The continent of Australia, sometimes known in technical contexts by the names Sahul, Australinea or Meganesia to distinguish it from the country of Australia, consists of the land masses which sit on Australia's continental plate. This includes mainland Australia, Tasmania, and the island of New Guinea (comprising Papua New Guinea and two Indonesian provinces). Situated in the geographical region of Oceania, it is the smallest of the seven traditional continents in the English conception.
The continent includes a continental shelf overlain by shallow seas which divide it into several landmasses—the Arafura Sea and Torres Strait between mainland Australia and New Guinea, and Bass Strait between mainland Australia and Tasmania. When sea levels were lower during the Pleistocene ice age, including the Last Glacial Maximum about 18,000 BC, they were connected by dry land. During the past 10,000 years, rising sea levels overflowed the lowlands and separated the continent into today's low-lying arid to semi-arid mainland and the two mountainous islands of New Guinea and Tasmania.
The Australian continent, being part of the Indo-Australian plate (more specifically, the Australian plate), is the lowest, flattest, and oldest landmass on Earth and it has had a relatively stable geological history. New Zealand is not part of the continent of Australia, but of the separate, submerged continent of Zealandia. New Zealand and Australia are both part of the Oceanian sub-region known as Australasia, with New Guinea being in Melanesia. The term Oceania is often used to denote the region encompassing the Australian continent, Zealandia and various islands in the Pacific Ocean that are not included in the seven-continent model.
Papua New Guinea, a country within the continent, is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse countries in the world. It is also one of the most rural, as only 18 percent of its people live in urban centres. West Papua, a province of Indonesia, is home to an estimated 44 uncontacted tribal groups. Australia, the largest landmass in the continent, is highly urbanised, and has the world's 13th-largest economy with the second-highest human development index globally. Australia also has the world's 9th largest immigrant population. The first settlers of Australia, New Guinea, and the large islands just to the east arrived between 50,000 and 30,000 years ago.
|Area||8,600,000 km2 (3,300,000 sq mi) (7th)|
|Population||38,000,000 (estimated population of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Papua and West Papua for 2019, 6th)|
|Population density||4.2/km2 (11/sq mi)|
|Countries||3 (Australia, Papua New Guinea and portions of Indonesia)|
|Languages||English, Indonesian, Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu, 269 indigenous Papuan and Austronesian languages, and about 70 Indigenous Australian languages|
|Time zones||GMT+10, GMT+9.30, GMT+8|
|Internet TLD||.au, .pg and .id|
|Largest cities||List of cities in Australia by population|
List of cities and towns in Papua New Guinea by population
Archaeological terminology for this region has changed repeatedly. Before the 1970s, the single Pleistocene landmass was called Australasia, derived from the Latin australis, meaning "southern", although this word is most often used for a wider region that includes lands like New Zealand that are not on the same continental shelf. In the early 1970s, the term Greater Australia was introduced for the Pleistocene continent. Then at a 1975 conference and consequent publication, the name Sahul was extended from its previous use for just the Sahul Shelf to cover the continent.
In 1984 W. Filewood suggested the name Meganesia, meaning "great island" or "great island-group", for both the Pleistocene continent and the present-day lands, and this name has been widely accepted by biologists. Others have used Meganesia with different meanings: travel writer Paul Theroux included New Zealand in his definition and others have used it for Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. Another biologist, Richard Dawkins, coined the name Australinea in 2004. Australia-New Guinea has also been used.
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands who migrated from Africa to Asia around 70,000 years ago and arrived in Australia around 50,000 years ago. They are believed to be among the earliest human migrations out of Africa. There is evidence of genetic and linguistic interchange between Australians in the far north and the Austronesian peoples of modern-day New Guinea and the islands, but this may be the result of recent trade and intermarriage. The earliest known human remains were found at Lake Mungo, a dry lake in the southwest of New South Wales. Remains found at Mungo suggest one of the world's oldest known cremations, thus indicating early evidence for religious ritual among humans. Dreamtime remains a prominent feature of Australian Aboriginal art, the oldest continuing tradition of art in the world.
