitor to our coastal waters

Insects, Arachnids & the rest
Again plenty of these creatures, and of course there are various insects & arachnids (spiders & scorpions) that are poisonous.
One of the most dangerous is the Funnel-Web Spider.
In the ocean there is various species of Jellyfish and the Blue Ring Octopus that are poisonous. Some of these jellyfish are so poisonous that there is no antidote to their poisons.
We also have the largest earthworms in the world.

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Originally Posted by ghyle View Post
<snip> With the cicadas, we have slang terms for them, based on their colour--green Mondays, yellow Mondays, and, most prized, black Mondays.
The black cicadas are the most common ones in my area. I think I've only seen a green cicada a couple of times & don't ever remember seeing a yellow cicada.
Never heard of them being called Mondays, but when I looked them up found that there was the Yellow Monday. But here the other two are called by different names of Greengrocer and Black Prince.
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Old Jan 15 2008, 04:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Questions about Australia

As Flinx pointed out in the note on the cicadas, there are different names for many things here. That's because there are a number of dialects in Australia, and you find that each region, even each generation, may differ in vocabulary.

Thanks for that, Flinx, I appreciate the care that you've put into answering the questions.
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Old Jan 15 2008, 04:25 PM   #6
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And those are obviously common names for the cicadas, rather than scientific ones, so they would vary.
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Old Jan 15 2008, 04:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Questions about Australia

Thank you for the answers! It is nice to get a little wiser on other countries or continents
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The Rowan is my favourite!

"The name rowan is believed to derive from the Norse runa - "a charm". It was often planted outside houses to ward off witches. On May Day a spray of rowan leaves was hung over doors to repel evil, and wells dressed with rowan to keep witches away. The rowan, or mountain ash, is found commonly in Scotland, sometimes clinging to a rock face."
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Old Jan 16 2008, 04:50 AM   #8
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2)What places are MUST SEE for visitors?
Like Ghyle has already mentioned “must see” really depends on the visitor. Whenever I visit a new city my first must see places are book & comic shops.

So I’m going to try to list some places I think are interesting.

New South Wales
Sydney Harbour with the Bridge & Opera House.
Next to the Opera House on the harbour foreshore is the Botanical Gardens a lovely place to relax in & wander through.
Sydney Tower is Sydney’s tallest building. I think that is its current name as it seems that ever time it gets new owners the name changes. It has an observation deck with 360 degree view of Sydney & surrounding areas.
Sydney Aquarium at Darling Harbour, I always recommend this place especially for anyone who won’t get a chance to visit the Great Barrier Reef. It covers the full range of the aquatic environments of Australia and contains an impressive array of animals (seals, platypus, penguins, crocs, fish & other creatures).
The Blue Mountains with the Three Sisters & Jenollan Caves
The tourists seem to be impressed with Bondi Beach, I think mainly because it is close to the city but I find it very over-rated. There are much better beaches up & down the coast.

Australian Capital Territory
Canberra
The Parliament Houses
War Memorial

Northern Territory
Kakadu National Park
Uluru & Alice Springs

Queensland
The Great Barrier Reef
Fraser Island

South Australia
Barossa Valley for the wine
Kangaroo Island
Cooper Pedy

Tasmania
Port Arthur
Cradle Mountain

Victoria
Ballarat & Sovereign Hill
Phillip Island for the Little (Fairy) Penguins
Great Ocean Road with the Twelve Apostles
The Grampians

Western Australia
Rottnest Island for the Quokkas
The Pinnacles
Monkey Mia for the dolphins

Besides the state libraries that Ghyle has already mentioned the capital cities usually have a state museum & art gallery.
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Old Jan 16 2008, 10:39 AM   #9
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As soon as Kibbie finishes her Netherlands report she will be posting more questions or even different questions than she did there. Besides you all are doing a great job answering those questions that I think she needs to come up with different ones. Thanks for all the info. I am learning as much as Kibbie. I am going to let her give an oral report for Australia so it should not take as long.
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Old Jan 16 2008, 11:02 AM   #10
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God I miss Sydney!!
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Old Jan 16 2008, 03:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Questions about Australia

By the way, our crown prince Frederik married his princess Mary who is from Tasmania.

Has this fact been mentioned in the news and are you aware of this, Ghyle?
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The Rowan is my favourite!

"The name rowan is believed to derive from the Norse runa - "a charm". It was often planted outside houses to ward off witches. On May Day a spray of rowan leaves was hung over doors to repel evil, and wells dressed with rowan to keep witches away. The rowan, or mountain ash, is found commonly in Scotland, sometimes clinging to a rock face."
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Old Jan 16 2008, 09:06 PM   #12
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By the way, our crown prince Frederik married his princess Mary who is from Tasmania.

