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Mount Kaputar

Mount Kaputar, NSW

Mount Hypipamee National Park
—the only park that protects high altitude rainforest on the Evelyn Tableland. The Crater—70m across, with an internal drop of 58m before reaching an internal lake—is the remains of what is believed to have been the only explosion pipe of this volcanically active area between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago, blowing a hole through solid granite. The lake itself is approximately 82m deep. The surrounding area harbours some rare possum species, such as the green ringtail possum, the lemuroid possum, and the coppery brush-tail possum. Birds include the golden bowerbird, spotted catbird, tooth-bill bowerbird, Leewin's and bridled honeyeaters, scrub turkeys and Victoria’s riflebird can be seen in the spring. The park is located high on the southern Evelyn Tableland in the Hugh Nelson Range, some 23km south of Atherton in Queensland. The Millstream Falls, reputedly the widest waterfall in Australia, are not far away.

Mount Imlay National Park—rising to a height of 886m, Mount Imlay dominates the 3808ha, heavily forested park. The Mount Imlay summit track commences at the end of the Burrawang Forest Rd. The track is 3km long and takes approximately 3 hours return, to complete. The top of Mount Imlay offers great views of the coast and forest, and the summit area supports a population of extremely rare Eucalyptus imlayensis. The mountain is named after the three Imlay brothers, who played an important part in opening the Eden-Monaro district to European settlement in the 1830s and '40s.

Mount Isa—large and thriving inland mining city, one of the largest producers of lead and silver in the Western world. Surrounded by the Selwyn Ranges, Mount Isa is the mining, industrial and commercial centre of north-west Queensland. Mount Isa City covers an area of over 43,310sq km, making it geographically the second largest city in Australia to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, WA. With a population of approximately 21,000, Mount Isa is a major service centre for North West Queensland. In 1923 lone prospector John Campbell Miles, while travelling on a gold prospecting trip to the Northern Territory, camped by the banks of the Leichhardt River. Sampling a nearby rock outcrop, he realised that it was heavily mineralised. Campbell Miles had stumbled on to one of the world's richest copper, silver, lead and zinc ore bodies. He decided to call his discovery "Mount Isa" after the stories he had heard of the Mount Ida goldfield in Western Australia. Almost 100 years later, the Mount Isa Mine (now owned by Swiss mining giant, Xstrata) is still one of Australia's largest producers of copper ore. The early pioneers of Mount Isa faced many hardships. The lack of water, remoteness, the summer heat, high costs and scarcity of essential items made life extremely difficult. Two significant national parks are located close by: the World Heritage-listed Riversleigh Fossil Fields and the Lawn Hill Gorge National Park. ‘The Isa’, as it is known, is the unofficial capital of North West Queensland.

Mount Isa Inlier bioregion—rugged hills and outwash, primarily associated with Proterozoic rocks; skeletal soils; eucalypt low open woodlands dominated by snappy gum and silver box, with a soft spinifex understorey. Semi-arid.

Mount Kaputar National Park—the remnants of a 17 million-year-old volcano, popular with rock climbers. From the summit it is possible to take in 360-degree views encompassing one tenth of New South Wales. Its considerable altitudinal span accommodates vegetation communities from western plain woodlands on the lower slopes, to subalpine communities on the mountain summits. Wildflowers in spring provide a magnificent display. There are 11 walks in the national park, most offering spectacular views of the area. Kaputar is home to 20 species of native mammals, 153 species of native birds and many reptile species. Forests dominated by eucalypts and wattles provide habitat for many marsupials, such as grey kangaroos, wallaroos, koalas, possums and antechinus species, and at least one cliff is inhabited by a colony of the threatened brush-tailed rock wallaby. The park contains three wilderness areas, Gattai, Nandewar and Rusden, which together account for 70% of the park's total area. Mount Kaputar National Park is located on 36,817ha, and is 50km east of Narrabri and 570km north-west of Sydney.

