Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The islands are the easternmost in Maluku province, and are located in the Arafura Sea southwest of New Guinea and north of Australia. The total area of the islands is 8,563 kmē (3,306 sq mi). The largest island is Tanahbesar (also called Wokam ); Dobo , the chief port of the islands, is on Wamar, just off Tanahbesar. Other main islands are Kola , Kobroor , Maikoor , and Trangan . The main islands rise to low hills, and are separated by meandering channels.
Aru is covered by a mix of tropical moist broadleaf forests, savanna, and mangroves. The Islands lie on the Australia-New Guinea continental shelf, and were connected to Australia and New Guinea by land when sea levels were lower during the ice ages. The flora and fauna of Aru are part of the Australasia ecozone, and closely related to that of New Guinea. Aru is part, together with much of western New Guinea, of the Vogelkop-Aru lowland rain forests terrestrial ecoregion.
Recently, Aru Islands have been a new residence separated from Kabupaten Maluku Tenggara , with the capital : Dobo.
The inhabitants are mixed Malay and Papuan stock. Fourteen languages - Barakai , Batuley , Dobel , Karey , Koba, Kola, Kompane , Lola, Lorang , Manombai , Mariri , East Tarangan , West Tarangan , and Ujir - are indigenous to Aru. They belong to the Central Malayo-Polynesian languages, and are related to the other languages of Maluku, Nusa Tenggara, and Timor. Ambonese Malay is also spoken on Wamar. All are members of the Austronesian language family.
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