Category Archives: The Canberra Times

Cassowary mystery cracked: Nature gifts giant bird an inbuilt ‘airconditioner’

The cassowary makes a guttural rumble which is among the lowest frequency call of any bird.Since Western naturalists first encountered the cassowary, the elusive but deadly bird has been shrouded in mysteries. Chief among them: the purpose of the cassowary’s large, rudder-like crest, known as a “casque”.

Now a team of Melbourne-based scientists say they have cracked the case open – and their answer could also apply to a suite of dinosaurs with similar cranial structures.

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Satellites to reveal secrets of one of Australia’s great migrations

Long-finned eels inhabit the freshwater of the eastern Australia, from Cape York to Wilsons Promontory.

Victorian researchers may finally be on the brink of solving a great mystery of wild Australia. And it will take a combination of cutting edge technology and ancient knowledge to crack it.

Once in their life-time, freshwater eels head downstream, enter the ocean and swim thousands of kilometres to a tropical spawning ground. But no-one knows where.

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Dozens of animals and plants join Australia’s threatened species list

The Wollemi pine saw its status on the threatened species list downgraded from "endangered" to "critically endangered" due to the introduction of phytophthora disease into its secluded habitat. What do tingle pygmy trapdoor spiders from Western Australia, silver-headed antechinus from central Queensland and Duramana fingers orchids from NSW have in common?

If you’re waiting for a funny punchline, sorry – the answer is that they’re among the 41 new species of Australian plants and animals that are now officially at risk of extinction.

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