Mount Kosciuszko—a mountain located in the Snowy Mountains in Kosciuszko National Park. With a height of 2,228m above sea level, it is the highest mountain in Australia (not including its external territories). It was named by the Polish explorer Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki in 1840, in honour of the Polish national hero and hero of the American Revolutionary War, General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, because of its perceived resemblance to the Kosciuszko Mound in Kraków. The name of the mountain was previously spelt "Mount Kosciusko", an Anglicisation, but the spelling "Mount Kosciuszko" was officially adopted in 1997 by the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Various measurements of the peak originally called Kosciuszko showed it to be slightly lower than its neighbour, Mount Townsend. The names of the mountains were swapped by the New South Wales Lands Department, so that Mount Kosciuszko remains the name of the highest peak of Australia, and Mount Townsend ranks as second. The 1863 picture by Eugene von Guerard hanging in the National Gallery of Australia titled "Northeast view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko" is actually from Mount Townsend. Each year in December, an ultramarathon running race called the Coast to Kosciuszko ascends to the top of Mount Kosciuszko after starting at the coast 240km away.

Mount Langi Ghiran—located within the Langi Ghiran State Park, 14km east of Ararat in the state of Victoria. Major Thomas Mitchell was the first European to climb Mount Langi Ghiran, which he named Mount Mistake, on his 1836 'Australia Felix' expedition. There is much evidence that the Ngutuwul balug, or 'mountain people' of the Dab Wurrung tribe, occupied this area. Four rock art sites, numerous shelters, scar trees and other artefacts have been recorded in the area.

Mount Leseur—a near-circular mesa that is a remnant of extensive erosion of the surrounding lateritic plain. The seeming uniformity of the low, heath-mallee-dominated vegetation is deceptive. The shrublands in the district have more species per unit area than any vegetation type known in the State. An area of 10 square metres can support up to 80 different species. Moreover, the species growing together change rapidly over short distances, so that quadrats of less than one kilometre apart may have fewer than half their species in common. Such diversity is comparable to rainforest vegetation in the tropics. When the Perth to Geraldton agricultural region was opened in 1851, the Mount Lesueur area was seen as unsuitable for pastoral use because of its rugged terrain and abundance of poisonous plants. Ever since, it has been spared from clearing. Mount Leseur is located in the northern sandplains of Western Australia.

Mount Lofty—the highest point in the Adelaide hills, overlooking the city of Adelaide and the Gulf of St Vincent. Mount Lofty was named by Flinders in 1802. In the Aboriginal Dreaming, Mount Lofty is known as Urebilla, a giant ancestral being who was slain in an ancient battle and whose fallen body forms the Mount Lofty Ranges—it is believed that Urebilla's enduring spirit gives life to every thing on the plains and valleys below.

Mount Lofty Ranges southern emu-wrenStipiturus malachurus intermedius, a tiny and secretive emu-wren which has a spectacular long tail of six wispy, emu-like feathers. Their soft, high-pitched trills and buzzy alarm calls are difficult to hear. These poor fliers scramble through dense vegetation foraging for insects and spiders. They breed twice in spring/summer and lay three eggs at a time. Fewer than 500 adults remain. The Mount Lofty Ranges southern emu-wren is listed as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). All but two populations of this species occur in the Fleurieu Peninsula swamps in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges of South Australia. This emu-wren can be found in dense vegetation up to one metre tall. Its swamp habitat is often characterised by tea-tree bushes, grasses, sedges and ferns. Habitat clearance and fragmentation have all contributed to the decline of this species. Inappropriate slashing, draining and spraying regimes, over-grazing and repetitive burning often further degrade habitat. Emu-wrens seldom move across open spaces and when the habitat fragments, they become isolated in patches. These small, local populations are at high risk of extinction through factors such as fire, flooding, predation and inbreeding.

Mount Lyall—a mining area in western Tasmania. The site, discovered in the 1880s, derives its name from a 880m peak in the west coast range, which was named after Charles Lyell, the 19th-century English geologist. First mined for gold and later silver, the area currently yields about 90 per cent of the state's copper. After 1968, vast new underground deposits were developed.

