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Full text of "Notes by a naturalist on the "Challenger", being an account of various observations made during the voyage of H.M.S. "Challenger" around the world, in the years 1872-1876, under the commands of Capt. Sir G. S. Nares and Capt. F. T. Thomson"



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ANTARCTIC ICEBEP.GS 
Fr om Sketche s "by the Author . 



. !' Ke]l,Lith.LoiLdDn..I:.-C. 



NOTES 



BY 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER,' 



BEING 



AN ACCOUNT OF VARIOUS OBSERVATIONS 



MADE DURING THE 



VOYAGE OF H.M.S. " CHALLENGER " ROUND THE WORLD, 

IN THE YEARS 1872—1876, 



UNDER THE 



Commands of Capt. Sir G. S. NABES, R.N., K.C.B., F.B.S., 
and Capt, F. T. THOMSON, B.N. 



By 



H. N. MOSELEY, M.A., F.RS., 

FELLOW OF EXETER COLLEGE, OXFORD, MEMBER OF THE SCIENTIFIC STAFF OF 

H.M.S. "CHALLENGER." 



With a Map, Two Coloured Plates, and numerous Woodcuts. 



ILorrtroit: 
MACMILLAN AND CO. 

1879. 



LONDON : 
HARRISON AND SONS, PRINTERS IN ORDINARY TO HER MAJESTY, 

ST. martin's LANE. 



TO 



CHARLES DARWIN, ESQ., LL.D., F.R.S., &C, 



FROM THE STUDY OF 
WHOSE JOURNAL OF RESEARCHES 
I MAINLY DERIVED MY DESIRE TO TRAVEL ROUND THE WORLD, 
TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF WHOSE THEORY 

I OWE 
THE PRINCIPAL PLEASURES AND INTERESTS OF MY LIFE, 

AND WHO HAS 
PERSONALLY GIVEN ME 
MUCH KINDLY ENCOURAGEMENT 
IN THE PROSECUTION OF MY STUDIES, 

THIS BOOK IS, BY PERMISSION, GRATEFULLY DEDICATED. 







EKKATA. 




Page 


Line 


Foe, 


Read 


50 


9 


Myrmelion 


Myrmeleon. 


56 


36 


Halcyon erythroryncha 


Halcyon erythrogastra 


86 


24 


Garde de l'eau 


Gare a, l'eau. 


105 


29 


which. 


whom. 


121 


37 


Neospiza 


JSesospiza. 


122 


note 1 and 4 


ibid. 


ibid. 


125 


11 


Inaccesible 


Inaccessible. 


128 


32 


acts . . . assists 


act . . . assist. 


163 


9 


North or West 


north of west. 


169 


5 


Hastla 


Haastia. 


181 


13 


Halabcena 


Halobazna. 


257 


10 


JPhalanyister 


Phalanyista. 


276 


27 


Musschenbrook 


Musschenbroek. 


293 


9 


Chorophyly 


Chlorophyll. 


295 


13 


Solitarias 


Solitaria. 


301 


8 


Lats. 16° and 20° E. 


Lats. 16° and 20° S. 


352 


14 


alerrimum 


aterrimum. 


385 


Heading 


Amboina 


Banda. 


499 


11, 24 


Hawai 


Hawaii. 


504 33 and in note 


ibid. 


ibid. 


514 


3 


Chionider 


Clionider. 



PREFACE. 



The contents of this book were mainly written on board H.M.S. 
" Challenger," and sent home from the various ports touched at, 
in the form of a journal. Much of the book has been printed 
directly from the sheets of foreign note paper on winch the 
journal was transmitted. Since, however, very much of it was 
intended for family reading, a good deal of matter descriptive of 
various well-known animals and phenomena has been struck 
out, as well as the accounts of the long voyages and various 

dredgings. 

A considerable amount of the less technical matter, even 
thouo-h treating of matters often before described, contained in 
the original letters, has, however, been retained in the hopes 
that it may interest general readers. The whole has been 
revised and corrected, and the scientific names of birds and 
animals have been corrected, as far as possible, by means of 
the notices of the " Challenger " collections published by various 
specialists since the arrival of the ship in England. 

I venture here to make an appeal to specialists engaged in 
working at " Challenger " material to spare me copies of their 
papers, and to assure them that, as I hope this book will show, 
I take an interest in the collections of all kinds made during 
the " Challenger's " voyage, that I took a large share myself in 
the bringing together of the collections, and that such papers 



Vi PREFACE. 

will not be thrown away upon me. It is almost impossible to 
collect them unaided from the various Journals in which they 
are published. 

I have given in the form of foot-notes, and also in some 
instances, at the ends of the chapters, references to various works 
relating to the subjects treated of. No attempt has, however, 
been made to afford a complete bibliography; I have merely 
noted down those works which I have happened to consult 
myself, in the hopes that such references may be found of some 
assistance. At the end of the book I have given a list of books 
and papers published, relating to the " Challenger " Expedition. 
This is no doubt far from perfect ; I have only made it as full 
as my information allows. 

I should have wished to have been able to illustrate this 
book more fully ; the reason I have not clone so is simply that 
of expense. I have introduced amongst the figures, which are 
otherwise new, about twelve which are printed from cliches, 
and which may no doubt be familiar to some readers as occur- 
ring in other works. I make no scruple to use them as illus- 
trating the subject, and as being better than no figures at all 
of the objects referred to. 

Since it was not considered expedient to attach a Botanist 
to the " Challenger " Expedition, because the special work of 
the ship lay in deep-sea exploration, I undertook the collection 
of plants during the voyage. I received instructions at Kew 
before starting. My best thanks are due to my friend Sir 
Joseph Hooker for the constant encouragement in my work 
which he conveyed to me by letter throughout the voyage, 
and for the care and trouble bestowed on my collections. I 
have to thank further my friend Prof. Oliver for the prompt- 
ness with which he examined the collections and named them, 
and made arrangements for the description and enumeration 
by various authors of all the cryptogams as well as for kindly 



PREFACE. Vll 



correcting and arranging for publication of my own notes on 
plants collected, and for presenting them to the Linnean Society. 

I have to thank my friend Mr. W. T. Thistleton Dyer, for 
much kind assistance and information conveyed to me through- 
out the cruise. I have also to thank the various authors, 
whose names will be found in the list of papers at the end 
of this book, for having undertaken the description of my 
collections of cryptogams and other plants. 

To my friend Prof. G. Eolleston I am indebted for various 
kind offices performed during the course of my voyage, and 
for having seen through the press several scientific papers sent 
home by me for publication. 

I would here express my obligations to Sir C. Wyville 
Thomson for having selected me as a member of the Scientific 
Staff of H.M.S. " Challenger." The fact that the " Challenger " 
Expedition started at all, is principally due to the energy and 
perseverance of Sir C. Wyville Thomson and Dr. Carpenter. 
I sincerely hope that before very long another scientific ex- 
ploring expedition may be despatched from England under 
Government auspices. 

I would also return my best thanks to Captain Sir G. S. 1ST ares 
and Captain F. T. Thomson for their invariable kindness and 
courtesy to me personally, and for the many occasions on which 
they gave me special assistance in my work during the voyage. 

I am further bound to express my gratitude to all my mess- 
mates and many friends on board the ship, who constantly 
helped me in various ways. The interests of a Commander 
and a Eirst Lieutenant on board a man-of-war are as directly 
opposed to all scientific operations, especially those of Botany 
and Zoology, which are necessarily more or less connected 
with dirt and untidiness, as they can possibly be. I have to 
thank Captain J. E. L. P. Maclear and Lieuts. P. Aldrich and 
A. C. B. Bromley, for having so often good-naturedly put up with 



viii PREFACE. 

my various messes and disfigurements of their decks. My best 
thanks are further due to Staff- Commander T. H. Tizard, Navi- 
gating Officer of the " Challenger;' who piloted us so safely 
amongst so many reefs and into so many little-frequented 
harbours. He was always ready to afford information during 
the voyage, and has also done me much most generous service 
in this way subsequently, whilst I have been preparing the 
present work for the press. A reference to his valuable papers 
on deep-sea temperatures will be found in the list at the end of 

this book. 

To Mr. E. Eichards, our Paymaster, we were all indebted for 
the careful planning of many pleasant excursions on shore and 
various acts of kindness. 

My indebtedness to my colleagues, Mr. J. Y. Buchanan, 
Mr. J. Murray, Dr. J. J. Wild, and the late E. Von Willemoes 
Suhm, I have expressed in several places in the text of this 

work. 

It is perhaps somewhat out of place in a private work of 
the present kind, to express my gratitude to the actual pro- 
moters of the "Challenger" Expedition — The Lords of the 
Admiralty. I cannot, however, refrain from saying, as has so 
often been done before by others, that all honour is due to 
them for having promoted this memorable Expedition, and for 
the completeness with which it was furnished in every respect. 
The thanks of all scientific men are due to them, and I cannot 
but feel personally thankful in consideration of the extreme 
pleasure which I derived from the voyage. 

Thanks are no less due to the two successive hydrographers 
to the Admiralty, Yice-Aclmiral Sir G. H. Eichards, Knt., C.B., 
F.E.S., &c, and Captain F. J. Owen Evans, E.K, C.B., F.E.S., 
for the skill with which the Expedition was planned and carried 
out. I have to thank both of them for many advantages derived, 
and also for their personal kindness to me on all occasions. 



PREFACE. IX 

To Mr. W. B. Blakeney, B.K, I am personally indebted for 
various arrangements made at home by him, during the voyage, 
for my benefit. 

I have, finally, to thank my friend Prof. E. Bay Lankester, 
Fellow of Exeter College, for assistance and advice received 
during the progress of this book; and also my friend the 
Bev. Thomas Sheppard, B.D., Fellow of Exeter College, for 
having kindly read through all the proof sheets, and assisted in 
their correction. 

Exeter College, Oxfoed, 
December, 1878. 




CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

TENEBIFFE, ST. THOMAS, 
BEKMUDA. 

Circumstances of the Voyage, p. 1. 
Teneriffe, 2. Cochineal Plantations, 
2. Excursion up the Peak. Trade- 
wind Cloud, 3. Zones of Vegetation, 
4. Sunset seen above the Clouds, 5. 
Babbits and other Animals on the 
Peak, 6. Peculiar Spider's-web, 8. 
Catching Sharks off Sombrero Island, 
West Indies, 8. Appearance and 
habits of Bemora, 9. Pilot fish, 9. 
Island of St. Thomas, 11. Calcareous 
Seaweeds, 12. Sea Urchins with poi- 
soned Spines, 12. Burrowing Spider, 13. 
Nest of Termites, 14. Pelicans edible, 
15. Sand-box tree, 15. Defensive 
colouring of Spines of Cacti, 16. Beach 
Conglomerate, 17. Sea Beans, 17. 
Bermuda, 18. Calcareous Sand-rock, 
18. Caves, 22. Vegetation, 23. Peat, 
23. Boatswain Birds, 25. Land Ne- 
mertine, 26. Corals in Caves, 27. 

CHAPTER II. 

AZOEES, MADEIEA, CAPE 
VERDES. 

Fayal Island, Azores, 29. Porpoises on 
the Feed, 30. Town of Horta, 30. 
Peculiar Dress of the Women, 31. 
Island of Pico, 32. St. Michael's Is- 
land, 32. Native Ferns and Australian 
introduced Trees, 33. The Threshing- 
floor and Women at the Mill, 33. 
Vegetation of the Azores, 34. Hot 
Springs at Furnas, 35 Plants Growing 
in the Hot Water, 36. Caldeira des 
Sette Cidades, 37. Madeira, 38. Grand 
Cural, 39. Curious Caps worn by the 
Men, 40. The Island at Sunset, 41. 
St. Vincent Island, Cape Verdes, 41. 
Vegetation of the Island, 42. Ascent 
of Green Mountain, 43. Different 
Causes of Variation of Vegetation with 
Altitude, 45. Structure of Basaltic 
Dykes, 46. Calcareous Seaweeds on 
Bird Island, 46. Habits of Crabs, 48. 



Miniature Oasis, 51. Flying Gurnet 
Hooked, 51. Mode of Catching Bonito, 
Island of Fogo, 54. Porto Praya, 
Jago Island, 55. Use of Foot in 



53. 

St. 



and 

57. 

Domingo 



Feeding by Kites, 55. Kingfisher 
Galinis, 56. Hauling the Sein, 
A Large Shark, 57. San 
Valley, 59. Monkeys, 60. Bemark- 
able Freshwater Crustacean, 60. Lime- 
stone Band in the Cliff of the Harbour, 
64. 

CHAPTER III. 

ST. PAUL'S BOCKS AND FEE- 
NANDO DO NOBHONA. 

St. Paul's Bocks, 67. Equatorial Cur- 
rent, 68. Nests of Noddies, 69. Pre- 
datory Habits of Grapsus strigosus, 70. 
Fishing off the Bocks, 71. Nests of 
Boobies, 72. Pugnacity of the Young 
Birds, 72. Other Inhabitants of the 
Bocks, 73. Fishing for Cavalli with 
Salmon tackle, 74. Geological Struc- 
ture of the Bocks, 75. Seaweeds Grow- 
ing on the Bocks, 76. Fernando do 
Norhona, 77. Calcareous Sand-rock 
containing Volcanic Intermixture, 78. 
Tree Shedding Leaves in Dry Season, 
78. Jatropha urens, 79. Buds, 79. 
Brazilian Convicts, 80. St. Michael's 
Mount, 82. Frigate Birds Nesting, 83. 
Pigeons Nesting with Sea Birds, 83. 
Lizards of the Islands, 84. 



CHAPTER IV. 

BAHIA. 

Harbour and Town of Bahia, 85. Beli- 
gious Procession, 86. Black Angels, 
87. Land Planarians, 89. Clicking 
Butterfly, 89. Primeval Forest, 90. 
Shooting Humming Birds and Toucans, 
91. Caxoeira, 93. Mewing Toads, 93. 
Excursion to Feira St. Anna, 93. Mule 
Biding, 94. Former Highway Bobbers, 
95. Inn at Feira St. Anna and its 
Guests, 96. The Fau, 97. Anteaters 
Eaten as Medicine, 97. Vaqueiros, 98. 
Tailing Cattle, 99. Horse Dealing, 100. 



Xll 



CONTENTS. 



German Settler in the Country, 100. 
Driving Cattle in the Bush, 101. Farm 
Slaves, 102. Preparation of Cassava, 
102. Overburdened Ant, 104. Three- 
toed Sloth, 104. Slavery in Brazil, 105. 

CHAPTEE V. 

TRISTAN DA CUNHA, INACCES- 
SIBLE ISLAND, NIGHTINGALE 
ISLAND. 

Settlement of the Island, 108. Geological 
Structure, 109. Vegetation, 110. Tem- 
perature of Fresh Water, 111. Phylica 
arborea, 111. Rigorous Climate, 112. 
Condition of the Settlers, 113. In- 
accessible Island, 114. Rock-hopper 
Penguins, 117. Tussock grass. 117. 
Penguin Rookeries, 119. Peculiar Land 
Birds, 121. Noddies and other Sea 
Birds, 123. Southern Skuas, 123. 
Wild Swine, 124. Change of Habits 
of Penguins, 125. Nightingale Island, 
126. Vast Penguin Rookery, 127. 
Seal Caves, 127. Rocks Worn by the 
Feet of the Penguins, 128. Molly- 
mauks and then- Nests, 130. Deriva- 
tion of Seamen's Names for Southern 
Animals, 129. Dogs run Wild in a 
Penguin Rookery, 132. Migrations of 
Penguins and Seals, 133. Insects, &c, 
of the Group, 134. Flowering Seasons, 
134. Sea Beans, 135. Relations of the 
Flora, 135. 

