Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
A public aquarium is the aquatic counterpart of a zoo, which houses living aquatic animal and plant specimens for public viewing. Most public aquariums feature tanks larger than those kept by home aquarists, as well as smaller tanks. Since the first public aquariums were built in the mid-19th century, they have become popular and their numbers have increased. Most modern accredited aquariums stress conservation issues and educating the public; the first public aquarium was opened in London Zoo in May 1853. P. T. Barnum followed in 1856 with the first American aquarium as part of his established Barnum's American Museum, located on Broadway in New York City before it burned down. In 1859, the Aquarial Gardens were founded in Boston. A number of aquariums opened in Europe, such as the Jardin d'Acclimatation in Paris and the Viennese Aquarium Salon, the Marine Aquarium Temple as part of the Zoological Garden in Hamburg, as well as aquariums in Berlin and Brighton; the old Berlin Aquarium opened in 1869.
The building site was to be Unter den Linden, in the centre of town, not at the Berlin Zoo. The aquarium's first director, Alfred Brehm, former director of the Hamburg Zoo from 1863 to 1866, served until 1874. With its emphasis on education, the public aquarium was designed like a grotto, part of it made of natural rock; the Geologische Grotte depicted "the strata of the earth's crust". The grotto featured birds and pools for seals; the Aquarium Unter den Linden was a three-story building. Machinery and water tanks were on aquarium basins for the fish on the first floor; because of Brehm's special interest in birds, a huge aviary, with cages for mammals placed around it, was located on the second floor. The facility closed in 1910; the Artis aquarium at Amsterdam Zoo was constructed inside a Victorian building in 1882, was renovated in 1997. At the end of the 19th century the Artis aquarium was considered state-of-the-art, as it was again at the end of the 20th century. Prior to its closing on September 30, 2013, the oldest American aquarium was the National Aquarium in Washington, D.
C. founded in 1873. This was followed by the opening of other public aquariums: San Francisco, Woods Hole, New York, La Jolla, Detroit, San Francisco, Chicago. For many years, the Shedd Aquarium was the largest aquarium in the United States until the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta opened 2005. Entertainment and aquatic circus exhibits were combined as themes in Philadelphia's Aquarama Aquarium Theater of the Sea and Camden's re-invented Adventure Aquarium 2005 the New Jersey State Aquarium; the first Japanese public aquarium, a small freshwater aquarium, was opened at the Ueno Zoo in 1882. In 2005, the Georgia Aquarium, with more than 8 million U. S. gallons of marine and fresh water, more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species opened in Atlanta, Georgia. The aquarium's notable specimens include whale sharks and beluga whales. Modern aquarium tanks can hold millions of litres of water and can house large species, including dolphins, sharks or beluga whales; this is accomplished through clear acrylic glass windows.
Aquatic and semiaquatic mammals, including otters and seals are cared for at aquariums. Some establishments, such as the Oregon Coast Aquarium or the Monterey Bay Aquarium, have aquatic aviaries. Modern aquariums include land animals and plants that spend time in or near the water. For marketing purposes, many aquariums promote special exhibits, in addition to their permanent collections; some have aquatic versions of a petting zoo. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a shallow tank filled with common types of rays which visitors are encouraged to touch; the South Carolina Aquarium lets visitors feed the rays in their Saltmarsh Aviary exhibit. Most public aquariums are located close to the ocean, for a steady supply of natural seawater. An inland pioneer was Chicago's Shedd Aquarium that received seawater shipped by rail in special tank cars; the early Philadelphia Aquarium, built in the city's disused water works, had to switch to treated city water when the nearby river became too contaminated. The opened Georgia Aquarium filled its tanks with fresh water from the city water system and salinated its salt water exhibits using the same commercial salt and mineral additives available to home aquarists.