Mount Mistake—a mountain in Queensland, within one of five diverse sections of the Main Range National Park which is located on the western part of the Scenic Rim. Access is via the Goomburra section. Mount Mistake is quite remote and visitors require bushwalking experience and navigational skills.

Mount Moffatt National Park—weathering over millions of years has moulded the landscape of the relatively isolated Mount Moffatt section of central Queensland's Carnarvon National Park. Much of the area is park-like open woodland on broad, undulating flats. Surprisingly however, it is high country that forms the upper catchment of the Maranoa River, more than 750 metres above sea level. The flats are broken by sculptured sandstone outcrops and ridges rising to the basalt-topped Great Dividing Range in the north-east. From the range top above 1100m, the view is spectacular over vast woodlands mostly covering a tangle of ranges, escarpments and gorges. Mount Moffatt's western boundary is the Chesterton Range.

Mount Morgan—gold was found at here in 1880, and the area became one of the richest prospects in Queensland. Indeed, the central Queensland mining town was once home to the largest single mountain of gold on earth; from the lookout hill across the Dee River you can still see the 342-metre-deep mine terraces. While gold petered out in the first years of the twentieth century, enough copper was found to keep the mine active until 1981. Apart from its deposits, Mount Morgan is famous for its instrumental role in the formation of the BP company, which was founded by William Knox D’Arcy after he had made his money through shares in the mine. Although rumours abound that recent exploration and reprocessing could lead to the mine;s reopening, the town itself seems to have scarcely changed.

Mount Napier—the youngest volcano in Victoria and the highest volcanic point in the Western District plains. Surrounded by Mount Napier State Park, it has many eruption and lava flow features that are remnants from the last stages of volcanic activity believed to have occurred less than 10,000 years ago. Of particular note is a major late eruption of fluid basaltic lava, considered to be one of the earliest lava flows dated on the continent, which provides the source of a flow that extends for over 24km along the valley of Harmans Creek. A variety of features have been well preserved for viewing, with some lava flows reaching as far as the sea between Port Fairy and Portland. Mount Napier is located approximately 20km south of Hamilton in Victoria.

Mount Olga—(see: Kata Tjuta).

Mount Painter—a site of great significance for the local Adnyamathanha people, traditional owners of the region. Uranium-bearing minerals were discovered in the Mount Painter area in 1910. This discovery, on what was later named Radium Ridge, was exploited for radium by the Radium Extraction Company of South Australia Ltd (RECSAL). During World War II the Mount Painter region was the first target of intense exploration for uranium at the special request of the United Kingdom government (for their atomic weapons program). Camels were used in the rugged terrain to carry crude concentrate and hand-picked ore to less hilly country, where it was transferred to motor lorry and carted to the railway at Copley. From there it was railed to the Dry Creek treatment plant. The Australian Radium Corporation ceased operations in 1932. Exploration at Mount Painter resumed in 1944 in conjunction with re-examination of Radium Hill and other uranium deposits. Roads were constructed into the workings and camps erected, but the deposits proved to be low grade and uneconomic. Between 1968 and 1971, a consortium of mining companies discovered further uranium deposits, including the richest and most easily accessible at the Hodgkinson Project. Like Oilmin and Petromin, Transoil was partly controlled by the interests of Bjelke Petersen, the ex-Premier of Queensland. It is hoped that other exploration and mining companies follow Goldstream and abandon further uranium exploration and leave the region and the Andyamathanha in peace.

Mount Pilot—situated between Chiltern and Beechworth, it is the central focus of the Chiltern-Mount Pilot National Park. The summit is a huge granite rock which slopes away in all directions, and offers amazing 360 degree views of NE Victoria. This Aboriginal art site was reopened in October 1997 to showcase the artwork of the dominant indigenous clan of the area, the Duduroa. The clan, of around 2000 people, covered the area south of Wodonga, around Beechworth, and almost to Wangaratta. They were a sub-clan of the Goulbum Valley people, the Pangarang. Mount Pilot was important to the Duduora, Pangarang, Quat Quatta and Minjambutta clans as a spiritual and ceremonial site. Springs located in the rock of the Mount Pilot lookout were an essential water source to these clans. The artwork, thought to be over 2000 years old, is of a thylacine or Tasmanian tiger, a goanna and a snake. These three items represent totem spirits of the Duduroa.