CHAPTER VI. 

CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 

Aspect and Formation of the Country, 
138. Simon's Bay, 139. Appearance 
of the Vegetation, 140. The Road to 
Cape Town, 140. The Silver Tree, 
142. Habits of Baboons, 143. The 
Rock Rabbit, 144. Habits of Rodent 
Moles, 145. Kitchen Middens, 147. 
Burial Places of Natives, 149. Ante- 
lopes, 150. An Ostrich Farm, 151. 
Tracks of Animals in the Sand, 152. 
Great Variety of Flowering Plants, 153. 
Clawless Otter, 154. Land Planarians, 
154. Chameleon, 154. Jackass Pen- 
guins, 155. Bdellostoma, 156. Rare 
Whale with Long Tusks, 157. Peri- 
patus Capensis, the Ancestor of Insects, 
159. The Turacou, 161. 

CHAPTER VII. 

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND. THE 
CROZET ISLANDS. 

Appearance and Formation of Marion 
Island, 163. Vegetation of the Island, 



165. Azorella selago, 165. Limit of 
Vegetation in Altitude, 168. Relations 
of the Flora, 169. Former Extension 
of Land in this Region, 169. Nesting 
of the Great Albatross, 172. Mode 
of Courtship, 174. Skuas, 174. 
" Johnny " Penguins, 175. Rock- 
hoppers, 175. Rookeries of King Pen- 
guins, 176. Absurd Appearance of the 
Young Birds, 177. Singular Mode of 
Incubation, 178. Habits of Sheath- 
bills, 179. Appearance of the Crozet 
Islands, 181. Tree-trunks found in the 
Islands by former Voyagers, 182. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

KERGUELEN'S LAND. 

Position of the Island, 184. Its Moun- 
tains and Fjords, 185. Active Volcano, 
186. Christmas Harbour, 186. Sea 
Elephants and Fur Seals, 187. Shoot- 
ing Teal, 190. The Kerguelen Cab- 
bage, 191. Wingless Flies and Gnats, 

192. Vegetation at Successive Heights, 

193. Fossil Wood, 195. Rookeries of 
Rock-hopper and Macaroni Penguins, 
195. Penguins Inhabiting a Cave, 196. 
Betsy Cove, 196. Glaciation of the 
Land Surface, 197. Iceborne Rocks, 
198. Excavation of the Fjords, 199. 
Beds of Burnt Coal, 199. The Sea 
Leopard, 200. Killing Sea Elephants, 
201. Nature of the Trunk of the Sea 
Elephant, 202. Carrion Birds, 206. 
The Giant Petrel, 206. Habits of 
Several Burrowing Petrels, 207. The 
Diving Petrel, 208. Habits of Sheath- 
bills, 209. Struggle for Existence 
amongst the Birds. 213. Whaling 
amongst the Kelp, 213. 



CHAPTER IX. 

HEARD ISLAND. 

Diatoms on the Sea Surface, 216. Mac- 
donald Island, 216 Whisky Bay, 
Heard Island, 217. Coast-line com- 
posed of Glaciers, 219. Structure of 
the Glaciers, 219. Terminal and 
Lateral Moraines, 220. Glacier Stream, 
221. Rocks Cut by Natural Sand 
Blast, 222. Lava Flow and Denuded 
Crater, 222. Scanty Vegetation, 224. 
Range in Elevation of Arctic and 
Southern Plants Compared, 225. Mode 
of Hunting Sea Elephants, 227. Habits 
of these Animals, 228. Sealers Inha- 
biting Heard Island, 229. Birds of the 
Island, 229. 



CONTENTS. 



Xlll 



CHAPTER X. 

AMONGST THE SOUTHEKN ICE. 

First Iceberg Sighted, 232. Typical 
Forms of Southern Bergs, 233. Pre- 
servation of Equilibrium, 234. Wash- 
lines, 234. Caverns, 235. Bi-tabular 
Bergs, How Formed, 236. Weather- 
ing of Bergs, 238. Stratification of 
Ice in Bergs, 239. Cleavage, 240. 
Scarcity of Rocks on Bergs, 242. Dis- 
coloured Bands in the Ice, 243. Bev. 
Canon Moseley on the Motion of Gla- 
ciers, 244. Colouring of Bergs, 245. 
Blue Bergs, 246. Surf on the Coasts 
of Bergs, 246. Scenic effects of Ice- 
bergs, 246. Appearance of the Pack- 
ice, 248. Discolouration of Ice by Dia- 
toms, 249. Gales of Wind amongst 
the Icebergs, 250. Snow Bow, 252. 
Whales Blowing, 252. Grampuses, 
253. Birds amongst the Ice, 253. 
Antarctic Climate in Summer, 254. 



CHAPTER XL 

VICTORIA. NEW SOUTH WALES. 

Excursions into the Bush near Melbourne, 
256. Opossum Snare, 257. Tracks of 
the Aborigines on Tree-trunks, 258. 
Town of Sandhurst, 259. The High- 
est Tree in the World, 260. Abori- 
gines on a Government Beserve, 261. 
Ornithorynchus paradoxus, 262. Leaves 
of Australian Trees, why Vertically 
Disposed, 264. Fur Seal in the Open 
Sea, 265. Sydney Harbour, 266. The 
Blue Mountains, 266. Excavations in 
the Ground caused by Bain, 267. 
Shooting Opossums by Moonlight, 267. 
Fruit-eating Bats, 268. Hunting Ban- 
dicoots, 269. Browera Creek, 270. 
Intimate Relation of Land and Sea 
Animals, 271. Geological Import of 
this, 272. Medusae in Fresh Water, 
272. Kitchen Middens, 273. Drawings 
by Aborigines, 273. Handmarks, 275. 
Trigonia and Cestracion, 276. 



CHAPTER XII. 

NEW ZEALAND. THE FEIENDLY 
ISLANDS. MATUKU ISLAND. 

Wellington, New Zealand, 277. The 
Bata Tree, 278. Kingfisher with Lit- 
toral Habits, 278. Peripatus, 279. 
Egg Capsules of Land Planarians, 279. 
The Vegetation of the Kermadec Is- 
lands, 280. Bed coloured Muscles of 
the Shark, 281. Island of Eua, 282. 
General Appearance of the Island of 
Tongatabu, 282. Tongan Natives, 283. 



Mode of Hairdressing, 284. Facial ex- 
pression of the Natives, 284. A Pea- 
jacket a Badge of Distinction, 285. 
Town of Nukualofa, 286. Dress of 
Tongan Women, 287. Getting Fire by 
Friction, 287. Deserted Plantations, 

290. Fruit-bats Feeding on Flowers, 

291. Herons, Tree-swifts, and other 
Birds, 291. Parasitic Algse in Forami- 
nifera, 292. Matuku Island, Fiji 
Group, 293. The Island an Ancient 
Crater, 293. Its Vegetation, 294. 
Encircling Beef, 294. Flocks of 
Lories, 295. Periophthahnus, a Fish 
Living on Land, 295. Living Pearly 
Nautilus, 297. Its Mode of Swimming, 
297. Account of the Nautilus, by 
Rumphius, 299. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

FIJI ISLANDS. 

Position and Area of the Islands of the 
Group, 301. Kandavu Island, 302. 
Grindstones for Stone Adzes, 302. 
Shooting Birds in the Woods, 303. 
Terrestrial Hermit Crabs, 304. Visit 
to a Barrier Beef, 306. Ovalau Island, 
308. Excursion to Livoni, 308. Fijian 
Convicts, 309. Log Drum, 309. 
Native Hairdressing, 310. Kaava 
Drinking, 311. Buying Stone Adzes, 
313. Excursion to Mbau Island, 314. 
Structure of the Island, 315. Na 
vatani tawaki, 316. Belies of Canni- 
balism, 318. Interview with King 
Thackombau, 319. Connection of 
Wooden Drums and Bells, 321. Ex- 
cursion up the Wai Levu, 322. Sugar 
Plantations at Viti, 323. Freshwater 
Sharks, 325. Joe the Pilot, 325. 
Fijian Fortifications and Tombs, 326. 
A Chief's House and his Children, 328. 
A Missionary Meeting, 329. Various 
Modes of Painting the Body, 331. 
Grand Dancing Performances, 331. 
Primitive Origin of Music, Poetry, and 
the Drama, 333. Wesleyan Missionary, 
335. Albino Native, 335. Congrega- 
tion of Races at Levuka, 336. Fijian 
Modes of Expression, 336. Laughter, 
337. Cicatrisation, 338. The Ula, 338. 
Particulars concerning Cannibalism, 
339. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

NEW HEBE IDES. CAPE YORK. 
TORRES STRAITS. 

Api Island, New Hebrides, 342. Fring- 
ing Reefs, 343. Proofs of Elevation, 
344. Coral Living Detached, 344. 
Natives of Api, their Ornaments and 
Weapons, 345. Condition of Returned 



XIV 



CONTEXTS. 



Labourers, 345. Expression of the 
Emotions, 346. Kaine Island, 347. 
Its Geological Structure, 347. Its 
Vegetation, 348. Nesting of Wide- 
awakes, Gannets and Frigate Birds, 

349. Dead Turtles, 350. Somerset, 
Cape York, 350. Nests of White Ants, 

350. Combination of Indian and Aus- 
tralian Features in the Vegetation, 351. 
Various Birds, 351. Habits of the 
Kifle Bird, 352. Ends Fertilizing 
Plants, 353. Camp of the Blacks, 354. 
Habits of these Natives, 354. Curious 
mode of Smoking, 356. Food of the 
Blacks, 357. They cannot Count 
Higher than Three, 358. Absolute 
Nudity of the Men, 359. Coral Flats, 
360. Collection of Savage Weapons at 
Cape York, 361. Wednesday Island, 
Torres Straits, 361. Structure of 
Coral Flats, 362. Giant Clam, 362. 
Native Graves, 363. Booby Island, 
363. A Halting Place for Birds during 
Migration, 364. Many Land Birds on 
an Almost Bare Bock, 364. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. 



AEU. 



CHAPTER XV. 

KE. BANDA. AMBOINA. 
TEBNATE. 



Appearance of the Am Islands, 366. 
Trees Transplanted by the Waves, 368. 
Masses of Drift Wood, 368. Malay 
Language, 369. Ballasting a Guide, 
369. Management of Clothes during 
Kain, 369. Back Country Natives, 370. 
Great Height of the Trees, 371. Nests 
of the Metallic Starling, 372. Parrots 
and Cockatoos, 372. Bird- winged 
Butterflies, 373. Shooting Birds of 
Paradise at Wanumbai, 375. Deposit 
of Lime in Streams, 378. Boat Crews 
from the Ke Islands, 379. Fungus 
Skin Disease, 379. Ke Island Danc- 
ing, 380. Houses at Ke Dulan, 381. 
Leaf Arrows, 381. Bird caught in a 
Spider's Web, 382. Ascent of the 
Volcano of Banda, 382. Algae growing 
in the Hot Steam Jets, 383. Numer- 
ous Insects at the Summit, 384. 
Alteration in Sea Level, Marked on 
Living Corals, 385. Nutmeg Planta- 
tions, 386. Transportation of Seeds 
by Fruit-Pigeons, 386. Saluting at 
Amboina, 387. Danger to the Eyes in 
Diving for Corals, 389. liaised Reefs, 
389. Myrmecodia and Hydnophytum, 
389. Moluccan Deer, 390. Ternate 
Island, 390. Chinese and their Graves, 
391. Sale of Birds of Paradise, 391. 
Ascent of the Volcano, 392. The 
Mountain Vegetation, 392. The Ter- 
minal Cone, 393. View from the Sum- 
mit, 394. 



Zamboanga, Mindonao Island, 



395. 
Paddy "Fields and Buff alos, 395. The 
Lutaos and then Pile-Dwellings, 396. 
Pile-Dwellings on Dry Land, 398. 
The Ground Floor a late addition to 
the First Story, 399. Wide Dis- 
tribution of Pile-DweUings, 399. 
Their Possible Origin, 400. Dances 
Performed by the Lutaos, 401. 
Bamboo Jews Harp, 401. Lutao 
Canoe and Weapons, 402. Search for 
Birgus Latro, 403. Birds' Eggs 
hatched in the Sea Sand, 403. Alcyo- 
narian Corals. Basilan Island, 404. 
Cart-wheels cut from Living Planks, 

405. Galeopithecus and Flying Lizard, 

406. Cebu Island, 407. Mode of 
Dredging up Euplectella, 407. Mactan 
Island, Eaised Eeef, 408. Large 
Cerianthus, 408. Trachytie Volcano 
at Camiguin Island, 409. Temperature 
at which Plants can Grow in Hot 
Mineral Water, 410. Manila-hemp 
Plantations, 411. Manila, 411. Shirt 
worn over Trousers, 411. Clothes 
Originally Ornamental only, 412. Half- 
hatched Ducks' Eggs Eaten, 412. Cock 
Fighting, 412. Sale of Indulgences, 
414. 

CHAPTER XVII. 



CHINA. NEW GUINEA. 



Hong 



Kong, 415. Pigeon English, 415. 
Chinese Method of Writing compared 
with European Methods, 417. De- 
velopment of Chinese and Japanese 
Books from Kolls, 417. Plants coloniz- 
ing a Pagoda, 419. Sights of Canton, 

419. Chinese and English Examina- 
tions, and their subjects compared, 

420. The Honam Monastery, 421. 
Chinese Floral Decorations, 421. A 
Chinese Dinner, 422. Dragons' Bones 
and Teeth, 423. Origin of Mythical 
Animals, 423. Chinese Account of 
the Dragon, 425. The last Dragon 
seen in England, 426. Use of Uni- 
corn's Horn as Medicine in Europe, 
426. Chinese and English Medicine 
compared, 428. Chinese Accounts of 
the Pigmies and of Monkeys, 428 
English Mythical Animals, 430. 
Sea Serpent, 430. Owls living 
Ground Squirrel in China, 431. 
the Talaur Islands, 432. Driftwood 
off the Ambernoh Eiver, New Guinea, 
432. Animals Inhabiting it, 434. 
Humboldt Bay, 435. Signal Fires of 
the Natives, 435. Bartering at Night, 
436. Numbers of Canoes, 437. Rela- 
tive Prices of Native Property, 439. 



The 

with 

Off 



CONTEXTS. 



XV 



Attempts at Thieving, 439. Modes of 
Expression, 440. Mode of Threatening 
Death by Signs, 441. Armed Boat 
Bobbed, 442. Villages of Pile-Dwell- 
lings, 445. 

CHAPTEE XVIII. 

THE ADMIBALTY ISLANDS. 

History of Visits to the Islands, 449. 
Eagerness of the Natives for Iron, 451. 
Trade Gear, 451. Trading with the 
Natives, 452. Geological Structure of 



the Islands, 455. 
overhanging 



Orchids and Ferns 
the Sea, 455. Fern re- 
sembling a Liverwort, 455. Difficul- 
ties in Collecting Words of then* Lan- 
guage from the Natives, 456. Their 
Methods of Counting, 457. Curious 
Mode of Expressing Negation, 457. 
Physical Characteristics of the Natives, 

458. Hairiness of Baces Compared, 

459. Possible Signification of Moles, 
459. Clothes, Han Dressing and 
Ornaments of the Natives, 460. Tat- 
tooing and Painting, 463. Betel- 
Chewing and Food, 464. Houses, 
Temples, and Canoes of the Natives, 
465. Their Implements and Weapons, 
467. Artistic Skill of the Natives, 469. 
Then Musical Instruments 
and Singing, 471 
472. 
472. 

