The kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae. The Australian government estimates that 34.3 million kangaroos lived within the commercial harvest areas of Australia in 2011, as with the terms wallaroo and wallaby, kangaroo refers to a polyphyletic grouping of species. All three refer to members of the taxonomic family and are distinguished according to size. The largest species in the family are called kangaroos and the smallest are generally called wallabies, the term wallaroos refers to species of an intermediate size. There is the tree-kangaroo, another genus of macropod, which inhabits the rainforests of New Guinea, far northeastern Queensland. Kangaroos have large, powerful legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance. Like most marsupials, female kangaroos have a pouch called a marsupium in which joeys complete postnatal development, the large kangaroos have adapted much better than the smaller macropods to land clearing for pastoral agriculture and habitat changes brought to the Australian landscape by humans.
Many of the species are rare and endangered, while kangaroos are relatively plentiful. The kangaroo is important to both Australian culture and the image, and consequently there are numerous popular culture references. Wild kangaroos are shot for meat, leather hides, and to grazing land. Although controversial, kangaroo meat has perceived health benefits for human consumption compared with traditional meats due to the low level of fat on kangaroos, the word kangaroo derives from the Guugu Yimithirr word gangurru, referring to grey kangaroos. Cook first referred to kangaroos in his entry of 4 August. Guugu Yimithirr is the language of the people of the area, a common myth about the kangaroos English name is that kangaroo was a Guugu Yimithirr phrase for I dont understand you. According to this legend and Banks were exploring the area when they happened upon the animal and they asked a nearby local what the creatures were called. The local responded Kangaroo, meaning I dont understand you, which Cook took to be the name of the creature and this myth was debunked in the 1970s by linguist John B.
Haviland in his research with the Guugu Yimithirr people, Kangaroos are often colloquially referred to as roos. Male kangaroos are called bucks, jacks, or old men, females are does, flyers, or jills, the collective noun for kangaroos is a mob, troop, or court. There are four species that are referred to as kangaroos
Wellington, New South Wales
Wellington is a town in inland New South Wales, located at the junction of the Macquarie and Bell Rivers. It is within the government area of Dubbo Regional Council. The town is 362 kilometres from Sydney on the Great Western Highway, at the 2011 census, Wellington had a population of 4,540. The area was occupied by the Wiradjuri people. Explorer John Oxley was the first European to discover the area in 1817 and named it Wellington Valley after Arthur Wellesley, Wellington was originally established in 1823 by Percy Simpson in early 1823 as an agricultural station. Squatters started settling along the Macquarie Valley and in 1832 CMS was established in the settlement to teach Christianity to the Aboriginal people of the area, the convict settlement ceased in 1831 but a village called Montefiores was established on the north side of the Macquarie River crossing. The Town of Wellington was gazetted in 1846, on 20 March 1885, Wellington was proclaimed a town. Wellington Shire Council was established in 1949, Wellington is the second oldest New South Wales settlement west of the Blue Mountains.
The railway from Sydney reached Wellington in 1880, as a regional centre Wellington benefited by the development of the gold mining industry in the district from the 1850s. Initially this was working alluvial deposits of gold but focused on the mining of quartz reefs, among the mining districts was Mitchells Creek located 8 miles to the north east near the locality of Bodangora. Wellington is the centre of agricultural land. While alfalfa and vegetables are grown on lands on the river, wool, lambs, in 2011, Wellington had a population of 4,540, while the population of the surrounding shire is 9200. The town acts as a centre for the district. In September 2008, the Wellington Correctional Centre was opened, a Probation and Parole Office was opened in the centre of town. Wellington Council hopes this will stimulate growth in the area, due to increasing employment opportunities. The local newspaper The Wellington Times, a Rural Press title, is published three times a week with a circulation in the region of around 1000, there is a popular Community Radio Station operating on a frequency of 91.5 MHz FM.