Mount Remarkable National Park—an area of relatively high rainfall with woodlands of forest stature, dramatic quartzite gorges, streams and waterfalls. The Alligator Gorge Trail is a delightful introduction to the park. The Heysen Trail runs through the park, which has eight separate camping areas. The Mount Remarkable National Park can be reached either via Port Pirie to the south, Melrose to the east or Wilmington to the north. Located in the southern Flinders Ranges.

Mount Richmond National Park—an 18ha park located 20 minutes from Portland, comprising an extinct volcano surrounded by low, flat land. The volcano is covered with a layer of sand, blown inland long ago from Discovery Bay. The mountain does not consist of basalt, but of “tuff”, a porous rock that formed as volcanic ash gradually hardened after the eruption ceased over two million years ago. Forest, open heath and scattered swamps cover the park, which is noted for its flora and fauna. About 450 species of plants have been recorded in the park, including 50 orchid species. The well-drained soils near the summit support a forest dominated by brown stringybark with small pockets of manna gum. Further down the slopes, the main eucalypts are shiny-leaf peppermint and swamp gum with an understorey of grass trees, heath and many colourful annual and perennial plants. Swamp paperbark dominates the wet heathlands. Salt-laden winds have a marked effect on the vegetation in exposed areas. There are no creeks on Mount Richmond—rainwater fills depressions to form swamps and wet heathlands, which are favourable habitats for many birds and other animals. Mount Richmond is also an important habitat for the uncommon southern potoroo.

Mount Royal National Park—an easterly offshoot of the Great Escarpment in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales, adjoining the Barrington Tops National Park. The habit is typical of the Barrington area, with dry sclerophyll forest on the ridges and wet sclerophyll forest along with rainforest on the slopes and gullies that provide habitat for threatened species such as the Hastings River mouse. The area is recognised in the World Heritage list as part of the Central Eastern Rainforests of Australia, of which much has been declared wilderness area. Previously a state forest, the area has been logged particularly heavily on the ridgelines. Lying 50km north of Singleton, the park has 2WD access in dry weather only.

Mount Royal Ranges—an easterly offshoot of the Great Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

Mount Surprise—takes its name from the shock of the local Aborigines when they first saw whites. It’s little more than a van park/gem shop/service station and hotel; the main point of interest is the anachronistic Savannahlander train, which runs in recently renovated splendour from Mount Surprise through Einasleigh and down to Forsayth. You spend the five-hour journey being hauled over rickety bridges in carriages with corrugated-iron ceilings and wooden dunnies – a pastiche of outback iconography. Located 40km from Undara, Queensland.

Mount Townshend—the second highest peak of mainland Australia. Located in Kosciuszko National Park in the Snowy Mountains (part of the Great Dividing Range), Mount Townsend is 3.68km north of Australia's highest mainland peak, Mount Kosciuszko. Although lower than Mount Kosciuszko, Mount Townsend has a more craggy peak and is arguably more dominant than the relatively round-topped Mt Kosciuszko. Due to the ease of climbing Mt Kosciuszko, and the much lower accessibility of Mount Townsend, a tradition has emerged of each person who climbs Mount Townsend carrying a rock from the bottom in their pack, and leaving it at the top, with the goal of making Mount Townsend the taller of the two relatively similar in height peaks. The names of Mount Townsend and Mount Kosciuszko were originally attached to the other mountains. Measurements of the peaks originally called by those names showed Kosciuszko to be slightly lower than its neighbour, and rather than re-educating the populace that the highest mountain was Mount Townsend, the names were transposed by the New South Wales Lands Department, so that Mount Kosciuszko was renamed Townsend and vice-versa.

