15 Facts About New Guinea


However, Westerners, beginning with Spanish explorer Ynigo Ortiz de Retez in 1545, used the name New Guinea, referring to the similarities of the features of the indigenous peoples to those of native Africans of the Guinea region of the continent.

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New Guinea is an island to the north of the Australian mainland, south of the equator.

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Shape of New Guinea is often compared to that of a bird-of-paradise, and this results in the usual names for the two extremes of the island: the Bird's Head Peninsula in the northwest, and the Bird's Tail Peninsula in the southeast .

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New Guinea contains many of the world's ecosystem types: glacial, alpine tundra, savanna, montane and lowland rainforest, mangroves, wetlands, lake and river ecosystems, seagrasses, and some of the richest coral reefs on the planet.

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New Guinea is differentiated from its drier, flatter, and less fertile southern counterpart, Australia, by its much higher rainfall and its active volcanic geology.

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Pigs, several additional species of rats, and the ancestor of the New Guinea singing dog were introduced with human colonization.

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Island of New Guinea is divided politically into roughly equal halves across a north–south line:.

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Large areas of New Guinea are yet to be explored by scientists and anthropologists.

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Biogeographically, New Guinea is part of Australasia rather than the Indomalayan realm, although New Guinea's flora has many more affinities with Asia than its fauna, which is overwhelmingly Australian.

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Botanically, New Guinea is considered part of Malesia, a floristic region that extends from the Malay Peninsula across Indonesia to New Guinea and the East Melanesian Islands.

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The flora of New Guinea is a mixture of many tropical rainforest species with origins in Asia, together with typically Australasian flora.

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New Guinea has 284 species and six orders of mammals: monotremes, three orders of marsupials, rodents and bats; 195 of the mammal species are endemic.

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New Guinea has 578 species of breeding birds, of which 324 species are endemic.

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Gardens of the New Guinea Highlands are ancient, intensive permacultures, adapted to high population densities, very high rainfalls, earthquakes, hilly land, and occasional frost.

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New Guinea commanded loyalty from both Moluccan and Papuan chiefs, especially those of Raja Ampat Islands, from his base in Gebe.

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