Showing posts with label WA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WA. Show all posts

Lake Wells in WA Source of Australia's First Potash Production

Australian potash
Potash production has begun in Western Australia at Lake Wells. A research project with the University of Western Australia in the School of Agriculture and Environment will test the potash on various WA soil types, so Australian Potash will be able to more effectively advise Australian farmers.

Fake Cat Mummy Puts Pressure on WA Museum

Anthropology: Cat mummy in Western Australian Museum a fake.
It is known that ancient Egyptians made counterfeit mummies, particularly of birds and cats who were given as offerings to the gods. In 1982 an X-ray of a cat mummy showed that it was a fake, probably made in the early 20th century. Staff of the Western Australia Museum who were custodians of the "mummy" were shocked and disappointed by the discovery.

A recent CT scan of the "mummy" highlights a human femur broken in the middle then molded to take the shape of a cat. The scan has been sent to Cairo for further study. To solve this problem once and for all a determination of its real age needs to be done. Why waste time looking and re-interpreting?  The WA Museum is still so ashamed of the issue that is has never released a photo of the fake cat mummy nor will show the X-ray or scan to the public.
Genuine fake cat mummy from Saqqara in  Egypt
Genuine fake-cat mummy from Saqqara in  Egyp
Genuine mummies are on display today at the WA Museum with the Afterlife: Magic Mummies and Immortality in Ancient Egypt exhibition brought over from the British Museum. Let us hope that tests to verify age has been done on these ancient wrappings.
 Athropology by Ty Buchanan 
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New Lizard Found in Australia

Something has been living out there without our knowledge. Yes, it could be called a monster - a very small one. It is in fact a new species of lizard. A team of scientists from the University of Adelaide has discovered a new kind of Varanus lizard.

It was found living in a remote part of the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. Consequently, it has named the Dampier Peninsula goanna (Varanus sparnus). There are now a total of 77 species of the "genus Varanus". Sparnus is the smallest found so far.

The lizard burrows under the ground beneath hard surface objects like stone and wood. Not much is known about its living habits because it moves very fast. The new species seems to be localized, existing only on the Dampier Peninsula. There are no doubt more currently unknown animals in the region.
Biology by Ty Buchanan
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New Lizard Found Near Perth

Despite the idea that everything is known about everything, the area of discovery is still wide open. Just outside of Perth in the sand dunes a new species of lizard has been found. It has been given the name Ctenotus ora.

There are concerns that it will not be around for much longer. New housing is encroaching upon the coastal plains skink's land. The lizard was identified during an Australian National University study into biological diversity in the Perth region.

Just how many of the lizards are out there is not yet known, so their prospects of survival is still an open question. The area of sand dunes where they live is getting smaller. Unless the state government steps in to stop it, urbanization will see most of the dunes concreted over.

The southwest of the state has not been explored in great depth. Other new species are probably waiting to be brought to light. Though people have been there a long time, concerns about work and shelter have been the priority not biological research.
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Australia's Pipistrelle Bat Will Be Extict Within a Year

Australia is about to lose the Christmas Island pipistrelle bat forever. Wildlife experts say the government is not doing enough. Only 20 of the small bats remain on an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia. The small group are staying together under the bark of a tree.

Watchers say the only answer is to collect all of them and try to breed them in captivity. Otherwise, they will be lost. The government has offered to set up a breeding program for a related small bat, but this will not save the pipistrelle. A zoologist, Mr Penney, says the species will not exist this time next year.

Scientists are planning to collect the bats and set up a breeding program themselves, ignoring the government. The government is not paying attention to the scientists, so that is what will happen.
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Parents and Children Hit by New WA Drug Laws

Western Australia is about to fill up its jails and children's care homes in the war on drugs. New legislation will jail parents and take away children for the cultivation of one cannabis plant. The jail terms are mandatory for the manufacture of small amounts of other drugs.

 The conservative government has certainly lived up to its ideals of trying to turn back the clock a century or so. Transportation to a far off land could be next for "criminals". An earlier Labor government had decriminalized minor marijuana use. Just why the WA government would want to change a situation that seemed to be working is the real question. The premier must know that tough regulation like in the US has failed, totally. If legislation worked, such action would be justified

Even in the UK, people found with a small amount of drugs on their person are given a warning the first time it happens. Only serial offenders are jailed. This is the best idea. Target the dealers not individuals who in many cases are experimenting. We let people damage their health by smoking tobacco. Allowing them to cultivate a small amount of marijuana for their own use is akin to that.
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