Hair in their 
Beligion, 474. 
Natives, 477. 
and Toys, 477 



Fortification 
Wooden Gods, 473 



Dancing 
Their Polygamy, 
of then Villages, 
Skulls and 
Temples, 474. Their 
Disposition of the 
Their Fear of Goats 
Population of the 



Islands, 478. Domestic Animals, Birds 
and other Animals at the Islands, 478. 
Habits of Gar-Fish, 479. 

CHAPTEE XIX. 

JAPAN. THE SANDWICH 
ISLANDS. 

Tedious Voyage to Japan, 481. Jinrik- 
sha Coolies, 482. Worship of the 
White Horse, 482. Japanese Sight- 
Seers, 483. Consulting the Oracle, 
483. Japanese Pilgrims, 484. Book 
Shops and Beligious Shops, 484. 
Biver Embankments, 485. Bice Fields, 
485. Houses of Wood and Paper, 485. 
English Bed-room Exhibited at the 
Exhibition, 486. Money Boxes, 487. 
Pilgrims and Priests, 487. Interest 
taken by the People in Tojins, 488. 
Cold Water Cme, 488. Painting of 
the Face in China and Japan, 489. 
Japanese Tattooing, 491. Japanese 
Modes of Expression, 482. Japanese 
Pictures and Theatres, 493. Barren 



Appearance of the Sandwich Islands, 
495. Honolulu, 495. Supremacy of 
American over Native Productions, 496. 
Principal Trees of Oahu Island, 497. 
King Kalakaua, 497. Hawaian Burials, 

498. Visit to the Crater of Kilauea, 

499. Ponds of Fluid Lava, 501. 
Mode of Formation of Pele's Hair, 502. 
Lava Fountains and Cascades, 502. 
Becent Eruptions, 503. Hawaian 
Hook Ornament, 504. Its Probable 
Beligious Signification, 505. 
Stone Club, 510. Affinities 
New Zealand and Hawaian Art, 510 
Inter-breeding on Isolated 
512. 



Hawaian 
between 



Islands, 



CHAPTEE XX. 

TAHITI. JUAN FEBNANDEZ. 

Death of Budolph Von Willemoes Suhm, 
513. Scientific Papers and Journals 
left by Him, 513. Papeete, 514. 
Excursion into the Mountains, 516. 
Fly-Fishing in a Mountain Stream, 
516. Uses of the Wild Banana, 517. 
Vegetation Composed mainly of 
Ferns, 518. Camping at Night, 
519. Tahitian Mountain Map, 520. 
Ascent to 4,000 feet Altitude, 521. 
Petrels Nesting at this Height, 
521. Their Possible Influence in 
Distribution of Plants, 522. Ignor- 
ance of the Natives Concerning the 
Mountains, 523. Mode of Alternation 
of Generations in the Mushroom 
Coral, 524. Structure of Millepora, 
525. Structure of the Stylasteridae, 
528. Catching Land-Crabs, 535. 
Tahitian National Air, 536. Juan 
Fernandez, 537. Preponderance of 
Ferns, 537. Destruction of Trees, 538. 
Gunnera Chilensis, 538. Conspicuous 
Flowers, 539. Humming Ends of the 
Island, 539. Their Fertilization of 
Flowers, 539. Smallness of the Island 
Compared with the Number of Endemic 
Forms, 541. Endemic Palm, 541. 
Dendroseris, 542. 

CHAPTEE XXI. 

CHILE. MAGELLAN'S STBAITS. 
FALKLAND ISLANDS. ASCEN- 
SION. 

Valparaiso, 543. The Andes not Con- 
spicuous, 543. Cattle lassoed in the 
Streets, 544. Excursion up the 
Uspallata Pass, 544. Leafless Mistle- 
toe on the Leafless Cactus, 545. An 
Equestrian Hair Cutter, 546. Dead 
and Disabled Animals on the Pass, 
547. Use of the Lasso in Bobbery and 
Flirtation, 548. Cleverness of a Horse 
on a Mountain Path, 548. Fjords of 



XVI 



CONTENTS. 



the "Western Coast of Patagonia, 549. 
Density of the Forest, 549. An Anchor 
Broken, 550. Fuegians, 550. Wild 
Geese at Elizabeth Island, 551. 
Kitchen Middens, 552. The Falkland 
Islands, 553. Visit to Port Darwin, 
553. Scotchmen turned Gauchos, 554. 
Chapinas and Tropijes, 554. Wild 
Horses and their Habits, 555. Various 
Modes of Handling Cattle in Different 
Parts of the World, 557. Goose-Bolas 
made of Knuckle Bones, 558. Flies and 
Gnats with Eudimentary Wings, 558. 
Skeleton of Ziphioid Whale, 559. 
Fuegian Arrow-heads Scattered in the 
Islands, 560. Habits of Jackass Pen- 
guin, 560. Ascension Island, 561. 
Land Crabs, 561. The Hatching of 
Turtles' Eggs, 561. Shooting at Fly- 
ing Fish, 562. Birds at Boatswain 
Bird Island, 563. 

CHAPTEE XXII. 

LIFE ON THE OCEAN SUEFACE 
AND IN THE DEEP SEA. ZOO- 
LOGY AND BOTANY OF THE 
SHIP. CONCLUSION. 

Plants of the Ocean Surface, 566. Fauna 
of the Sargasso Sea, 567. Protective 
Colouring of Pelagic Animals, 568. 
Variety of Pelagic Animals, 569. 
Flight of the Albatross, 569. Flight 
of Flying Fish, 570. A Pelagic Insect, 
571. Pelagonemertes described, 572. 
Phosphorescence of Pelagic Animals, 
574. Giant Pyrosoma, 574. Uncer- 



tainty as to Eange in Depth of Pelagic 
Animals, 575. The Depth of the 
Oceans and Depressions on the Earth's 
Surface, 576. Deep-Sea Dredging, 578. 
Vast Pressure existing in the Deep 
Sea, 579. Experiment showing this 
made by Mr. Buchanan, 579. Condi- 
tions under which Life Exists in the 
Deep Sea, 580. Eange of Plants in 
Depth, 581. Food of Deep-Sea Ani- 
mals, 581. Experiment on Eate of 
Sinking of a Salpa, 582. Vegetable 
and Animal Debris Dredged from 
Great Depths, 583. The Deep Sea, a 
High Eoad for Distribution of Animals, 
583. Deep-Sea Faunas and Alpine 
Floras Compared, 585. Nature of 
Deep-Sea Fauna a source of Disap- 
pointment, 586. Kemarkable Deep- 
Sea Ascidian, 587. Localities specially 
Eich in Deep-Sea Forms, 589. Eela- 
tions of Deep-Sea Animals to One 
Another, 590. Phosphorescent Light 
in the Deep-Sea, 590. Colours of 
Deep-Sea Animals, 591. Cockroaches, 
Moths, Mosquitos, House-flies, Cric- 
kets, Centipedes and Eats on board the 
" Challenger," 592. Plants on board 
the Ship, 594. Pet Parrot, Casso- 
wary, Ostriches, Tortoises, Spiders, 
Fur Seal, and Goat on Board, 594. 
Adaptation to Sea Life, 596. Sinall- 
ness of the Earth's Surface, 597. Slow 
Eate of Travelling, 597. Man and 
possibly Protoplasm existent on the 
Earth alone, 598. Necessity for im- 
mediate Scientific Investigation of 
Oceanic Islands, 599. 



List of Books and Papers relating to the " Challenger " 

Expedition, 601-606. 

General Index. 



LIST OF COLOUEED PLATES. 



Antarctic Icebergs, to face Title-page. 

View of Pack Ice from Foretop, to face page 248. 

Track Chart, with Contour of the bottom of the Ocean, to be inserted at 
the end of the book. 



ii 



A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 



CHAPTER I. 

TENEEIFFE, ST. THOMAS, BERMUDA. 

Circumstances of the Voyage. Teneriffe. Cochineal Plantations. Excur- 
sion up the Peak. Trade- wind Cloud. Zones of Vegetation. Sunset 
seen above the Clouds. Eabbits and other Animals on the Peak. 
Peculiar Spider's Web. Catching Sharks off Sombrero Island, West 
Indies. Appearance and habits of Eemora. Pilot Fish. Island of St. 
Thomas. Calcareous Seaweeds. Sea Urchins with Poisoned Spines. 
Burrowing Spider. Nest of Termites. Pelicans edible. Sand-box 
Tree. Defensive colouring of Spines of Cacti. Beach Conglomerate. 
Sea-beans. Bermuda. Calcareous Sand-rock. Caves. Vegetation. 
Peat. Boatswain Birds. Land Nemertine. Corals in Caves. 

circumstances of the voyage.-— H.M.S. " Challenger/' a main- 
deck corvette, with auxiliary steam power, left Portsmouth on 
December 21st, 1872, for a voyage of three years and a half 
round the world. The object of her cruise was to investigate 
scientifically the physical conditions and natural history of the 
deep sea all over the world. The ship was with that aim 
specially fitted with sounding and dredging apparatus, and car- 
ried a scientific staff, appointed by the Lords of the Admiralty, 
and placed by them under the direction of Sir Charles Wyville 
Thomson, F.B.S., &c. I accompanied the expedition as one of 
the naturalists on this staff. 

In consequence of the special nature of the mission, the sea voy- 
ages were tedious and protracted, the ship being constantly stopped 
on its course to sound and dredge. Since the results obtained 
by deep-sea dredging, even in most widely distant localities, were 
very similar and somewhat monotonous, all reference to them 
will be deferred to the end of this narrative ; where their natural- 
history aspects will be discussed shortly as a whole, and where 
oceanic animals and plants will also be treated of to some extent. 

The voyage of the " Challenger " occupied three years and 

B 



2 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

155 days, and out of this period about 520 days, or portions of 
these, were available for excursions on shore. A very large pro- 
portion of the time in harbour was necessarily spent at places 
where dockyards and workshops were available for repairs to the 
ship. The stays made at less-frequented places of especial 
interest to the naturalist were comparatively short. This cir- 
cumstance should be borne in mind by the reader. 

After stopping at Lisbon, Gibraltar, and Madeira, which 
latter island was afterwards visited a second time, and will be 
referred to in the sequel, the ship reached Teneriffe, one of the 
Canary Islands, and anchored off Santa Cruz, the chief town of 
the island, on February 7th, 1873. 

Tenerift'e, Canary Islands, February Sth to 14th, 1813. — The 
most striking feature in the natural vegetation of Teneriffe is 
the Euphorbia canariensis. The fleshy prismatic branches of 
this plant are devoid of leaves, have a blueish-green colour, and 
are perfectly straight and perpendicular, being disposed side by 
side, and 10 or 15 feet in height. The plant is abundant all 
over the rocks at a low elevation, and resembles a cactus in 
appearance. It has an abundant milky juice, which is very 
acrid and poisonous. Of the introduced vegetation, the planta- 
tions of the broad-lobed cactus (Opuntia), employed for the raising 
of the Cochineal insect, are curious. The crop of insects was, in 
the month of February, just being started on the plant, that is to 
say, the female insects were being placed upon the leaf-shaped 
lobes of the plant to lay their eggs, and start a fresh brood. The 
females are, when thus put out at the beginning of the season, 
held on to the plants by means of white rags tied round the 
lobes. Hence the fields, when seen at a distance, look as if they 
contained some crop bearing a continuous sheet of large white 
blossoms. I was greatly puzzled by them when looking at them 
as the ship was approaching the island. The island is so steep 
and rocky that it has been terraced for purposes of cultivation, 
and nearly every available spot has been treated in this manner. 

I accompanied a party on an excursion up the Peak. The 
way led from Santa Cruz, through the Cochineal fields, and up a 
steep but well-engineered road, planted with tamarisk trees to 
the summit of the central ridge of the island. Here was passed 



TENERIFFE. 3 



a dilapidated town, thoroughly Spanish in its architecture, with 
some fine houses in it in a ruinous condition. The central square 
of the town was overgrown with weeds, and its streets mostly 
covered with grass ; but so are many in the capital, Santa Cruz, 
itself. On the way, droves of mules, ponies, and donkeys were 
passed, laden with country produce. The countrymen wear a 
peculiar dress, black trousers reaching only to the knee, and an 
ordinary blanket of the natural colour of the wool, drawn into 
pleats at one end to go round the neck, and worn over the 
shoulders as a cloak. If the blanket were dyed of some dark or 
bright tint the dress would not look very remarkable ; but its 
dirty-white colour has a strange appearance. The countrywomen 
have very fine figures and are most of them very handsome. 
We passed through another town where a private collector has 
a museum containing a number of mummies, skulls, and relics of 
the Guanches, the ancient inhabitants of the Canaries. The 
" gabinete," the owner of which was absent, was in a somewhat 
decayed condition, and was a sort of general collection of 
curiosities, a survival of the old Earitatenkammer, which is the 
parent of modern more select collections, just as the West 
African fetisch house may be regarded as the primitive and 
savage representative of the Earitatenkammer. Man seems to 
be almost the only mammal that collects and stores uneatable 
objects. Amongst birds, on the other hand, the collecting 
instinct is widely spread, as witness magpies and Bower-birds,* 
and even Penguins, one of which collects variously- coloured 
pebbles. It will be a great pity if the Guanche remains, con- 
tained in the Teneriffe Gabinete, do not reach some good 
European museum. 

From the neighbourhood of this second town was obtained 
the first view of the far-famed Peak, " Pico de Teyde." The 
middle part of the mountain was concealed by a dense bank of 
white clouds, the condensed vapour of the trade wind. Beneath, 
a broad valley stretching down to the bright blue sea, with its 
snow-white edging of surf, was thrown partly into deep shadow 
by the cloud-bank, partly lit up by the bright hot sun. The sun 

* 0. Beccari, " Le Capanne ed i Giardini del Amblyornis inornata" 
Ann. del Mm Civ. di St. Nat. di Genova, Vol. IX, 1876-7. 

B2 



4 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 



shone brilliantly upon the snowy peak of the mountain, high up 
in the sky above the clouds. On the shore lay the town of 




PEAK OF TENERIFFE FROM THE KOAD ABOVE OEOTAVA. 

(From a sketch by the Author.) 

Orotava, from which the ascent was to be made. The English 
vice-consul at Orotava, who kindly made arrangements for the 
trip, told me that the growth of the vine in Teneriffe was fast 
being supplanted by the cultivation of Cochineal ; 2,000 pipes 
only were being produced around Orotava, whereas 200,000 
were formerly made. He expected, however, that since Cochi- 
neal was falling in price, the wine trade would revive. The 
Canary wine is certainly of most excellent flavour. 

The route up the mountain lay up a long sloping ridge, 
which leads to the base of the actual cone of the Peak. This 
ridge is bounded by a precipice on the side facing Orotava. The 
villagers tried to dissuade the party from going farther after we 
had ascended about 2,000 feet, saying that we should be frozen 
to death. 

The well-known zones of vegetation of the Peak of Teneriffe 
are not very well defined on the route which we adopted. The 
limit of cultivation was reached at about 3,000 feet, at which 
height corn of some kind was just springing up, and we passed 



TENEEIFFE. O 

above this into a zone covered with a tree-like heath {Erica 
arborea). This heath continued for about 2,000 feet, and then 
ceased abruptly, and we came, higher up, amongst large blueish- 
green bushes of a sort of broom (Spartocytisus nubigenus), called 
by the natives " Eetama," amongst which we pitched our tent, at 
an elevation of 6,500 feet. Above the Eetama, a small violet 
{Viola teydeana) is said to extend up to 10,000 feet, and above 
this all is barren. The pine (Pinus canariensis) which grows on 
some parts of the mountain is not seen on the usual track of 
ascent. A halt was made amongst the heath for lunch, and 
plenty of water-cresses were found growing in a spring. We had 
to carry water up with us from tins spring, since there is no 
water to be obtained above, except by melting snow. The 
porous volcanic ashes soak up all the water yielded by the 
natural melting of the snow above, and there is no place where 
any can be gathered. 