The South Carolina Aquarium pulls the salt water for their exhibits right out of the Charleston harbor. In January 1985, Kelly Tarlton began construction of the first aquarium to include a large transparent acrylic tunnel, Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World in Auckland, New Zealand. Construction cost NZ$3 million; the 110-metre tunnel was built from one-tonne slabs of German sheet plastic that were shaped locally in an oven. A moving walkway now transports visitors through, groups of school children hold sleepovers there beneath the swimming sharks and rays. Public aquariums are affiliated with oceanographic research institutions or conduct their own research programs, sometimes specialize in species and ecosystems that can be found in local waters. For example, the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, BC is a major center for marine research and marine animal rehabilitation, particularly
The dingo is a dog, native to Australia. The species name is debated: it is variously called either Canis familiaris, Canis familiaris dingo, Canis lupus dingo, or Canis dingo, it is either a hybrid of a dingo and a domesticated dog. It is a medium-sized canid that possesses a lean, hardy body adapted for speed and stamina; the dingo's three main coat colours are: light ginger or tan and tan, or creamy white. The skull, the widest part of the dingo, is large in proportion to the body, it differs from that of the domestic dog by its larger palatal width, longer rostrum, shorter skull height, wider sagittal crest. The earliest known dingo fossil, found in Western Australia, dates to 3,450 years ago, which led to the presumption that dingoes came to Australia with seafarers prior to that time. Dingo morphology has not changed over the past 3,500 years: this suggests that no artificial selection has been applied over this period; the dingo is related to the New Guinea singing dog: their lineage split early from the lineage that led to today's domestic dogs, can be traced back through the Malay Archipelago to Asia.
A recent genetic study shows that the lineage of those dingoes found today in the northwestern part of the Australian continent split from the lineage of the New Guinea singing dog and southeastern dingo 6,300 BC, followed by a split between the New Guinea singing dog lineage from the southeastern dingo lineage 5,800 BC. The study proposes that two dingo migrations occurred when sea levels were lower and Australia and New Guinea formed one landmass named Sahul that existed until 6,500–8,000 years ago. Seafarers from south-west Sulawesi in modern-day Indonesia may have brought the dingo to northern Australia; the dingo's habitat covers most of Australia, but they are absent in the southwest, a strip on the eastern coast, an area on the southwest coast. Dingos prey on mammals up to the size of the large red kangaroo, in addition to birds, fish, frogs and seeds; the dingo's competitors include the introduced European red fox and the feral cat. A dingo pack consists of a mated pair, their offspring from the current year, sometimes offspring from the previous year.
The first British colonists who settled at Port Jackson in 1788 recorded dingoes living with indigenous Australians. When livestock farming began expanding across Australia in the early 19th century, dingos began preying on sheep and cattle. Numerous population-control measures have been implemented since with only limited success; the dingo is recognised as a native animal under the laws of all Australian jurisdictions. It is listed as a "vulnerable species" on the IUCN Red List due to declining numbers; the dingo plays a prominent role in the dreamtime stories of indigenous Australians. The name "dingo" comes from the Dharug language used by the Indigenous Australians of the Sydney area; the first British colonists to arrive in Australia in 1788 established a settlement at Port Jackson and noted "dingoes" living with indigenous Australians. The name was first recorded in 1789 by Watkin Tench in his Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay: The only domestic animal they have is the dog, which in their language is called Dingo, a good deal resembles the fox dog of England.
These animals are shy of us, attached to the natives. One of them is now in the possession of the Governor, tolerably well reconciled to his new master; the variants include "tin-go" for a bitch, "din-go" for a dog, "wo-ri-gal" for a big dog. The dingo has been given different names in the Indigenous Australian languages, including "boolomo, dwer-da, kal, maliki, noggum, papa-inura, wantibirri; some authors propose that a difference existed between camp dingoes and wild dingoes as they had different names among indigenous tribes. The people of the Yarralin, Northern Territory region call those dingoes that live with them walaku, those that live in the wilderness ngurakin, they use the name walaku to refer to both dingoes and dogs. The colonial settlers of New South Wales wrote using the name dingo only for camp dogs, it is proposed that in New South Wales the camp dingoes only became wild after the collapse of aboriginal society. Dogs associated with natives were first recorded by Jan Carstenszoon in the Cape York Peninsula area in 1623.
In 1699, Captain William Dampier visited the coast of what is now Western Australia and recorded that "...my men saw two or three beasts like hungry wolves, lean like so many skeletons, being nothing but skin and bones...". In 1788, the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay under the command of Australia's first colonial governor, Arthur Phillip, who took ownership of a dingo and in his journal made a brief description with an illustration of the "Dog of New South Wales". In 1793, based on Phillip's brief description and illustration, the "Dog of New South Wales" was classified by Friedrich Meyer as Canis dingo. In 1999, a study of mitochondrial DNA indicated that the domestic dog may have originated from multiple grey wolf populations, with the dingo and New Guinea singing dog "breeds" having developed at a time when human populations were more isolated from each other. In the third edition of Mammal Species of the World published in 2005, the mammalogist W. Christopher Wozencraft listed under the wolf Canis lupus its wild subspecies, proposed two additional subspecies: "familiaris Linneaus, 1758 " and "dingo Meyer, 1793 ".
