The Muttaburra Lizard


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The Muttaburra Lizard

Consider this evolutionary hiccup: Envisage yourself 100 millions years ago strolling across the terrain that today accommodates the township of Muttaburra. You must imagine though, a different world and an environment that is markedly unlike the Mitchell grass plains that dominate Muttaburra's landscape today. 

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Picture the Cretaceous Period, 100 million years ago. Australia is part of the giant supercontinent Gondwana that has begun to sunder, but for now remains joined to eastern Antarctica, New Zealand and South America. ‘Australia’ also sits further south on the globe than it does today. Latitudinally positioned between 50 and 85 degrees south, much of southern Australia lies within the Antarctic Circle. Such proximity to the South Pole makes the ‘land downunder’ a place of climatic extremes. In mid-summer, southern Australia is a land of the midnight sun, where the sun never sets, while in winter, the region is subjected to two months of complete darkness

AAOD Journal Issue 4 (2006) – pages 16 to 31
By Libby Cannon

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