Mount Warning—the remnant central plug of an ancient volcano, eroded to half of its original height. The 1100-m-high mountain provides a challenging walking trail to the summit, which supplies 360° views of the bowl-shaped Tweed Valley of coastal NSW. The indigenous Bundjalung, for whom this is a sacred site, know the mountain as Wollumbin, a name meaning 'fighting chief of the mountains'. They believed that thunder and lightning seen on the mountain were fighting warriors, the wounds of these fights being represented by the landslides that occurred. Under Bundjalung law, only specifically chosen people are allowed to climb Wollumbin. Named by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770 as a warning to seafarers of the numerous and treacherous reefs along the coast.

Mount Warning National Park—a World Heritage-listed rainforest park, comprising 2210ha of an ancient, eroded caldera. Twenty million years ago, the volcano was formed by massive outpourings of lava that spread from Mount Tamborine in the north to Lismore in the south and Kyogle in the west. The eastern remnants of the volcano, which was once twice its present height, occur as reefs treacherous to boats at Point Danger. The Mount Warning summit track passes through a variety of vegetation communities, including temperate rainforest, wet sclerophyll forest and heath shrubland. Among the multitude of tree species are giant stinging trees, figs, booyongs, carabeens, brush box, and flame trees. Birdlife is abundant, with over 100 species recorded, including the rufous scrub-bird, wompoo fruit-dove, marbled frogmouth, and Albert's lyrebird. Mount Warning is located in far north-eastern NSW, and can be reached by leaving the Pacific Highway at Murwillumbah and following the Kyogle Road westward for 12km.

Mount Wellington—an igneous intrusion known to geologists as a sill. The dolerite that constitutes the mountain intruded as magma, about 175 million years ago. It did not reach the Earth's surface at the time of its emplacement, therefore did not result in a volcano. At a certain level during the upward movement through the Earth's crust, the molten magma spread laterally in a sheet-like form, lifting the horizontal sedimentary strata which lay above it, before cooling and hardening into the present rock formation. The vertical columns that characterise the present Tasmanian dolerite landforms are the result of contraction during the cooling phase. The sedimentary strata which originally overlaid the dolerite have since been removed by erosion. Mount Wellington was first sighted by Captain Bligh in 1785 and named Table George Bass became the first European to climb the mountain, eighteen years later. Rising to a height of 1271m, it is a spectacular and panoramic backdrop for the city of Hobart. A short (22 km) drive from Hobart, the mountain has an observation and information centre on the summit. On a clear day it is possible to see parts of the state over 100km away—miles and miles up the Derwent Valley, down to the Southern Ocean and across to Port Arthur.

Mount White limeMicrocitrus garrowayae, has an elongated, pale yellow fruit with light green flesh, small thick leaves and only occurs in the vine shrubs and thickets on Cape York Peninsula, in Far North Queensland.

Mount William National Park—bordering the fine white granite beaches from Boulder Point to the Abbotsbury Peninsula, the park's diverse vegetation is a haven for wildlife. This area is home to the largest population of eastern grey kangaroos in the state, as well as echidnas, brush-tail possums, wombats, Bennett's wallabies and Tasmanian devils. Birdlife too is abundant, with over 100 species occurring in the park, including many varieties of sea and shore birds. Many sites of significance to the Aboriginal community can be found in the park, which has recently been recommended to be returned to Aboriginal ownership. Here, huge middens of discarded shells are a reminder of the days when tribes would migrate to the coast in winter to forage for shellfish, mutton birds and seals. Up to 10,000 years ago, these Aboriginal tribes would cross the land bridge that once connected Tasmania to the mainland. Now, looking north to Bass Strait, the remnants of this land bridge—the Islands of the Furneaux Group—can be clearly seen from the park's coastline.

