Sunday, September 6, 2009

More unique features of Australia discovered

Some weekend trivia :-) ... Last week several stories circulated about the discovery of the coldest place on Earth - which happens to be in Australia (or more precisely, in the Australian Antarctic Territory). This week the "main story" is flash eating plant! All who have ever been to Australia, or live here, know pretty well that this is a unique and remarkable country, in many respects, but THIS sounds like pure science-fiction!

The flesh-eating pitcher plant (Nepenthes tenax ) was found on northern Cape York. It can grow a maximum height of 100 cm and potentially can eat small rats, lizards and birds. It was highlighted by WWF Australia (used to be World Wildlife Found) as an example of "the amazing richness of Australian biodiversity". The study by WWF Australia found that, on average, two new species have been discovered in this country every week during the last decade and that potentially there are 1000's more to be discovered. Who knows what else may be lurking deep in the bush. One more danger to be added to my advice to travelers visiting Australia!

But seriously, the key message of course is to focus on the protection of what we've got! According to WWF Australia, there are currently 125 species critically endangered in this country so, engage to save our fauna and flora while it is still not too late! Here is a link to WWF Australia "Australia's hidden treasures" report.

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