At about 4,000 feet elevation we went through a dense bank 
of cloud, formed by the trade wind, a similar one to that which 
was seen from below on the day before, and winch had hidden 
the middle of the mountain from our view, but not the same, for 
in the early morning there had not been a cloud in the sky. 
The bank formed at about mid-clay. At our camp, far above 
this cloud-bank, the sun shone brightly, until about six o'clock 
in the evening, when it began to disappear, and the air, which 
had been almost too hot, became suddenly cold, the temperature 
going down almost to freezing point. 

We enjoyed a very extraordinary sunset effect. The upper 
surface of the cloud-bank .stretched away like a snow-white 
billowy sea beneath us in every direction, hiding the actual sea 
from our sight entirely, but just allowing us a glimpse of the far- 
off island of Palma, which appeared as a purple streak at the 
edge of the cloud horizon. As the sun went down the clear sky 
beyond the white motionless cloud-bank became tinged of a 
brilliant oiange colour, and over it there shot out from the 
descending sun a fan of pale crimson streamers deeply tinted at 
their base, and gradually fading off into the dark blue sky above 
but visible nearly to the zenith. Beyond the great cloud-bank 
more distant streaky clouds, lit up of a brilliant violet, formed 



6 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

a sort of background to the scene. Some amongst these little 
distant clouds from time to time assumed fantastic shapes, and 
once we were almost persuaded that we were looking upon the 
sea in the distance with two very far-off ships upon it, but it 
was merely a delusion. The sea was entirely shut out from our 
view, except once for a few instants when a small rift in the 
cloud -bank occurred and gave us a momentary glimpse of the 
rippling surface far below, a sort of vista view dimmed by the 
misty frame through which it was seen. 

All the while the snowy peak itself was perfectly cloudless 
and stood out clear and sharp against a deep blue arctic-looking 
sky. Soon the sunlight faded and the moon came out bright, 
and the peak glistened in its light, which was strong enough for 
me to read by easily. The view of our tent and camp fire 
amongst the dark broom bushes with the moonlit snowy peak 
in the background, fronted by some dark ridges of lava, was 
most picturesque.* 

We set fire to some of the large Eetama bushes and soon had 
a tremendous blaze, the bushes fizzing and crackling loudly in 
the flare, the flames shooting high up into the air so that they 
were seen at Orotava, and even at Santa Cruz. The ground 
froze on the surface around our tent during the night, the 
thermometer standing at 30° F. just before sunrise. 

I walked from the camp to the Canaclas — a remarkable plain 
covered with scoriae, and shut in on nearly all sides by a perpen- 
dicular wall of basaltic cliff. From this plain of vast extent the 
present terminal cone of the mountain rises. The Canadas 
represents an ancient and much larger crater in the centre 
of the remnant of winch the more modern smaller peak has 
been thrown up. The bottom of the Canadas is dotted over 
with the Retama. The ground was devoid of any other vegeta- 
tion. I was surprised to find that rabbits were tolerably abun- 
dant in the Canadas. I saw several but could not manage to 
get a shot as they were wary. They feed on the Eetama. They 
have no holes, but live in any chance crack or hole in the rock 

* For an account of the Peak of Teneriffe and its cloud phenomena, 
see C. Piazzi Smyth, F.E.S., &c, " Teneriffe : an Astronomer's Experiment." 
London, Reeve, 1858. 



TENERIFFE. 7 

or under the bushes ; hence I could not trap them, though I took 
traps with me for the purpose. They are small. I obtained in 
Orotava a stuffed specimen of a black variety with a white spot 
on the forehead, which is occasionally found. Of birds in the 
Canadas I saw only a lark and a warbler (Sylvia), and of lower 
animals I found only a Lepisma and a Centipede (Scolopendra) 
which were very abundant under the blocks of pumice. 

The radiant heat of the sun was extremely powerful on the 
arid plain of the Canadas. We had no guides, and our mule 
drivers had left us. All refused to accompany us at this season 
of the year to the top of the peak. We therefore ascended only 
to a height of about 9,000 feet, the last 200 feet of which was 
chmbed over snow. Here we watched the often described 
struggles of the opposing winds, the trades and anti-trades, 
as shown by the eddying and twisting of the wreaths of cloud. 

In the neighbourhood of the camp at 6,500 feet, winter was 
evidently still in force as far as the animals were concerned. 
All the spiders and beetles I could find there were under stones, 
apparently hybernating. I was astonished to find at tins altitude 
a Gecko (Tarentola f) also hybernating, coiled up in a hole 
under a stone. This lizard has a long range in altitude, since I 
found another specimen close to sea level. 

After two nights we moved our camp to a spring at about 
3,500 feet altitude amongst the Arboreal Heath, on the verge of 
the precipice bounding the ridge by which we had ascended. 
Here it was much warmer at night, and at daybreak the tem- 
perature was only as low as 45° F. But we had descended 
within the cloud-bank and had heavy rain, and should not have 
succeeded in lighting a fire for cooking had we not been helped 
by a mountain shepherd who was evidently well accustomed to 
setting a fire going in the rain, and soon got our kettle to boil. 
He was a fine powerful man and very honest and obliging, 
as were all the peasants with whom we came in contact. 
Stimulated with a shilling he turned collector, and soon returned 
with boxes full of snails and beetles. The steep side of the 
ridge overlooking Orotava is covered with a luxuriant vegetation 
of laurels, heaths, and ferns, and is very different in this respect 
from the comparatively barren surface of the slope above. A 



8 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 

finch (Fringilla teijdeana) peculiar to the island of Teneriffe, is 
to be obtained only in some pine woods near Orotava, and is 

rare. 

In the Cochineal plantations a spider (I believe an Upeira) is 
very common, which makes a horizontally extended web, com- 
posed of fine square meshes. The web is supported by sus- 
pending threads in the midst of a globular labyrinth of irregu- 
larly disposed fibres. In the centre the horizontal net is drawn 
upwards into a short conical tube, at the end of which is an 
opening. The female always occupies a position immediately 
over this hole, which is apparently intended to allow of easy 
access to either side of the net. The egg bags are suspended in 
a vertical line immediately over the opening, and are often 
as many as four in number. In those I examined, the upper- 
most bag always contained fresh eggs, the lower fully developed 
young, and the others two intermediate stages. The male lives 
in the lower part of the irregular globular mass, and is very 
much smaller than the female, but is marked with brilliant 
silver patches on the abdomen. 

In one of the churches at Santa Cruz is a flag taken by the 
Spanish from Nelson, and there preserved as a trophy. The 
ship left Teneriffe on February 14th, and reaching the trade 
winds on February 20th, sailed pleasantly before them across 
the Atlantic to the Virgin Islands. 

Off Sombrero Island, March 15th, 1813. — "Whilst dredging 

was proceeding off the Island of Sombrero, on the approach to 
St. Thomas, two sharks (Carcharias brachiurus) were caught 
with a hook and line. One of these had the greater portion of 
one of its pectoral fins bitten off, there being a clean semi- 
circular cut surface, where the jaws of another shark had closed 
and nipped it. through. Attached to the sharks were several 
" Sucker-fish" (JZchineis remora), as commonly is the case. 
Sometimes these "Suckers" drop off as the shark is hauled on 
board. Sometimes they remain adherent, and are secured with 
their companion. In this case four out of six " Suckers " were 
obtained with the two sharks. They were seen to shift their 
position on the sharks frequently as these struggled in the water 
fast hooked. 



ST. THOMAS. 



The Eemora is a fish provided, as a means of attachment, 
with an oval sucker divided into a series of vacuum chambers 
by transverse pleats. The sucker is placed on the back of the 
fish's head. The animal thus constantly applies to the surfaces 
to which it attaches itself, such as the shark's skin, its back. 
Hence the back being always less exposed to light is light- 
coloured, whereas the belly, which is constantly outermost and 
exposed, is of a dark chocolate colour. The familiar distribution 
of colour existing in most other fish is thus reversed. No doubt 
the object of the arrangement is to render the fish less con- 
spicuous on the brown back of the shark. Were its belly light- 
coloured as usual, the adherent fish would be visible from a 
great distance against the dark background. The result is that 
when the fish is seen alive it is difficult to persuade oneself at 
first that the sucker is not on the animal's belly, and that the 
dark exposed surface is not its back. The form of the fish, 
which has the back flattened and the belly raised and rounded, 
strengthens the illusion. When the fish is preserved in spirits 
the colour becomes of a uniform chocolate and this curious 
effect is lost. When one of these fish, a foot in length, has its 
wet sucker applied to a table and is allowed time to lay hold, it 
adheres so tightly that it is impossible to pull it off by a fair 
vertical strain. 

Fishing for sharks was a constant sport on board the ship 
when a halt was made to dredge anywhere within a hundred 
miles or so of land in the tropics. Sharks were not met with in 
mid-ocean. Mr. Murray* examined these sharks thus caught, 
and reports that they all, whether obtained in the Atlantic or 
Pacific Ocean, belonged to one widely distributed species, except- 
ing one other kind obtained off the coasts of Japan. The 
hammer-headed shark (Zygoma malleus) was taken by us only 
with a net on the coasts. 

The sharks were often seen attended by one or more Pilot- 
fish (Naucrates sp.) as well as bearing the " Suckers" attached to 
them. I often watched with astonishment from the deck this 
curious association of three so widely different fish as it glided 
round the ship like a single compound organism. 

* J. Murray, "Proc. R Soc," No. 170, 1876, p. 540. 



10 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

The sharks, as a rule, were not by any means so easily 
caught as I had expected. Frequently they were shy and would 
not take a bait near the ship, though they never failed to bite if 
it was floated some distance astern by means of a wooden float. 
It is always worth while for naturalists to take what sharks they 
can at sea, since their stomachs may contain rare cuttle fish 
which may not be procured by any other means. The sharks 
caught were always suspended over the screw well of the ship. 
It was amusing on the first occasion on which one was got on 
board, sprawling and lashing about on the deck, to see two 
spaniels belonging to officers on board put their bristles up and 
growl, ready to fly at the fish. The dogs would probably have 
lost their heads in its mouth if not driven back. 

Sometimes the sharks were bold enough and would bite at a 
bit of pork hung over the ship's side on the regulation shark 
hook which is supplied to ships in the navy, and which is an 
iron crook as thick as one's little finger, and mounted on a heavy 
chain. No shark was hooked during the voyage which was 
large enough to require such a hook. Nearly all the sharks 
caught and seen were very small, from five to seven feet in 
length. The largest obtained was, I think, one netted at San 
Jago, Cape Yerde Islands, which was 14 feet in length. Large 
sharks seem scarce. I was disappointed, and had expected to 
meet with much larger ones on so long a voyage. The largest 
shark known seems to be Carcharodon rondelettii of Australia. 
There are in the British Museum the jaws of a specimen of this 
species which was 36 \ feet in length. (Giinther, " Catalogue of 
Fishes.") The "Challenger" dredged in the Pacific Ocean in deep 
water numerous teeth of what must be an immensely large 
species of this genus. The great Basking-shark (Selache maxima), 
a harmless beast with very minute teeth, ranging from the 
Arctic seas to the coast of Portugal, has been known to attain a 
length of more than 30 feet. 

Sharks occasionally seize the patent logs, which being of 
bright brass and constantly towed, twirling behind ships, no 
doubt appear to them like spinning baits intended for their use. 
The pilot fish often mistakes a ship for a large shark, and swims 
for days just before the bows, which it takes for the shark's 



ST. THOMAS. 11 

snout. After a time the fish becomes wiser and departs, no 
doubt thinking it has got hold of a very stupid shark, and 
hungrily wondering why its large companion does not seize some 
food and drop it some morsels. The " Suckers " often make the 
same mistake and cling to a ship for days when they have lost 
their shark. I fancy that porpoises and whales, when they 
accompany a ship for several days, think they are attending a 
large whale. A Hump-back whale followed the "Challenger" for 
several days in the South Pacific. 

Island of St. Thomas, March 16th to 24th, 1813. — The island 

of St. Thomas, one of the Virgin Islands, or Danish West Indies, 
was reached on March 16th. As the ship steamed in towards 
the harbour, Frigate birds soared high over-head with their long 
tail feathers stretched widely out. A number of brown pelicans 
(Pelicanus fuscus) were flying at a moderate height near the shore, 
and every now and then dashing down with closed wings into 
the water on their prey like gannets, their close allies. Often 
several of the birds dashed down together at the same instant. 

The island of St. Thomas itself, as well as its outliers, is 
covered with a wild bush growth, which at first sight might 
perhaps be taken for original vegetation, but which is composed 
of plants which have overrun deserted sugar plantations. It is 
only in a few remote parts of the island that any original forest 
exists and in small streaks of broken ground bordering the 
watercourses. The whole of the country in the island of 
St. Thomas and in all the immediately adjoining islands was 
cropped with sugar-cane until the emancipation of the slaves in 
1848. Since that time the ground has been allowed to run wild. 
There was only one estate partly under cultivation at the time 
of the ship's visit, and the owner of it, Mr. Wyman, told me 
that he made no sugar, but found sufficient sale for his canes in 
the raw state to be cut up and sold for chewing. Mr. Wyman 
was nearly ruined by the emancipation, and said that the 
planters received only 50 dollars per head compensation for the 
loss of their slaves, and that after the lapse of three years' time. 

All about the shores in every small bay were to be seen 
wrecks of vessels of all kinds, and in various stages of dilapida- 
tion, which had been wrecked by the hurricanes, for which 



12 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

St. Thomas is notorious, and close to our anchorage was a portion 
of a large iron dock which had been sunk before ever it could 
be used. Behind the town of St. Thomas are hills rising to 
a height of 1,400 feet at their highest point. 

I landed at one of the many wooden jetties amongst 
numerous negroes of both sexes lolling about and chewing 
sugar-cane, their constant occupation. The shore is covered 
with corals bleached white by the sun, and amongst these lay 
quantities of calcareous seaweeds (Halimeda opuntia and H. 
tridens), branching masses composed of leaf-shaped joints of 
hard calcareous matter articulated together. These were all 
quite dry and bleached white, and hard and stiff, like corals. 
Seaweeds belonging to two very different groups of algae thus 
secrete a calcareous skeleton, Halimeda and its allies belonging 
to the SiphonaceaB, green algse, and Lithothamnion and allied 
genera belonging to the Corallinaceae, which are red coloured 
algae. These lime-secreting algse are of great importance from 
a geological point of view as supplying a large part of the 
material of winch calcareous reefs and sand rocks are built up. 
At St. Thomas the Siphonaceae are especially abundant, whereas 
at other places, as at St. Vincent, Cape Verde Islands, the 
Corallinaceae appear to supply most of the calcareous matter 
separated from the sea water by plants. 