Wozencraft included hallstromi - the New Guinea singing dog - as a taxonomic synonym for
Echidnas, sometimes known as spiny anteaters, belong to the family Tachyglossidae in the monotreme order of egg-laying mammals. The four extant species, together with the platypus, are the only surviving members of the order Monotremata, are the only living mammals that lay eggs; the diet of some species consists of ants and termites, but they are not related to the true anteaters of the Americas. Echidnas live in New Guinea. Echidnas evolved between 50 million years ago, descending from a platypus-like monotreme; this ancestor was aquatic. The echidnas are named after Echidna, a creature from Greek mythology, half-woman, half-snake, as the animal was perceived to have qualities of both mammals and reptiles. Echidnas are medium-sized, solitary mammals spines. Superficially, they resemble the anteaters of South America and other spiny mammals such as hedgehogs and porcupines, they are black or brown in colour. There have been several reports of albino echidnas, their eyes pink and their spines white.
They have slender snouts that function as both mouth and nose. Like the platypus, they are equipped with electrosensors, but while the platypus has 40,000 electroreceptors on its bill, the long-beaked echidna has only 2,000 electroreceptors, the short-beaked echidna, which lives in a drier environment, has no more than 400 located at the tip of its snout, they have short, strong limbs with large claws, are powerful diggers. Their claws on their hind limbs are curved backwards to help aid in digging. Echidnas have tiny toothless jaws; the echidna feeds by tearing open soft logs and the like, using its long, sticky tongue, which protrudes from its snout, to collect prey. The ears are slits on the sides of their heads that are unseen, as they are blanketed by their spines; the external ear is created by a large cartilaginous funnel, deep in the muscle. At 33 °C, the echidna possess the second lowest active body temperature of all mammals, behind the platypus; the short-beaked echidna's diet consists of ants and termites, while the Zaglossus species eat worms and insect larvae.
The tongues of long-beaked echidnas have tiny spines that help them capture their prey. They have no teeth, break down their food by grinding it between the bottoms of their mouths and their tongues. Echidnas' faeces are cylindrical in shape. Echidnas do not tolerate extreme temperatures. Echidnas are found in woodlands, hiding under vegetation, roots or piles of debris, they sometimes use the burrows of animals such as wombats. Individual echidnas have mutually overlapping territories. Despite their appearance, echidnas are capable swimmers; when swimming, they expose their snout and some of their spines, are known to journey to water in order to groom and bathe themselves. Echidnas and the platypus are the only egg-laying mammals, known as monotremes; the average lifespan of an echidna in the wild is estimated around 14–16 years. When grown, a female can weigh up to 4.5 kilograms and a male can weigh up to 6 kilograms. The echidnas' sex can be inferred from their size; the reproductive organs differ, but both sexes have a single opening called a cloaca, which they use to urinate, release their faeces and to mate.
Male echidnas have non-venomous spurs on the hind feet. The neocortex makes up half compared to 80 % of a human brain. Due to their low metabolism and accompanying stress resistance, echidnas are long-lived for their size. Contrary to previous research, the echidna does enter REM sleep, but only when the ambient temperature is around 25 °C. At temperatures of 15 °C and 28 °C, REM sleep is suppressed; the female lays a single soft-shelled, leathery egg 22 days after mating, deposits it directly into her pouch. An egg is about 1.4 centimetres long. While hatching, the baby echidna opens the leather shell with a reptile-like egg tooth. Hatching takes place after 10 days of gestation; the mother digs a nursery burrow and deposits the young, returning every five days to suckle it until it is weaned at seven months. Puggles will stay within their mother's den for up to a year before leaving. Male echidnas have a four-headed penis. During mating, the heads on one side "shut down" and do not grow in size.