Wellington has a subtropical climate with hot summers and cool winters. The town is rather sunny, getting 138.1 clear days annually
In the 21st century, major Wiradjuri groups live in Condobolin, Peak Hill and Griffith. There are significant populations at Wagga Wagga and Leeton and smaller groups at West Wyalong, Dubbo, Cootamundra, the Wiradjuri name for themselves is Wirraaydhuurray or Wirraayjuurray. This is derived from wirraay, meaning no or not, with the suffix -dhuurray or -juuray meaning having, the Wiradjuri are the largest Aboriginal group in New South Wales. They occupy an area in central New South Wales, from the Blue Mountains in the east, to Hay in the west, north to Nyngan and south to Albury. The Wiradjuri tribal area has been described as the land of the three rivers, the Wambool known as the Macquarie, the Kalare known as the Lachlan, the Murray River forms the Wiradjuris southern boundary, the change from woodland to open grassland form their eastern boundary. Occupation of the land by the Wiradjuri can be seen by carved trees, carved trees are more commonly found around the Macquarie and Lachlan rivers in the north rather than the Murrumbidgee in the south.
Campsites, which indicate regular seasonal occupation by small groups, have found on river flats, open land. Norman Tindale quotes Alfred Howitt as mentioning several of these groups of the tribe, for example. There were differences in dialect in areas, including around Bathurst. The Wiradjuri are identified as a coherent group as they maintained a cycle of ceremonies that moved in a ring around the tribal area. This cycle led to tribal coherence despite the large occupied area, the Wiradjuri diet included yabbies and fish such as Murray cod from the rivers. In dry seasons, they ate kangaroos and food gathered from the land, including fruit, yam daisies, wattle seeds, the Wiradjuri travelled into Alpine areas in the summer to feast on Bogong moths. The Wiradjuri were known for their handsome possum-skin cloaks stitched together from several possum furs, governor Macquarie was presented with one of these cloaks by a Wiradjuri man when he visited Bathurst in 1815. D. Who has previously studied Australian Aboriginal languages in Arnhem Land and it is a member of the small Wiradhuric branch of the Pama–Nyungan family.
It is now taught in primary schools and can be studied at TAFE. One student says I love singing the songs like Heads, the copyright for A First Wiradjuri Dictionary is held by the Wiradjuri Council of Elders. The name of the town of Wagga Wagga comes from the Wiradjuri word wagga, meaning crow, to create the plural, the name translates as the place of many crows. Clashes between European settlers and the Aboriginal Peoples were very violent from 1821 to 1827, particularly around Bathurst, the loss of fishing grounds and significant sites was retaliated through attacks with spears on cattle and stockmen
Hamilton Hume was an early explorer of the present-day Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. In 1824, along with William Hovell, Hume participated in an expedition that first took a route from Sydney to Port Phillip. Along with Sturt in 1828, he was part of an expedition of the first Europeans to discover the Darling River, on 19 June 1797 Hume was born at Seven Hills near Parramatta, a settlement close to Sydney. Hume was the eldest son of Andrew Hamilton Hume and his wife Elizabeth, Andrew Hume got the appointment of Commissary-General for New South Wales, and came out to the colony in 1797. There were few opportunities for education in Australia during the first ten years of the nineteenth century and he was born on 19 June 1797. In 1817, Hume went on a journey with James Meehan, the deputy surveyor-general, and Charles Throsby during which Lake Bathurst, subsequently in 1818, he went with John Oxley and Meehan to Jervis Bay. In 1822, he journeyed with Alexander Berry down the south coast of New South Wales and he travelled as far south as the Clyde River, and inland nearly as far as Braidwood.