Papuan habitation is estimated to have begun between 42,000 and 48,000 years ago in New Guinea. Trade between New Guinea and neighboring Indonesian islands was documented as early as the seventh century, and archipelagic rule of New Guinea by the 13th. At the beginning of the seventh century, the Sumatra-based empire of Srivijaya (7th century–13th century) engaged in trade relations with western New Guinea, initially taking items like sandalwood and birds-of-paradise in tribute to China, but later making slaves out of the natives. The rule of the Java-based empire of Majapahit (1293–1527) extended to the western fringes of New Guinea. Recent archaeological research suggests that 50,000 years ago people may have occupied sites in the highlands at New Guinean altitudes of up to 2,000 m (6,600 ft), rather than being restricted to warmer coastal areas.
Legends of Terra Australis Incognita—an "unknown land of the South"—date back to Roman times and before, and were commonplace in medieval geography, although not based on any documented knowledge of the continent. Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle speculated of a large landmass in the southern hemisphere, saying, "Now since there must be a region bearing the same relation to the southern pole as the place we live in bears to our pole...". His ideas were later expanded by Ptolemy (2nd century AD), who believed that the lands of the Northern Hemisphere should be balanced by land in the south. The theory of balancing land has been documented as early as the 5th century on maps by Macrobius, who uses the term Australis on his maps.
Terra Australis, a hypothetical continent first posited in antiquity, appeared on maps between the 15th and 18th centuries. Scientists, such as Gerardus Mercator (1569) and Alexander Dalrymple as late as 1767 argued for its existence, with such arguments as that there should be a large landmass in the south as a counterweight to the known landmasses in the Northern Hemisphere. The cartographic depictions of the southern continent in the 16th and early 17th centuries, as might be expected for a concept based on such abundant conjecture and minimal data, varied wildly from map to map; in general, the continent shrank as potential locations were reinterpreted. At its largest, the continent included Tierra del Fuego, separated from South America by a small strait; New Guinea; and what would come to be called Australia.
In the quest for Terra Australis, Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, discovered the Pitcairn and Vanuatu archipelagos, and sailed the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, named after navigator Luís Vaz de Torres, who was the first European to explore the Strait. When Europeans first arrived, inhabitants of New Guinea and nearby islands, whose technologies included bone, wood, and stone tools, had a productive agricultural system. In 1660, the Dutch recognised the Sultan of Tidore's sovereignty over New Guinea. The first known Europeans to sight New Guinea were probably the Portuguese and Spanish navigators sailing in the South Pacific in the early part of the 16th century.
Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, made the first documented European sight and landing on the continent of Australia, in Cape York Peninsula (1606). Abel Janszoon Tasman circumnavigated and landed on parts of the Australian continental coast and discovered Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), New Zealand in 1642, and Fiji islands. He was the first known European explorer to reach these islands.
On 23 April 1770 British explorer James Cook made his first recorded direct observation of indigenous Australians at Brush Island near Bawley Point. On 29 April, Cook and crew made their first landfall on the mainland of the continent at a place now known as the Kurnell Peninsula. It is here that James Cook made first contact with an aboriginal tribe known as the Gweagal. His expedition became the first recorded Europeans to have encountered its eastern coastline of Australia. Captain Arthur Phillip led the First Fleet of 11 ships and about 850 convicts into Sydney on 26 January 1788. This was to be the location for the new colony. Phillip described Sydney Cove as being "without exception the finest harbour in the world".
In 1883, the Colony of Queensland tried to annex the southern half of eastern New Guinea, but the British government did not approve. The Commonwealth of Australia came into being when the Federal Constitution was proclaimed by the Governor-General, Lord Hopetoun, on 1 January 1901. From that point a system of federalism in Australia came into operation, entailing the establishment of an entirely new national government (the Commonwealth government) and an ongoing division of powers between that government and the States. With the encouragement of Queensland, in 1884, a British protectorate had been proclaimed over the southern coast of New Guinea and its adjacent islands. British New Guinea was annexed outright in 1888. The possession was placed under the authority of the newly federated Commonwealth of Australia in 1902 and with passage of the Papua Act of 1905, British New Guinea became the Australian Territory of Papua, with formal Australian administration beginning in 1906.
The bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942 was the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia. In an effort to isolate Australia, the Japanese planned a seaborne invasion of Port Moresby, in the Australian Territory of New Guinea. Between July and November 1942, Australian forces repulsed Japanese attempts on the city by way of the Kokoda Track, in the highlands of New Guinea. The Battle of Buna–Gona, between November 1942 and January 1943, set the tone for the bitter final stages of the New Guinea campaign, which persisted into 1945. The offensives in Papua and New Guinea of 1943–44 were the single largest series of connected operations ever mounted by the Australian armed forces.
