Showing posts with label New Zealand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Zealand. Show all posts

Little Penguin of Australia and New Zealand are Different species

Animals may look alike and are asumed for decades as being one and the same, but scientists are often wrong. Australian and New Zealand little penguins (Eudyptula minor) look identical, However, new reseach shows that they are different species.  The cute little penguin is the smallest of all penguins. It is only 30cm tall. It lives along the southern coast of Australia and coastal New Zealand.
Little penguin of Australian and New Zealand
Many scientists find it surprising that two different species inhabit the same region and look very much alike. The answer lies in the nature of the niche. Animals evolve to take advantage of a particular niche, so to a large degree the niche shapes the animal.

There is strong opinion that the Australian little penguin should be given a name. A name has been put forward: Eudyptula novaehollandiae. There is a problem as the Australia species is also found in Otago on the southernmost tip of New Zealand: how they got there is a mystery.
 Biology by Ty Buchanan 
 Australian Blog
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Old Photos Located in Scotland

A cache of old photographs has been put on display in Scotland. It is not known who took them, but the person must have been an ardent world traveller. There are pictures taken in Bolivia, Argentina, India and New Zealand. The images are of very high quality.

The collection had been stored at the Roslin Institute for many years. This is where Dolly the Sheep was born. Photos of animals were probably taken during research at the institute. It is possible the "culprits" were James Cossar Ewart (who did travel widely) and Robert Wallace who were professors there from 1882. The rest of the photographs are a mystery.

The animal pictures are interesting enough, though the images of people in other countries are illuminating. In one, a leper is carried by two boys with a hanging container for alms. The boys use a carrying pole to distance themselves from the leper. Another picture shows a child with a lamb.

The most significant scene shows a Maori Girl in full dress of the day standing on a canoe. Two cliffs rise from a river's edge vertically upward. Dense vegetation can be seen in the background. Subjects are generally posing in the shots. However, this does not denigrate the images in any way.
Science by Ty Buchanan
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     Australian Blog                         

Kiwi Came from Australia

Three years ago a fossil was found at st Bathams in New Zealand. The record books now have to be rewritten. It seems the fossil is an ancestor of the Kiwi and it indicates that it was related to the Australian emu. This undermines the premise that the kiwi is a solely New Zealand bird. After all it is the national symbol.

You see, the emu relative could fly and it flew to New Zealand. It was a tiny bird compared to the kiwi. The enormous egg that kiwis lay evolved. It was not "handed-down" by the giant Moa. Eggs began to get larger in birds during the Miocene.

The theory that the kiwi originated in Australia was commonly held before this fossil find. It was believed to have got to New Zealand when the country was joined to Australia on Gondwanaland, but his view has been put to rest.

Most New Zealand birds got bigger over time. This was not unusual. The kiwi evolved from the earlier tiny ancestor. Discovery of this 20 million year old fossil was pure luck. It is the oldest fossil ever found in New Zealand.
Conservation by Ty Buchanan
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     Australian Blog                         

Scientists Are Studying New Zealand's Extinct Moa Bird

It seems we can study what animals looked like even though they are extinct. Australian and New Zealand scientists are studying prehistoric feathers to find out what birds were like. DNA has been obtained from the extinct Moa bird of New Zealand from feathers 2,500 years old. Moa are thought to have been still alive 1200 years ago It was 8 feet tall and could not fly. Material has been gleaned from three types of Moa: the stout legged; the heavy footed; and the upland Moa.

Somehow they have worked out that wing feathers had speckled white tips. This was to camouflage the bird from predators. The very large Haast eagle once existed that preyed on them. It is claimed that because the plumage of other flightless NZ birds is dull with speckled tips this idea is valid.

The scientists plan to get feathers from the end of the quill and further down the quill to compare coloration. It is hoped the findings will enable researchers to correctly reconstruct life-like models of extinct birds.

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Man Attacks Youth With a Hedgehog

Don't throw wildlife around! You may be punished for it.

A New Zealand man has to attend court for throwing a hedgehog at a teenager. Mr Singhalargh threw the poor animal five meters at a 15 year old in the eastern North Island town of Whakatane.

The teenager was injured. He got a large red welt and several puncture wounds. The man was arrested shortly afterwards for assault with a weapon, namely the hedgehog.

The police did not say whether the hedgehog was alive before the ordeal, but did say that the animal was definitely dead afterwards.
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Australian Saving Means a Change in the Retail Structure

Why is Australia in such a bad way? The country is exporting at record levels. China is paying up front for these exports. Interest rates are not too high. Remember the Keating days of 14 per cent? We do have a "dual" economy with manufacturing doing it tough due to the high dollar, but Australia never has been a strong exporter of manufactured goods.

Retailers are saying people aren't spending. You would think that people can only spend what they earn and no more. However, due to the multiplier effect, according to economic theory, when a person spends a dollar that one dollars turns over about five times. In other words the money supply, the real paper dollars out there, is actually only about a fifth of the money on the books in an economy. So what happens when a consumer saves? Think about it. The money in circulation "shrinks" by four more dollars. This is what is happening in Australia. We all envied Japan in its good years when they had very high rates of saving per head of population. Now Australians are adopting this way of living.

Australians are doing the right thing and being told by retailers that they are doing the wrong thing. You can't have your cake and eat it too. You either spend now or you don't. The real problem of course is that there are far too many retailers in Australia. Particularly today where many shops sell broad lines of goods. Years ago shops really specialised. Each town had one grocer, one greengrocer, a chemist shop, fish shop selling fresh and fried fish, butcher, Garage and so on. When you are in a shopping centre today you pass several shops selling the same thing while walking.

Australians were in personal debt for decades. Many warned about the lingering debt levels. It is a good thing that people are changing their ways. Unfortunately, the whole retail structure must change as well. This will only occur reluctantly and with great hardship. Many buy businesses and think their future is made. The reality is different. Owning a business is now very tough. Not only do you have local rivals, many Australians buy from oversees on the Internet. Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman may be calling for GST to be placed on Internet purchases. What he really wants is a ban on buying in this way. Things will change. More businesses will go bankrupt.

Australia's future lies in commodity exports. It always has; it always will. Manufacturing motor vehicles in this country was a mistake. Sell iron ore and coal then buy cheaper imports. This has always been the way to go. The main question for us all now is whether we should abandon food production and import most of it? Australia is a major exporter of wheat. This is a commodity. Perhaps Australia should continue. Growing food generally, however, is an important issue for the future. We cannot keep out cheap, high quality food imports from New Zealand for ever with questionable import barriers. Just why Australians still bother producing poor quality sheep is a mystery. The wool is good. The meat is inedible.
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