This canal was Australias first navigable canal, and the work was completed in 12 days, the canal today forms the main water flow of the Shoalhaven River. In 1824, Hume was seen by Governor Brisbane with reference to an expedition to Spencer Gulf, Brisbane was in touch about this time with William Hovell on the same subject, but it is not quite clear which of the men was the first to be approached. Hume, in a letter dated 24 January 1825, practically claimed to have been the leader of the party and he refers to the expedition your Excellency was pleased to entrust to my care. But Brisbane did not accept this view of it, as in a letter to the secretary, Wilmot Horton, dated 24 March 1825 he mentions the discovery of new and valuable country. By two young men Messrs Hovell and Hume. they were directed by me to try and reach Spencers Gulf and it may be pointed out that in the letter to Brisbane of 28 July 1824, Hovell signed first. These facts are of interest in view of the controversy broke out many years later.
Each of the explorers brought three assigned servants with him and between them they had five bullocks, three horses and two carts, nearly the whole of the journey was through heavy mountain country, and there were several rivers to be crossed. The courage and bushmanship of Hume were important factors in surmounting their many difficulties, possibly through faulty instruments, Hovell made a mistake of one degree longitude in his observation, and they believed that they were on the shore of Western Port. The return journey for some time was made on a more to the west, the country was more level. Their provisions were finished just before the end of the journey and Hovell each received grants of 1,200 acres of land, an inadequate reward for discoveries of great importance made by an expedition which, practically speaking, paid its own expenses. This expedition discovered the route between Sydney and Port Phillip, on whose shores Melbourne now stands
Diprotodon, meaning two forward teeth, is the largest known marsupial ever to have lived. Along with many members of a group of unusual species collectively called the Australian megafauna. Diprotodon species fossils have found in sites across mainland Australia, including complete skulls and skeletons, as well as hair. Female skeletons have been found with babies located where the mothers pouch would have been, the largest specimens were hippopotamus-sized, about 3 metres from nose to tail, standing 2 metres tall at the shoulder and weighing about 2,790 kilograms. Aboriginal rock art images in Quinkan traditional country have been claimed to depict diprotodonts and they inhabited open forest and grasslands, possibly staying close to water, and eating leaves and some grasses. The closest surviving relatives of Diprotodon are the wombats and the koala and it is suggested that diprotodonts may have been an inspiration for the legends of the bunyip, as some Aboriginal tribes identify Diprotodon bones as those of bunyips.
The first recorded Diprotodon remains were discovered in a cave near Wellington in New South Wales in the early 1830s by Major Thomas Mitchell who sent them to England for study by Sir Richard Owen. The majority of finds are of demographic groups indicative of diprotodonts dying in drought conditions. For example, hundreds of individuals were found in Lake Callabonna with well-preserved lower bodies and it is theorised several family groups sank in mud while crossing the drying lake bed. Other finds consist of age groupings of young or old animals which are first to die during a drought, in 2012, a significant group of about 40 was found at Eulo, South-West Queensland. It was assigned to Diprotodontidae by McKenna and Bell, Diprotodon superficially resembled a rhinoceros without a horn. Its feet turned inwards like a wombat’s, giving it a pigeon-toed appearance and it had strong claws on the front feet and its pouch opening faced backwards. Footprints of its feet have been showing a covering of hair which indicates it had a coat similar to a modern wombat.
Until recently it was unknown how many species of Diprotodon had existed, eight species are described although many researchers believed these actually represented only three at most while some estimated there could be around twenty in total. This left only two possible Diprotodon species differing only in size with the smaller being around half the size of the larger, according to Gause’s competitive exclusion principle no two species with identical ecological requirements can coexist in a stable environment. However, both the small and large diprotodonts coexisted throughout the Pleistocene and the difference is similar to other sexually dimorphic living marsupials. Further evidence is the battle damage common in competing males found on the larger specimens, an identical dental morphology occurs in the large and small Diprotodon. The taxonomic implication is that Owen’s original Diprotodon optatum is the valid species
The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic, spanning 60 million years from the end of the Silurian,419.2 million years ago, to the beginning of the Carboniferous,358.9 Mya. It is named after Devon, where rocks from this period were first studied, the first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian. Free-sporing vascular plants began to spread across dry land, forming extensive forests which covered the continents, by the middle of the Devonian, several groups of plants had evolved leaves and true roots, and by the end of the period the first seed-bearing plants appeared. Various terrestrial arthropods became well-established, Fish reached substantial diversity during this time, leading the Devonian to often be dubbed the Age of Fish. The first ray-finned and lobe-finned bony fish appeared, while the placodermi began dominating almost every aquatic environment. The ancestors of all four-limbed vertebrates began adapting to walking on land, as their strong pectoral, in the oceans, primitive sharks became more numerous than in the Silurian and Late Ordovician.
