Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

One Tree Hill - St Vincent Basin

The North Maslin Sand has outliers at One Tree Hill in the St Vincent Basin. Palynology of the site dates it to the Middle Eocene, the same as the deposit at Golden Grove. The Middle Eocene flora of the St Vincent Basin also contained CYPERACEAE (sedges), which also occur in the latest part of the Eocene in the southeastern Eucla Basin.

Some of the LAURACEAE and ELAEOCARPACEAE leaves from Golden Grove and Anglesea have been found with domatia 'mite houses' on them. These structures are occupied by oribatid mites. These mites eat the algae and lichen growing on leaf surfaces, so preventing the reduction of light transmission that would result from the algae and lichen spreading across the leaf. Some of the adult mites have been found on leaves in the 45 million year old deposits. Present-day leaf-cleaning mites still occupy domitia on the surface of leaves of LAURACEAE and ELAEOCARPACEAE in Australian rainforests.

Sources & Further reading

  • Mary E. White, The Greening of Gondwana, the 400 Million Year story of Australian Plants, Reed, 1994
  • Mary E White, After the Greening, The Browning of Australia, Kangaroo Press, 1994
  • Penny Van Oosterzee, The Centre - The Natural history of Australia's Desert Regions, Reed Australia, 1993


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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading