The fauna of Australia comprises a huge variety of unique animals;
some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 90% of fish and insects and 93%
of amphibians that inhabit the continent are endemic. This high level
of endemism can be attributed to the continent's long geological
isolation, tectonic stability, and the effects of an unusual pattern
of climate change on the soil and flora over geological time. A unique
feature of Australia's fauna is the relative scarcity of native
placental mammals. Consequently the marsupials, a group of mammals
that raise their young in a pouch including the macropods, possums and
dasyuromorphs, mostly fill the ecological niches that are occupied by
placental mammals elsewhere in the world. Australia is home to two of
the five extant egg-laying monotremes, and has numerous venomous
species, which include the Platypus, spiders, scorpions, octopuses,
jellyfish, molluscs, stonefish, stingrays. Uniquely, Australia has
more venomous than non-venomous species of snakes.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Aboard HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin left Plymouth, England on what
became an historic expedition to South America.
Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, a stage play by J. M.
Barrie, premiered in London.
A public speech by famed Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski
(pictured) in Pozna? sparked the Greater Poland Uprising against
International ratification of the Bretton Woods Agreement, leading to
the establishment of the International Monetary Fund and International
Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Queen Juliana of the Netherlands signed the papers that relinquished
sovereignty of most of Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia.
Wikiquote of the day:
"Except for the people who were there that one day they discovered the
polio vaccine, being part of history is rarely a good idea. History is
one war after another with a bunch of murders and natural disasters in
between." -- Sarah Vowell