#australia

#furniture
The Solstice Bench Has Straight Lines Only Twice a YearTwitter user Julie Kiggins reveals this unique piece of furniture at the University of Wollongong in Australia. This bench has curved lines in the slats. But, Kiggins tells us, on the days of the summer and winter solstice, the angle of the sun is just right to turn their shadows into straight lines. Because Australia is in the southern hemisphere, its winter solstice is June 21 and its summer solstice is December 22.#benches #furniture #solstice #Australia
#archaeology
50,000-Year-Old Grocery and Pharmacy DiscoveredThe land of the Martu people in the Western Desert of Australia is revealing its history. An archaeological dig is using archaeobotanists from the University of Western Australia and the Martu to identify substances found in a settlement that dates back more than 50,000 years. The Aboriginals of this area know every kind of acacia tree in the desert, because they were used for so many purposes, including food, firewood, building materials, and medicine. These same species of bushes were found in the charcoal left by ancient people at the site. In particular, they found ancient remains of golden wattle, which is the national flower of Australia. Golden wattle acacias provided a consistent supply of food and medicine to those who lived in this region, and evidence from the site shows what time of year it was burned, giving clues as to its use.Scientists believed the site was used for tens of thousand of years. Read more about this research at Archaeology World. -via Strange Company​(Image credit: James St. John) #archaeology #Australia #wattle #acacia
#australia
Female Octopuses Throw Things At Males That Annoy ThemFemale octopuses off the coast of Australia have a unique way of shooing away annoying pesky males: they throw things like shells and silt at them!Research by Peter Godfrey-Smith and others at the University of Sydney revealed that female Sydney octopuses (Octopus tetricus) hold silt, shells, and other objects under their bodies in their tentacles and then angle their siphon and shoot a jet of water to propel the objects towards another octopus, often hitting them.In 2016, Godfrey-Smith observed a female octopus throwing silt 10 times at a male from a nearby den that was trying to mate with her. "That sequence was one of the ones that convinced me [it was intentional]," he said to New Scientist.But not all octopus throw things at a target. Godfrey-Smith noted that sometimes the octopus throw things into empty space after intense interaction with another animal, suggesting that they were venting their frustration. In one instance, a male octopus threw a shell in a random direction after his mating attempt with a female was rejected.Image by Peter Godfrey-Smith with illustrations byRebecca Gelernter#octopus #frustration #throwing #anger #Australia
#australia
Discovered Fossil was 'Closest Thing We Have to a Real Life Dragon'Australia is known for the scariest animals on earth, and apparently that was true in prehistoric times as well. A newly-discovered fossil in western Queensland comes from a pterosaur with a wingspan that could have been as wide as seven meters (23 feet) and a snout full of terrifying teeth. Scientists have dubbed the species Thapunngaka shawi. [Tim] Richard led the research team analysing a fossil of the creature's jaw which was discovered in western Queensland, the northeastern Australian state, and published the research in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.He said: "It's the closest thing we have to a real life dragon. It was essentially just a skull with a long neck, bolted on a pair of long wings. This thing would have been quite savage.Advertisement"It would have cast a great shadow over some quivering little dinosaur that wouldn't have heard it until it was too late," he added.​Read more about the discovery at Sky News or see the original research paper. ​(Image credit: Tim Richard)#fossil #pterosaur #dragon #paleontology #Australia
#australia
Film Prop Makers Built a Totoro-Themed Home StudioWhen Lewis Morley and Marilyn Pride came across animations by Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli in the mid 80s, they found the inspiration for their house in the Blue Mountains of Australia.The couple, who both worked in the film industry as prop makers, decided to build a "dream studio" based on Totoro, Miyazaki's famous character in his film My Neighbor Totoro.From Spoon & Tamago:And over the years they added Totoro-inspired details such as the letterbox, the entryway with a Totoro-shaped viewing door and vinyl figures on the guard rail. But their biggest addition was a Totoro-styled Tea House in the garden. “Inspired by the 1930’s Depression era style artificial caves that still dot the local Mountains landscape, it is a bit rough around the edges, but is the perfect place to share morning coffee while we contemplate our garden of edible plants,” they said.View more over at Spoon & Tamago.#HayaoMiyazaki #Totoro #MyNeighborTotoro #BlueMountains #Australia #anime
#lizard
This Australian Lizard Has a Crazy Elaborate Nest Deep UndergroundMany animals dig burrows underground to lay eggs, but the yellow-spotted goanna in Australia took it to the next level: it dug a helical burrow 13 feet below the surface to lay its eggs.Herpetologist Sean Doody of the University of South Florida told Ed Yong of The Atlantic why the lizard went through all that trouble to bury its eggs so deep underground:A few animals also dig (or dug) helical burrows, including scorpions, pocket gophers, an extinct beaver called Palaeocastor, and a mammal-like reptile called Diictodon that lived 255 million years ago. But the yellow-spotted goanna’s nests are deeper than those of all these creatures—extending as far as 13 feet below the surface. “That’s a ridiculous depth,” Doody told [Yong]. He thinks that the yellow-spotted goanna faces a unique challenge. Its large eggs need to incubate for 8 months before hatching—a period that takes them through Australia’s brutal dry season, when several months might go by without any rain. At shallow depths, the eggs would cook and desiccate. Only in deeper soil, which is cooler and wetter, can they survive.#lizard #egg #burrow #Australia #yellowspottedgoanna #goanna #herpetologyImage: Sean Doody