The rise and fall of the tide at St. Thomas is only about a foot; 
yet along the very margin of the water 1 found plenty of animals 
living, some of them only just awash. Sea urchins (Diadema 
antillarum), with extremely long sharp spines, were very common. 
The spines penetrate a bather's foot or hand with the greatest 
facility, and breaking off leave a very unpleasant wound. In 
gathering specimens I got wounded in the finger, though I took 
great care ; so well are the animals protected. The animals keep 
their long spines in constant motion, so that it is very difficult 
to avoid being pricked if one tries to handle one. The wound 
produced by the spines is apt to fester, but there appears to be 
no poison on the spine. In the case, however, of another genus 
of sea urchins which I dredged in abundance in shallow water 
on the Philippine coast, and in which the short spines are hollow 
and tubular at their extremities, a definite poison certainly 



ST. THOMAS. 13 

exists. Probably there is a poison gland in the tube. A sharp 
stinging pain, like that produced by the sting of a wasp, but not 
quite so intense, is felt at the instant when one of these spines 
pierces the flesh, and the pain lasts for about five minutes. 
These urchins are peculiar, because they have a perfectly flexible 
test or shell, and are, I believe, of the genus Asthenosoma (Grube). 
Allied forms are common in great depths, but in these I never 
experienced so marked a stinging effect as in the case of the 
shallow-water ones. 

Large Chitons, three inches in length, were abundant along 
the shore of St. Thomas, and a very large Annelid with 
glistening yellow setse {Eunice), was a constant feature about 
the water's edge, crawling over the rocks. In dredging in 
shallow water most of the seaweeds obtained were of a brilliant 
green colour,* and amongst these lived a crab and a Squilla 
which were of exactly the same shade of green, evidently for 
protection and concealment. 

There is only one kind of Humming-bird at St. Thomas. It 
is very common, and constantly to be seen hanging poised in 
the air in front of a blossom or darting across the roads. It is 
remarkable how closely Humming-birds resemble in their flight 
that of Sphinx moths, such as our common Humming-bird 
Sphinx, named from this resemblance. There are in their flight 
exactly the same rapid darts, sudden pauses, and quick turns, 
the same prolonged hovering over flowers. The most con- 
spicuous bird is called commonly in the island " Black -witch " 
(Crotopliaga ani T). These birds are usually to be seen in flocks 
of three or four, in constant motion amongst the bushes, and 
screaming harshly when they apprehend danger. The birds 
behave very much like magpies. They are somewhat smaller 
than the English magpie and black all over. They belong 
structurally to the family of the cuckoos (Cuculidce). 

A large ground spicier (Lycosa) is very abundant in the island, 
inhabiting a hole in the ground about six inches in depth, and 
from half an inch to an inch in diameter, and with a right- 
angled turn at the bottom to form a resting chamber for the 
spider. Some negro boys dug the spiders out for me. They 

* Udotea cyathiformis, U. conglutinata, and U. Jlabellata, and others. 



14 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

said that their bite was poisonous, and that they fed on lizards, 
leaving their holes at night to search for them. The boys soon 
grubbed one out with a knife, a great heavy venomous-looking 
brute about three inches across. It bit savagely at my forceps. 
The holes of these spiders were so common, that on one tolerably 
clear patch of about an acre in extent, they were dotted over the 
entire area at about one or two feet distance from one another. 
I noticed the holes at once, and was astonished when the boys 
told me they were spiders' holes. 

A species of White-ant {Termite) is very common, which makes 
large globular nests as much as two feet in diameter, and which 
are perched high up in the fork of a tree. The nests are made 
of a hard brown comb. From the bottom of the tree covered 
galleries about half an inch in breadth lead up on the surface of 
the bark to the nest, looking like long narrow brown streaks 
upon the trunk of the tree. The galleries usually follow a some- 
what irregular course up the trunk to the nest, reminding one of 
the curious deviations which are always to be seen in footpaths, 
cut out by people walking across fields, in their endeavours to go 
straight from one point to another. The galleries, or rather 
tubular ways, for they have bottoms to them, are made of the 
same tough brown substance as the nests, and are cemented 
firmly to the bark. Though they are so broad in order to allow 
numerous ants to pass and repass, they are only high enough 
for the ants to walk under. I broke one of these galleries, and 
a number of soldier Termites came out and began biting my 
hands, hardly making themselves felt, but as brave as if they 
had a sting. I had to break a considerable length of the gallery 
before I got to any of the working Termites, as they had retired 
from the scene of danger. A species of Peripatus* is found in 
St. Thomas, but I did not succeed in meeting with any. An 
Agouti, a species of rodent (Dasyprocta) , occurs in the island, and 
Mr. Wyman told me that it was common in the gullies near his 
sugar plantation.! 

* See Chapter VI. 

t Mr. Wallace, " The Geographical Distribution of Animals," London, 
Macmillan, 1876, Vol. II, p. 63, in the account of the mammals of the West 
Indies, says an Agouti inhabits " perhaps St. Thomas." There seems to 
have been doubt about the matter. 



ST. THOMAS. 15 

I went out on a shooting excursion to the opposite side of 
the island in pursuit of wild goats. The only game we brought 
back was a wild common fowl which I had shot in the bushes. 
Goats, pigs, guinea fowl, and the domestic fowl breed in the 
wild condition in various parts of the island, being sprung, as 
I was told, in most instances, from stock which has escaped and 
been scattered during hurricanes. The ferine fowls are very wary 
like their progenitors, the Indian Jungle-fowl, and are not at all 
easy to shoot. We sat down to lunch on the shore. Flights of 
the brown pelicans (Pelicanus fuscus), kept passing over our 
heads, flying always almost exactly over the same spot on their 
way from one feeding ground to another. We shot a number of 
them as they flew over at the desire of the German overseer of 
the farm where we had left our horses, who wanted the birds for 
eating. I should have thought a pelican to have been, next to a 
vulture, almost the least palatable of birds, but the man said 
they were very good. There were about 300 tame goats at the 
farm, and a few cows. The milk was sent into the town every 
morning in wine bottles and fetched about eighteen pence a 
bottle. 

Large silk cotton trees (Eriodendron) are common, growing 
along the road-sides in St. Thomas. These trees are shaped 
something like walnut trees, but have a rough bark. They bear 
large green pods full of a substance like cotton. Perched in the 
forks and all over their branches are numerous epiphytes of the 
pine-apple order (Bromeliacece). On the far side of the island 
I saw several * Sand-box " trees (Hura crepitans). The tree is 
one of the Euplwrbiacew, allied to our Spurges, and has a 
poisonous irritant juice ; but its most remarkable peculiarity is 
its fruit. A number of seed capsules, shaped like the quarters of 
an orange, are arranged together side by side as in an orange, so 
as to form a globular fruit. When the fruit has become quite 
ripe and dry, suddenly all the capsules split up the back, opening 
with a strong spring, and the whole fruit flies asunder, scattering 
its seeds for a distance of several yards, and making a noise like 
the report of a pistol. I gathered one of the fruits which is 
called commonly " Sand-box," because it was formerly used for 
holding sand to sift over writing instead of blotting-paper. It 



16 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

was boiled in oil when gathered and this prevented its flying 
asunder. The fruit I gathered went off with considerable 
violence when I touched it one day on board ship after it was 
dry, but it did not make much noise. 

Another Euphorbiaceous tree, the Manchineel, grows in St. 
Thomas, and its juice is almost as poisonous as that of the 
" Sand-box " tree. The fable ran that if a man allowed rain to 
drop off its leaves on to his skin, his skin would be burned and 
inflamed by it. 

I landed one day on one of the small outliers of St. Thomas, 
Little Saba Island, about a mile and a half distant from the 
main island. A puffin (Puffinus sp.) was nesting in holes amongst 
the grass, laying a single large white egg. The birds allowed 
themselves to be caught in the nest with the hand. Our 
spaniels kept bringing them to us, retrieving them with great 
delight. The island was covered with thorny cactuses. It was 
impossible to avoid their prickles, and I got covered with them 
when in pursuit of wild goats and pigeons. There were four 
kinds of cactuses, a prickly-pear {Opuntia) with spines three- 
quarters of an inch long ; a quadrangular stemmed cactus, like 
the most familiar one in green-houses ; a cactus with rounded 
ribbed stem, growing in candelabra-like form (Cereus), and a large 
dome-shaped cactus, a foot and a half high and bearing a crown 
of small red flowers (Ilelocactus). 

The spines must be a most efficient protection to the cactus 
from being devoured by large animals. I have often noticed that 
if one approaches one's hand slowly towards some of the forms 
with closely set long spines, doing it with especial care to try and 
touch the end of one of the spines lightly without getting pricked, 
one's hand always does receive a sharp prick before such is 
expected, the distance having been miscalculated. There seems 
to be a special arrangement in the colour of the spines in some 
cases, possibly intended directly to bring about an illusion, and 
cause animals likely to injure the plant to get pricked severely 
before they expect it, and thus to learn to shun the plant. Whilst 
the greater length of the spines next the surface of the plant is 
white, the tips are dark-coloured or black. The black tips are 
almost invisible as viewed at a good many angles against the 



ST. THOMAS. 17 

general mass as a background. The spines look as if they 
ended where the white colouring ends, and the hand is advanced 
as if the prickles began there, and is pricked suddenly by some 
unseen black tip. The experiment is easily tried in any cactus 
house at home. 

In the beach of Little Saba Island there was being formed a 
reddish sandstone conglomerate rock composed of the cUbris of 
the rock of which the higher parts of the island consist, cemented 
together by calcareous matter derived from the corals, and 
calcareous sand. This rock, which was hard and compact, 
contained embedded in it plenty of the various corals from the 
beach and large Turbo shells (T. pica) with their nacre quite 
fresh in lustre, and their bright greenish colour unimpaired. 

Large examples of these Turbo shells, as much as two inches 
• in diameter at the base, are in St. Thomas carried up far inland 
by terrestrial Hermit-crabs. I saw a large number of them 
amongst the bush at an elevation of 1,000 feet, some of them 
with the crabs in them, many empty. These large heavy sea 
shells occurring in abundance at great heights, puzzled geologists 
until it was found that they were carried up by the crabs. 

On the shore at Little Saba Island grew a number of plants 
of Guilandina bonduc. This plant bears a pod covered with 
prickles which contains nearly spherical beans of about the size 
of a hazel nut, which have a perfectly smooth, as it were, enamelled 
surface, and are flinty hard. These seeds float, and are carried 
by ocean currents to distant shores, and are in Tristan da Cunha 
and Bermuda known as " Sea-beans," and supposed to grow at 
the bottom of the sea, Don Jose de Canto showed me one 
found in the Azores. 

The coral reefs of St. Thomas are remarkable for the large 
size and luxuriant growth of certain corals upon them, especially 
two species of the genus madrepora named from their resemblance 
to antlers, Madrepora cervicornis and M. alcicomis. I saw at 
Little Saba Island, a Brain-coral which measured four feet in 
diameter of the base and three feet in height. 

A list of the flowering plants of St. Thomas, and other information, 
is given in "A Historical Account of St. Thomas, W.I." By J. P. Knox. 
New York, Charles Scribner, 1852. 

C 



18 A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER. 

Bermuda, April 5tli to 21st, and May 2Jth to June 12th, 18*J3. 

— Bermuda is entirely a coral island, that is to say, the complete 
mass of the island now above water, and that below sea level, as 
far at least as excavations which have been made have extended, 
has been brought together by the agency of lime-secreting animals 
and plants, aided by the winds and waves, and alterations in the 
height of the sea-bed. It is the most distant coral island from 
the equator, lying about 9° of latitude north of the Tropic of 
Cancer, in about the same latitude as Madeira, which island has, 
however, no coral reefs. It is distant from Cape Hatteras, the 
nearest point of the American coast, about 600 miles. 

Bermuda consists of a series of islands, some very small 
indeed, others several miles in length, there being, it is said, an 
island for every day in the year. The islands are disposed in an 
irregular semicircle, and the larger ones of the chain are narrow 
and elongate in form. This semicircle or rather semiellipse is 
completed below water, or made into an entire atoll shape by a 
series of coral reefs, as may be seen by a glance at the chart. A 
few narrow and winding passages lead in through the reefs to the 
harbours of St. George's, Ireland Island, and Hamilton the 
capital town. The highest point is only about 300 feet above 
the level of the sea. 

The islands are almost entirely composed of blown cal- 
careous sand, more or less consolidated into hard rock. In 
several places, and especially at Tuckers-town and Elbow Bay, 
there exist considerable tracts covered with modern sand dunes, 
some of which are encroaching inland upon cultivated ground, 
and have overwhelmed at Elbow Bay a cottage, the chimney of 
which only is now to be seen above the sand. The constant 
encroachment of the dunes is prevented by the growth upon 
them of several binding plants, amongst which a hard prickly 
grass (Cenchrus) with long, deeply-penetrating root fibres, is the 
most efficient, assisted by the trailing Ipomcea pes caprce % 
When these binding plants are artificially removed, the sand at 
once begins to shift, and the burying of the house and the 
present encroachment at Elbow Bay are said to have originated 
from the cutting through of some ancient sand-hills for military 
purposes. 



BERMUDA". 19 

The sand is entirely calcareous and dazzling white when seen 
in masses. When examined closely, in small quantities, it is 
seen to consist of various-sized particles of broken shells. By 
gathering samples from the shores where the material of which 
the sand is formed is first thrown up, and selecting portions 
where eddies of the wind have left the heavier particles together, 
a sand full of large fragments of shell, and containing even many 
whole shells of smaller species, may be obtained, and from the 
examination of these an accurate conclusion may be arrived at 
as to the main constituents of the finer more comminuted sand, 
which is driven inland by the wind, blown up into the dunes, 
and from which the whole island above water has been formed. 

The sand may be seen to be made up in by far its greater 
part of the shells of Mollusca. Species of Tellina, Cardium, and 
Area contribute most largely to compose the mass, together with 
large quantities of pink-coloured fragments derived from a Spon- 
clijlus, which is common about the islands. A few Gasteropodous 
shells contribute fragments, and a considerable number of 
Foraminiferous shells occur in the sand, and no doubt careful 
examination would reveal the presence of fragments of tubes of 
Serpulce, corals, calcareous algse, Bryozoa, and Cirrhipede shells ; 
but there can be no doubt that by far the greater mass is derived 
from the shells of Mollusca.* Thus, although the foundations of 
Bermuda, and its natural breakwaters and protections, without 
which it would not exist, are formed by corals, the part above 
water is mostly derived from another source, and even below 
the water the same is the case for some distance, for the same 
beds of sandstone were met with in an excavation carried to a 
depth of 50 feet. 

The shells, more or less broken, are thrown up upon the 
beach, and there pounded by the surf. As the tide recedes, the 
resulting calcareous sand is rapidly dried by the sun, and the 

* It would be of great interest to determine by careful microscopic 
examination, what are the relative percentages of the very various cal- 
careous structures composing the calcareous sands of coral islands in dif- 
ferent parts of the world. I collected specimens of all the calcareous sands 
accessible during the voyage of the "Challenger" with that object. They 
vary very much in composition, some being mainly Foraminiferous. 

C 2 



20 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 



finer particles are borne off inland by the wind, to be heaped up 
into the dome-shaped dimes. The rain, charged with carbonic 
acid, percolates through the dunes, and taking lime into solution, 
re-deposits it as a cement, binding the sand grains together .* 
Successive showers of rain, occurring at irregular intervals, some 
charged more, some less highly, with carbonic acid, and forming- 
each a crust on the surface of the dune of varying thickness, 
produce a series of very thin, hard layers in the mass of sand, 
alternating with seams of less consolidated and sometimes quite 
loose sand. Crusts of consolidated sand are to be observed com- 
monly on the surfaces of fresh sand dunes. These layers or 
strata of the hardened sand follow in form the contour of the 
dunes, and thus, where these have been perfect domes or mounds, 
dip outwards in all directions, with curved surfaces from a cen- 
tral vertical axis. Such an arrangement is constantly to be seen 
where sections of the older rocks are exposed. I saw especially 
good instances of it in a small island, near Castle Island in 
Harrington Sound. Where banks or long rounded ridges of sand 
have been formed, strata following the surfaces of these in 
inclination are produced. 