The first ammonites, species of molluscs, trilobites, the mollusk-like brachiopods and the great coral reefs, were still common. The Late Devonian extinction which started about 375 million years ago severely affected marine life, killing off all placodermi, and all trilobites, save for a few species of the order Proetida. The palaeogeography was dominated by the supercontinent of Gondwana to the south, the continent of Siberia to the north, while the rock beds that define the start and end of the Devonian period are well identified, the exact dates are uncertain. According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the Devonian extends from the end of the Silurian 419.2 Mya, another common term is Age of the Fishes, referring to the evolution of several major groups of fish that took place during the period. Older literature on the Anglo-Welsh basin divides it into the Downtonian, Dittonian and Farlovian stages, in the Late Devonian, by contrast, arid conditions were less prevalent across the world and temperate climates were more common.
The Devonian Period is formally broken into Early and Late subdivisions, the rocks corresponding to those epochs are referred to as belonging to the Lower and Upper parts of the Devonian System. Early Devonian The Early Devonian lasted from 419.2 ±2.8 to 393.3 ±2.5 and began with the Lochkovian stage, which lasted until the Pragian. It spanned from 410.8 ±2.8 to 407.6 ±2.5, and was followed by the Emsian, which lasted until the Middle Devonian began,393. 3±2.7 million years ago. Middle Devonian The Middle Devonian comprised two subdivisions, first the Eifelian, which gave way to the Givetian 387. 7±2.7 million years ago. Late Devonian Finally, the Late Devonian started with the Frasnian,382.7 ±2.8 to 372.2 ±2.5, during which the first forests took shape on land. The first tetrapods appeared in the record in the ensuing Famennian subdivision. This lasted until the end of the Devonian,358. 9±2.5 million years ago, the Devonian was a relatively warm period, and probably lacked any glaciers
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals and other organisms from the remote past. The totality of fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in fossiliferous rock formations and sedimentary layers is known as the fossil record. The study of fossils across geological time, how they were formed, such a preserved specimen is called a fossil if it is older than some minimum age, most often the arbitrary date of 10,000 years. The observation that fossils were associated with certain rock strata led early geologists to recognize a geological timescale in the 19th century. The development of dating techniques in the early 20th century allowed geologists to determine the numerical or absolute age of the various strata. Like extant organisms, fossils vary in size from microscopic, even single bacterial cells one micrometer in diameter, to gigantic, such as dinosaurs, Fossils may consist of the marks left behind by the organism while it was alive, such as animal tracks or feces.
These types of fossil are called trace fossils, as opposed to body fossils, past life leaves some markers that cannot be seen but can be detected in the form of biochemical signals, these are known as chemofossils or biosignatures. The process of fossilization varies according to type and external conditions. Permineralization is a process of fossilization that occurs when an organism is buried, the empty spaces within an organism become filled with mineral-rich groundwater. Minerals precipitate from the groundwater, occupying the empty spaces and this process can occur in very small spaces, such as within the cell wall of a plant cell. Small scale permineralization can produce very detailed fossils, for permineralization to occur, the organism must become covered by sediment soon after death or soon after the initial decay process. The degree to which the remains are decayed when covered determines the details of the fossil, some fossils consist only of skeletal remains or teeth, other fossils contain traces of skin, feathers or even soft tissues.