Each time it copulates, it alternates heads in sets of two. When not in use, the penis is retracted inside a preputial sac in the cloaca; the male echidna's penis is 7 centimetres long when erect, its shaft is covered with penile spines. These may be used to induce ovulation in the female, it is a challenge to study the echidna in its natural habitat and they show no interest in mating while in captivity. Therefore, no one has seen an echidna ejaculate. There have been previous attempts, trying to force the echidna to ejaculate through the use of electrically stimulated ejaculation in order to obtain semen samples but has on
Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupials that are native to Australia. They are about 1 m in length with stubby tails. There are three extant species and they are all members of the family Vombatidae, they are adaptable and habitat tolerant, are found in forested and heathland areas of south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania, as well as an isolated patch of about 300 ha in Epping Forest National Park in central Queensland. Though genetic studies of the Vombatidae have been undertaken, evolution of the family is not well understood. Wombats are estimated to have diverged from other Australian marsupials early, as long as 40 million years ago, while some estimates place divergence at around 25 million years. While some theories place wombats as miniaturised relatives of diprotodonts, such as the rhinoceros-sized Diprotodon, more recent studies place the Vombatiformes as having a distinct parallel evolution, hence their current classification as a separate family. Wombats dig extensive burrow systems with powerful claws.
One distinctive adaptation of wombats is their backward pouch. The advantage of a backward-facing pouch is that when digging, the wombat does not gather soil in its pouch over its young. Although crepuscular and nocturnal, wombats may venture out to feed on cool or overcast days, they are not seen, but leave ample evidence of their passage, treating fences as minor inconveniences to be gone through or under, leaving distinctive cubic feces. As wombats arrange these feces to mark territories and attract mates, it is believed that the cubic shape makes them more stackable and less to roll, which gives this shape a biological advantage; the method by which the wombat produces them is not well understood, but it is believed that the wombat intestine stretches preferentially at the walls. The adult wombat produces between 80 and 100, two-centimetre pieces of feces in a single night, four to eight pieces each bowel movement. Wombats are herbivores, their incisor teeth somewhat resemble those of rodents, being adapted for gnawing tough vegetation.
Like many other herbivorous mammals, they have a large diastema between their incisors and the cheek teeth, which are simple. The dental formula of wombats is 126.96.36.199.0.1.4 × 2 = 24. Wombats' fur can vary from a sandy colour from grey to black. All three known extant species weigh between 20 and 35 kg. Female wombats give birth to a single young in the spring, after a gestation period, which like all marsupials can vary, in the case of the wombat: 20–21 days, they have well-developed pouches. Wombats are weaned after 15 months, are sexually mature at 18 months. A group of wombats is known as a mob, or a colony. Wombats live up to 15 years in the wild, but can live past 20 and 30 years in captivity; the longest-lived captive wombat lived to 34 years of age. Wombats have an extraordinarily slow metabolism, taking around eight to 14 days to complete digestion, which aids their survival in arid conditions, they move slowly. When threatened, they can reach up to 40 km/h and maintain that speed for up to 90 seconds.
Wombats defend home territories centred on their burrows, they react aggressively to intruders. The common wombat occupies a range of up to 23 ha, while the hairy-nosed species have much smaller ranges, of no more than 4 ha. Dingos and Tasmanian devils prey on wombats. Extinct predators were to have included Thylacoleo and the thylacine, their primary defence is their toughened rear hide, with most of the posterior made of cartilage. This, combined with its lack of a meaningful tail, makes it difficult for any predator that follows the wombat into its tunnel to bite and injure its target; when attacked, wombats dive into a nearby tunnel. A wombat may allow an intruder to force its head over the wombat's back, use its powerful legs to crush the skull of the predator against the roof of the tunnel, or drive it off with two-legged kicks, like those of a donkey. Wombats are quiet animals. Bare-nosed wombats can make a number of more than the Hairy-nosed wombats. Wombats tend to be more vocal during mating season.
When angered, they can make hissing sounds. Their call sounds somewhat like a pig's squeal, they can make grunting noises, a low growl, a hoarse cough, a clicking noise. The three extant species of wombat all are endemic to a few offshore islands, they are protected under Australian law. Common wombat Northern hairy-nosed wombat or yaminon Southern hairy-nosed wombat Depiction of the animals in rock art are exceptionally rare, though examples estimated to be up to 4,000 years old have been discovered in the Wollemi National Park; the wombat is depicted in aboriginal Dreamtime as an animal of little worth. The mainland stories tell of the wombat as originating from a person named Warreen whose head had been flattened by a stone and tail amputated as punishment for selfishness. In contrast, the Tasmanian aboriginal story first recorded in 1830 tells of the wombat the great spirit Moihernee had asked hunters to leave alone. In both cases, the wombat is regarded as having been banished to its burrowing habitat.