Following the 1998 commencement of reforms across Indonesia, Papua and other Indonesian provinces received greater regional autonomy. In 2001, "Special Autonomy" status was granted to Papua province, although to date, implementation has been partial and often criticized. The region was administered as a single province until 2003, when it was split into the provinces of Papua and West Papua. Elections in 1972 resulted in the formation of a ministry headed by Chief Minister Michael Somare, who pledged to lead the country to self-government and then to independence. Papua New Guinea became self-governing on 1 December 1973 and achieved independence on 16 September 1975. The country joined the United Nations (UN) on 10 October 1975.
Migration brought large numbers of southern and central Europeans to Australia for the first time. A 1958 government leaflet assured readers that unskilled non-British migrants were needed for "labour on rugged projects ...work which is not generally acceptable to Australians or British workers". Australia fought on the side of Britain in the two world wars and became a long-standing ally of the United States when threatened by Imperial Japan during World War II. Trade with Asia increased and a post-war immigration program received more than 6.5 million migrants from every continent. Supported by immigration of people from more than 200 countries since the end of World War II, the population increased to more than 23 million by 2014.
With a total land area of 8.56 million square kilometres (3,310,000 sq mi), the Australian continent is the smallest, and second-lowest human inhabited (after Antarctica) continent on Earth. The continental shelf connecting the islands, half of which is less than 50 metres (160 ft) deep, covers some 2.5 million square kilometres (970,000 sq mi), including the Sahul Shelf and Bass Strait. As the country of Australia is mostly on a single landmass, and comprises most of the continent, it is sometimes informally referred to as an island continent, surrounded by oceans.
Geological forces such as tectonic uplift of mountain ranges or clashes between tectonic plates occurred mainly in Australia's early history, when it was still a part of Gondwana. Australia is situated in the middle of the tectonic plate, and therefore currently has no active volcanism.
The continent primarily sits on the Indo-Australian Plate. Because of its central location on its tectonic plate Australia doesn't have any active volcanic regions, the only continent with this distinction. The lands were joined with Antarctica as part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana until the plate began to drift north about 96 million years ago. For most of the time since then, Australia–New Guinea remained a continuous landmass. When the last glacial period ended in about 10,000 BC, rising sea levels formed Bass Strait, separating Tasmania from the mainland. Then between about 8,000 and 6,500 BC, the lowlands in the north were flooded by the sea, separating New Guinea, the Aru Islands, and the Australian mainland.
A northern arc consisting of the New Guinea Highlands, the Raja Ampat Islands, and Halmahera was uplifted by the northward migration of Australia and subduction of the Pacific Plate. The Outer Banda Arc was accreted along the northwestern edge the continent; it includes the islands of Timor, Tanimbar, and Seram. Papua New Guinea has several volcanoes, as it is situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire. Volcanic eruptions are not rare, and the area is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis because of this. Mount Wilhelm in Papua New Guinea is the second highest mountain in the continent, and at 4,884 metres (16,024 ft) above sea level, Puncak Jaya is the highest mountain.
Among the fungi, the remarkable association between Cyttaria gunnii (one of the "golf-ball" fungi) and its associated trees in the genus Nothofagus is evidence of that drift: the only other places where this association is known are New Zealand and southern Argentina and Chile. Prominent features of the Australian flora are adaptations to aridity and fire which include scleromorphy and serotiny. These adaptations are common in species from the large and well-known families Proteaceae (Banksia), Myrtaceae (Eucalyptus – gum trees), and Fabaceae (Acacia – wattle).
For about 40 million years Australia–New Guinea was almost completely isolated. During this time, the continent experienced numerous changes in climate, but the overall trend was towards greater aridity. When South America eventually separated from Antarctica, the development of the cold Antarctic Circumpolar Current changed weather patterns across the world. For Australia–New Guinea, it brought a marked intensification of the drying trend. The great inland seas and lakes dried out. Much of the long-established broad-leaf deciduous forest began to give way to the distinctive hard-leaved sclerophyllous plants that characterise the modern Australian landscape. The flora of New Guinea is a mixture of many tropical rainforest species with origins in Asia, together with typically Australasian flora. Typical Southern Hemisphere flora include the conifers Podocarpus and the rainforest emergents Araucaria and Agathis, as well as tree ferns and several species of Eucalyptus.
