Australia’s Terrestrial Environment


Circle one (1) answer per question (either A, B, C, D or E) on the multiple choice answer sheet. Each question is worth 1 mark

1. Which of the following fish species is not native to Australia?

a. Trout (Trutta salmo) b. Queensland lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) c. Spangled Perch (Leiopotherapon unicolour) d. Bullshark (Carcharhinus leucas) e. Desert Goby (Chlamydogobius eremius)

2. Which of the following statements is false?

a. Australia has approximately 280 species of freshwater fish b. Australia’s freshwater fish have a recent seawater ancestry c. Most native Australian freshwater fish belong to the family Cyprinidae

(Carp) d. All arid zone waterways contain up to 80% of the same species of fish e. Australia is home to many endemic species of fish

3. Which of the following is not believed to be responsible for dramatic

reductions in some populations of Australian frogs: a. The introduction of cane toads b. Land clearing c. Chytrid fungus d. Increased exposure to UV radiation e. The use of chemical herbicides and insecticides in agriculture

4. The primary reason that female pythons brood their eggs is:

a. Protection from predation b. Protection from fungus infection c. Protection from bacterial infection d. Maintenance of a warm incubation temperature e. To assist babies once they have hatched

5. The tooth arrangement in Australian colubrid snakes (tree snakes and mangrove snakes) is best described as: a. Proteroglyphous (front-fanged) b. Aglyphous (no-fangs) c. Polyglyphous (many-fanged) d. Poisglyphous (poison fanged) e. Opisthoglyphous (rear-fanged)

6. Lorikeets can be distinguished from other parrots by: a. Always being found in flocks b. Having two forward facing and two backward facing toes c. Having bright and contrasting coloured plumage d. Having a brush-like tongue e. Nesting in tree hollows

7. Which of the following statements about the breeding biology of

megapodes (mound-building birds) is false? a. They have a monogamous mating system b. The eggshell is extremely thin compared to other birds c. The chicks are extremely precocious d. The eggshell is more permeable than other birds e. Females lay extremely large eggs for their body size

8. White-winged choughs (Corcorax melanorhamphos) are unique among

birds because: a. They build mud nests b. They are obligate cooperative breeders c. Unrelated birds help to raise young d. Adults will feed young of rival flocks e. Only the dominate males and females get to breed

9. Nomadism in birds is best described as a strategy for:

a. Avoiding territorial disputes with other birds b. Preventing the depletion of food in a particular area c. Exploiting abundant yet ephemeral and somewhat unpredictable food

sources d. Forming large flocks to decrease the chance of individuals being

predated e. Avoiding the attention of predators


Write a short answer to each question in the answer booklet provided.

10. List four (4) of the most speciose Orders within Insecta. (2 marks) 11. List a possible reason for: (a) an increase in the use of pesticides in

Australia; (b) a decrease in the use of pesticide in Australia. (2 marks) 12. Name one type of Australian waterway that experiences no or low

human impact. Briefly describe why. (2 marks) 13. What words are missing from the following statement? (1 mark)

Cane toads were introduced into Australia from _____________ to combat and predate upon the ______________.

14. Diapause during embryonic development is a feature of several

species of Australian freshwater turtle. Briefly describe this phenomenon using one species as an example. (2 marks)

15. With what climates is the occurrence of viviparity in squamates

(lizards and snakes) associated, and what is the reason for this association? (2 marks)

16. How do the nesting strategies of Australian freshwater crocodiles

(Crocodylus johnstoni) differ from those of Indopacific crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus)? Which species is likely to suffer the highest mortality rate during nesting? (2 marks)

17. How is the evolution of the three main groups of passeriform birds

(perching birds)—New Zealand wrens (Acanthisittidae), ‘suboscinces’ (Oligomyodi) and Passeres (song birds)—linked to the fragmentation of Gondwana? (2 marks)

18. Although they have only been here for a short time (< 5 million years),

Australia has over 70 native species of murid rodents (rats and mice). Why have murids been so successful in Australia? (2 marks

19. Discuss body temperature patterns in the platypus and echidna. Why might body temperature patterns in monotremes differ from those in other extant mammals (i.e., marsupials and placentals)? (2 marks)

20. Describe two advantages that the marsupial mode of reproduction has

over the placental mode of reproduction? (2 marks) 21. How might carefully managed safari hunting of wild Indopacific

crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) be considered advantageous for conservation? (2 marks)

22. Describe the difference between an ‘introduced’ organism’ and a ‘feral’

organism. (1 mark) 23. Give an example of an successful attempt at biological control in

Australia. Describe a) the control agent and how it was intended to control the pest species and b) why it is considered to have been successful. (3 marks)

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