This is a form of diagenesis, in some cases the original remains of the organism completely dissolve or are otherwise destroyed. The remaining organism-shaped hole in the rock is called an external mold, if this hole is filled with other minerals, it is a cast. An endocast or internal mold is formed when sediments or minerals fill the cavity of an organism. This is a form of cast and mold formation. If the chemistry is right, the organism can act as a nucleus for the precipitation of minerals such as siderite, if this happens rapidly before significant decay to the organic tissue, very fine three-dimensional morphological detail can be preserved. Nodules from the Carboniferous Mazon Creek fossil beds of Illinois, USA, are among the best documented examples of such mineralization, replacement occurs when the shell, bone or other tissue is replaced with another mineral
Thomas Mitchell (explorer)
Lieutenant Colonel Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell and explorer of south-eastern Australia, was born at Grangemouth in Stirlingshire, Scotland. In 1827 he took up an appointment as Assistant Surveyor General of New South Wales, the following year he became Surveyor General and remained in this position until his death. Mitchell was knighted in 1839 for his contribution to the surveying of Australia, born in Scotland on 15 June 1792, he was son of John Mitchell of Carron Works and was brought up from childhood by his uncle, Thomas Livingstone of Parkhall, Stirlingshire. On the death of his uncle, he joined the British army in Portugal as a volunteer, on 24 June 1811, at the age of nineteen, he received his first commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion 95th Rifles. Utilising his skills as a draughtsman of outstanding ability, he was employed in the Quartermaster-General’s department under Sir George Murray. He was present at the storming of the fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and San Sebastian as well as the battles of Salamanca, subsequently, he would receive the Military General Service Medal with bars for each of these engagements.
Lieutenant Mitchell, was selected as a well qualified in every respect to aid in the accomplishment of the undertaking. But in the summer of 1819 the continuance of the disbursements made by Government for the undertaking became doubtful, so he was called home. He devoted himself to the part of his task, which was that of making finished drawings from the materials compiled by himself. But with the cessation of the Government allowances he had to stop this work, on 10 June 1818, during his posting in Spain and Portugal, he married Mary Blunt in Lisbon and gained promotion to a company in the 54th Regiment. With the reductions in the establishment of the country which followed the withdrawing of the Army of Occupation from France. It was not until a lapse of several years, whilst Mitchell was in London between 1838 –1840, that the work was completed, the finished drawings were published, by the London geographer James Wyld, in 1841. Of almost unimpeachable accuracy, it is the source for the topography of the war.
In 1827, with the support of Sir George Murray, Mitchell became Assistant Surveyor General of New South Wales with the right to succeed John Oxley, Oxley died the following year, and on 27 May 1828, Mitchell became Surveyor General. In this post he did much to improve the quality and accuracy of surveying – a vital task in a colony where huge tracts of land were being opened up and sold to new settlers. One of the first roads surveyed under his leadership was the Great North Road, the Great South Road, convict-built, linked Sydney and Goulburn. As Surveyor General, Mitchell completed maps and plans of Sydney, including Darling Point, Point Piper, the city, in 1834 he was commissioned to survey a map of the Nineteen Counties. The map he produced was done with skill and accuracy that he was awarded a knighthood
A cave is a hollow place in the ground, specifically a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. Caves form naturally by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground, the word cave can refer to much smaller openings such as sea caves, rock shelters, and grottos. A cavern is a type of cave, naturally formed in soluble rock with the ability to grow speleothems. Speleology is the science of exploration and study of all aspects of caves, visiting or exploring caves for recreation may be called caving, potholing, or spelunking. The formation and development of caves is known as speleogenesis, which can occur over the course of millions of years, caves are formed by various geologic processes and can be variable sizes. These may involve a combination of processes, erosion from water, tectonic forces, pressure. Isotopic dating techniques can be applied to cave sediments, in order to determine the timescale when geologic events may have occurred to help form and it is estimated that the maximum depth of a cave cannot be more than 3,000 metres due to the pressure of overlying rocks.
