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Frisky frogs, Australian Geographic // 22 January 2011

HAVING MULTIPLE SEXUAL PARTNERS at the same time is often frowned upon, but in the frog world, the more the merrier.

New Australian research shows that individual females of the grey foam-nest tree frog (Chiromantis xerampelina) which mate with up to 12 partners at the same time, produce more resilient offspring than those individuals that mate with just one partner.

In what is documented as the most extreme form of ‘polyandry’ (sex with multiple male partners) in vertebrates, the unusual mating process lasts a few hours during a single night.

Read my article for the Australian Geographic in full here.

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Historical treasures escape worst of Qld floods, Australian Geographic // 21 January 2011

AS SHOCKED QUEENSLANDERS PULL together to cope with the aftermath of last week’s floods, many of the State capital’s museums and libraries are breathing a sigh of relief after only minimal interruptions to usual summer business. For an unlucky few, however, the big clean up involves salvaging some precious and unwieldy exhibits.

Read the rest of my Australian Geographic piece here…

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Water quality concerns plague Queensland, Australian Geographic // 16 January 2011

AN UNPRECEDENTED 7.5 MILLION tonnes of water is estimated to have fallen onto southeast Queensland in this week’s super storm, stretching infrastructure to the absolute limit.

From the microscopic (Ecoli in Warra) to the bizarre (sharks in Goodna), floodwater contains a potentially dangerous cocktail of unusual contaminants and foreign bodies – and it is not just humans who are at risk.

Read the rest of my Australian Geographic piece here.

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