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Category: Publications

Modern humans planned and made open-sea voyages 50,000 years ago

Research has shown it took more than 1,000 people to arrive in Australia, to make a viable population. Two studies published released recently, confirm they arrived more than 50,000 years ago and that this was no accidental migration, the first arrivals must have been planned. Data from Adelaide University, Environment Institute’s co-author Dr Laura S. Weyrich suggests […]

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Fossilised ‘Giant’ discovered on Kangaroo Island

Fossils of a giant new species from the long-extinct group of sea creatures called trilobites have been found on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. The finding is adding important insights to our knowledge of the Cambrian ‘explosion’, the greatest diversification event in the history of life on Earth, when almost all animal groups suddenly appeared over […]

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New wasp named after Dr Who and biscuits!

University of Adelaide researchers were inspired by everything from chocolate biscuits and Doctor Who aliens when choosing names for 10 new species of wasps. “I named one wasp Sathon oreo as the antennae are dark brown with a thick white stripe in the middle… like an Oreo chocolate biscuit,” says Dr Erinn Fagan-Jeffries from the […]

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Good bacteria is favoured in natural environments

A recent study has shown that restoring environments to include a wider range of species can promote ‘good’ bacteria over ‘bad’ – with potential benefits for human health. In a report produced by the University of Adelaide, it was found that degraded, low biodiversity land and soils tend to included more ‘opportunistic’ bacteria, while healthy, […]

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New Zealand’s giant extinct bird traced back to Africa

Scientists have revealed the African origins of New Zealand’s most mysterious giant flightless bird – the now extinct adzebill – showing that some of its closest living relatives are the pint-sized flufftails from Madagascar and Africa. Led by the University of Adelaide, the research in the journal Diversity showed that among the closest living relatives of the […]

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Sea snakes avoid predators by “seeing” tails

New research has revealed the fascinating adaptation of some Australian sea snakes that helps protect their vulnerable paddle-shaped tails from predators. An international study led by the University of Adelaide shows that several species of Australian sea snakes can sense light on their tail skin, prompting them to withdraw their tails under shelter. The study […]

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7000 years of drought and rainfall found in preserved leaves

A study by University of Adelaide researchers and Queensland Government scientists has revealed what south-east Queensland’s rainfall was like over the last 7000 years – including several severe droughts worse and longer lasting than the 12-year Millennium Drought. The study – published in Scientific Reports – used preserved paper-bark tea tree leaves from North Stradbroke Island’s Swallow […]

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ACAD discovers two new penguin species through Ancient DNA

Researchers at the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA analysed DNA from prehistoric penguin bones found on the Chatham Islands east of New Zealand as part of the evolutionary study. Co-author of the study, Dr Kieren Mitchell said they were surprised when ancient DNA from these bones revealed the existence of two previously […]

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Climate Change Wiped out the ‘Siberian Unicorn’

New research has shed light on the origin and extinction of a giant, shaggy Ice Age rhinoceros known as the Siberian unicorn because of its extraordinary single horn. An international team of researchers from Adelaide, Sydney, London, the Netherlands, and Russia, have settled a long-standing debate about the relationship of the Siberian unicorn to living […]

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According to Lilly Pilly Fossils, the Snowy Mountains were Once Snowless!

Leaf fossils discovered high in Australia’s Snowy Mountains have revealed a past history of warmer rainforest vegetation and a lack of snow, in contrast with the alpine vegetation and winter snow-covered slopes of today. University of Adelaide research, published in the American Journal of Botany, describes fossils of the iconic Australian tree, the Lilly Pilly, […]

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