Australia and Oceania is the name for the union of the island world of
Oceania and Australia into one continent.
Australia and Oceania comprise the main land mass of the country
of Australia itself, offshore New Zealand in the southeast as well as the entire
South Pacific region with the large island regions of Melanesia (including New
Guinea), Micronesia and Polynesia. The over 7,500 islands together cover a land
area of almost 1.3 million square kilometers and extend over a marine area of
approximately 70 million square kilometers. The state of Australia has a land
area of 8 million km².
Countryaah - which mentions country facts - the continent of
Australia consists only of the state of Australia and the offshore islands of
Tasmania and New Guinea; the island world of Oceania is therefore not attributed
Climate and vegetation
The continent of Australia itself spans three climate zones. While the
interior of Australia is extremely dry and there are extensive desert areas, the
coasts of Australia are tropical or subtropical. There is very little rainfall
on large parts of the west and south coast. Due to the different climatic
regions, Australia has very different types of landscape. There are tropical
rainforests, various types of savannas and deserts.
The animal world is unique because marsupials (kangaroo, koala) and cloak
animals like the platypus live in Australia. The bird life is particularly
diverse. Bird species are extremely rare on New Zealand and many islands in
Oceania. The European settlers introduced dogs, cats, rats and rabbits, which
reproduce extremely strongly; this is why many of the native animal species are
now at great risk. The colorful flora of Australia and Oceania is just as
diverse as the animal world. The sea is an important habitat: there are many
fish and aquatic plants, especially near the coral reefs off the coasts of
Australia and the islands.
A total of 33 million people live in Australia and Oceania, well below one
percent of the earth's population. Above all people of European descent (mostly
English or Irish) live in Australia, indigenous peoples like the Melanesians,
Micronesians and Polynesians in the South Pacific. The aborigines of Australia,
the indigenous Aborigines, make up a negligible proportion of the population of
Australia. Much of the population of this continent belongs to the Christian
Plant life in Australia
Plant life is very varied and much of it is unique to Australia. Some genera
are of a primitive type that exist only as fossils in other parts of the world.
The vegetation indicates that Australia has previously had a land link with
South Africa. The northern part of Queensland has a certain element of Malay
forms. Vegetation varies with rainfall. The most precipitous areas are wooded.
Forests grow in a belt along the entire east coast, all the way to the western
foothills of the Great Dividing Range. In the northeastern part of Queensland
there are some areas with species rich tropical rainforest. The rest of the east
coast down to the Bass Strait, as well as Tasmania, has subtropical rainforest.
In this forest, different species of eucalyptus dominate.
In southeastern Australia, huge forests of giant eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus
amygdalina) grow, with dense undergrowth. The coastal plain itself on the
east coast is drier than the mountainous areas, and here it is savanna or glitzy
savanna forest. The southwest corner of Western Australia has dense subtropical
forest. Here, 60-70 m tall curry trees (Eucalyptus diversicolor) grow
with an undergrowth of palm trees and shrubs. In a narrow belt on the western
slope of the inland plateau, the forest consists of jarrah trees (Eucalyptus
marginata). In a wide belt along the north coast there is forest water, and
in some areas there are denser forests of eucalyptus and palm trees. Where the
annual rainfall falls below 500 mm, the forest ends and the vegetation changes
to savanna and steppe.
Areas with an annual rainfall of less than 250 mm are desert-like, where
bushes of different acacia species dominate. When it rarely rains, a carpet of
annuals appears. Areas with an annual rainfall of less than 125 mm are desert
with sand dunes and sand plains. The vegetation consists mostly of different
grasses with hard, prickly leaves. Large areas are salt steppe, where various
halophilic plants (salt plants) grow. The Australian vegetation consists of an
unusual number of endemic (native) species. As an example, the Eucalyptus
tree genus consists of more than 500 species, of which only 2 or 3 are found