Has this fact been mentioned in the news and are you aware of this, Ghyle?
It is old news now, but was big news at the time.
I think they broadcast the wedding on TV over here.
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Old Jan 16 2008, 09:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: Questions about Australia

Most of the other questions have been answered so I'm just going to try and answer these ones; especially seven as it gives a rural perspective.

2)What place are MUST SEE for visitors?
Personally, I adore the Snowy Mountains and the Great Dividing Range. I'd also recommend things such as the War Memorial in Canberra if you want the bloodier side of Australia's history, Parliament House for the politics and of course, our beaches are always wonderful to visit.

7) What is a typical day like?
A typical day in a rural community in Australia is pretty varied, depending on your job really. Example: A farmer is up at the crack of dawn to check his fences, feed his stock, plough and fertilize the crops etc.
As a village country girl, the day generally is as follows:
I wake at about seven in the morning to feed and water my animals--horses, chooks, birds, dogs etc. That takes up to an hour to two hours depending on the needs of each animal. I go in for breakfast at about nine and check my brothers--my mother is at work by six am so I'm left to "run the household" so to speak until she gets home at seven at night (Mum is a Disabled Carer).--before opening up the house and getting the boys off their behinds to help clean it.
From about 11am onwards--and this applies to farm workers too--everyone is usually under shelter or in a cooler environment as from that time until about three it is VERY hot. I generally use that time to read, draw or catch up on sleep. Then from about three pm its back out to check the animals; feed them, exercise them if it isn't too hot, check fences, maybe work on the motorbike or something if I have a spare moment.
Dinner starts at about six to seven pm, depending on what is being cooked and if Mum is home by then (seriously, I cannot cook to save my life). Then after dinner, seeing as its currently the summer, we may go out for a workout with the horses.
From about 7pm onwards though its pretty quiet; watching the news, discussing the day and we're generally in bed by nine.
Generally we have a big shopping day once every two weeks, as we live quite a distance from the main town and can't afford weekly trips in.
Other activities can occur too. Sometimes a bunch of us farm and village kids get together and take off down to the irrigation canals and spend the day fishing, yabbying, swimming and just generally being nutters. Or if a friend gives us a shout we might end up going over to their place for a beer and a barbeque. Sometimes I'm even called out to farms to lend an extra hand with the sheep herding or to exercise the horses that aren't being ridden that day.
Its probably the best thing living out here, the mateship. Everyone, no matter what, is always willing to lend you a hand when you need it.

Of course, what I do above is what I do in the holidays. When I'm at school however, I generally have to be on the bus at eight am, school starts at nine and finishes at three-thirty and then its an hour bus trip home, so I get home at about 4:30pm.

8) What native food would you sugest trying?
Damper. It's a kind of bread that the old swaggies and drovers eat while they travel. It tastes delicious. Kangaroo meat is another I'd suggest, as are the good old meat pies. I also love Vegemite, but whether you like it or not is a matter of personal preference.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 12:01 AM   #14
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By the way, our crown prince Frederik married his princess Mary who is from Tasmania.

Has this fact been mentioned in the news and are you aware of this, Ghyle?
Yes, I was aware of this, Nina. So are the gossip magazines: first they foam at the mouth over weddings and royal babies, then they start searching for royal scandals to salivate over. Business as usual, really.

An update to Dragongirl's post re. yabbying.

A yabby is a freshwater crayfish, of various species, that is native to Australia. It is good eating, and yabbying is, simply, the process of fishing for them.
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Old Jan 17 2008, 03:33 AM   #15
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They bloody hurt when they get their claws on you though. >_<
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Old Jan 17 2008, 09:38 AM   #16
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Sounds like crawdads to me. (Crayfish if you're particuar) They are very popular in the Southern US (though I personally don't care for them). In some places they call them crawfish and I think that name has about phased out "crawdads" over the years.
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Old Jan 21 2008, 08:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ghyle View Post
1) what wild animals are native to Australia?
In addition to what Gyle & Flinx provided (thanks, fellas), perhaps one more that needs mentioning:

FLIES!

Otherwise, I think it'd be a pretty nice place
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Old Jan 22 2008, 12:44 AM   #18
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Try working a horse or fixing a fence in the heat of summer with the little buggers swarming around you Ryuu.

Fun.