Estimates of wombat distribution prior to European settlement are that numbers of all three surviving species were prolific and that they
The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens referred as the Melbourne Zoo and as the Zoo among locals, is a zoological park in Melbourne, Australia. It is located within Royal Park in Parkville 4 kilometres north of the centre of Melbourne, it is the primary zoo serving Melbourne. The zoo contains more than 320 animal species from Australia and around the world, is accessible via Royal Park station on the Upfield railway line, is accessible via tram routes 58 and 19, as well as by bicycle on the Capital City Trail. Bicycles are not allowed inside the zoo itself; the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens is a full institutional member of the Zoo and Aquarium Association and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Melbourne Zoo was modeled on London Zoo; the zoo was opened on 6 October 1862 at the Royal Park site of 55-acre on land donated by the City of Melbourne. Before this, animals were housed at the botanical gardens in Melbourne; the zoo was important for the acclimatisation of domestic animals recovering from their long trip to Australia.
It was only with the appointment of Albert Alexander Cochrane Le Souef in 1870 that more exotic animals were procured for public display, the gardens and picnic areas were developed. Visitors can see historical cages including the heritage listed Elephant House, renovated and adapted for use for customers paying to sleep overnight in tents at the zoo in popular Roar and Snore evenings; these evenings allow the public to see some of the nocturnal animals at the zoo in evening guided tours by keepers. One of the most famous exhibits was Queenie the elephant; the zoo is set among flower gardens and picnic areas. Many of the animals are now organised in bioclimatic zones: African rainforest featuring gorillas, pigmy hippos and parrots. Popular exhibits include the Butterfly House, the great flight aviary and the Trail of the Elephants. Melbourne Zoo most completed construction and opened their carnivores trail in early 2018; the zoo includes a large schools section and caters to many school visitors annually, its immensely popular education program encourages young minds to conserve animals.
The Zoos Victoria administers the Melbourne Zoo, as well as the Werribee Open Range Zoo which features herbivorous creatures in an open range setting. On 15 January 2010 Melbourne Zoo welcomed Mali; this is the second elephant calf born in Australia, the first being in Sydney in July 2009. Mali is the first calf born via artificial insemination. Melbourne Zoo commemorated 150 years of operation in 2012 and this was celebrated in an Australian Zoos collector's edition of stamps released by Australia Post in September 2012. Trails of the Elephants: six Asian elephants — females Mek Kapah, Kulab, Num-oi and Mali along with three year old male Man Jai; the herd rotates through three paddocks throughout the day. Butterfly House: a greenhouse-style walk-through exhibit for tropical butterflies. Orangutan Sanctuary:Home for the Zoo's two families of orangutans. Asian rainforest: the original portion of the Asian rainforest adjoins Trail of the Elephants and Orangutan sanctuary. Includes enclosures for Sumatran tigers, Oriental small-clawed otters and two small aviaries for Asian birds.
Australian Outback: features kangaroos, wombats, echidnas, lace monitors and a variety of small bird aviaries. Great Flight Aviary: a large free-flight aviary within the Australian outback exhibit dating from the 1930s. Visitors walk along a boardwalk through three different bioregions representing an Australian rainforest and bushland. Significant species include southern cassowaries, royal spoonbills, eclectus parrots, red-tailed black cockatoos. Predator precinct: Home to male lions born at Werribee zoo, African wild hunting dogs, Snow Lepoards, Sumartran Tigers and Tasmanian Devils. Wild Sea: This $20 million development houses seals, little penguins, Australian pelicans and fiddler rays. With underwater sounds and a projector screen coupled with the beautiful lighting effects it has a calming touch of realism. Little penguins and seals can be viewed from above water level and below. Reptile house: contains a variety of exotic reptiles. African rainforest: This walk opens with the walk through'lemur island' exhibit, home to a troop of male ring tail lemurs.
