Australia: A Continent Adrift | Full Documentary

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Australia: A Continent Adrift | Full Documentary 4.5
"Australia. A Continent Adrift" full documentary in which we discover how animals that populated this part of the supercontinent Gondwana have evolved as to what the Australian continent adrift in the ocean.

The story of the inhabitants of this Terra Australis can be traced back to the distant days when all the continents of the southern hemisphere were one. The world was then a warmer, and more humid place, in which enormous dinosaurs ruled over a zoology in permanent evolution. The remains of that universal jungle can still be seen in the north east of Australia, and are now home to the descendents of the long extinct dinosaurs.

The birds are the most numerous species in this green, suffocatingly humid world. Their ability to fly meant they were not condemned to isolation like the land creatures of Australia, and competition with the species from the rest of the world produced new types of bird, which then came to these Jurassic forests, and stayed forever.

In those distant forests, one hundred million years ago, there lived different types of mammals who sought to ensure their survival by using different means of reproduction. The monotremes, the oldest of all, were mammals, but laid eggs; the eutherians gave birth to completely developed young; and the marsupials, somewhere between these two extremes, completed their development outside the mother’s body.

The jungles of South America were, like those of Australia, once part of Gondwana. Back then, monotremes, marsupials and eutherians coexisted in the primeval forests. But the last of these three, little by little, gained ground, as their new evolutionary prototypes improved.
The new mammals not only had placentas, they were also more intelligent, and they took over the majority of the habitats of the monotremes and the marsupials. But defeat was not quite as absolute as people tend to think. Because, in the South American night, old ghosts from Gondwana still hide.

Everything began with a great journey across the Indian Ocean, millions of years ago.
This was just the beginning of the great marsupial adventure, a period of enormous changes.
On its journey northwards, Australia became increasingly warm, and its jungles became smaller. The climate of the island slowly changed. The plants had to adapt or die. Each change in the climate meant a change in the vegetation, and each one of these was followed by an endless number of adaptations by the animals.

And Australia continued moving north on its slow journey across the Indian Ocean.
The closer it came to the Tropic of Capricorn, the more temperate the climate became. Where once there had been jungle, vast open plains appeared The pasture took over the land, and new colonists appeared, some of them close relatives of those who still now live hidden in the last remaining jungles of Australia.

The trees of the jungle were always a place of refuge and expansion for the marsupials. As foliage became sparser, due to climate warming, they were forced to colonise the plains and grasslands.

The koala was able to colonise the eucalyptus forests thanks to an adaptation which would seem impossible – the ability to feed on its leaves. The leaves of the eucalyptus tree are a combination of low-quality food, indigestible material, and active poisons. Any animal that could adapt and make use of these leaves would have absolutely no competitors. And that is precisely what the koala did.
The koala is an example of the incredible versatility of adaptation of the marsupial mammals of Australia.

The duckbill platypus is one of the three species of monotremes mammals that lay eggs, a shy animal which lives in some rivers in the east of Australia. The other two are echidnas the long-snouted variety in New Guinea, and this one, the short-snouted variety, which can be found throughout Australia.

Australia continues on its slow drift northwards, at a speed of six centimetres a year.
At present, a narrow strait is all that separates the fauna of the two continents. But what will happen when the animals of Asia and Oceanía come into direct contact? There may well be enormous upheavals in the uncertain future of this continent. It is easy to image that the evolution of its landscapes and animals will undergo far-reaching changes. But, probably, when new, specialised creatures adapt to the unique conditions of these forests or deserts, causing many of the evolutionary prototypes that now dominate Australia to die out, in the farthest depths of the jungle, with their pacific and archaic way of life, there will continue to be echidnas and duckbill platypuses. And, as in Gondwana in the distant past, there will continue to be mammals who lay eggs.

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💬 Comments on the video

Great doc. And unlike some others I have no problem with narrator. In fact his clear diction is an increasing rarity in our web world.

Author — David Lang


But nothing about the drop how sad. Very common you know.

Author — blackdatto


I live in the northern tropical rainforests of Australia. There's plants growing around my yard you can find in Oregon - as fossils that are tens of millions of years old and long extinct in the rest of the world.

The Aboriginal people around where I live have songs (their history is sung in stories and passed down through the generations, ) that tell of the water levels rising at the end of the last ice age, of the area that is now the great barrier reef, which used to be their prime coastal hunting land, being flooded by ever higher tides over hundreds of years. Only in the last 40 years has science been able to finally confirm these events recorded in Aboriginal history. People don't get just how ancient this land is.

Author — Noises


Agree with the gentleman below [David Lang] Really like the diction and enunciation of the narrator. Every word is clear.



I am a US citizen and I will never get to see Australia so that makes me appreciate this video a lot more. I think it was a very well done documentary with a lot of beautiful nature scenery and lots of exotic animals. and I had no problem with the narrator's voice as it is better than a robot.

Author — Barry Wainwright


A real jewel of science popularisation- and showing the ways of evolution so clearly, that only a fool can deny that evolution is a working law of nature. Its really not important, if nature itself or God made this law work....

Author — Fridrich Hláva


This reminds me of what discovery channel was when it actually showed good content.

Author — Andrew Singleton


This is a great documentary. Gives really thorough coverage on all of the unique reptile, birds and marsupials living in Australia

Author — bakiunicorn


This doco would have benefitted with an Aussie advisor correcting the many mispronounciations made by the narrator. Other than that it's been fun to watch.

Author — Nick D


I found this a very interesting and well filmed documentary. Very well narrated and the music was good as well. Thank you for uploading this. PC. 24. 03. 2018.

Author — Peter Carruthers


Australia is a zoologist's dream.
Not to mention a half-dozen other disiplines.
I wish I lived there.

Author — Always Wondering


Yeah, its pronounced eemm-you, if you say eemmoo to an Ozzy he will slap you so hard your future children will feel it.

Author — Sand Panda


24:03 Like house kitties their young are "hidden" even though their tail or foot protrudes from their hideout :)

Author — IraQ Nid



Author — Joe Morales


The good ol' days when documentaries about the colonies were narrated by gin-soaked British aristocrats

Author — Frank Cooke


I LOVE MY COUNTRY MY HOME, I love a sunburnt country a land of sweeping plains of rugged mountain ranges of droughts & flooding rains I love her far horizon I love her jeweled sea her beauty & her terror the wide brown land for me

Author — karina andersen


A map showing the continental drift talked about would be great

Author — Gary Lewis


As stated at 2:09, this is NOT "Australia: A Continent Adrift" but is the documentary "And the Mammals Laid Eggs"

Glad to see that click bait is alive and well.

Author — Paige K.


Love this doc.! The narrator is straight & serious, etc. Great photography too! Plus it's quite enlightening! Hope there are some more like this in the same vein!! Bravo!

Author — Know Name


2:40 "The world was a warmer and more humid place". My god! Before man-made global warming/climate change? And you mean we're still here today?

Author — IraQ Nid