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/Latest News/

Precious dinosaur tracks in Queensland saved!

The town of Winton in outback Queensland is one of Australia's most important locations for dinosaur fossils. Last week it was revealed that a team of volunteers and paleontologists had worked together on nearby Karoola station to excavate a very rare find: a set of footprints belonging to three different types of dinosaur, including the first set of sauropod footprints found in Australia. They removed the prints just before the arrival of destructive monsoonal rains and took them to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum in Winton, where they will go on display. In this video, paleontologist Dr Stephen Poropat discusses how the [...]

Precious dinosaur tracks in Queensland saved!2019-02-21T12:29:17+00:00

Brontosaurus meets porcupine

In late 2013, palaeontologists in Patagonia, Argentina made an exciting discovery. Now, more than six years of careful work later, their discovery has finally been unveiled to the world: Bajadasaurus pronuspinax, a new species of dinosaur that lived approximately 140 million years ago. From the fossil evidence uncovered, it is believed that Bajadasaurus was a sauropod (the family of dinosaurs with long necks and long tails) with a very distinctive feature: A row of fearsome-looking spikes running down its spine that probably served as a deterrent to predators. This image is an artists impression of what Bajadasaurus may have looked like. [...]

Brontosaurus meets porcupine2019-02-21T13:09:43+00:00

Get your bananas! Just $3 – each?

In March 2006, Cyclone Larry smashed into North Queensland, right into the state’s prime banana-growing region. 90% of the crop was destroyed, creating a huge shortage of the fruit. Banana prices around Australia soared to as high as $14 per kg, or about $3 per banana. The industry recovered within a year, however, in 2011, Cyclone Yasi arrived and wreaked the same havoc all over again. Our thanks and respect goes to Queensland banana farmers - after weathering two huge storms in five years, they continue to produce beautiful bananas for the rest of us to enjoy. [...]

Get your bananas! Just $3 – each?2019-02-09T16:55:13+00:00

Meet Jon: He flies into Hurricanes

Dr Jon Zawislak is a Hurricane Hunter. He is an atmospheric scientist whose laboratory is a specially-equipped plane that is flown right into severe storms to collect data on windspeed, air pressure, temperature and humidity. All the data is sent to his colleagues in the USA’s National Hurricane Centre to help form predictions and get information out to the public. And yes, it is a very bumpy ride. Jon described his most recent flight, right into the eye of Hurricane Michael, as ‘extreme’.

Meet Jon: He flies into Hurricanes2019-02-09T16:51:34+00:00

Quick Magnet Facts

All magnetic objects contain a metal, but not all metals are magnetic. The most common magnetic metals are iron, nickel and cobalt. Neodymium is a rare earth metal that is combined with iron and another element called boron to make very powerful magnets that are capable of lifting a thousand times their own weight! Magnets have two distinct ends called ‘poles’ (North and South). The north pole of one magnet will attract the south pole of another magnet,  but it will repel (push away) the north pole of the other magnet. (This is easily remembered with the phrase ‘opposites attract’.) [...]

Quick Magnet Facts2019-02-09T16:47:24+00:00

What Is Photosynthesis?

What is Photosynthesis? Photosynthesis is a process carried out by all green plants. The plants use carbon dioxide and water to make oxygen and a sugar called glucose. The glucose might be used by the plant for energy, or stored in the form of starch. Glucose and starch are carbohydrates – food sources that animals (like us) need to eat as a source of energy, as, unlike plants, we cannot make our own food. The process of photosynthesis removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases oxygen into the atmosphere – oxygen that animals (like us) need to breathe.  Whilst [...]

What Is Photosynthesis?2018-09-12T14:42:21+00:00

Stinky Plants!

Skunk cabbage, Stinking iris, dead horse flower...the names of these plants certainly don’t make you want to buy a bunch of them and inhale deeply. Some plants produce an unpleasant smell, often of rotting flesh, to attract insects that would normally feed on dead animals. Insects landing on the plant then get covered in the plants seeds or pollen, and then spread the seeds or pollen as they move around.  The species that earns the title of ‘World’s Stinkiest Plant’ is the Titan Arum, or ‘corpse flower’. This plant is native to Indonesia and can grow to an enormous height [...]

Stinky Plants!2018-09-04T13:08:16+00:00

Beware of the plant!

Did you know that some plants eat animals? Carnivorous plants get some of their nutrition by trapping, digesting and absorbing animals, usually insects and other arthropods. There are over 600 species of carnivorous plant, but by far the most famous one is the Venus Fly Trap. The ‘trap’ is made from the end of a leaf and consists of two halves that are hinged in the middle. It looks like a clam shell, albeit one with fearsome spikes around the edges that lock together when the trap closes. An insect walking across the trap will touch tiny surface hairs that [...]

Beware of the plant!2018-09-04T12:59:33+00:00

Elizabeth Blackburn: The Tasmanian biochemist who discovered The Telomere Effect

If you have ever wondered whether there is a way to slow down the aging process, then Elizabeth Blackburn has some answers for you. Blackburn is (so far) Australia’s only female Nobel prize winner. She was awarded the prize in 2009 for her work on telomeres. Telomeres are the sections of DNA that occur on the ends of chromosomes. (All of the DNA in each of your cells is organised into parcels called chromosomes. Each cell in the body has 46 chromosomes). Telomeres stop chromosomes from ‘unravelling’ in the same way that the plastic caps on the ends of shoelaces [...]

Elizabeth Blackburn: The Tasmanian biochemist who discovered The Telomere Effect2018-08-16T13:23:48+00:00

Howard Florey: The Adelaide doctor who developed a miraculous new medicine

If you have ever taken a course of antibiotics to cure an infection, then you have Nobel prize winner Howard Florey to thank for your recovery. In the early 1940s, just as World War II was beginning to cause death and terrible injuries across the globe, Florey led a team of scientists that were the first to treat infected wounds with pencillin – a newly discovered substance that kills bacteria. The success of the treatments was seen as nothing short of miraculous, and paved the way for the commercial manufacture, not just of penicillin, but of a whole range of [...]

Howard Florey: The Adelaide doctor who developed a miraculous new medicine2018-08-16T13:24:13+00:00