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Australia

Subject: History

Australia has been establishing stronger links with Asia—but has been unable to shake off the British monarchy Australia's landmass—which can be viewed as the world's largest ...

Myxomatosis

Myxomatosis   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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Current Version:
2005

...myxomatosis is that it was introduced in the 1950s into O. cuniculus populations in Australia and Europe that had never before experienced the disease, and, over the next few decades, dramatic evolutionary changes occurred in both host and pathogen. The myxomatosis– O. cuniculus system is one of the few cases in which host–pathogen coevolution has been studied as it happened, rather than retrospectively. Preliminary studies of these changes were carried out by the Australian virologist Frank Fenner and his colleagues. A key feature of their work was the...

Geochronology

Geochronology   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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2005

...Evolution ; Molecular Clock . The Arrival of Humans in Australia The continent of Australia was separated from the Asian landmass by open sea, even during the lowest sea levels of the last glacial period. The first humans to arrive must have been able to sail some sort of craft across the gap of 100 kilometers or more separating Indonesia from Australia. There is no archaeological evidence as to when early modern humans learned to sail, but we can at least ask, when did the earliest Australians make this trip? Thermoluminescence dates obtained on sediment...

Mammals

Mammals   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences, Social sciences, Anthropology
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5,871 words
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1

...of the biology of the living orders. Figure 1. Phylogenetic Tree of the Mammals Derived from Gene Sequence Data.After Murphy et al., 2001. Monotremes The Monotremata have a sparse fossil record from the Early Cretaceous of Australia, the Pliocene of South America, and the Miocene of Australia. The recent forms are found only in Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania. They include the spiny anteaters or echidnas and the platypus. The females reproduce by laying rather small eggs, and the young upon hatching are nourished by milk. The echidnas are specialized for...

Resistance, Cost of

Resistance, Cost of   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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Current Version:
2005

...anemia. Thus, although there is selection to maintain this allele in the human population in geographical regions where malaria is prevalent, there is selection against this same allele in the absence of the parasite. The sheep blowfly ( Lucilia cuprina ) is a pest in Australia, which for some time was controlled using the insecticide diazinon, although mutations eventually appeared that made the flies resistant to this compound. The resistant flies, however, were noticeably inferior to their sensitive counterparts in certain other respects, such as...

Cnidarians

Cnidarians   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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...1994. The fourth chapter of the book is a very lucid introduction to the cnidarians. The chapter introduces basic cnidarian biology, then proceeds to examine each of the major cnidarian groups in detail. Veron, J. E. N. Coral of the World . Australian Institute of Marine Science and CRR Qld Pty Ltd., Townsville, Australia, 2000. An absolutely incredible book that covers all of the scleractinian corals known to the author, and probably to science. The book contains an excellent introductory chapter that covers coral biology, the coral geological history, and...

Art

Art   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences, Social sciences, Anthropology
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4,903 words
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...in full flower at Chauvet. Fallen slabs bearing paintings excavated at Apollo 11 shelter in southern Namibia have been dated to between 19,000 and 26,000 bp. The geometric rock art of southern Australia may date from 30,000 bp or earlier. If so, this would be the oldest continuously practiced art tradition, persisting in the recent rock art of central Australia and contemporary commercial Aboriginal art. Calcite covering a rock painting at Piauí, Brazil, has recently been reported to date from 30,000 to 40,000 bp. Fallen rock fragments bearing possible...

Zebra Finches

Zebra Finches   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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2005

...Finches The zebra finch ( Taeniopygia guttata castanotis ) is a small (12-g) estrildine grass finch native to the semi-arid zone of Australia (Figure 1). It is a hardy species that breeds freely in captivity, so it is commonly found in avicultural settings and scientific laboratories throughout the world. Natural History and Sexual Dimorphism Zebra finches favor open woodland habitats, requiring surface water and ample grass. Birds form socially monogamous pair bonds that may often persist across breeding seasons. Birds nest in loose colonies in shrubs or...

Human Foraging Strategies

Human Foraging Strategies   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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2005

...long-distance maritime colonizations carried out by Europeans in the last few centuries were especially devastating for indigenous populations in the Americas and Australia. In these cases, both the introduction of new diseases and competition played a role in decimating, native populations. New farming practices spread mainly by demic diffusion, generally without widespread interbreeding in Australia and much of North America. Colonization patterns in Latin America preserved more indigenous genes, which, under current economic circumstances, are now moving...

Modern Homo Sapiens

Modern Homo Sapiens   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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2005
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Science and technology, Life Sciences, Social sciences, Anthropology
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7,755 words
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...this second migration and also to explore the likelihood that in common with the first Americans, the first Australians precipitated a wave of large mammal extinctions. The Australian mammal fauna was far richer before people arrived, but in contrast to the Americas, Australia has yet to provide a site that demonstrates the overlap of people and the extinct species. The uncertainty surrounding the timing of human arrival in Australia illustrates a fundamental problem in the study of modern human origins: it is far easier to develop explanations for...

Fisher, Ronald Aylmer

Fisher, Ronald Aylmer   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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2005

...to succeed Karl Pearson as Galton Professor of Eugenics (i.e., of Human Genetics, as it later became known) at University College, London. He moved to Cambridge in 1943 as Arthur Balfour Professor of Genetics. Retiring in 1957 , he spent his last years in Adelaide, Australia, where he died on 29 July 1962 . Fisher made profound contributions to applied and theoretical statistics, to genetics, and to evolutionary theory. In his first term as an undergraduate at Cambridge, he had bought William Bateson's book Mendel's Principles of Heredity , with...

