Great plateau

Australia has travelled so far north - into the northern hemisphere - that it has collided with Asia and North America.

The collision of Australia and Asia has resulted in a massive mountain chain, far higher than the Himalayas - 10,000 meters high. The mountains have sharp, uneroded peaks.

Rock compression has thrown up the Great Plateau, the broadest tract of uplands on Earth. The climate of the peaks is harsh, but a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere makes life easier for plant life.

There is heavy rain on the mountains, and heavy seasonal rain on the plateau.

On the great high-altitude plateau formed between Asia and Australia, silver spiders spread their nets to catch fluffy seeds carried on the wind. The changing temperature and atmosphere of Earth encourages the growth of large arthropods - insects, crustaceans and arachnids. So the spiders are bigger than their human-era ancestors, and they store the seeds in huge granaries.

The long wings of the windrunner of the Great Plateau, descended from the cranes, are adapted for gliding at speed; while the feathered legs help with slow-speed flying. Their blue colouring helps reflect ultraviolet light at high altitudes, and the eyelid membranes are polarised to form a pair of natural sunglasses.

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