For karst caves the maximum depth is determined on the basis of the limit of karst forming processes. Most caves are formed in limestone by dissolution, solutional caves or karst caves are the most frequently occurring caves and such caves form in rock that is soluble. Most occur in limestone, but they can form in other rocks including chalk, marble, salt. Rock is dissolved by acid in groundwater that seeps through bedding planes, joints. Over geological epochs cracks expand to become caves and cave systems, the largest and most abundant solutional caves are located in limestone. Limestone dissolves under the action of rainwater and groundwater charged with H2CO3, the dissolution process produces a distinctive landform known as karst, characterized by sinkholes and underground drainage. Limestone caves are often adorned with calcium carbonate formations produced through slow precipitation and these include flowstones, stalagmites, soda straws and columns. These secondary mineral deposits in caves are called speleothems, the portions of a solutional cave that are below the water table or the local level of the groundwater will be flooded.
Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico and nearby Carlsbad Cavern are now believed to be examples of type of solutional cave. They were formed by H2S gas rising from below, where reservoirs of oil give off sulfurous fumes and this gas mixes with ground water and forms H2SO4. The acid dissolves the limestone from below, rather than from above, caves formed at the same time as the surrounding rock are called primary caves
Augustus Earle was a London-born travel artist. The body of work he produced during his travels comprises a significant documentary record of the effects of European contact, Earles father James was a member of the prominent American Earle family. There is no record of him marrying or having children, Earle received his artistic training in the Royal Academy and was already exhibiting there at the age of 13. Earle exhibited classical and historical paintings in six Royal Academy exhibitions between 1806 and 1814, Earle thus visited Sicily, Malta and North Africa, before returning to England in 1817. A portfolio of drawings from this voyage is held by the National Gallery of Australia, the first leg of Earles 1818 voyage took him first to New York, before moving on to Philadelphia, where he exhibited two paintings at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. No artworks are known to survive from this period, continuing his voyage in February 1820, Earle sailed for Rio de Janeiro, visiting Chile in June and was resident in Lima, Peru from July to December.
On 10 December 1820, Earle left Lima for Rio de Janeiro aboard the HMS Hyperion, during the subsequent three years spent in Rio de Janeiro, Earle produced a large number of sketches and watercolours. A number of the works produced dealt with the subject of slavery, including Punishing negroes at Cathabouco, Rio de Janeiro, Negro fandango scene and Games at Rio de Janeiro, during the Carnival. Other works included landscapes and a series of portraits, on 17 February 1824, he left Rio de Janeiro aboard the ageing Duke of Gloucester bound for the Cape of Good Hope, and onwards to Calcutta. Earles departure was due to a letter containing the most flattering offers of introduction to Lord Amherst, in the mid-Atlantic storms forced the ship to anchor off the remote island of Tristan da Cunha. During the ships stay in the waters, Earle went ashore with his dog. Three days the Duke of Gloucester inexplicably set sail, leaving Earle and Gooch on the island, sixteen works survive from the stay on Tristan da Cunha, including Government House, Tristan DAcunha, which was reproduced in his Narrative, and Flinching a young sea elephant.
Earle was finally rescued on 29 November by the Admiral Cockburn, Earle left Hobart for Sydney aboard the brig Cyprus, arriving there on 14 May. He soon established a reputation as the colonys first & foremost artist of significance, upon setting up a small business, Earle received a number of requests for portraits. These commissions came from a number of Sydneys establishment figures & leading families, one of his most famous works is a lithographic print entitled Portrait of Bungaree, a native of New South Wales, with Fort Macquarie, Sydney Harbour, in background. Gaining acceptance within Sydney society he decided to apply for a land grant, on 20 October 1827, Earle left Sydney aboard the Governor Macquarie to visit New Zealand, where he had hopes of finding something new for my pencil in their peculiar and picturesque style of life. While Earle was preceded by artists on Cooks voyages in the Pacific, including Sydney Parkinson, William Hodges and John Webber, Earle arrived at Hokianga Harbour on the west coast of the North Island, resolving to make his way overland to the Bay of Islands.