Origin of Life

Origin of Life   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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...Bacteria from the Archean of Western Australia. ” Precambrian Research 20 (1983): 357–374. Barghoorn, E. S. , and J. W. Schopf . “ Microorganisms Three Billion Years Old from the Precambrian of South Africa. ” Science 152(1966): 758–763. Brasier, M. D. , O. R. Green , A. Steele , and J. F. Lindsay . “How Old Is Aerobic Photosynthesis? A Fresh Look at the Fossil Evidence.”In Proceedings of the Earth System Processes , Edinburgh, June 26, 2001. Buick, R. “ Carbonaceous Filaments from North Pole, Western Australia:Are They Fossil Bacteria in Archean...

Amphibians

Amphibians   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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2005
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences, Social sciences, Anthropology
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4,277 words
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...Africa Myobatrachinae Australia and New Guinea Limnodynastinae Australia and New Guinea “Leptodactylidae” South America, Central America, Mexico, and southern United States Bufonidae All continents, including Southeast Asia, except Australia and Antarctica Centrolenidae Mexico, Central America, and South America Dendrobatidae Northern South America, southeast Brazil, and Central America Sooglossidae Seychelles Hylidae The Americas, Europe and adjacent Asia, north Africa, east continental Asia, Japan, New Guinea, and Australia Pseudidae South America...

Human Families and Kin Groups

Human Families and Kin Groups   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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2005

...are long-lasting unions in which spouses always sleep under the same roof, but divorce and remarriage are common in many societies. Even where marriages are long lasting, husbands and wives may not reside together, as in much of Highland New Guinea, parts of aboriginal Australia, and in most polygynous societies in Africa. The Guajiro Indians of Colombia and Venezuela traditionally followed the custom of the “visiting husband,” in which husband and wife did not even reside in the same community. Unusual forms of marriage are found in some societies....

Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences, Social sciences, Anthropology
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2,740 words
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2

...and Eukaryotes Fossils of early microbial life are found in rocks from western Australia that are nearly 3.5 billion years old. They resemble contemporary filamentous prokaryotes, cells that lack membrane-bounded nuclei and that in older textbooks are often called bacteria. Prokaryotes are incredibly versatile in the ways they can make the energy required for life, and much of their biochemistry can take place in the absence of oxygen under conditions similar to those we think prevailed in early periods. One prokaryote group whose ancestors are well...

Territoriality

Territoriality   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences, Social sciences, Anthropology
Length:
2,186 words
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2

...An Experiment With Australian Honeyeaters A fundamental prediction of economic models of territoriality is that animals will not defend territories when food is so abundant that defense does not improve access to food. Manipulating food levels experimentally is the best way to determine the true influence of food on territoriality, but such studies have rarely been carried out. One exception is a field experiment with territorial honeyeaters ( Phylodonyris novaehollandiae and P. nigra ) by Doug Armstrong in Australia. Honeyeaters are nectar-feeding...

Wallace, Alfred Russel

Wallace, Alfred Russel   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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2005

...observations on the geographic distribution of species led him to new insights about evolutionary history. He proposed that the species in the western half of the Malay Archipelago are overwhelmingly Indian in origin, whereas the species in the eastern half are predominantly of Australian origin. This was a bold synthesis of evolutionary theory and meticulous observation. The faunal discontinuity separating the Indian from the Australasian segments of the archipelago is called Wallace's Line in his honor. Wallace later generalized these concepts to elaborate a...

Birds

Birds   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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2005

...gained is that one of the two main lineages of oscine songbirds recognized, the Corvida, appears to represent a single diverse radiation of Australian endemic forms. Various species of Corvida that look like warblers, flycatchers, creepers, and thrushes are more closely related to each other than any are to the European or New World look-alikes with which they had previously been placed. This parallels the Australian marsupials being more closely related to each other than any are to similar appearing placental mammals.Classifications of birds following the...

Biogeography

Biogeography   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences, Social sciences, Anthropology
Length:
7,655 words
Illustration(s):
2

...evolutionary outcomes and trends. In Australia, the extinction of over half of the large mammals appears correlated to human colonization between forty thousand and sixty thousand years ago, a period of relatively stable climate. Australian extinctions are poorly dated, however, and the human colonization of the continent keeps inching toward older dates. Research focuses on regional and short-term expressions of climate, and the role of human-induced fire regimes combined with human predation. Australian research draws attention to the influence of...

Hybrid Zones

Hybrid Zones   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences, Social sciences, Anthropology
Length:
3,039 words
Illustration(s):
2

...for this model. There is evidence for selection against hybrids in many hybrid zones. In addition to the sterility seen in C. parallelus , the mountain grasshopper Podisma pedestris shows high embryo mortality, the toad Bombina increased tadpole abnormalities, and the Australian grasshopper Caledia captiva F2 hybrid breakdown. In a number of cases, field mark-recapture estimates of dispersal, combined with such hybrid unfitness, provide satisfactory explanations of zone width under a tension zone model. Perhaps a quarter of hybrid zones are reported...

Vertebrates

Vertebrates   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Evolution

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2005

...of Gondwanaland. Mass extinctions also have been a recurrent macroevolutionary theme in vertebrate history, as illustrated by the loss of most kinds of dinosaurs at the end of the Mesozoic Era, about 65 million years ago. Megafaunal extinctions have occurred more recently on Australia (about 40,000 years ago), North America (about 12,000 years ago), and Madagascar (about 1,000 years ago), as well as on various small islands; for those land masses and within a relatively short time, the losses encompassed most large mammals as well as some turtles, lizards,...

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