All kinds of curious irregularities in arrangement are to be 
found in the bedding of the strata, resulting evidently from the 
encroachment of one dune upon the edge of another, or the 
action of various eddies of wind, or the burying of a small dune 
in the edge of a larger one. In some cases, an already hardened 




STKATA OF SAND ROCK, CASTLE HARBOUR, BERMUDA. 

dune, after having suffered denudation by the action of the 
waves, lias become buried in a more recent sand mound, and 

* The process is described by Jukes in his account of Raines Islet. 
"Voyage of the 'Fly,'" p. 339, and elsewhere. 



BERMUDA. 21 

this process may have been repeated several times, as the 
accompanying diagram, showing the arrangement of bedding in 
some rocks at Castle Harbour, will show. I saw no rock in 
Bermuda with an inclination in its bedding of more than 35° 30 ', 
which is not much more than the slope of some of the sand- 
hills. 

Dana terms this calcareous sand-rock, " Drift sand-rock."* 
Nelson terms it "iEolian formation" in his account of the geology 
of the Bermudas. t Jukes observed that in Heron Island the 
main strata of calcareous rock composing the island dipped out- 
wards from the longitudinal axis of the island towards the shore, 
north and south, with an inclination of from 8° to 10°, and 
Nelson observed similar dispositions of the strata at Bermuda. 

The rock of Bermuda presents all degrees of consolidation, 
from beds of mere unagglutinated friable sand to extremely 
hard and compact stone. The main component rock is a good 
deal softer than Bath stone. A much harder rock occurs at two 
places in the islands only, and is quarried for the construction of 
forts. The red fragments of Spoiidylus shell are especially well 
preserved in it. A bed of lignite was found at a depth of 40 feet 
below sea level in excavating for dockyard purposes, being 
evidently an ancient peat bed, such as those which, now occur in 
the islands, overwhelmed by the sand. Besides these primary 
sand rocks, a conglomerate is being formed on the shore in some 
places, composed of beach fragments cemented together, as 
usually occurs in coral islands. The sand rock contains various 
fossils, most abundantly a land snail (Helix) now abundant in the 
islands, and a much larger one, now extinct, but closely resem- 
bling the present species in other respects than size. The bones 
of turtles and birds are also found in the rock, and all the 
common marine shells of the islands. The rock, when exposed, 
is honeycombed by the action of the rain, and that of sea water, 
and on the coast its surface has a remarkable corroded appear- 
ance. It is eaten into cup-like hollows all over, separated from 

* Dana, " Corals and Coral Islands." Sampson Low & Co. London, 
1875, p. 182. 

t Major-Gen. Nelson, E.E., "On the Geology of the Bermudas." 
Trans. Geol. Soc. London, Vol. V, 1840. 



22 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

one another by extremely sharp projecting points and edges of 
thin laminae, which break with a crackling noise under the feet. 
In some places on the coast the rock has been left by denudation 
projecting in isolated pinnacles and peaks of fantastic form. 

The surface of the rock is not only honeycombed by the 
action of rain, but hardened by re-deposit of carbonate of lime ; 
and a fresh surface exposed to the weather soon becomes 
covered with a hard film. Extensive caverns exist all over the 
islands, undermining the rock in all directions, and filled at the 
bottom with water, which, in caves near the sea, rises and falls 
with the tide and is salt. At Paynter's Yale Cave the water is 
only brackish, so that the communication underground with the 
sea must be slight. Such caves must necessarily result from the 
consolidation of masses of loose sands by means of the percola- 
tion of rain water. The carbonate of lime taken up must leave 
cavities unless the whole mass were to shrink gradually ; but as 
the outer or upper layers receive the water first, they become 
consolidated, and hardened more thoroughly than the inner. 
Subsequently, these outer layers being hardened, the water 
ceases to take up so much lime from them, but passes through 
cracks and clunks, to dissolve away the softer interior, which 
sinks and falls in. A cave is the result, on the roof of which 
stalactites form at once. 

The falling in of the roofs of ancient caves oives rise to manv 
peculiar features in the landscape of Bermuda. The stalagmites 
at Walsingham Cave are far under water, proving a sinking of 
the floor of the cave which might possibly be supposed to be 
local, due to the giving way of some hollow beneath ; but since 
the same condition is to be seen in nearly all the caves, and 
there is the further evidence of the sunken bed of lignite, there 
seems no doubt that there has been a general sinking of the 
island in comparatively recent times. In some places on the 
coast of Bermuda are reefs composed by Serpulse, which were 
called by Nelson Serpuline reefs. These often form regular 
circles or tiny atolls, as it were, about 20 to 30 feet in diameter. 
The form evidently results from the fact that the most externally 
placed animals have a great advantage in procuring food over 
those placed behind them or in the centre of the area, 



BERMUDA. 23 

The scenery of Bermuda is in some respects not unlike that 
of northern lake districts, for the numerous small islands which 
are dotted over the sounds and land-locked sheets of water are 
covered with vegetation down to the water's edge. The dark 
colour of the juniper trees (Juniper us harhadensis), called in the 
island " cedar," the prevailing foliage, not unlike that of pines in 
appearance, gives the landscape a northern aspect, and on cloudy 
days, the island as viewed from the sea, looks cold and bleak. 
Only the extreme lowness of all the land is characteristic and 
distinctive. Next conspicuous to the juniper as a general feature 
in the vegetation, is probably the oleander, which having been 
introduced, flourishes everywhere. A large portion of the un- 
cultivated land is covered with a dense growth of another 
introduced plant, Lantana camera, a most troublesome weed. 

The most refreshing and beautiful vegetation in Bermuda is 
that growing in the marshes and caves. The marshes or peat 
bogs lie in the inland hollows between two ranges of hills. 
These bogs are covered with a tall luxuriant growth of ferns, 
especially two species of Osmunda (0. cinnamomea and 0. 
regalis). Some ferns are restricted to particular marshes. In 
some Acrostichum aureum grows densely to a height of from 4 to 
5 feet. Together with the ferns grow the juniper which thrives 
in the marshes, and a Palmetto, which gives a pleasing variety 
to the foliage. 

The peat of these marshes is mainly composed of the cUlris 
of the rhizomes of the ferns and roots and bases of the sedges, 
especially of one very large species of Cladium. A bog moss 
grows in the marshes, but is not abundant enough to take much 
share in the peat formation. The peat burns well and has very 
much the appearance of ordinary home peat. The stems of 
junipers are occasionally found in it in good preservation, and of 
larger size than any now growing on the island. The formation 
of peat at sea level in so warm a climate, seems very unusual. 
Darwin has dwelt on the peculiar conditions of climate necessary 
to the formation of peat. In South America and the Falkland 
Islands, as here, the peat is formed by the slow decomposition of 
plants other than mosses.* 

* Darwin, " Journal of Researches," 2nd Ed. London, J. Murray, 
1845, p. 28?. 



24 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

I have referred to the falling in of the roofs of caves. At 
the mouths of nearly all the caves are hollows with steep rocky 
sides, produced by the falling in of former extensions of the 
caves. One of the largest of these is at the mouth of Paynter's 
Vale Cave. This hollow is sheltered from the sun by its steep 
walls, and is hence constantly shady and moist. It is a natural 
fernery, fifteen species of ferns being found within its small 
compass, two of them occurring nowhere else in the islands. 
Wild coffee trees thrive amongst the ferns in the hollow. The 
plants of Bermuda, which are of West Indian origin, were 
transported thither, probably, as Grisebach* states, by the Gulf 
Stream, or general drift of heated surface water in this direction. 
Others may have travelled with the cyclones which pass con- 
stantly from the West Indies in the direction of Bermuda, and 
sometimes reach the island. There are no winds blowing 
directly from the American coast which would be likely to 
carry seeds, the anticyclones taking a different direction. It is, 
however, probable that the occurrence of American plants in the 
islands is connected with the fact that the islands are visited 
from time to time by immense numbers of migratory birds from 
that continent, especially during their great southern migration. 

Of these the American Golden Plover (Charadriiis marmoratus) 
seems to visit Bermuda in the greatest numbers, but various 
other birds, frequenting marshes, Gallinules, Rails and Snipes, 
arrive in no small quantities every year. These birds have 
probably brought a good many plants to Bermuda, as seeds 
attached to their feet or feathers, or in their crops. The seed 
used for the onion crops in Bermuda is all imported yearly, 
mostly from Madeira, and the potato seed is brought from the 
United States. Various seeds cannot fail to reach the island 
with these imports, and the constant importation of hay must 
have led to the introduction of many more. 

Shipwrecks furnish additions to the flora occasionally. A 
vessel laden with grapes was wrecked on the coast a short time 
ago. The boxes of grapes were washed ashore, and the grape 
seeds germinated in abundance, so that Sir J. H. Lefroy was 
able to gather a number of small plants for his garden. 

* A. Grisebach, "Die Vegetation der Erde." Leipzig, 1872. 2te 
Bd. II, s. 454. 



BERMUDA. 



25 



The only export of the Bermudas is vegetables ; potatoes, 
onions and tomatos. These are said to be best in the world, and 
they reach New York very early in the season and command a 
very high price. The "Mudians" are, however, so lazy that they 
do not grow enough potatoes for home consumption, and at the 
time of our visit to the islands, at the same time that new 
potatoes were being exported to New York, large quantities of 
the former year's American crop were being imported in the 
returning steamers. 

Some of the most conspicuous of the present land-birds of 
Bermuda, such as the " Bed bird," or Cardinal, have been intro- 
duced for ornamental effect. The birds most interesting to us 
were the " Boatswain birds " (Phaethon flavirostris), since we 
now met them in numbers for the first time, though we afterwards 
became so familiar with them amongst the Pacific Islands and 
elsewhere. The birds are white, a little smaller than our com- 
monest English gull, and shaped more like a sea swallow or tern, 
though allied to the gannets and cormorants ; in their tails are 
two long narrow feathers of a reddish tint, which as the bird 
flies, are kept extended behind, and give it a curious appearance. 




BOATSWAIN BIKD. 



The birds breed, more or less gregariously, in holes in the 
rock formed by the weathering out of softer layers. It is easy 
to secure them in the hole by clapping a cap over its mouth and 
often both male and female can be caught together. It is how- 
ever quite a different matter to get hold of them for stuffing : 
their bills are very sharp and strong, and they fight furiously, 



26 A NATURALIST OX THE " CHALLENGER." 

screaming nil the while. Only one egg is laid, and it is of a 
dark red colour like that of the Kestrel. Eats abound in the 
islands, and I saw one hunting about the holes evidently on 
the look-out for eggs or young. These must be the only enemies 
the birds have except man, and they would find no difficulty in 
driving the rats off, but I saw several eggs broken and sucked, 
no doubt in their absence. 

On one of the islands I saw a pair of crows, but they were 
very scarce, since blood-money to the extent of two-shillings a 
head had been put upon their heads by the Government. 

Crabs abound at Bermuda : a species of Grapsus, a crab which 
will be frequently referred to by me, climbs the mangrove trees 
with the greatest ease. A white Sand-crab (Ocypoda), burrows 
deep in the sand-hills, and is very difficult to dig out, and a huge 
ugly Land-crab (Cardisoma) is common further inland. A small 
White-crab (JRemvpes) lives in the sand on the shore just below 
the verge of the water ; it burrows rapidly in the sand until 
covered, and then by ejecting a small jet of water from its gills 
clears a small passage for respiration, remaining concealed. 

A land Nemertine worm was discovered by Von Willemoes 
Suhm, living in moist earth. Only one other terrestrial Nemer- 
tine was known hitherto, and that was discovered by Semper in 
the Philippine Islands ; this worm Von Suhm named Tetras- 
temma agricola, placing it in the same genus with certain 
aquatic species* When irritated it darts out its armed proboscis 
with great rapidity in defence. It also uses the proboscis as an 
aid in progression, shooting it out and lixing its tip to a distant 
point and then drawing the body up to the point by contracting 
the protruded organ. The animal is ciliated all over, and has 
two pairs of eyes. The earth in which it lives contains a good 
deal of salt. The animal was found to live for hours in salt 
water, but to die at once when placed in fresh water. 

The corals of Bermuda may be seen growing to great advan- 
tage by the use of a water glass. The species are very few in 
number, there being only about ten species of Anthozoan corals, 
and two of Hydrozoan. The latter two species of MiUepora are 

* A. Von Willemoes Suhm, Ph.D., " On a Land Nemertine found in 
the Bermudas." Ann. and Mag. Nat, Hist. 1874, XIII, p. 409, 



BERMUDA. 



27 



very abundant, and contribute largely to the reef formation. 
While some species such as the great " Brain coral," (JDvploria 




LAND NEMERTIXE, TETRASTEMMA AGRICOLA. (YOUNG MALE.) 

Pt 1 — 4 Successive portions of the proboscis ; 1 entrance ; 2 papillary portion ; 3 pouch 
of stylets ; 4 glandular p ntion ; ca muscular entrance of glandular portion ; 
o mouth ; i intestine ; g ganglion ; n lateral nerves. 

(After a figure by Von Willemoes Suhm.) 

cerebriformis), which is conspicuous at the bottom as a bright 
yellow mass appear to prefer to grow where the water is 
lighted up by the sunshine ; other .species, such as Millepora 
ramosa and Symj)hyllict dipsacea, seem to thrive best in the 
shade. One species, Mycedium fragile, which forms very thin 
and fragile plate-Like laminae, which are, when bleached white, 
almost the most beautiful of corals, occurs growing in colonies 
in great abundance, in water from a foot to a fathom in depth 
inside small caverns. 

All around the Bermuda coast, wherever it is at all sheltered, 



28 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

large black Holothurians, are excessively numerous. They are 
to be seen covering the white sandy bottom all over, lying a few 
feet only apart. 

I was greatly indebted during my stay at the Bermudas to 
General Sir J. H. Lefroy, C.B., F.K.S., then governor of the 
islands, both for his kind hospitality and constant information 
and assistance in scientific matters. 

For a further account of the geology of the Bermudas, see " Nautical 
Magazine," 1868, p. 486, and also J. M. Jones, F.L.S. on the " Geological 
Features of the Bermudas." Trans. Nova Scotian Institute of Nat. Hist., 
May, 10, 1869. 

For the Mollusca, Bev. H. B. Tristram, Froc. Zool. Soc, 1861, p. 403. 
For the Birds of Bermuda, Lieut. Beid, E.E., F.Z.S., "Zoologist," 1877. 
Bepr. from the "Field" newspaper. 

For a general account of the Natural History of the islands, see " The 
Naturalist in Bermuda," by J. M. Jones, F.L.S. London, 1859. 

For the Vegetation, see Dr. Bhein, " Ueber die Vegetations- Verhalt- 
nisse der Bermudas-Inseln." Vortrag gehalten beim Jahresfeste der 
S.N.G., 25. Mai, 1873. Also papers on collections made by me in the 
Journal of the Linnean Society, for which see the list of papers at the end 
of this work. 




29 



CHAPTER II. 

AZORES, MADEIRA, CAPE VEEDES. 