Mount Willoughby Indigenous Protected Area—comprises 386,500ha of threatened bushland in two distinct bioregions, the Great Victoria Desert and Stony Plains. It shares a boundary with Talaringa Conservation Park (South Australian National Parks), and provides a compatible management focused on conservation of biodiversity. The property is located on the Stuart Highway approximately 150km north of Coober Pedy. Mount Willoughby property was purchased on behalf of Tjyrilia Aboriginal Corporation by the Indigenous Land Corporation in recognition of its cultural significance for the local Aboriginal community and its potential for development of small-scale economic enterprises, particularly ecotourism. Areas of high cultural significance are being fenced off from the rest of the property to limit access and to ensure adequate protection. The property also has significant sources of bush tucker, including waterholes, gum-lined creeks and rock pools and the hill country. Mount Willoughby also has a number of historic buildings on the sit,e including settler huts and brush yards. The Mount Willoughby IPA is situated over the convergence of two bioregions, where the Stony Plains of the Lake Eyre Basin meet the mulga shrublands of the Great Victoria Desert. It is located along a range that supports plants and animals otherwise found only in the Central Ranges bioregion. Mount Willoughby supports a diverse range of habitats including the cracking clay pans of the Moon Plain, gibber plains, breakaway ranges, eremophila and mulga country, swamps and dunes. A rare desert flower, the daisy Erigeron sessilifolius was rediscovered at Mount Willoughby during a biological survey in October 2003; this plant species had not been identified in South Australia since 1927. In addition to flora, 75 bird species, 14 native mammals, 47 reptiles and one frog species were recorded during the survey despite the area being in recovery from drought conditions.

Mount Zero—a 39,000ha rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest area in the transition zone between the high priority Einasleigh Uplands and Wet Tropics bioregions, north-west of Townsville, Queensland.

mountain ash—1. a tree, Sorbus aucuparia, with delicate pinnate leaves and scarlet berries; also called rowan. 2. any of many trees, usually eucalypts, especially Eucalyptus regnans, a fire-tolerant species that survives from seeds that sprout only in response to fire. The tallest tree in the world ever recorded was a 43ft high mountain ash.

mountain banksiaBanksia canei, a shrub to about 3m, with attractive smooth bark and small leaves. The leaves vary between populations in the bush and may be entire (i.e. smooth edged) or serrate and quite prickly. Peak season for new growth is autumn. The serrated leafed form is arguably more attractive in flower. Flower spikes are cream to light yellow in colour and may have a bluish tinge at the bud stage. The spikes are about 70mm wide and up to 100 mm long and occur in late summer to early winter (January to June). The seeds are enclosed in follicles attached to a woody cone and are generally retained within the cone until burnt. In nature, the mountain banksia grows on rocky, sometimes loamy, soils on mountain slopes. The plant is fire-sensitive in that it does not have a lignotuber for vegetative regeneration after bushfires. The species relies on seed for regeneration. Distribution is in open forest and woodland in mountains of southern New South Wales and north-eastern Victoria above 600m.

mountain bells—several species of Darwinia from Western Australia. The species is a small to medium shrub, 2m—3m in height. Several small flowers are enclosed within large bracts that give the bell shape. Thus the "flower" is really a cluster of small flowers enclosed within a "bell" up to 30mm long. The leaves are linear to oblong and around 8mm long. The bell-shaped bracts are usually white with bright red tips. They occur in spring and are prominently displayed on the ends of the branches. Mountain bells are usually found above 300m on acidic, sandy clay soil.

mountain daisyIxodia achillaeoides ssp. alata, from Greek, ixodes, sticky, referring to the foliage. Ixodia is a small genus of two species. I. achilleoides is the better known and more widespread species and is usually a small, perennial shrub though it can reach 2m in height. I. achilleoides consists of three recognised subspecies: ssp. achilleoides, ssp. alata and ssp. arenicola, all occurring in South Australia, with the latter two extending into coastal areas of far western Victoria. Ssp. alata is also found in the Grampians Ranges of western Victoria. The subspecies differ in the nature of the foliage and size of the flower heads. The foliage of I. achilleoides is dark green in colour, with linear to lance-shaped leaves from 5mm to 100mm long, often sticky to the touch. I. achilleoides ssp. alata can often be distinguished from the other subspecies by having pronounced "wings" down the stems, however, the prominence of the wings can vary. The flower heads occur in small to large clusters at the ends of the stems and individual flower heads vary from 5mm to 15mm in diameter. The flower colour is white and this is retained when the flowers are dried, making this species (particularly ssp. alata) a desirable species for floriculture. Flowering usually occurs in spring and summer. The species is often observed to regenerate in large numbers after bushfires. I. achilleoides is becoming more popular in cultivation, particularly for the cut and dried flower markets, where commercial plantations of ssp. alata are being established in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria. These plantings are being developed to replace bush picking, which is both unreliable and environmentally unsustainable. Also known as Hills daisy, fireweed and South Australian daisy.

