Are you interested? The questions and answers

Issue 47 (October 2011) of the Newsletter contained a list of questions under the heading “Are you interested?” Here are my answers.

 1.       Why is Outback soil so red?

           Because it is rich in iron compounds.

2.       Emu chicks are striped but fully grown emus aren’t. Why?

          Emu chicks are only about 12 to 15 cms tall when hatched, much smaller than fully
          grown emus (which are up to two metres tall). The stripes make the chicks harder
          for predators (such as eagles and dingoes) to detect in grassland.
         
3.       Is Lake Eyre the “Inland Sea” which the early explorers were looking for?

          Yes and no. It was not the sea into which they thought inland-flowing rivers such as
          the Lachlan, Macquarie, Murrumbidgee, Darling and Murray might empty. And of
          course, it’s rarely full (and when it is, it’s strongly saline), so in the sense that they
          hoped to find a sea surrounded by rich agricultural land, it fails the test. But some
          inland rivers such as the Diamantina and the Cooper flow into it, in particular after
         very heavy rain. When it’s full, it is large enough to be called a sea, and it’s certainly
         “inland”, so in that sense it is an inland sea.

4.      Wouldn’t it be better if all Outback roads were sealed?

         That’s a matter of opinion. My opinion is that it would radically change the character
         of the Outback, and destroy much of the appeal which it now has by virtue of its
         isolation and inaccessibility.

5.       Can female kangaroos really put a pregnancy on hold?

         Yes, the female can freeze the development of an embryo until the previous joey is
         able to leave the pouch. This occurs in times of drought or poor food resources.

6.       How do you spell that Outback track named after a Polish explorer?

          Strzelecki.

7.       Where do flies go in the winter?

          Some kinds of flies hibernate. Others lay some eggs and then die.

8.       Is Mt Augustus in Western Australia really bigger than Uluru?

          Yes, it’s much bigger, but it’s not a monolith (a single rock), it’s a monocline (!)

9.       Is the echidna related to the porcupine?

          No, although both have spines, they are completely unrelated. It’s interesting that
          the echidna usually lives for about 45 years.

10.    Is it true that Australia exports live camels?

         The number of feral camels in Australia is currently estimated to be at least a million.
         They do millions of dollars’ worth of damage every year. 
There was some exporting of
         live camels for about 20 years up to 2007, but most of it has now stopped.

Advertisements

About dazzlerplus

Writing about the things that interest me helps me to discover what I think. One of my loves is the Australian Outback, and I travel out there often, and when possible take friends with me.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Are you interested? The questions and answers

  1. roobark says:

    I think I failed on 2,7 and 8. I was really surprised to hear about Mt Augusta. Thank you Bobby Dazzler, for another dazzling newsletter.
    On the subject of becoming a more interesting person, I saw a little boy on the bus today, about 18 mos old. He could express his view but not talk, if you know what I mean. And he was so interested in everything going on both inside and outside the bus, to the stickers on the windows telling you about the seats for the less able, to trucks, cars and lamp posts outside and of course all people on the bus. He was quite gorgeous. His mother didn’t have to do anything to stimulate his interest, it was just there.
    Which makes me think that some things are innate, which doesn’t mean we don’t need to balance up a bit if we lean towards one side or the other.

  2. DonM says:

    Question 7 reminded me of an old Bob Hope gag.
    Q. Where do fleas go in wintertime?
    A. Search me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s