For many species, the primary refuge was the relatively cool and well-watered Great Dividing Range. Even today, pockets of remnant vegetation remain in the cool uplands, some species not much changed from the Gondwanan forms of 60 or 90 million years ago. Eventually, the Australia–New Guinea tectonic plate collided with the Eurasian plate to the north. The collision caused the northern part of the continent to buckle upwards, forming the high and rugged mountains of New Guinea and, by reverse (downwards) buckling, the Torres Strait that now separates the two main landmasses. The collision also pushed up the islands of Wallacea, which served as island 'stepping-stones' that allowed plants from Southeast Asia's rainforests to colonise New Guinea, and some plants from Australia–New Guinea to move into Southeast Asia. The ocean straits between the islands were narrow enough to allow plant dispersal, but served as an effective barrier to exchange of land mammals between Australia–New Guinea and Asia.
Prominent features of the Australian flora are adaptations to aridity and fire which include scleromorphy and serotiny. These adaptations are common in species from the large and well-known families Proteaceae (Banksia), Myrtaceae (Eucalyptus – gum trees), and Fabaceae (Acacia – wattle). Due to the spread of animals, fungi and plants across the single Pleistocene landmass the separate lands have a related biota. There are over 300 bird species in West Papua, of which at least 20 are unique to the ecoregion, and some live only in very restricted areas. These include the grey-banded munia, Vogelkop bowerbird, and the king bird-of-paradise.
Australia has a huge variety of animals; some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 24% of fish and insects and 93% of amphibians that inhabit the continent are endemic to Australia. This high level of endemism can be attributed to the continent's long geographic isolation, tectonic stability, and the effects of an unusual pattern of climate change on the soil and flora over geological time. Australia and its territories are home to around 800 species of bird; 45% of these are endemic to Australia. Predominant bird species in Australia include the Australian magpie, Australian raven, the pied currawong, crested pigeons and the laughing kookaburra. The koala, emu, platypus and kangaroo are national animals of Australia, and the Tasmanian devil is also one of the well-known animals in the country. The goanna is a predatory lizard native to the Australian mainland.
As the continent drifted north from Antarctica, a unique fauna, flora and mycobiota developed. Marsupials and monotremes also existed on other continents, but only in Australia–New Guinea did they out-compete the placental mammals and come to dominate. New Guinea has 284 species and six orders of mammals: monotremes, three orders of marsupials, rodents and bats; 195 of the mammal species (69%) are endemic. New Guinea has a rich diversity of coral life and 1,200 species of fish have been found. Also about 600 species of reef-building coral—the latter equal to 75 percent of the world’s known total. New Guinea has 578 species of breeding birds, of which 324 species are endemic.Bird life also flourished — in particular, the songbirds (order Passeriformes, suborder Passeri) are thought to have evolved 50 million years ago in the part of Gondwana that later became Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and Antarctica, before radiating into a great number of different forms and then spreading around the globe.
Although New Guinea is the most northerly part of the continent, and could be expected to be the most tropical in climate, the altitude of the New Guinea highlands is such that a great many animals and plants that were once common across Australia–New Guinea now survive only in the tropical highlands where they are severely threatened by overpopulation pressures.
In New Guinea, the climate is mostly monsoonal (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October), and tropical rainforest with slight seasonal temperature variation. In lower altitudes, the temperature is around 80 °F (27 °C) year round. But the higher altitudes, such as Mendi, are constantly around 70 °F (21 °C) with cool lows nearing 52 °F (11 °C), with abundant rainfall and high humidity. The New Guinea Highlands are one of the few regions close to the equator that experience snowfall, which occurs in the most elevated parts of the mainland. Some areas in the island experience an extraordinary amount of precipitation, averaging roughly 4,500 millimetres (180 in) of rainfall annually.