mountain devilLambertia formosa, an erect, bushy shrub of sandstone areas of New South Wales. It has a terminal cluster of red flowers yielding much nectar, before developing into a woody, 'horned devil' seed pod. Also known as honeyflower. 2. Moloch horridus, a desert lizard that feeds on ants.

mountain gum—any of several eucalypts, especially the tall E. dalrympleana, having a smooth, white bark.

mountain oysters—testicles of lambs as a delicacy.

mountain pygmy possumBurramys parvus, first described as a fossil species and then discovered to be living at the top of mountains in Australia. It is a small, mouse-like marsupial with a long, prehensile tail. It is covered in soft, greyish fur, paler on the belly and with a slightly darker rump and nape of neck. It has very manipulative front feet for gathering food; and gripping hind feet. Its front teeth are used to scrape at food, and they have specialised premolar teeth for cracking and dehusking seeds. It resides in montane heathland and high altitude rocky areas for 1400-2230m in south-eastern Australia. Females are quite sociable, sharing a daytime nest site (probably with related females), and dispersing at night to forage. Males are solitary, and move over large areas, being repelled by unreceptive females whose ranges they cross. This leads to males being less likely than females to survive in a given year, as they are more exposed to predators and do not share body heat during the winter. From May to September, during the winter, the animals become inactive, and remain in the nest, feeding from stored seeds and nuts and living off fat reserves. Mating takes place between late September and mid October. After a 13-16 day gestation period, a litter of four very small young is usually produced. There are only four teats, so if more than four are produced then the last one to reach the pouch cannot find a nipple and dies. The young remain in the pouch for 30 days, and then they begin to be weaned, staying in the nest or following the mother on foraging trips for the next 30-35 days. They are fully independent after 65 days, and become sexually mature at 1 year old, although they are not able to build up enough fat to survive a winter on their own until their second year, when males are ejected from their mothers' territory. Survival rates through the first winter are low for both sexes.

mountain swamp gumEucalyptus camphora, the medium-sized swamp gum of New South Wales and Victoria. Attractive juvenile leaves—reddish tinge and aromatic. Smooth grey/brown bark. Tolerates poor drainage. Suffers from damage to leaves through wind chill. Small tree.

mouser—pertaining to a cat's ability to hunt and catch mice: e.g., Our old moggy's an excellent mouser.

mousetrap—inferior cheese.

mouth like a bottom of a bird cage—morning-after breath.

mouth like a torn pocket—(to have a...) 1. to have a large, unshapely and unattractive mouth. 2. to be guilty of divulging secrets.

Mowanjum Community—In the culture of the Worora, Ngarinyin, and Wunumbul tribes, which make up the Mowanjum community outside Derby, Western Australia, the Wandjina is the supreme spirit being. According to Mowanjum artist Mabel King, during Lai Lai (the creation time), Wallungunder, the "big boss" Wandjina, came from the Milky Way to create the earth and all the people. These first people were the Gyorn Gyorn – what some gudiya (white) people call Bradshaw figures, named after the gudiya to first see them in 1891. The Gyorn Gyorn had no laws or kinship and wandered around lost. Wallungunder saw that he could do good with these people, so he went back to the Milky Way and brought many other Wandjinas with the power of the Dreamtime snake to help him bring laws and kinship to the Gyorn Gyorn people. The Dreamtime snake represents Mother Earth and is called ungud. Each of the artists has his or her own ungud birthplace or dreaming place. The Wandjinas created the animals and the baby spirits that reside in the rock pools or sacred ungud places throughout the Kimberley, and continue to control everything that happens on the land and in the sky and sea.

