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Australia is the only continent which is
also a single country. It is the only inhabited continent solely
within the southern hemisphere, that is; all of Australia is south of the
equator. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, south and to
the east of Asia, it has islands and island nations scattered between it and
mainland Asia. The only other land mass close to Australia is Antarctica to the
south. It is the only continent with no major year-round rivers and no
mountains over 10,000 feet. The northern part of Australia is tropical;
Australia gets a more temperate climate in the far south. Most of Australia
consists of arid desert. Due to being in the southern hemisphere, Australia has
its summer when Europe, North America and Asia have their winter.
The native mammals of Australia, except bats, are marsupials, that is, non-placental mammals. Chief among them are the kangaroos; large herbivores which carry their young in a pouch. More advanced placental mammals—other than bats—did not reach Australia until they arrived with humans, about 40,000 years ago.
Print out and assemble the map of Australia. Locate the Great Barrier Reef (offshore of Australia), Uluru / Ayers Rock, and Tasmania. Australia’s main rivers, the Murray and the Darling, are seasonal. Most of central Australia is desert, generally referred to as the “outback”