Fayal Island, Azores. Porpoises on the Feed. Town of Horta. Peculiar 
Dress of the Women. Island of Pico. St. Michael's Island. Native 
Ferns and Australian-introduced Trees. The Threshing floor and 
Women at the Mill. Vegetation of the Azores. Hot Springs at 
Furnas. Plants Growing in the Hot Water. Caldeira des Sette 
Cidades. Madeira. Grand Coral. Curious Caps worn by the Men. 
The Island at Sunset. St. Vincent Island, Cape Verdes. Vegetation 
of the Island. Ascent of Green Mountain. Different Causes of 
Variation of Vegetation with Altitude. Structure of Basaltic Dykes. 
Calcareous Seaweeds on Bird Island. Habits of Crabs. Miniature 
Oasis. Flying Gurnet Hooked. Mode of Catching Bonito. Island 
of Fogo. Porto Praya, St. Jago Island. Use of Foot in Feeding by 
Kites. Kingfisher and Galinis. Hauling the Sein. A Large Shark. 
San Domingo Valley. Monkeys. Kemarkable Freshwater Crus- 
tacean. Limestone Band in the Cliff of the Harbour. 

Azores, Joiy 1st to 10th, 1813. — After a voyage of 19 days 
from Bermuda on July 1st, the " Challenger" steamed in towards 
the island of Fayal, which was soon sighted as a blue haze in the 
far distance which mingled with the clouds and showed a faint 
outline only here and there. The haze became darker and 
darker as the island was approached and the outline more 
distinct, and at last we began to make out the shape of the 
island clearly with our glasses, and to see the great belt of 
cultivation on the lower region, with its thickly set rectangular 
patches of ripe corn. The highest point of the island is only a 
little over 3,000 feet above sea level ; this part of the structure 
was not sighted at all by us, for it remained always covered 
with clouds. 

The whole of the Azores are volcanic, only on Sta. Maria 
Island is there a small deposit of limestone containing marine 
shells, of miocene date. The islands are composed of beds of lava, 
basaltic and trachytic, and cones of scoriae and pumice. As we 



30 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

approached Eayal numerous craters became visible, of the usual 
truncated conical form, but in all stages of decay, and as usual 
of all sizes. Some huge volcanic masses form the main ridge of 
the island, and from the slopes and bases of these numerous 
baby volcanoes rise up, and are seen clustering together in 
irregular groups. 

One crater close to the shore and partly cut into by the 
waves was very conspicuous. In its loose pumice walls the 
sea had made an excavation, and had exposed vertical columns 
of harder trachyte. The lip of the crater facing the sea is partly 
broken down, and a view is thus obtained right into the conical 
hollow inside, which is now partly under cultivation. The 
crater is called Castello Branco by the inhabitants. 

The whole lower part of the island, which has a more gradual 
slope than the steep cones above, is closely cultivated, and showed 
as seen from seawards a series of intermingled bright green and 
yellow fields interspersed with glistening white villages, and 
numerous churches and monasteries. 

As we neared shore, a large shoal of porpoises was seen close 
by, going at great speed in full chase after fish, the whole shoal 
skipping together, four or five feet out of water for several 
successive bounds in hot pursuit. The shoal was closely 
attended by a flock of gulls which follow in order to pick up 
the fish which are bitten or wounded by the porpoises, but which 
the porpoises have no time to stop to pick up. In the Arafura 
sea, I have seen frigate birds hanging over a shoal of porpoises 
with the same object, and in just the same manner in the tropics 
terns and noddies follow the shoals of large predatory fish 
(Caranx) to pick up the crumbs. The demeanour of a shoal of 
porpoises on the feed is a very different thing from their lazy 
rolling motion which one more commonly sees. 

We rounded a promontory formed of two old craters, one of 
them with its seaward half entirely demolished by the waves, 
and its hollow inner slope terraced for cultivation, and came in 
sight of Horta, the capital town of Fayal. It is almost the 
most beautifully situated town I have ever seen. It is built 
along the shore of a wide bay, the white houses being crowded 
together on a very narrow, almost flat belt of land. Im- 



AZORES. 



31 



mediately behind the main body of houses, rises a series of 
steep hills covered with the most brilliantly green gardens, 
orange trees, and magnolias, with houses dotted amongst them 
at various heights, and here and there churches and monasteries. 
The lower hills are backed by the main mountain mass, the 
summit of which was hidden in the clouds. In full view of 
Horta is the island of Pico with its towering cone. 

The town is thoroughly Portuguese in appearance. The 
houses are whitewashed as at Lisbon, with green Venetian 
blinds and window frames and balconies. The women are 
better looking than at Lisbon. They dress in remarkable dark 
blue cloth cloaks with enormous long coal-scuttle shaped hoods 
to them, so that one has to look down a sort of tunnel to see a 
pretty face at the end of it, and it is impossible to get any but 
a full face view of a beauty, or 
to steal a sly glance at all. 
The girls save up their money 
most carefully, in order to 
become possessed of one of 
these fashionable cloaks. They 
cost about six pounds, and a 
girl has to work two years and 
a half to get one. Horta has 
many primitive ways. The old 
women sit at their doors and 
spin with the spindle and dis- 
taff. 

The gardens are all sur- 
rounded by high walls to pro- 
tect them from the furious 
gales which blow here in win- 
ter, and which would else de- 
stroy all the fruit trees. Fruit 
was abundant, apricots were bought at 20 for a penny. The 
prevalence of small pox in the town prevented our making any 
stay. I slipped on shore in a fruit boat, or I should not have 
been allowed to land at all. 

The sea beach has a most peculiar appearance to an eye not 




COSTUME OF WOMEN AT HORTA. 

(From a photograph.) 






32 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

accustomed to volcanic shores, being composed of fine volcanic 
sand which is absolutely black. The sand is made up of ground- 
up lava and ejected dust, and is full of crystals of olivine, 
augite, hornblende, and quartz, with abundance of magnetic iron 
particles, which cling to a magnet when it is brought near. 

The ship was off Pico in the evening of July 2nd. The 
clouds gradually cleared off the island, at first hovering about 
its summit, then remaining as a belt some way below the top 
of the cone, and finally disappearing altogether, and leaving the 
majestic peak in full view, lit up by a splendid red sunset glow. 
The peak is a steep cone, rising abruptly to 7,613 feet above sea 
level from a more gently sloping base, on which are numerous 
secondary craters which look like little pimples on the surface of 
their huge parent. The top of the cone is cut off horizontally and 
out of the huge crater on the top arises towards one side of it a 
little secondary cone which forms the highest point of the whole. 

St. Michael's Island, July 4th to July 9th, 1813. — We neared 

the island of San Miguel. The island has mountains of from 
2,300 to 3,500 feet altitude at either end, and a lower range of 
hills joins these together. Ponta Delgada, the capital of San 
Miguel, lies on the sea shore opposite, about the middle of the 
lower ransje of land. 

The volcanic cones and slopes leading from these to the sea 
are formed of light pumice and ash soil, very friable and easily 
cut into by the action of water. Hence, water-courses have cut 
their way deep into the surface of the country, and as San 
Miguel is viewed from seawards, its most striking feature is 
formed by the numerous deep gullies which are seen running 
parallel to one another, and with almost straight courses from 
the high land down to the sea. Ponta Delgada is composed of 
houses similar to those of Fayal, but it is not nearly so pretty as 
the latter town, the land behind not being steep, and there being 
no bay shut in by hills. A breakwater is required to form a 
harbour. 

I formed one of a large party which paid a visit to the valley 
of Furnas and its hot springs, distant about 30 miles from the 
port town. We travelled in carriages, each drawn by four 
mules. From the nature of the country already described, 



AZORES. 



33 



we had to cross numerous water- worn gullies, and our road led 
constantly up and down steep hills. We crawled up one side of 
the ridges, and made fearful dashes down the other, the mules 
going with great spirit. We passed between fields of maize and 
corn, with tall hedges of reeds (Arundo donax), planted round 
them to break the force of the wind, and a kind of lupine 
planted in geometrical patterns amongst the corn to be ploughed 
in after the crop was reaped, as manure. 

We passed many fine flower gardens, planted with a large 
variety of Australian, New Zealand, and South American plants, 
and went by numerous hills, small volcanic cones, planted with 
firs and various timber trees with great care. The appearance of 
the island has been wonderfully modified by careful plantation, 
most of the work having been done by a Mr. Brown, a gardener 
from Kew, who was brought to the island 30 years ago by 
Don Jose de Canto, to superintend the laying out of his garden. 
We halted for luncheon at a small stream under a clump of 
Australian blue gum trees, beneath which on the margins of the 
stream grew a profusion of ferns. Here flourished the cosmo- 
politan break fern, and another Pteris (P. arguta); Woodwardia 
radicans, not so long ago discovered to occur in Great Britain, a 
splendid bright green fern, with large fronds, the tips of which 
bend over to meet the soil, and then take root, whence the 
name ; Asplenium monanthemum, hardly to be distinguished in 
appearance from our home A. trichomanes ; Asplenium marinum, 
Adiantium nigrum, — the lady fern, the hart's tongue, the male 
fern, and the common polypody. With these was Osmunda 
regalis, and abundance of the Maiden hair. 

We crossed the lower central ridge of the island, and looked 
down upon the bright blue sea on the other side. We passed a 
threshing floor where threshing was going on in the old biblical 
style, as all over the Azores, where primitive customs are 
maintained to an extraordinary degree. The threshing floor is a 
circular flat space, usually near a house in the home corn-field, 
about 40 feet in diameter, and with a bottom of cement or some 
hard mortar. On this the corn is laid and pairs of oxen are 
driven round and round over it, yoked to a heavy wooden sledge- 
like machine, like that used for dragging casks on in England. 

D 



34 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

A man often sits or stands on the drag, and the girls ride on it 
for fun. Usually two yoke of oxen are employed. At the floor 
we halted at, the oxen were not muzzled, and were feeding freely, 
but they often are so, as we saw at other floors. 

A little further on we came upon two women grinding at the 
mill. A pair of circular stones, one placed on the top of the 
other, are used ; the upper fitted with a straight upright handle, 
the thing being in fact a simple quern. Two women standing- 
facing one another, catch hold of the handle, one at the top, the 
other lower down, and they send the upper stone round at a 
good pace, each exerting her strength when the handle is 
furthest off from her, and thus pulling to the best advantage. 

We next passed a small town, Eibeira Grande, where there 
were numerous churches and a monastery, and a pretty patch of 
public garden laid out by Mr. Brown, and planted principally 
with Australian shrubs, Banksias and Melaleucas. At a road-side 
inn, at which we pulled up to water the mules and refresh the 
drivers, the church choir was singing remarkably well, practising 
an ancient chant in a room overhead, with a piano as an accom- 
paniment. None of the poorer houses in the town, or indeed all 
over the island, have any glass in the windows, but only shutters. 
Glazed windows are scarce ; only the priests, shopkeepers, and 
merchants have them. 

We turned up inland from the sea, and mounted the high 
land, making across the island again in a zigzag direction. At 
last we gained the summit and came out upon a moor covered 
with bog myrtle (Myrica fay a) , break fern, Woodwardia radicans, 
heath {Erica azorica), and a splendid fern (Dicksonia culcita), 
which almost forms a tree, and which has a beautiful golden brown 
silky substance covering its young shoots, which is gathered and 
used for stuffing cushions. Several tree ferns have a similar 
substance developed on them. The moor looked very like a 
Scotch moor, and stretched away far over the flat hill tops. 

There are 40 flowering plants found in the Azores, which 
grow nowhere else in the world, Erica azorica, the heath, is one 
of them. The rest of the plants are either South European, or 
belong to the Atlantic flora, a name given to a series of plants 
which grow on the Azores, Canaries, and Madeira, and nowhere 



AZORES. 35 

else. Of these Atlantic plants 36 are found in the Azores.* 
Examples of them are the laurel (Laurus canariensis) and the 
juniper (Juniperus brevifolia). One little plant, a Campanula 
(C. viclalii), is found only on one small rock on the east coast of 
Mores (one of the Azores), and nowhere else in the world. 
Nearly all the shrubs and trees of the Atlantic group of islands 
are evergreens. 

We crossed a stretch of the plateau, and suddenly looked 
down on the other side of it into an immense deep, nearly 
circular crater, beautifully green. Its undulating bottom was 
dotted over with white houses -amongst gardens and corn-fields, 
and in the distance was seen a small column of steam hovering 
over the hot springs. We drove down a steep incline for at 
least a couple of miles, and at last reached the village of Furnas. 
The road hence to the hot springs led across a small stream fed 
by them, deeply stained red, and smelling strongly of sulphu- 
retted hydrogen. Thence the path went up a little valley, cut 
out in the low ridge of very fine light whitish ashes which 
separates the main Furnas valley from that part of it in which 
the Furnas lake is situate. It is a beautiful tiny glen, with dark 
evergreen foliage on its steep banks, and on the swamp borders 
of its narrow bed were masses of the brilliant green leaves of the 
eatable Arum -(Caladium esculentum), one of the staple foods of the 
Polynesians, their " taro." The taro is cultivated all over the 
islands, but thrives here especially in the warm mineral water. 

The Furnas lake is about three miles in circumference. 
There are two groups of boiling springs, the one at the margin 
of the lake, the other close to the town of Furnas. 

The boiling springs near the lake are scattered over an area 
of about 40 yards square, covered with a greyish clayey deposit ; 
a geyser or hot-spring formation, being composed of matter de- 
posited by the hot water. No doubt the present hot springs are 
the dwindled remains of former fully developed geysers. The 
principal spring consists of a basin about 12 feet in diameter, 
full up to within about 2 feet of the brim of a blueish water, 
which in the centre is in constant and most violent ebullition, 

* A. Grisebach, " Die Vegetation der Erde." Leipzig, 1872, 2ter Bd. 
s. 503. 

D 2 



36 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

the water being thrown up a foot in height as it boils forth. A 
constant column of steam rises from the basin. Near by is a 
sort of fissure, from which issue at short irregular intervals jets 
or splashes of boiling water mingled with steam and sulphuretted 
hydrogen in abundance. This spring makes a gurgling, churning 
sort of noise ; the large basin, a sort of roar. 

In the sides of the fissure grow, in the area splashed by 
the hot water, some green lowly organized algae (Botryococus), 
which form a thick crust upon the rock surface. Similar 
growths of lowly organized plants in the water of hot springs 
have been observed in various parts of the world.* At a couple 
of feet distance from this hot spring rushes up a perfectly cold 
iron spring with a considerable stream of water. 

All around are small openings, from which sulphuretted 
hydrogen and other gases issue with a fizzing noise, and coat 
the openings with bright yellow crystals of sulphur. The 
ground around is hot, too hot in many places for the hand to 
rest upon, and it is somewhat dangerous to approach the pools 
of hot water at all closely, since the hard crust on the surface 
may give way and one may be let fall into the boiling mud. 

Just above these hot springs is a beautiful mountain stream, 
which forms little cascades as it tumbles down to the lake 
valley from the fern-clad moor above. 

At the town of Furnas is an inn kept for families who come 
in the season to drink the waters and bathe. There is a free 
bath house built by the Government, with marble baths and hot 
and cold mineral water laid on to each. The whereabouts of 
the springs near the town are marked by clouds of steam. The 
springs are scattered over a larger area than at the lake springs, 
and the grey geyser formation is piled into irregular hillocks 
around them, instead of presenting a nearly flat surface as at the 
other springs. Here the principal spring is like that at the lake, 
but the amount of hot steam rushing up is much greater, and 
the noise is almost deafening. The water is thrown up about 

* For further account of the vegetable growths in the hot spring of 
Furnas, see Linn. Journ. Bot., Vol. XIV, p. 321. Also papers on the 
same by Mr. W. T. Thiselton Dyer and Mr. W. Archer, ibid., pp. 326- 

328. 