Mowanjum Community Art Project—an isolated Aboriginal community 15km out from Derby in the north of Western Australia comprising three tribes: Ngarinyin, Wororra and Wanambul. To these people the Wandjina is their supreme spirit being, Wandjinas having created everything on and in the earth and the rules by which these people live. Their images first appeared on rocks and in caves on the rugged north coast thousands of years ago, and some of this ancient artwork is still visible today. For the most part, up until this project was undertaken, Wandjina art was confined to its own cultural landscape in the Kimberley and had not been presented to the greater Australian public to any significant degree. What resulted, however, was the first major exhibition of Wandjina art ever assembled. Importantly, the exhibition did not confine itself to regional Western Australia but travelled to the eastern states for major showings in Melbourne and Sydney.


mozzle—luck, especially bad luck.

MP—member of parliament.

much of a muchness—very much the same; similar; little difference between.

muck—rubbish; nonsense; worthless talk or literature; trash.

muck about/around—1. potter or fool about. 2. fool or interfere with.

muck in with—share or join in, as with tasks, chores, living quarters.

muck sweat—profuse sweat.

mucker—a friend or companion.

mud flats—a wide area of fine sediment exposed at low tide, on the seaward side of a coast in sheltered waters.

mud lobsterThalassina anomalus is an important mangrove crustacean that filters the mud for food as it burrows. Material that cannot be digested is deposited outside the lobster's burrow entrance and as it accumulates a mound is built. The huge mounds (which may be up to 3m in height) each support one or more mangrove trees of varying sizes. They are also key habitats for an assemblage of small goby fish known as mudskippers, crabs, shrimp and a variety of other invertebrates which colonize these mounds, forming a complex community that is washed with sea water twice a day as the tides rise and recede. The roots of the vegetation stabilize the soil, and a series of tidal creeks surround the mounds. Mud lobsters are widely harvested throughout the tropical Pacific as food, but they are considered a pest by prawn and fish farmers as their digging often undermines the bunds that form the foundation of prawn and fish ponds.

mud map—sketch drawn on the ground to give directions.

mud-guts—fat, obese person.


muddie—a large crab found in the wetlands of Queensland and New South Wales.

mudhook—an anchor for a boat.

mudlark—1. a horse that performs well on a wet track. 2. (hist.) a destitute child searching in river mud for objects of value. 2. (hist.) a street urchin.

mudskipper—family Gobiidae, subfamily Oxudercinae. There are 34 species of mudskippers. They are the supreme specialists in mangrove mud. Though a fish, they spend most of their time out of the water, and can actually move faster on land. They are perfectly adapted to brackish water and will die if they are submerged in seawater or freshwater for long. In water, they breathe through their gills; on land they can extract oxygen from water by swilling a mouthful or by carrying water in their gill chambers, which are enlarged. Or they can extract oxygen from wet skin. The first pair of fins (pectoral) are muscular and look like little arms, complete with elbows. These are used to crawl and even climb. In some mudskippers the second pair of fins (pelvic) form a sucker under the body so it can cling to wet roots and rocks. To move quickly, the fish skips by flipping its powerful tail. It can skim across water by using its tail alone. It can flip up to 60cm by curling its body to one side then suddenly straightening out. But because of its walk adaptations, the fish is a clumsy swimmer. During the breeding season, the males become more colourful, territorial and attract females with energetic courtship displays. The low-tide mudskippers don't build nests and just release their eggs into the tide. The mid-tide males build mud burrows with chimneys or turrets and try to attract a female to lay in the burrow. High-tide males have to dig very deep burrows (up to 1m) in order to get water at the bottom of the burrow. However, this water has zero or very little oxygen (at most 3%). So eggs are laid in special chambers filled with air. The father diligently collects oxygenated air by gulping air at the surface then quickly popping into the burrow. The mother guards the eggs and hatchling until they can make their first excursion on land.

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