Setting out with his friend Mr Shand he arrived at Kororareka and he produced a number of oil painting portraits, along with watercolours and pencil sketches
Fauna is all of the animal life of any particular region or time. The corresponding term for plants is flora, flora and other forms of life such as fungi are collectively referred to as biota. Zoologists and paleontologists use fauna to refer to a collection of animals found in a specific time or place. Paleontologists sometimes refer to a sequence of stages, which is a series of rocks all containing similar fossils. Fauna comes from the Greek names Fauna, a Roman goddess of earth and fertility, the Roman god Faunus, all three words are cognates of the name of the Greek god Pan, and panis is the Greek equivalent of fauna. Fauna is the word for a book that catalogues the animals in such a manner, the term was first used by Carl Linnaeus from Sweden in the title of his 1745 work Fauna Suecica. Cryofauna are animals that live in, or very close to, cryptofauna are the fauna that exist in protected or concealed microhabitats. Infauna are benthic organisms that live within the substratum of a body of water, especially within the bottom-most oceanic sediments.
Bacteria and microalgae may live in the interstices of bottom sediments, called epibenthos, are aquatic animals that live on the bottom substratum as opposed to within it, that is, the benthic fauna that live on top of the sediment surface at the seafloor. Macrofauna are benthic or soil organisms which are retained on a 0.5 mm sieve, studies in the deep sea define macrofauna as animals retained on a 0.3 mm sieve to account for the small size of many of the taxa. Megafauna are large animals of any region or time. Meiofauna are small invertebrates that live in both marine and fresh water environments. The term Meiofauna loosely defines a group of organisms by their size, larger than microfauna but smaller than macrofauna, one environment for meiofauna is between grains of damp sand. In practice these are metazoan animals that can pass unharmed through a 0.5 –1 mm mesh but will be retained by a 30–45 μm mesh, but the exact dimensions will vary from researcher to researcher. Whether an organism passes through a 1 mm mesh depends upon whether it is alive or dead at the time of sorting, mesofauna are macroscopic soil invertebrates such as arthropods or nematodes.
Mesofauna are extremely diverse, considering just the springtails, as of 1998, microfauna are microscopic or very small animals. Other terms include avifauna, which means bird fauna and piscifauna, which means fish fauna
Cave popcorn, or coralloids, are small nodes of calcite, aragonite or gypsum that form on surfaces in caves, especially limestone caves. They are a type of speleothem. The individual nodules of cave popcorn range in size from 5-20 mm, the nodules tend to grow in clusters on bedrock or the sides of other speleothems. These clusters may terminate suddenly in either an upward or downward direction forming a stratographic layer, when they terminate in a downward direction, they may appear as flat bottomed formations otherwise known as trays. Individual nodes of popcorn can assume a variety of shapes from round to flattened ear or button like shapes, the color of cave popcorn is usually white but various other colors are possible depending on the composition. Cave popcorn can form by precipitation, water seeping through limestone walls or splashing onto them leaves deposits when CO2 loss causes its minerals to precipitate. When formed in this way the resultant nodules have the characteristics of small balls of flowstone, cave popcorn can form by evaporation in which case it is chalky and white like edible popcorn.
In the right conditions, evaporative cave popcorn may grow on the side of the surface to which it is attached or appear on the edges of projecting surfaces. Popcorn can occur on concrete structures outside the environment and are classified as calthemite coralloids. Calthemite coralloids occur in caves such as mines, railway or vehicle tunnels were there is a source of lime, mortar or cement. Coralloids can form by a number of different methods in caves, due to solution evaporation, deposition of calcium carbonate occurs before any drop can form