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Living things

The following clips have teachers’ notes related to this topic:

Prickly pear infested areas of Australia

from the newsreel Australasian Gazette – Prickly Pear Infested Areas of Australia (G)

This silent newsreel from approximately 1926 shows bushland in eastern Australia infected with the noxious prickly pear cactus and the efforts of the scientists trying to combat the problem using cochineal insects. These insects are …

Dingo farm

from the documentary The Barefoot Bushman: Dancing With Dingoes (PG)

Dingo farming is legal in Victoria. Dingo farms breed puppies for sale as domestic dogs.

The secret garden

from the television program Catalyst – Wollemi Pine (G)

Our chance to see in close-up this extraordinary living fossil, a survivor from the Jurassic period. And it’s hidden deep in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.

An ancient trade

from the television program The Food Lovers' Guide to Australia – Series 5 Episode 2 (G)

Another well designed item in this always interesting series. Reporter Joanna Savill talks to the crew who dive for the elusive trepang, interspersed with a little history, while later in the program, we visit a …

Internal radiation

from the documentary A Hard Rain (PG)

Scientist Chris Busby explains that our knowledge of the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation are based on a study of 'external radiation’ not 'internal radiation’ (when low levels of radiation are taken inside …

Beekeeping and making honey

from the home movie Holmes, Mr WGA: Locals Cool Off at the Weir, Theodore (G)

We see thousands of bees swarming on frames. A beekeeper uses a ‘smoker’ to blow smoke onto the bees so he can remove one of the frames and brush them off calmly. He uses a …

Inspired detective work

from the television program The Human Journey – Episode 1 (PG)

In June 1997, an inspired piece of scientific investigation by paleoanthropologist Dr Ron Clarke and his team resulted in a remarkable discovery in a cave in South Africa.

Life stages of the lobster

from the documentary Lobster Tales (PG)

Shows the early life stages of a lobster: thousands of eggs hatch into larvae, which struggle to survive ocean currents for over a year before returning as juvenile lobsters.

Octopuses also enjoy fresh lobster

from the documentary Lobster Tales (PG)

An octopus discovers lobsters trapped in a lobster pot. When the fishers pull up the pot they discover a lobster has been eaten by the octopus.

‘Separate and different’

from the television program Nature of Australia – A Separate Creation (G)

This series has magnificent shots of Australia – from the tropics to the edge of Antarctica and across 4,000 kilometres of continent. The program captures the diversity of the country’s unique animal life as …

That bizarre creature, the platypus

from the television program Nature of Australia – A Separate Creation (G)

The platypus up close and very personal; this bizarre creature, which is neither mammal nor marsupial, seemed to be 'a hoax sewn together from the parts of other creatures’, as the early settlers explained it …

Walking on water

from the television program Nature of Australia – Land of Flood and Fire (PG)

There’s a brooding calm before the next storm breaks over the paperbark swamp. The jacana chicks are hatching, watched over by their concerned male parent, while the mother is protecting her patch from other …

A master of camouflage

from the television program Nature of Australia – The Sunburnt Country (G)

The landscape of arid central Australia is scoured and the plateaus worn down to gibber desert. It’s impossible to imagine that any living thing could survive in this environment but the shingleback lizard manages …

The dead heart

from the television program Nature of Australia – The Sunburnt Country (G)

The great expanse of salt that is Lake Eyre sits 15 metres below sea level with temperatures that can soar to 60 degrees Celsius. For the most part, the Lake Eyre dragons – and the ants …

Baby numbats

from the documentary Numbats (G)

Dr Tony Friend fits radio collars to numbats in Western Australia to monitor their lives. The clip follows the life of a mother and four babies. After birth the babies cling to their mother’s …

Avian flu in Hong Kong

from the documentary Super Flu: Race Against a Killer (PG)

In 1997 Avian flu erupted in Hong Kong. The government destroyed all chickens and the outbreak was contained. Virologists Robert Webster and Albert Osterhaus talk about the potential for human transmission.

Cat hat

from the documentary Wamsley's War (PG)

John Wamsley describes how he was able to get major press coverage for his cause by wearing a hat made of feral cat skins. He says that if you want to attract attention you need …

Trapdoor spiders

from the documentary Webs of Intrigue (G)

Presenter Densey Clyne goes looking for a trapdoor spider in the bush. We see the spider’s unique 'door’. Trapdoor spiders can sense vibrations from passing insects. We see in close-up the spider leap out …

Sydney funnel-web spiders

from the documentary Webs of Intrigue (G)

The Sydney funnel-web is the deadliest spider in the world. We see one capture a passing beetle, then see scientists researching the spiders in the lab. Finally, we learn about the dangers of the spiders …

Red-back spiders

from the documentary Webs of Intrigue (G)

A close-up look at the deadly red-back spider. In giant close-up we see an ant enter the red-back’s insect trap, and get caught. The spider drops down, hoists the ant off the ground, and …

A passing evolutionary novelty

from the documentary When the Lights Go Out: Cockroaches, a Domestic History (PG)

Cockroaches have been on earth for 300 million years. Humankind may seem like a passing evolutionary novelty by comparison. Cockroaches are remarkable survivors being highly sensitive to smell and air movement.

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