King Billy Pine

King Billy Pine

Tree rings of a very old King Billy Pine

Cross section of King Billy pine trunkLook at the image of the King Billy Pine above. [Or better yet, visit the display in the E8C ground floor foyer.] You can see wood rings extending just under 1,000 years! Each one tells us about past climate in Tasmania and helps piece together whether climate fluctuations are local or global phenomena. Check the following events in history that occurred when each numbered ring was laid down by this tree.

1. 1215 King John signs the Magna Carta
2. 1347-1351 Black Death kills around a third of the population of Europe
3. 1368 Ming Dynasty Great Wall of China
4. 1450 Johannes Gutenberg designs and builds the first printing press
5. 1492 Christopher Columbus’ first voyage of discovery to the Americas
6. 1519-1522 Magellan begins, Elcano completes, first circumnavigation of the world
7. 1543 Copernicus proposes that the earth is not the centre of the universe
8. 1616 Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog lands on the coast of Western Australia
9. 1632 Shah Jahan orders construction of the Taj Mahal
10. 1665-66 The Great Plague of London
11. 1672 Discovery of bacteria by Leeuwenhoek
12. 1710 Anders Celsius proposed the Celsius temperature scale
13. 1769-70 Lieutenant James Cook explores and maps New Zealand and Australia
14. 1775 Steam engine invented by James Watt, precursor to the industrial revolution
15. 1803-1815 Napoleonic wars
16. 1831 Charles Darwin’s voyage of The Beagle
17. 1901 Federation of six colonies becomes the Commonwealth of Australia
18. 1925 Television invented by John Logie Baird
19. 1940-1945 Invention of the first electronic computer
20. 1947 India achieves independence from Britain
21. 1953 Franklin, Watson and Crick determine the double-helix structure of DNA.
22. 1974 “Lucy”, Australopithecus afarensis discovered in Ethiopia

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