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Listed under:  Science  >  Life  >  Evolution  >  Adaptation (Evolution)

Animal weapons: blue-ringed octopus

This is a colour clip showing a blue-ringed octopus in an Australian marine habitat hunting for, killing and devouring crabs, its favourite prey. It is shown flashing its blue iridescent rings to warn predators that it possesses potentially lethal venom, as well as using camouflage to approach its prey undetected. The clip ...


Insect fossils

This is an information sheet describing the fossil history of insects and why insects have been so successful over a long period. It has a short section on the early fossils of their relatives, the spiders. The sheet is available as a PDF for download.

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Observing a goanna

Take a close look at the largest of Australia's lizards, the goanna. It is also called a monitor lizard. Observe (look carefully at) these scaly reptiles as Don Spencer describes their features.

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How do mangrove trees survive?

Imagine a plant that lives in mud and is soaked in sea water twice a day. Find out how mangroves thrive in conditions that would kill other plants. View the amazing adaptations that make mangroves such special plants.

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Sending seeds into space

Why might we need to keep a collection of seeds from all over the world? Where would we keep a collection like that? Should we send some of them into space? Watch this clip to reveal answers to all these questions and more.

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Wild chickpea: food for the future?

The 'Seed Hunter', Australian scientist Dr Ken Street, is on a quest to find plants that have genes to withstand our changing climate.Could the wild chickpea be one such plant?If so, are there any left to be found?

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Fungi: how they grow

If a mushroom is not a plant, what is it? Discover a group of living things that are neither animals nor plants. Explore the mysterious world of fungi and find out the conditions that they need before they can grow.

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How plants survive in different places

Explore some amazing ways that plants can survive in their habitats. See plants that mimic stones. Discover how some plants use weapons to protect themselves. Meet plants that trap their victims to feed on them.

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Uses of herbs: past and present

Learn about some of the most useful plants in the home. Find out how some different herbs have been used throughout history and are used today.

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Trees: a vital part of our lives

Have you ever heard of the 'sausage tree' or the 'dragon blood tree'? Watch this clip to find out about these and many other types of trees. Explore how they grow and why they are important. Presenter Nick Hardcastle will also show you how to plant a tree and grow a bonsai tree.

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How seeds become plants

Did you know that a coconut and a walnut are actually seeds? Tiny or huge, prickly or smooth, seeds contain everything a plant needs to start a new life. Watch this clip and find out how seeds get around, and what they need to start growing. Presenter Nick Hardcastle will even show you how to grow your own plants from seed.

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Plant leaves

Leaves come in many shapes, sizes, colours and textures. Watch this clip to discover how leaves make their own food and transport energy to the rest of the plant. See how they can even be useful after they've fallen to the ground. Presenter Nick Hardcastle and some young helpers will also show you a fun, creative activity ...

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Fruit: why plants make them

Fruits come in all shapes and colours. Have you ever wondered why plants make them? Discover an amazing variety of fruits. Learn the secret of these little plant packages and the treasures they protect.

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Cacti and succulents

Have you heard of the 'cow crippler', 'living stones', or 'century plant'? In this clip, presenter Nick Hardcastle will take you into the wonderful, wacky and very weird world of cacti and succulents. Find out what they look like, what they need to grow, and how they are different. But most importantly, find out why you ...

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Creatures of the deep

What creatures live in the deepest parts of the Southern Ocean around Antarctica? See how scientists use special equipment to find out about life that exists in this harsh environment. Find out why it is important that we learn about life in the deep oceans.

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Developing crops for the future

How might ancient Central Asian seeds collected from land that was once an inland sea bed help Australia grow salt-tolerant crops in the future? Watch this clip to see how scientists are attempting to adapt our food supply and improve crop resilience.

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Cambrian fossils on Kangaroo Island

All fossils provide interesting clues to what life on Earth was once like, but there is something quite unique about the fossils found at Emu Bay on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Watch this clip to find out why.

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Cloning versus sexual reproduction

Discover how DNA can be mutated. Investigate how some DNA mutations can be good, bad or harmless. Consider the advantages of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction (cloning). Learn that the unique genetic makeup of each person can be used for identification, a technique called DNA profiling.

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South Australia's ancient sea fossils

Come on a palaeontologist's dig at Emu Bay, South Australia, and discover some weird-looking creatures frozen in stone. Find out what these fossils tell scientists about life on the ancient sea floor. There is a demonstration of how a fossil is formed, and you'll be surprised by the types of materials that have been preserved.

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Fossils and the Earth's past

Imagine what the world looked like hundreds of millions of years ago. Watch this clip to discover how fossils are preserved and what they tell us about the Earth's past. Find out about trilobites, an intriguing, ancient creature that lived in the sea during the Cambrian period. Their fossils are a piece of the past helping ...