3.1.1 - Australia before Human Habitation

3.1.1 - Australia before Human Habitation

OES Unit 3 (and 4) 2015 What Well Cover Navigating your best friend: VCAA & the Study Design SACS and exams for the year Practical Work Organising Yourself Unit 3 Intro to main ideas

How do I use Learning Intentions??? Holiday Homework Quick Reality Check! THIS IS A UNIT 3 / 4 SUBJECTEVERTHING COUNTS!! At least 2 SAC tasks per unit (total 50%); Final Exam (50%)

If you want feedback, YOU need to take initiative If you want to do your best, EMPOWER yourself and KNOW THE STUDY DESIGN! VCAA & the study design Your BEST FRIEND: www.vcaa.vic.edu.au Lets get a copy of that study design and take a

peek 1. Australian Landscape BEFORE Humans Learning IntentionsWhat???

To be able to describe the characteristics of the Australian Environment before humans To be able to describe the break up of Australia from Gondwana over time, and know the role of continental drift To be able to describe the adaptions of a plant or animal to survive in the Australian environment To be able to describe the role that biological isolation, geological stability

and climatic variations has played in the uniqueness of Australias flora and fauna Our origin Everybody knows the earth has been developing and changing over the past 2 billion years. And even as recent as 200 million years ago, the earth was a remarkably different place. The Dude Who Changed it All:

It wasnt until 1912 that meteorologist Alfred Wegener hypothesized that the seven continents had once been joined as a supercontinent. Introducing: PANGAEA! 250 million years ago, this is how the world map looked

The Evidence For Pangaeas existence: 1. Wegener noticed that the borders of the continent matched up and fit together, almost like a giant jigsaw puzzle. 2. Matching rocks and fossils were found in countries separated by oceans and tropical plant fossils were found in polar regions and vice versa. CONCLUSION: The continents may not have always

been in their current positions Wegener called the supercontinent Pangaea, meaning "all lands" in Greek, and he said it was bordered by Panthalassa, the universal sea. He claimed the lands separated 250 million years ago by the process of continental drift, which means the continents just slowly fractured and went their separate ways.

Gondwanaland has been separate from the northern landmasses for around 200MY. Make a timeline Future world?!? How is this possible? The Earths crust is not one single chunk but

exists as a series of "tectonic plates that SLOWLY but CONSTANTLY move/drift. Like a giant jigsaw puzzle! The Australian plate drifts ~7cm/year: this is about the same rate as your fingernails grow! There are 15 major plates What do you notice?

Jigsaw Challenge! In pairs, fit the jigsaw of tectonic plates together and glue it on to the blank sheet the first accurate finishing team attempt will win a prize! Moving plates The San Andreas fault in California is an example

of a transform plate boundary the American plate & Pacific plate are sliding past each other. When plates get stuck, pressure builds and is released as earthquakes

When plates collide One plate is forced under the other in what is called a subduction zone. The Nazca plate is being forced under the South American plate, resulting in the formation of the Andes. Many peaks in the Andes

are volcanically active. THINK: Do we have active volcanoes in OZ??? When plates move apart New crust forms from molten material that rises up when plates move apart. Divergent plate

boundaries are responsible for rift valleys and new ocean floors and mid ocean islands. The great rift valley of East Africa is a young divergent plate. DO NOW Knowledge check 1. What was Pangaea

2. Outline what continental drift is and what has caused it. 3. Why is Australia considered to be a stable continent? Quick Review - Gondwanaland Formed when Pangaea separated it split into Laurasia and Gondwana around 200million years ago

Includes most of the land masses of the Southern Hemisphere Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Indian subcontinent. So what has shaped Australia to make it the unique continent it is today? Unique Geography Unique Fauna

Unique Flora Stick in the Map of OZ and: Annotate the following set of notes onto your map Leave space to draw geographical features and climatic conditions in different regions Include examples of uniquely adapted

Australian flora and fauna Factors that have caused Australia to be Unique The uniqueness of Australia has been shaped by three main factors: Biological isolation Geological stability An erratic climate

Unique Australia Australia is considered to be one of 12 megadiverse countries these contain 75% of the Earths total biodiversity In Oz, more that 80% are endemic There are 7 families of mammals endemic to Oz About 85 per cent of flowering plants, 84 per cent of mammals and more than 45 per cent of

birds are unique to Australia. Why is Australia so unique? Biological Isolation refers to the amount of time that Australia has been separated from other continents. Flora and fauna have been able to evolve in isolation. Geological Stability - Australia has experienced very few earthquakes, development of low mountains ranges. Volcanoes are stabilised (inactive), no existing glaciers, therefore no new

nutrients provided for the soil. Erratic Climate -Australia is the driest continent on Earth. Its climate is very erratic, often moving from one extreme directly to the other (El Nino extreme climate). Biological Isolation Millions of years (approx. how long?) of isolation from other continents have resulted in Australias plants and animals evolving very differently to

other places Of the 1350 species of Acacias in the world, 1000 found here This has also contributed to the high number of endemic species found in Australia. Biological Isolation Many of these species have been found to be

closely related to other species found around the world through the research of fossils (eg water rats in England Platypus) This also meant that due to the lack of predators from Laurasian continents that the mammals that we see today were able to flourish Geological stability

The Australian continent hasnt changed, other than eroded, since the uplift of the Great Dividing Range 80 million years ago. This geological stability has given erosion a lot of time to expose some of the world's oldest and most amazing rock formations, like the 12 Apostles. Geological stability is a characteristic that has resulted in only relatively minor change to

Australia's geological substrates and many of its landscapes over extremely long periods of time. Geological stability Where there is no geological activity, there is no formation of new fertile soils, instead the old soil is leached and blown away, leaving plants with little chance to fasten their roots. These soil conditions have forced plants to develop unique adaptations to balance on a bare rock wall or develop long

roots to survive in a lifeless desert. This geological stability has meant that Australia is relatively flat, has very few earthquakes etc. Flat landscapes are prone to? Bushfires How has this shaped our flora and fauna? Floods

How has this shaped our flora and fauna? Climatic variations Australia is the second driest continent on Earth. Its climate is very erratic, often moving from one extreme directly to the other. It can have long years of drought that is broken by devastating floods. The very flatness of the majority of the continent

turns out to be of importance to the survival of many plants and animals El Nino and La Nina Which phenomenon does Australia experience most often? How does this influence our climate? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= yCsMmajLYG4

Climatic variations The plants and animals of Australia have been very strongly influenced by the climate. Both have adapted to survive, as a species if not always as individuals, in very harsh environments in many parts of the continent. For example: plants of a particular area may have to cope with poor soils, often low and

unpredictable water availability Learning Activity Select one flora AND one fauna species endemic to Australia Investigate the adaptions that have been caused by the three factors (biological isolation, geological stability, climatic variation) we have looked at in this session

Remember that you should be able to - Describe how an environment may have looked like before human habitation (think about how human impacts have changed the environment) - Describe how geological stability, biological isolation and climatic variations have influenced the natural environment, including plants and animals

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