The Australian landmass's climate is mostly desert or semi-arid, with the southern coastal corners having a temperate climate, such as oceanic and humid subtropical climate in the east coast and Mediterranean climate in the west. The northern parts of the country have a tropical climate. Snow falls frequently on the highlands near the east coast, in the states of Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and in the Australian Capital Territory. Temperatures in Australia have ranged from above 50 °C (122 °F) to well below 0 °C (32 °F). Nonetheless, minimum temperatures are moderated. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is associated with seasonal abnormality in many areas in the world. Australia is one of the continents most affected and experiences extensive droughts alongside considerable wet periods.
Christianity is the predominant religion in the continent, although large proportions of Australians belong to no religion. Other religions in the region include Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, which are prominent minority religions in Australia. Traditional religions are often animist, found in New Guinea. Islam is prevalent in the Indonesian New Guinea. Many Papuans combine their Christian faith with traditional indigenous beliefs and practices.
"Aboriginal Australian languages", including the large Pama–Nyungan family, "Papuan languages" of New Guinea and neighbouring islands, including the large Trans–New Guinea family, and "Tasmanian languages" are generic terms for the native languages of the continent other than those of Austronesian family. Predominant non-native languages include English in Australia, Tok Pisin in Papua New Guinea, and Indonesian (Malay) in Indonesian New Guinea. Immigration to Australia have brought overseas languages such as Italian, Greek, Arabic, Filipino, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Spanish, among others. Contact between Austronesian and Papuan resulted in several instances in mixed languages such as Maisin. Tok Pisin is an English creole language spoken in Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea has more languages than any other country, with over 820 indigenous languages, representing 12% of the world's total, but most have fewer than 1,000 speakers.
Since 1945, more than 7 million people have settled in Australia. From the late 1970s, there was a significant increase in immigration from Asian and other non-European countries, making Australia a multicultural country. Sydney is the most multicultural city in Oceania, having more than 250 different languages spoken with about 40 percent of residents speaking a language other than English at home. Furthermore, 36 percent of the population reported having been born overseas, with top countries being Italy, Lebanon, Vietnam and Iraq, among others. Melbourne is also fairly multicultural, having the largest Greek-speaking population outside of Europe, and the second largest Asian population in Australia after Sydney.
Australia is the only first world country in the Australian-New Guinea continent, although the economy of Australia is by far the largest and most dominant economy in the region and one of the largest in the world. Australia's per-capita GDP is higher than that of the UK, Canada, Germany, and France in terms of purchasing power parity. The Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney is the largest stock exchange in Australia and in the South Pacific. In 2012, Australia was the 12th largest national economy by nominal GDP and the 19th-largest measured by PPP-adjusted GDP. Tourism in Australia is an important component of the Australian economy. In the financial year 2014/15, tourism represented 3.0% of Australia's GDP contributing A$47.5 billion to the national economy. In 2015, there were 7.4 million visitor arrivals.
Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the most livable cities. It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by GaWC. Melbourne also ranked highly in the world's most liveable city list, and is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region.
Papua New Guinea is rich in natural resources, which account for two thirds of their export earnings. Though PNG is filled with resources, the lack of country's development led foreign countries to take over few sites and continued foreign demand for PNG's resources and as a result, the United States constructed an oil company and began to export in 2004 and this was the largest project in PNG's history. Papua New Guinea is classified as a developing economy by the International Monetary Fund. Strong growth in Papua New Guinea's mining and resource sector led to the country becoming the sixth fastest-growing economy in the world in 2011.
Australia is a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II at its apex as the Queen of Australia, a role that is distinct from her position as monarch of the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen is represented in Australia by the Governor-General at the federal level and by the Governors at the state level, who by convention act on the advice of her ministers. There are two major political groups that usually form government, federally and in the states: the Australian Labor Party and the Coalition which is a formal grouping of the Liberal Party and its minor partner, the National Party. Within Australian political culture, the Coalition is considered centre-right and the Labor Party is considered centre-left.
Papua New Guinea is a Commonwealth realm. As such, Queen Elizabeth II is its sovereign and head of state. The constitutional convention, which prepared the draft constitution, and Australia, the outgoing metropolitan power, had thought that Papua New Guinea would not remain a monarchy. The founders, however, considered that imperial honours had a cachet. The monarch is represented by the Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, currently Bob Dadae. Papua New Guinea (along with the Solomon Islands) is unusual among Commonwealth realms in that governors-general are elected by the legislature, rather than chosen by the executive branch.