Not.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 03:27 PM   #19
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More slang...

dunny budgie = blowfly
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Old Jan 22 2008, 06:40 PM   #20
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None of you have mentioned the 200' trees. I think there's a forest of them in West Australia? Something like Cara trees???
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Old Jan 23 2008, 03:35 AM   #21
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That would probably be Karri trees, P'ter. Up to 80m high (about 260 foot from my rough calculations). Lovely things to see, along the with the ancient Tingle trees with their wide, wide bases. There are also tall trees in the south east of Australia and the Mountain Ash of Victoria is taller again, I'm told.
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Old Jan 23 2008, 08:54 AM   #22
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Mountain Ash are huge, though my memory fails to remember the exact height.
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Old Jan 23 2008, 03:21 PM   #23
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Mountain Ash in Wikipedia

It says 90 metres, which is approx. 300 foot tall.
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Old Jan 23 2008, 03:36 PM   #24
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I heard that some of them have steps added so that 'tourists' can get up them. I'm not sure I want to do that, but they're on my 'to see' list when I come to Oz.
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Old Jan 24 2008, 01:24 AM   #25
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Just make sure that it's not a widow-maker that you're under. They're species of eucalypts which shed branches with no warning; the height of the trees and the weight of the branches account for the name.
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Old Jan 24 2008, 02:42 AM   #26
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I LIKE eucalypts. There's a very fine one in the Kitchen Quad @ Emanuel College, Cambridge. (and I've spotted a Ghost Gum in a garden we pass taking the g'kids to school)
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Old Jan 26 2008, 10:22 AM   #27
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Trust me, you won't like the widow-makers when they "attack" you.
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Old Feb 1 2008, 11:23 PM   #28
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Kibbie is finished with her Netherlands report & will be starting on Australia on Monday.
What is taking he so long is I tild her write a short story. Usualy she argues with & fights with me. When she finely stared writting this time she wanted to know how short it HAD to be, not how long. She argued for me to make a long story. SHE IS EXCITED ABOUT WRITTING A STORY!!!!!!!! I can not believe it. She has been working on it almost non-stop all week. When I told her she could take a breake she ased if she had to stop. I want to know who this child is & have they done with Kibbie.
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Old Feb 4 2008, 09:58 AM   #29
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Now that is a very exciting development Mawra!! Yeah for education and the excitement that it can and obviously has engendered in Kibbie!! (At least for this subject!! )
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Old Feb 4 2008, 01:37 PM   #30
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what is kangaroo island
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Old Feb 4 2008, 03:33 PM   #31
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Kangaroo Island is an island off the coast of South Australia. It is largely National Park, and famous for its wildlife and status as a tourist destination.

The following sites have more:

http://www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/default.aspx

http://www.kangaroo-island-au.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_Island
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Old Feb 13 2008, 01:33 PM   #32
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what are your faverrit marsupial?

which opossum is cuter Amercian or Australien?

thanks for the info.

An Amercian oppssum
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Old Feb 13 2008, 04:44 PM   #33
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Which is cuter? Well, it's a matter of taste. There are a lot more possum species in Australia, for one thing.

I'd say the pygmy possums are amongst the cutest:

http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/pygmyposs.htm

Also:

http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/Possums.htm

wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Possum

http://www.abc.net.au/science/scribb...september2006/
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Old Feb 14 2008, 03:09 AM   #34
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I've always been very fond of numbats, I think they're the cutest!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbat

They are the fauna emblem of my state, Western Australia. I have seen some in the wild, as they are active during the day and night. They like to eat termites.
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Old Feb 14 2008, 04:29 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbie View Post
what are your faverrit marsupial?

which opossum is cuter Amercian or Australien?

thanks for the info.

<snip>
The Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), that Kibbie posted a picture of, is the only opossum in North America but there are over 60 other species of opossums in South America.
Some of these South American opossums are just as cute as Australian possums.
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Old Feb 15 2008, 11:44 AM   #36
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I AGREE Ghyle
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Old Feb 15 2008, 11:55 AM   #37
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That was Kibbie she forgot to log in under her.
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Old Feb 15 2008, 03:51 PM   #38
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Kibbie has realy enjoyed learning about Australia. She never knew that there were that many possums. She also say she will not try alligator or knagaroo meet. Thank you for all your help.
The next country will be New Zealand then Norway.
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Old Feb 18 2008, 08:47 PM   #39
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We call possums, a possum and USA, it's a opussum. All in the lingo "possums" (think Dame Edna Everage). For anyone visiting, go and look at the Murray or the Murrimbridge-Darling river systems. It's one of the largest waterways in the world. I've lived near the Murray River for the last 14 years and I've seen it flooded, the sunsets over the trees and the fishing - although if you "catch" any European Carp, the trees will love you as it's good fertilizer but not so good for our Aussie native fish. Sorry guys and gals from Europe but it's a dratted pest.
Also spent 13 years on the coast (around Warrnambool - aka the meeting place in the aboriginal language, Port Fairy, Koroit etc so I know that area from Portland to Melbourne quite well. Greetings from Portland, Victoria, Australia to Portland, Oregon, USA, ha ha, I re-discovered my geography lessons. Anywhere else that has towns in 2 different countries???)
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Old Feb 18 2008, 10:29 PM   #40
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Thank you for adding to the info. Jube
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