The major exhibit at the centre of this area is for western lowland gorillas. Treetop apes and monkeys: A series of netted enclosures viewed through glass windows from an elevated boardwalk. Species include white-cheeked gibbons, black-handed spider monkeys, black-capped capuchins, black-and-white colobus; this walk follows on from the African rainforest. Baboon Lookout: Houses the zoo's troop of Hymadrayas baboons. Growing wild: Houses Meerkats and Giant tortoises. Media related to Melbourne Zoo at Wikimedia Commons Official website List of species at Melbourne Zoo, globalspecies.org
Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state overall, thus making it the most densely populated state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Australia's second-largest city. Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south,New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, South Australia to the west; the area, now known as Victoria is the home of many Aboriginal people groups, including the Boon wurrung, the Bratauolung, the Djadjawurrung, the Gunai/Kurnai, the Gunditjmara, the Taungurong, the Wathaurong, the Wurundjeri, the Yorta Yorta. There were more than 30 Aboriginal languages spoken in the area prior to the European settlement of Australia; the Kulin nation is an alliance of five Aboriginal nations which makes up much of the central part of the state. With Great Britain having claimed the half of the Australian continent, east of the 135th meridian east in 1788, Victoria formed part of the wider colony of New South Wales.
The first European settlement in the area occurred in 1803 at Sullivan Bay, much of what is now Victoria was included in 1836 in the Port Phillip District, an administrative division of New South Wales. Named in honour of Queen Victoria, who signed the division's separation from New South Wales, the colony was established in 1851 and achieved self government in 1855; the Victorian gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s increased both the population and wealth of the colony, by the time of the Federation of Australia in 1901, Melbourne had become the largest city and leading financial centre in Australasia. Melbourne served as federal capital of Australia until the construction of Canberra in 1927, with the Federal Parliament meeting in Melbourne's Parliament House and all principal offices of the federal government being based in Melbourne. Politically, Victoria has 37 seats in the Australian House of Representatives and 12 seats in the Australian Senate. At state level, the Parliament of Victoria consists of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.
The Labor Party led Daniel Andrews as premier has governed Victoria since 2014. The personal representative of the Queen of Australia in the state is the Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau. Victoria is divided into 79 municipal districts, including 33 cities, although a number of unincorporated areas still exist, which the state administers directly; the economy of Victoria is diversified, with service sectors including financial and property services, education, retail and manufacturing constitute the majority of employment. Victoria's total gross state product ranks second in Australia, although Victoria ranks fourth in terms of GSP per capita because of its limited mining activity. Culturally, Melbourne hosts a number of museums, art galleries, theatres, is described as the world's sporting capital; the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the largest stadium in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The ground is considered the "spiritual home" of Australian cricket and Australian rules football, hosts the grand final of the Australian Football League each year, drawing crowds of 100,000.
Nearby Melbourne Park has hosted the Australian Open, one of tennis' four Grand Slam events, annually since 1988. Victoria has eight public universities, with the oldest, the University of Melbourne, dating from 1853. Victoria, like Queensland, was named after Queen Victoria, on the British throne for 14 years when the colony was established in 1851. After the founding of the colony of New South Wales in 1788, Australia was divided into an eastern half named New South Wales and a western half named New Holland, under the administration of the colonial government in Sydney; the first British settlement in the area known as Victoria was established in October 1803 under Lieutenant-Governor David Collins at Sullivan Bay on Port Phillip. It consisted of 402 people, they had been sent from England in HMS Calcutta under the command of Captain Daniel Woodriff, principally out of fear that the French, exploring the area, might establish their own settlement and thereby challenge British rights to the continent.
In 1826, Colonel Stewart, Captain Samuel Wright, Lieutenant Burchell were sent in HMS Fly and the brigs Dragon and Amity, took a number of convicts and a small force composed of detachments of the 3rd and 93rd regiments. The expedition landed at Settlement Point, on the eastern side of Western Port Bay, the headquarters until the abandonment of Western Port at the insistence of Governor Darling about 12 months afterwards. Victoria's next settlement was on the south west coast of what is now Victoria. Edward Henty settled Portland Bay in 1834. Melbourne was founded in 1835 by John Batman, who set up a base in Indented Head, John Pascoe Fawkner. From settlement, the region around Melbourne was known as the Port Phillip District, a separately administered part of New South Wales. Shortly after, the site now known as Geelong was surveyed by Assistant Surveyor W. H. Smythe, three weeks after Melbourne, and in 1838, Geelong was declared a town, despite earlier European settlements dating back to 1826