Since 1788, the primary influence behind Australian culture has been Anglo-Celtic Western culture, with some Indigenous influences. The divergence and evolution that has occurred in the ensuing centuries has resulted in a distinctive Australian culture. Since the mid-20th century, American popular culture has strongly influenced Australia, particularly through television and cinema. Other cultural influences come from neighbouring Asian countries, and through large-scale immigration from non-English-speaking nations. The Australian Museum in Sydney and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne are the oldest and largest museums in the continent, as well as in Oceania. Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations are the largest in the continent.
It is estimated that more than 7000 different cultural groups exist in Papua New Guinea, and most groups have their own language. Because of this diversity, in which they take pride, many different styles of cultural expression have emerged; each group has created its own expressive forms in art, performance art, weaponry, costumes and architecture. Papua New Guinea is one of the few cultures in Oceania to practice the tradition of bride price. In particular, Papua New Guinea is world-famous for carved wooden sculpture: masks, canoes, story-boards.
Australia has a tradition of Aboriginal art which is thousands of years old, the best known forms being rock art and bark painting. Evidence of Aboriginal art in Australia can be traced back at least 30,000 years. Examples of ancient Aboriginal rock artworks can be found throughout the continent – notably in national parks such as those of the UNESCO listed sites at Uluru and Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, but also within protected parks in urban areas such as at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in Sydney. Aboriginal culture includes a number of practices and ceremonies centered on a belief in the Dreamtime. Reverence for the land and oral traditions are emphasized.
Popular sports in Papua New Guinea include various codes of football (rugby league, rugby union, soccer, and Australian rules football), cricket, volleyball, softball, netball, and basketball. Other Olympic sports are also gaining popularity, such as boxing and weightlifting. Rugby league is the most popular sport in Papua New Guinea (especially in the highlands), which also unofficially holds the title as the national sport. The most popular sport in Australia is cricket, the most popular sport among Australian women is netball, while Australian rules football is the most popular sport in terms of spectatorship and television ratings.
Australia has hosted two Summer Olympics: Melbourne 1956 and Sydney 2000. Australia has also hosted five editions of the Commonwealth Games (Sydney 1938, Perth 1962, Brisbane 1982, Melbourne 2006, and Gold Coast 2018). In 2006 Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation and qualified for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups as an Asian entrant.
…defined here as the continent nation of Australia, New Zealand, and twenty-two other island countries and territories sprinkled over more than 40 million square kilometres of the South Pacific.
But it would still be one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history if Papua New Guinea - the only country to have Rugby League as its national Sport - were to qualify for the last 4.
Australians are citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia.Flora of Indonesia
The flora consists of many unique varieties of tropical plants. Blessed with a tropical climate and around 17,000 islands, Indonesia is a nation with the second largest biodiversity in the world. The flora of Indonesia reflects an intermingling of Asian, Australian and the native species. This is due to the geography of Indonesia, located between two continents.
The archipelago consists of a variety of regions from the tropical rain forests of the northern lowlands and the seasonal forests of the southern lowlands through the hill and mountain vegetation, to subalpine shrub vegetation. Having the second longest shoreline in the world, Indonesia also has many regions of swamps and coastal vegetation. Combined together, these all give rise to a huge vegetational biodiversity.
There are about 28,000 species of flowering plants in Indonesia, consisting 2500 different kinds of orchids, 6000 traditional medicinal plants used as Jamu., 122 species of bamboo, over 350 species of rattan and 400 species of Dipterocarpus, including ebony, sandalwood and teakwood.
Indonesia is also home to some unusual species such as carnivorous plants. One exceptional species is known as Rafflesia arnoldi, named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and Dr. Thomas Arnold, who discovered the flower in the depths of Bengkulu, southwest Sumatra. This parasitic plant has a large flower, does not produce leaves and grow on a certain liana on the rain forest floor. Another unusual plant is Amorphophallus titanum from Sumatra. Numerous species of insect trapping pitcher plants (Nepenthes spp.) can also be found in Borneo, Sumatra, and other islands of the Indonesian archipelago.Karoo-Ferrar
The Karoo and Ferrar Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) are two large igneous provinces in Southern Africa and Antarctica respectively, collectively known as the Karoo-Ferrar, Gondwana, or Southeast African LIP, associated with the initial break-up of the Gondwana supercontinent at c. 183 Ma.
