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      Australia is the only continent which is also a single country.  It is the only inhabited continent solely within the southern hemisphere, that is;   all of Australia is south of the equator.  Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, south and to the east of Asia, it has islands and island nations scattered between it and mainland Asia.  The only other land mass close to Australia is Antarctica to the south.  It is the only continent with no major year-round rivers and no mountains over 10,000 feet.   The northern part of Australia is tropical; Australia gets a more temperate climate in the far south. Most of Australia consists of arid desert. The native mammals of Australia, except bats, are marsupials, that is, non-placental mammals.  Chief among them are the kangaroos, large herbivores which carry their young in a pouch.    More advanced placental mammals—other than bats—did not reach Australia until they arrived with humans, about 40,000 years ago.

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