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western coast of that continent, which are noticed in detached papers, English and foreign, complete the list of the most prominent additions made, since the labours of R. Brown, to Flora Australis.
These additions, computed approximatively, will however hardly exceed 2000 new species; which, added to the 4000 which composed, in 1804, the original collection of R. Brown, make up for the actual flora of Terra Australis a total number of 6000 known species.
It would be incompatible, both with the design and the limits of this work, to insert here a catalogue of these plants: such a catalogue may, however, be found occupying the space of a large volume, in the admirable "Prodromus Florae Novce Hollandice" and "Supplementum Primum Prodromi Florae, N. H." of Brown; in Cunningham's Appendix to Captain P. P. King's Voyage; and the "Botany of the Antarctic Voyage, by I. D. Hooker, M. D., R. N.;" — to which the writer of this present notice feels he cannot better conclude than by referring the reader.
To the vegetation to which the physiognomy or general aspect of Terra Australis owes its main features, must now be added, in order to complete the delineation of that physiognomy, a notice of the Zoology of the country.
Variety, beauty, and elegance, in forms and colours, and in their combinations, characterise some of the zoological classes; Avhile striking and wonderful peculiarities of external and internal organisation distinguish others.
All the classes may be said to offer, in their physiological structure, subjects for most interesting and instructive study.
That of the Mammalia, in particular, presents numerous instances of exceptions to the general features which characterise the Mammalia of the rest of the globe.
Thus, the largest quadruped of Terra Australis, the kangaroo, has been found to be a saltatory animal.
Thus again, the greater number of species belong to the marsupial order, as the kangaroo, opossum, kaola, &c.
And thus, too, the duck-billed Ornithorhinchus, covered with fur, moving on four webbed feet, suckling its young, and most probably viviparous, has been discovered to possess a series of contrivances by which it is fitted to live equally well in the elements proper to two distinct classes of animals. This creature, a world of wonders in itself, has been further found, by Professor Owen, to approximate to the reptiles in its generative system, and to the extinct species of Ichthyosaurus in its furcula and clavicle.
Examined in the haunts where they live and multiply, the various animals of this part of the world are found to possess a very limited proportion of the carnivora, as compared with the herbivora, and to be singularly divested of aggressive ferocity, venomous qualities, or weapons of attack or defence, dangerous to man. On the contrary, they are mostly inoffensive; and, although somewhat shy, are, if caught, easily tamed and familiarised. They are plentifully provided with food, and furnish, in turn, a very wholesome and appropriate sustenance to the natives. In short, all classes of the animal kingdom offer, in their respective relations to each other, and to the vegetation and climate in which they are placed, the same admirable order of adjustment and harmony which they do elsewhere on the globe.
However, like the flora of Terra Australis, so also its present zoology has been preceded by one which is extinct, and which has left us but wrecks of its existence for our study and contemplation. To geological researches we owe the discovery of its chronology; and to comparative anatomy, the knowledge of its genera and physiological character.
We shall avail ourselves of the assistance of both these sciences to inquire into the history of this remote zoology, before we attempt to give a sketch of the existing one.
The Fossil Zoology of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, so far as our researches enable us to discover, is found to possess representatives of the three great divisions, of Vertebrata, Radiata, and Mollusca. The fourth, the Articulata, is but indistinctly indicated in small oblong impressions, resembling the Trilobites, not exceeding half an inch, and which are to be met with in Yass Plains and the Boree country, New South Wales, associated with Favosites Gothlandica, Orthoceras, and stems of Encrinites.
Throughout the geological fabric, these representatives show an extraordinary and almost solitary instance of paucity of genera, species, and individuals. The sequence, however, with which they appear in the geological formations, discovers laws similar to those which regulated the succession of genera and species in other parts of the world.
The periods of the existence and extinction of genera and species composing the Australian fossil fauna are obvious, and will form a subject of most interesting disquisition, when the two colonies shall receive the benefit of a thorough geological Ordnance survey.
For the present, it will be expedient to consider the organic remains of the two colonies, but in reference to two distinct epochs: the first as anterior to the deposition of Jerusalem coal, and corresponding to the Palaeozoic series; the last as posterior to it, and belonging to the Pleiocene epoch.
I am greatly indebted to Mr. Lonsdale, F.G.S., for the following important and interesting description and remarks upon the specimens of the Australian fossil Polyparia which I have collected in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, and which Mr. Morris had submitted to his examination.
A ramose spherical or amorphous tubular polypidom: tubes polygonal or cylindrical, radiated from a centre or an imaginary axis, contracted at irregular distances, but in planes parallel to the surface of the specimen; tubular mouths, closed at final (?) period of growth; ridges bounding the mouths, granulated or tuberculated; additional tubes, interpolated.
The examination of Strzelecki's collection of fossil Polyparia, from Van Diemen's Land, has extended the knowledge of the corals, for which the name of Stenopora was proposed in the Appendix to Mr. Darwin's work on Volcanic Islands, and induced the describer to give the preceding notice of the generic characters.
Stenopora Tasmaniensis. (PI. VIII. fig. 2—2e.)
"Branched, branches cylindrical, variously inclined or contorted; tubes more or less divergent; mouths oval, divisional ridges strongly tuberculated; indications of successive narrowing in each tube, 1 — 2." (See Mr. Darwin's work on Volcanic Islands, p. 161.)
Several casts of a ramose Stenopora, believed to belong to this species, were noticed in the collection