Its flood basalt mostly covers South Africa and Antarctica but portions extend further into southern Africa and into South America, India, Australia and New Zealand.Karoo-Ferrar formed just prior to the breakup of Gondwana in the Lower Jurassic epoch, about 183 million years ago; this timing corresponds to the early Toarcian anoxic event and the Pliensbachian-Toarcian extinction. It covered about 3 x 106 km2. The total original volume of the flow, which extends over a distance in excess of 6000 km (4000 km in Antarctica alone), was in excess of 2.5 x 106 km³ (2.5 million cubic kilometres).The Ferrar LIP is notable for long distance transport and the Karoo LIP for its large volume and chemical diversity.The igneous activity of the Karoo LIP began c. 204 Ma at the northern margin of the province. The long-lasting Chon-Aike Province in Patagonia, the Antarctic Peninsula, and Ellsworth Land was activated c. 190 Ma in an unstable tectonic environment in which both extension and subduction occurred. Chon-Aike had a peak between 183 to 173 Ma but produced continued magmatism between 168 to 141 Ma. By 184 to 175 Ma the Karoo magmatism had spread to Namibia, Lesotho, Lebombo, and the Ferrar province in Antarctica. The Karoo LIP ended 145 Ma with peripheral eruptions in Patagonia, the Antarctica Peninsula, northern South Africa, Kerala in India, and southeast Australia. The Karoo Province uplifted southern Africa c. 1.5 km (0.93 mi) and broke East Gondwana (India, Antarctica, and Australia) away from West Gondwana (South America and Africa) beginning in the opening of the Weddell Sea.In the Cretaceous, some 15 million years after the last Karoo eruption, renewed magmatism was initiated between Mary Byrd Land in Antarctica and New Zealand from where it spread along Gondwana's southern margin, from eastern Australia to the Antarctic Peninsula. Isotopic dating suggests a series of igneous events at 133–131, 124–119, and 113–107 Ma in Australia; 110–99 Ma in Mary Byrd Land; 114-109 and 82 Ma in New Zealand; and 141 and 127 Ma in the Antarctic Peninsula. This phase of magmatism resulted in extension and rift between Australia and Antarctica, Australia and Lord Howe Rise, and Mary Byrd Land and New Zealand.Kookaburra
Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers of the genus Dacelo native to Australia and New Guinea, which grow to between 28–42 cm (11–17 in) in length. The name is a loanword from Wiradjuri guuguubarra, onomatopoeic of its call. The loud distinctive call of the laughing kookaburra is widely used as a stock sound effect in situations that involve an Australian bush setting or tropical jungle, especially in older movies.
They are found in habitats ranging from humid forest to arid savanna, as well as in suburban areas with tall trees or near running water. Even though they belong to the larger group known as "kingfishers", kookaburras are not closely associated with water.Landmass
Landmass is a contiguous region of land surrounded by ocean.It may be a continent or an island:
Island#Differentiation from continentsList of islands by area
This list of islands by area includes all islands in the world greater than 2,500 km2 (970 sq mi) and several other islands over 1,000 km2 (390 sq mi), sorted in descending order by area. For comparison, continents are also shown.List of power stations in Australia (continent)
The following pages lists the power stations in the Australian continent by country.
