Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Video Animal

"Hi.  Welcome to our first VideoCast.  This could be a shock for you, but...."
Funny Animal Pictures by Ty Buchanan

New Catfish Species in Australia

Carfish are fairly mundane creatures. If you are fishing and you hook one thinking it is a big pike you are annoyed when you drag it in, and "drag" it the defining word. They are usually a dead weight on the line.

On the other hand if you are a biologist all animals are of interest. A combined US, Australia team has discovered a new catfish species in North Queensland. It has a tail like an eel, not the usual fish-like tail. Apparently, people knew of its existence for many years and just assumed it was like any other catfish.

Tandanus tropicanus is cylindrical in body shape. It has a large head and tiny eyes. DNA tests showed that the fish is a distinct species. Overall, its body configuration is different from other catfish.

Unlike many catfish it is good to eat. Fishermen have been catching it for many years for food not knowing how unique it was. Despite the accumulation of human knowledge about the world there is a lot we still do not know about nature.
Biology by Ty Buchanan
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Vacation Dog

"But I really want to go with you."
Funny Animal Pictures by Ty Buchanan
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The Aboriginal "Race" is in Danger

Aboriginals have been in Australia for at least 40,000 years, perhaps 60,000 years. If they were the first to leave Africa this could be pushed back to 80,000. Because they are so different from Asians this could be the case. A skull found in South America is clearly aboriginal - How did it get there?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders number about half a million of Australia's 23 million. Numbering them is difficult as many, like the American black population, have white people in their ancestry.

There is a strange state of affairs with more than a quarter of the overall population in Australia being born overseas. This has meant an important inter-cultural mix. However, the Aboriginal culture is dying out. Few young people speak native tongues in depth. Older people are not able to pass on languages completely: there are thousands of Aboriginal dialects across the country. Religious rituals in particular are disappearing.

Aboriginal art is very strong and many earn income from this. It is in demand not only in Australia but worldwide. Indeed, Aboriginals tried to patent the "dot" in their painting. The claim was turned down which left fake paintings by white people as a problem in the market.

Absorption into the white population has been the country's main aim for centuries. There are a few Aboriginals who stubbornly stay out of this idea. They are losing as time passes. City Aboriginals know nothing about traditional Aboriginal life. They would die of starvation if left in the outback. Their forebears knew how to survive.
Anthropology by Ty Buchanan
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