Australian animals are very different than the rest of the world. I wonder if the radiation of Australia's Uranium deposits have anything to do with why animals uniquely evolved? For instance, marsupials have three vaginas and platypus are one of the only mammals that lay eggs.

If not Uranium what makes them so different?



2 Answers 2


No. The reason for Australia’s unique evolution is that it was relatively isolated from the rest of the world.

Australia isn’t too radioactive either. The fact that it has more uranium deposits than other countries is that it’s huge.

  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, there are other countries that have similar amounts of known uranium deposits, and a couple - Kazakhstan and Niger - that have more per unit area. None of these countries are geographically isolated from their neighbors, though. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented May 12, 2018 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, the good old Wallace line (could have been menioned in the answer). $\endgroup$
    – user20217
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 9:50

Ahhhh, probably not. If, for example, you navigate to Marsupial at Wikipedia and click on the wonderful (it really really is!) DyMaxion map at the bottom of the info panel, you wiil see that a large part of South America, Central and North America also have these animals.

FWIW, the USA does indeed have Uranium deposits although I'm not sure about Central and South America.

Quoting from Wikipedia:

A 2010 analysis of retroposon insertion sites in the nuclear DNA of a variety of marsupials has confirmed all living marsupials have South American ancestors.

South America was connected to Antarctica for a long time (but not to North America), as was Australia.


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