List of power stations in Australia
List of power stations in Papua New GuineaMain Range National Park
The Main Range is a mountain range and a national park in Queensland, Australia, located predominantly in Tregony, Southern Downs Region 85 kilometres (53 mi) southwest of Brisbane. It is part of the World Heritage Site Gondwana Rainforests of Australia (formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves). It protects the western part of a semicircle of mountains in South East Queensland known as the Scenic Rim. This includes the largest area of rainforest in South East Queensland. The park is part of the Scenic Rim Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance in the conservation of several species of threatened birds.Richard Lydekker
Richard Lydekker (; 25 July 1849 – 16 April 1915) was an English naturalist, geologist and writer of numerous books on natural history.Sahul
Sahul may refer to:
Australia (continent) - Sahul being a technical name for the continent comprising mainland Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, Seram, and neighbouring islands
Sahul Shelf, part of the continental shelf off the northern Australian coast, under the Arafura Sea and the Timor Sea
Sahul reef snake (Aipysurus apraefrontalis), a critically endangered species of venomous sea snake found off the northern coast of Western Australia
Sahul Raskin (1878–1966), Russian-born American artist and writerSahul (continent)
Sahul was a prehistoric continent that consisted of Australia, New Guinea, Tasmania and Seram.Sahul was partially submerged around 18,000 years ago.Sahul and Sunda were points of early human migrations after leaving Africa.Sahul Shelf
Geologically, the Sahul Shelf is part of the continental shelf of the Australian continent, lying off the northwest coast of mainland Australia.Subregion
A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south or southern, are commonly used to define a subregion.Sundaland
Sundaland (also called the Sundaic region) is a biogeographical region of Southeastern Asia corresponding to a larger landmass that was exposed throughout the last 2.6 million years during periods when sea levels were lower. It includes the Malay Peninsula on the Asian mainland, as well as the large islands of Borneo, Java, and Sumatra and their surrounding islands.Volcanic Seven Summits
The Volcanic Seven Summits are the highest volcanoes on each of the seven continents, just as the Seven Summits are the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. Summiting all seven is regarded as a mountaineering challenge, first postulated as such in 1999.Two of the Volcanic Seven Summits are also in the Seven Summits list. Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Elbrus, which were formed volcanically, are the highest peaks of their respective continents.Wallaby
A wallaby is a small- or mid-sized macropod native to Australia and New Guinea, with introduced populations in New Zealand, UK and other countries. They belong to the same taxonomic family as kangaroos and sometimes the same genus, but kangaroos are specifically categorised into the six largest species of the family. The term wallaby is an informal designation generally used for any macropod that is smaller than a kangaroo or wallaroo that has not been designated otherwise.There are 11 species of brush wallabies (g. Macropus, s.g. Protemnodon). Their head and body length is 45 to 105 cm and the tail is 33 to 75 cm long. The six named species of rock-wallabies (g. Petrogale) live among rocks, usually near water; two species are endangered. The two species of hare-wallabies (g. Lagorchestes) are small animals that have the movements and some of the habits of hares. Often called "pademelons", the three species of scrub wallabies (g. Thylogale) of New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Tasmania are small and stocky, with short hind limbs and pointed noses.
Wallabies are hunted for meat and fur. A similar species is the short-tailed scrub wallaby, or quokka (Setonix brachyurus); this species is now restricted to two offshore islands of Western Australia. The three named species of forest wallabies (g. Dorcopsulus) are native to the island of New Guinea. The dwarf wallaby is the smallest member of the genus and the smallest known member of the kangaroo family. Its length is about 46 cm from nose to tail, and it weighs about 1.6 kg.Wallace Line
The Wallace Line or Wallace's Line is a faunal boundary line drawn in 1859 by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and named by English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, that separates the ecozones of Asia and Wallacea, a transitional zone between Asia and Australia. West of the line are found organisms related to Asiatic species; to the east, a mixture of species of Asian and Australian origin is present. Wallace noticed this clear division during his travels through the East Indies in the 19th century.
The line runs through Indonesia, between Borneo and Sulawesi (Celebes), and through the Lombok Strait between Bali and Lombok. The distance between Bali and Lombok is small, about 35 kilometres (22 mi). The distributions of many bird species observe the line, since many birds do not cross even the shortest stretches of open ocean water. Some bats have distributions that cross the line, but larger terrestrial mammals are generally limited to one side or the other; exceptions include macaques, pigs and tarsiers on Sulawesi. Other groups of plants and animals show differing patterns, but the overall pattern is striking and reasonably consistent. Flora do not follow the Wallace Line to the same extent as fauna. One genus of plants which does not cross the Line is the Australasian genus Eucalyptus.Women's National Basketball League
The Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) is the pre-eminent professional women's basketball league in Australia. It is currently composed of eight teams. The league was founded in 1981 and is the women's counterpart to the National Basketball League (NBL). Several WNBL teams have NBL counterparts. The Adelaide Lightning, Melbourne Boomers, Perth Lynx and Sydney Uni Flames are the current WNBL teams sharing a market with an NBL team (the Dandenong Rangers, Townsville Fire and University of Canberra Capitals shared a market with the South Dragons, Townsville Crocodiles and Canberra Cannons respectively, before all three NBL clubs became defunct).The current league champions are the University of Canberra Capitals.