Australia is famously known for its profusion of dangerous animals that can cause harm to human life in a vast variety of forms, from deadly poisonings to vicious bites. There is one subset of creatures that have, until now, gone under the radar when it comes to being a threat to mankind.
Birds of prey, including falcons and kites, have recently been found to employ a tactic for catching prey that can also has a significant impact on human life. These large wild birds have been observed whilst stealing smoldering twigs and dropping these in dry bush areas to smoke out small birds, rodents, frogs, lizards and insects to capture and eat. Birds are thought to work both alone making either single or multiple attempts, or together in small groups. These flaming areas of arid ground can quickly grow into uncontrollable wildfires. It is now thought that these birds are the third biggest cause of bushfires, behind man and lightning.
The indigenous people of Australia have long believed in the power of predatory birds to spread fire, but it is only now that scientists have obtained evidence of this myth. The principle ornithologist working on this avian practice is, Bob Gosford, who has conducted research into this behaviour on three different continents, collecting eyewitness reports from farmers, scientists and firemen. The habits of these birds are now being factored into rangers’ fire management tactics and controlled experiments.
To date, these birds are the only creatures, other than humans that have been discovered to harness the power of fire.
Students aspiring to study Biological Science should investigate ways in which animals use natural and man-made resources to their benefit. Wannabe Anthropologists should consider the potential basis in fact of mythology.
- Taking a Gap Year There are a number of advantages to taking a gap... Read more >
- Physical, Mathematical & Chemical Sciences Reading Lists If you’re applying for Physics, Natural Sciences (P), Maths, Computer... Read more >
- Download a Medicine Personal Statement 2 “Further work experience has highlighted some of the demands and challenges... Read more >
- Is a “Religious Morality” rational? One of our Oxbridge graduate tutors, Emma, looks into the... Read more >
- Cambridge Language Test mini mock paper & answers Many Cambridge colleges require applicants for Modern Languages to sit... Read more >
- Law Reading List Cambridge Law and Oxford Law reading lists and recommended reading. Read more >
- Interactive Interview Exercise Manual ‘What should I expect at my Oxbridge interview?’ ‘How will... Read more >
- Maths Puzzle: a game of chess We asked one of our top Maths Oxbridge tutors for... Read more >
- Your free E-book… “So You Want To Go To Oxbridge? Tell me about a banana…” If you are applying to Oxford or Cambridge, there are... Read more >
- Bursaries Both Oxford and Cambridge are committed to the principle that... Read more >
- Download a History & English Personal Statement “Evidently reading is a major passion and Graham Greene has... Read more >
- Download a Biology Personal Statement “Assisting with the post mortem of a dairy cow during... Read more >
- English: answer like a pro We have a lot of questions year on year from... Read more >
- Download an Economics Personal Statement 2 “Beyond this essential interest in the subject, I find that... Read more >
- Download a Physics Personal Statement “Over the past few years I have become gradually more... Read more >
- Cambridge’s Supplementary Application Questionnaire After you have submitted your UCAS application to apply to... Read more >
- Cambridge Law Test mini mock paper & answers If you are applying to do Law at Cambridge, chances... Read more >
- ELAT mini mock paper If you’re applying to read English at Oxford, you will... Read more >
- Modern Languages and Linguistics Reading Lists Applying for languages? It’s always difficult to narrow down what... Read more >
- HAT overview If you’re applying for History, or its joint schools, you... Read more >
- For Your Reference: Admissions Test Factfiles The majority of Oxford courses, and an increasing number of... Read more >
- University Admissions Tests: How Would You Reply? Here we have a few questions and answers to sample... Read more >
- Personal Statement Workbook Download A personal statement is a unique document which is all... Read more >
- Statistics: 2015 Annual Survey Want to find out what your chances are of getting... Read more >