A Continent on The Move

The moving of the continents
About kangaroos, platypus, Aborigines.

For 130 million years the continent of Australia has moved a few inches every year – away from a landmass that once included South America, Africa, Antarctica and Australia. An island for 60 million years. Australia carried away strange animals and plants that are now unique and are not found on other continents.

The best known of these strange animals is the kangaroo. As everybody knows, the kangaroo does not walk on all four legs like other animals, but leaps on its sarong back legs. Another strange animal is the platypus which has a  a bill and feet like a duck, and hair like a bear. When people in England saw, a stuffed platypus for the first time in 1798, they could not believe that it was a real animal, but parts of different animals.

The first men in this land of strange creatures were the Aborigines, who originally came from Southeast Asia but were already living in Australia at least 40,000 years before the first European came. The Aborigines tell about their beginnings in the stories of the Dream time when a spirit came out of the sea and created the land and the people and gave them their languages. Other spirits created the plants and animals and then told the people, ” Now we have done these things, they must stay like this. You must not change anything.” This is why the Aborigines cannot understand why anyone wants to change or destroy the land. These stories of Dream time are found in ancient rock paintings, many of them in special national parks that people can now visit.

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