The Flinders Ranges is a mountain range in South Australia. It stretches over 430 km from Port Pirie to Lake Callabonna. Its most famous landmark is Wilpena Pound. Wilpena Pound is a rock basin with a hard rim of rock known as Rawnsley Quartzite. Wilpena Pound is located within the Flinders National Park, the pound is approximately 15Kms in length, 8Kms wide and is an area of Approximately 8000 Hectares. The floor of the Pound is about 180 metres higher than the surrounding area. The highest peak in the Flinders Range is St. Mary’s Peak which is about 1 188 metres high.
The formation of the Flinders Ranges began about 800 million years ago. An ancient sea which covered the area for about 300 million years depositing sediment over the area. The Ediacara Hills in the northern Flinders Ranges is the site of discovery of some of the oldest fossil evidence of animal life.
The Flinders mountains are a classic example of a folded mountain range. Folded mountains form when two continental plates collide. Wind erosion is another natural force that has shaped the Flinders mountain range.
Flora and fauna
Flora means the plant life of an area. Fauna means the animal life of an area. The flora of the Flinders Ranges consists of plants adapted to a semi-arid (having little rain fall) environment. Trees like cypress pine and black oak are very common for this area. In moister areas near Wilpena Pound, plants like grevilleas, lilies and ferns can be found. Water-loving reeds and sedges grow near springs and waterholes.
Red kangaroos, western grey kangaroos and wallabies are the most common animals of the Flinders Ranges area. Birds like parrots, galahs, emus, the wedge-tailed eagle and some water birds also live in the area. Reptiles include goannas, snakes, bearded dragon lizards, skinks and geckos.
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