By Donald S. Garden
Of curiosity to scholars and teachers alike, this ebook offers a much-needed synthesis of the new literature at the environmental background of Australia and Oceania. Charting the construction of the Australian continent from the traditional land mass of Gondwanaland to the arriving of people, this publication maps out the most important developments within the region's environmental history.
Especially attention-grabbing are the chapters highlighting how successive waves of human migration created environmental havoc through the quarter, resulting in the cave in of the Easter Island civilization and the unfold of nonindigenous wildlife. From the controversies over the explanations why creatures corresponding to the marsupial lion and the enormous kangaroo turned extinct to such modern difficulties as deforestation and international warming, this e-book includes sobering classes for us all.
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Extra info for Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific: An Environmental History
In particular, the development of radiocarbon dating in the 1950s made it possible to calculate the age of Aboriginal artifacts and other evidence such as their middens or food rubbish dumps. Steadily, these pushed back the estimated date at which the first dark-skinned, flat-faced, and curly-haired humans known as Australoids arrived from Southeast Asia to the north of Australia, and from there moved onto the continent. Calculated arrival dates were pushed back to 40,000 years, 60,000 years, and, in some rare estimates, to even more than 100,000 years ago.
Kangaroo Press. Wright, Richard. 1986. ” Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New South Wales, 109. ” Bali Ha’i will whisper On the wind of the sea: “Here am I, your special island! ” Your own special hopes, Your own special dreams Bloom on the hillside and shine in the streams. If you try, you’ll find me Where the sky meets the sea. Here am I, your special island, Come to me, come to me. —OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN, BALI HA’I, 1950S MUSICAL, SOUTH PACIFIC FROM THE I t is common for people studying the Pacific to be the brunt of expressions of envy.
Continental islands, which include parts of New Zealand, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and Fiji, as well as New Guinea and much of the Bismarck Archipelago, are fragments of the great southern megacontinent of Gondwana, which split off and moved with the drift of tectonic plates into the Pacific. They have been added to, rearranged, and reshaped by earth movement (notably uplift) and volcanic action over millions of years, and are generally larger, higher, and have greater biodiversity than other Oceanic islands.