AZORES. 37 

two or three feet in a constant hot fountain. Close by are sulphur 
springs with hot water issuing in violent intermittent splashes ; 
and there is also one deep chasm, from the depths of which 
boiling hot blue mud is jerked out in similar splashes. The 
mud hardens on the sides of the cavity into a crust made up of 
successive laminae. 

The natives use the natural hot water to heat sticks or planks 
in, in order to bend them. They also sometimes dig holes in the 
mud and set their kettles in them to boil. As at the other 
springs, there are cold springs issuing from the ground, close to 
the boiling ones. One spring has its water charged with carbonic 
acid and effervescing. All the springs empty into one small 
stream, which then runs down to the sea, with a complex mixture 
of mineral flavours in its water, and retains its heat for several 

miles. 

In the shores of the lake there are large extents of geyser 
deposit, forming strata 40 or 50 feet in thickness, and evidently 
resulting from hot springs, now worked out, but with a few small 
discharge pipes of heated gas remaining active here and there. 
Near the seaward end of the lake is a hole, where, as in the 
Grotto del Cane, an animal, when put into it, becomes stupefied 
by inhaling the carbonic acid gas discharged. 

I made an excursion from Ponta Delgada to the Caldeira 
des Sette Cidades, or Cauldron of the Seven Cities. It is a 
marvellous hollow of enormous size, with two lakes at its 
bottom and a number of villages in it. One slowly climbs the 
mountains from the sea and suddenly looks down from the 
crater edge upon the lakes, 1,500 feet below. On the flat bottom 
of the crater, which is covered with verdure and cultivated 
fields, are several small secondary craters, the whole reminding 
one of a crater in the moon. One of these small craters has 
been so cut up by deep water-courses, that between them only a 
series of sharp radiating ridges is left standing, and the crater 
has thus a very fantastic appearance. 

San Miguel was suffering from a drought, at the time of our 
visit, which had been of long duration. A grand procession 
therefore took place in order to procure rain, in which a 
miraculous image the " Santo Christo," the jewels presented at 



38 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

the shrine of which are reputed amongst the people to be worth 
one million sterling, was carried round the town. The figure 
is apparently of wood and is in a squatting posture with the 
legs crossed. It was borne in a litter, with a canopy over it, on 
men's shoulders. Next day, from seawards, we saw clouds 
hanging low over the island, and it seemed as if the image had 
been again miraculously successful. 

The most complete account of the geology of the Azores is that 
of G. Hartung, "Die Azoren." Leipzig, Engelmann, 1860. See also 
F. Du Cane Godman, " Nat. Hist, of the Azores." London, Van Voorst 
1870. Also T. Vernon Wollaston, " Testacea Atlantica." London, Eeeve 
and Co. On the Coleoptera Crotch, P.Z.S., 1860, p. 359. 

Madeira, February 3rd to 5th, July 15th to l'Jth, 1853. — 

Madeira is a mass of mountainous rocks, rising to 6,000 feet in 
height. The town of Funchal nestles close to the water's edge and 
straggles up the side of the valley in which it lies. In the early 
morning the island, viewed in clear weather from seawards, is of 
a beautiful hazy violet, whilst the sea is of the deepest blue. 

The beach at the landing-place near the town is formed of 
large pebbles of basalt and is very steep. In landing, boats 
provided underneath with runners like those of a sledge are 
used on account of the surf. They are backed in stern first and 
are hauled up directly they ground by men stationed on shore. 
The main part of the town lies close to the beach and is very 
like the old part of Lisbon. 

The fish market yields many rare fish to naturalists. Deep- 
sea fish every now and then find their way, for some reason or 
other, to the surface at Madeira and get picked up, and several 
very rare fish are known from here only ; as for example, a 
curious small fish,* allied to the Angler, described by Dr. 
Giinther from a single specimen. The " Challenger " dredgings 
yielded several close allies, and showed that the fish in question 
was undoubtedly a deep-sea form, as had been surmised. Huge 
Tunnies, weighing some of them from 60 to 100 lbs., are sold in 
the market. Their flesh is quite red, like beef, and they are cut 
up and sold just like butchers' meat. The great beauty of 
Funchal lies in its gardens, where plants of tropical and tem- 

* Mehmocetus, " Proc. Zool. Soc.," 1864, p. 301. 



MADEIRA. 39 

perate climates thrive together. Bananas, pine-apples, aloes, 
vines, prickly pears, gnavas, mangoes, oranges, grow together, 
with a profusion of flowers. 

The island being resorted to by so many invalids, the 
cemetery forms a conspicuous feature in the scenery. The coffin- 
makers have the unfeeling habit of manufacturing their wares in 
front of their shops in the public streets. The roads are narrow 
and run directly up and down the steep slopes. They are paved 
with small pieces of basalt, three or four inches long. The 
stone pavement has become, by constant use, polished and 
slippery, and the traffic is carried on by means of sledges on 
runners instead of with wheels. These come down the steep 
hills at a very rapid pace. 

I made an excursion to the Grand Cural. We rode ponies 
which trotted or galloped up the steepest hills. A native went 
with each pony and hung on to its tail to help himself along 
when the pace was fast. We passed through the gardens on the 
outskirts of the town ; then higher, through fields of sugar-cane 
and corn, up amongst the vineyards, terraced on the hill sides, and 
with the vines trained on horizontal trellis work ; then past the 
hovel-like cottages of the country people, till we reached the 
district of pine and sweet chestnut trees. 

The pine woods were deliciously cool. We passed them and 
came out upon open grass slopes with occasional patches of basalt 
rock sticking up out of them, the slopes themselves being com- 
posed of disintegrated scoriae. We climbed the slopes on foot 
and reached a height of about 5,000 feet. From thence we had 
a commanding view of the Grand Cural, a huge gorge or rent in 
the mountain mass, precipitous on one side and almost so on the 
other. The precipitous side opposite us was in the deepest 
shadow, so much so, that we could hardly trace the details upon 
its surface, but we could yet see that every available ledge had 
been terraced and brought into cultivation. The sun shone 
brightly on the dark red and purple scoriae and lava, and on its 
clothing of chestnuts and pines, on our side of the chasm, which 
being thus in high light contrasted forcibly with the deep gloom 
of the opposite wall. A magnificent panorama of the south side 
of the island was visible from our position, with its volcanic 



40 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 



n 



cones and white houses scattered amidst the green. After we 
had enjoyed the scene but a few moments, a thick mist shut it 
from our view and we descended. 

It is only in the highest parts of the island of Madeira, that 
anything is to be seen of the true indigenous vegetation. Below, 
cultivation has destroyed the native plants. On the upper 
slopes the common furze and broom and the brake fern grow in 
abundance. 

The countrymen of Madeira wear, on gala days, curious 
pointed blue cloth caps, very small, and resting only on the back 
of the head. The point is a long pointed cylinder, which sticks 
out stiffly from the back of the head. It seems to be a curious 
abnormal development, due to insular isolation, of the pointed 
bag which hangs down from the knitted worsted nightcap-like 
head covering of Mediterranean and Spanish seamen, and English 
yachting men. The point seems to be a sort of rudimentary 

organ which has undergone subsequent 
modifications for the sake of ornament. 
A minute tag of the red lining of the 
cap is turned up in front and behind 
with great care, and no doubt is also a 
rudiment of some former appendage of 
the head dress. There seems to be a 
curious general tendency in the Atlan- 
tic islands, amongst the inhabitants, to 
develop strange head dresses. The hoods 
of the women of the Azores have been 
described. Besides these, the men wear, 
or wore, in some of the islands, a curious 
cap, in which a pair of side flaps have been developed into a 
regular pair of horns, projecting vertically above the head. 

I was told that Madeira wine is sometimes manufactured in 
the island out of red wine, the colour being taken out with 
animal charcoal. I knew that red wine was constantly made 
out of white wine, but had not suspected the opposite manu- 
facture. 

July icth, i8?3- — On our second visit to Madeira we were 
unable to land owing to the prevalence of small pox on shore. 




CAP WORN BT PEASANTS OF 
MADEIBA. 



MADEIRA. 41 

I visited a steamboat which came into the harbour for coals and 
which was running between the Bight of Benin and Liverpool. 
The whole ship was covered with cages full of grey parrots ; even 
in the forecastle, in the seamen's sleeping place, every available 
nook was full of parrots. The deck was covered with various 
African monkeys, and there was a large wild cat in a den, and 
some large snakes (Pythons) in a box. All these animals were 
intended for sale in Liverpool. 

We left Madeira in the evening. The ship passed quickly 
out of the lee of the land and into the trade wind and was soon 
driving along before it, dashing a sheet of foam from under the 
bows. There was a splendid sunset. The sky was lighted up 
with brilliant golden and red tints, behind and to the west of the 
hazy blue mountains of Madeira, in front of which floated here 
and there small filmy clouds. Beneath the higher mountains, 
were the green lower ranges, half lighted up by the evening 
light, half in intense black shade. Lower down again, on the 
shore, lay the glistening white town with its dark black cliffs on 
either hand. 

As it grew darker, the lower ranges and details of the view 
became gradually lost, and at last all that was to be seen was 
the dark outline of the mountains against the sky, with the 
twinkling lights of Funchal far below, and a few lights dotted 
about on the hill-side above. At last we lost sight of the island 
altogether and sped south before the breeze, not to return so far 
north of the equator again for nearly two years, when we reached 
Yeddo, in Japan, in nearly the same latitude. 

For a list of works and papers relating to the Zoology of Madeira, see 
"Preussische Expedition nach Ost-Asien." Zoologie, ltes Kap. Madeira, 
pp. 1-25. 

Cape Verde Islands, July 21th to August 9th, 1813. — The ship 
was off the island of St. Vincent of the Cape Verde group 
on July 27th, and the islands of Sta. Lucia and St. Antonio 
were in sight ; a heavy mist hanging over the high mountains 
of the latter. We anchored at Porto Grande, the harbour of 
St. Vincent. 

The island is about 12 miles long by six broad. It has an 
irregularly oval form, and consists of a flat central tract more or 



42 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

less broken by low bills surrounded by a range of nigh land. 
The low central district is evidently the bottom of an ancient 
crater, of the wall of which the high surrounding range is the 
remains. The range is composed of strata dipping outwards 
from the ancient centre of eruption. It is cut up by a series of deep 
valleys having a general radiate arrangement, into ridges of 
various heights, which are again cut up by secondary transverse 
valleys so as to culminate in a series of irregular peaks. 

Some of the ridges are of considerable altitude. The Green 
Mountain is 2,483 feet in height, and one other mountain to 
the extreme south of the island, 2,218 feet. A break in the 
encircling range to the north-west forms the harbour or Porto 
Grande, in the entrance to which lies a small island, called Bird 
Eock, a fragment of the range, once continuous in this direction. 

More barren and desolate-looking spots than St. Antonio and 
St. Vincent appear as approached from seawards, after they have 
been suffering from their usual prolonged droughts, it is im- 
possible to conceive of. Their general aspect reminded me of 
that of Aden or of some of the volcanic islands in the Eed Sea. 
At the time of our visit, no rain had fallen for a year at 
St. Vincent. Sometimes it does not rain for three years. 

The mountains are of black volcanic rock terminating seawards 
in precipices, in which the numerous dikes, which traverse them 
in all directions, stand out conspicuously, often projecting far 
through weathering of the matrix. Between the hill ranges, 
stretches a flat sandy plain covered with sand dunes and with 
ranges of low rounded hills of a bright red ochre tint. The 
white sandy plain terminates at the head of the harbour in a 
sandy shore, where is a miserable town, composed mostly of 
mere hovels, and a black coaling jetty. 

The whole was glaring in a fierce sun, and appeared almost 
devoid of vegetation, but from the anchorage some black tufts 
could be made out with a telescope, which consisted of small 
bushes of lavender (Lavandula rotundifolia) , the most abundant 
plant in the island, and on the summits of the higher hills a few 
Euphorbia bushes (U. tuckcyana) could be made out in the same 
way. On the sandy plain at one spot is a thick growth of low 
tamarisk bushes which stretches from the shore inland, amongst. 



ST. VINCENT, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 43 

which at about half a mile from shore is a group of half a dozen 
small trees. These are a Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), some 
thorny acacias (A. cdbida), and Terminalis catappa. They stand 
in an old enclosure in front of the ruins of a house, and are 
green and nourishing, and show that much might be done by 
cultivation, even for St. Vincent. 

From a statement in Horsburg's Directory, in the description 
of St. Vincent, that " as much wood may be cut here in a short 
time as can be stowed away," I was led to suppose that possibly 
in old times there was much more vegetation in the island and 
hence more rain, and that the trees had been destroyed as at San 
Jago, according to Darwin,* but I find that in accounts of the 
island published in 1676, t the vegetation is described as having 
almost exactly the same appearance and range as at the present 
day. The firewood is mentioned, but described as a bush, 
evidently the tamarisk, and said to be scanty and very bad. 
The island is described as being as barren as it is now. 

The plains I found covered all over with the spiny fruit of a 
small creeping plant (Trihidus cistoides). Almost the only plants 
retaining any living and green leaves were the lavenders, on the 
bushes of which w T ere to be found here and there a green sprout 
put forth apparently in anticipation of the wet season. Many 
of the plants were so chip dry, that I had to gather specimens 
in boxes, as they would not stand pressing. 

The plains were covered with grass seeds. The island is said 
to become green as if by magic after rain, and at St. Jago, where 
the rain had been earlier, the plains at about 500 feet elevation 
were covered at the time of our visit with a bright green coat of 
seedlings ; but a day's moderate rain which occurred on July 
30th at St. Vincent had not produced any visible effect by 
August 5th, the day on which we sailed. The bottoms of the 
valleys and hill-slopes to the southward, are covered with a dry 
hay-like grass ; but the goats and cattle kept in this part of the 
island were dying in numbers from starvation. 

On June 30th, I made an excursion with a small party, up 

* "Journal of Eesearches." London, J. Murray, 1845, p. 2. 
t Dapper's "Africa." Amsterdam, 1676. "Eilanden van Africa," 
p. & 



}3. 



44 A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER." 

Green Mountain. It was raining, and the coal contractor on 
shore, who arranged matters for our trip, warned us that we 
should all catch a terrible fever if we went and got wet. We 
went however, and did not suffer, and I cannot help thinking 
that it is to some extent the extremely rare occurrence of 
rain which inspires dread of it in St. Vincent. Our party of 
three started on two ponies and a donkey, over the latter of which 
Murray soon broke a pet walking-stick of mine of Bermuda 
juniper, in trying to urge him into the right path. A strapping 
negress, one of the coaling gang, started on foot for the mountain 
with the lunch on her head. 

The road led over the bottom of the old crater, and then up 
the steeper end of the mountain by a zigzag path in places built 
up in steps and in others hewn out of the rock. The soft friable 
soil of the plain was in many places already converted into 
tenacious mud by the rain. 

As the hill-slopes are ascended from the plains, the plants 
become greener and more abundant. In a narrow gorge at the 
commencement of the ascent of the mountain, some small 
gardens were passed, at an elevation of about 200 feet above 
sea level. They contained sugar-cane, pumpkins, and a small 
date palm ; and maize was just being planted in them. There 
were a few cotton bushes growing near. At 700 feet, Euphorbias 
and woody Composites commenced, and the hill-side was covered 
with coarse dry grass. At 1,000 feet, small Boraginaceous bushes 
with pink flowers (Echium stenosiphon) commenced. At 1,300 
feet I found the first patch of moss and Marchantia, with a fern 
and a live snail. At 1,700 feet a Statice (S. Jovis barba) was 
abundant on the cliff. 

The lavender grows right up to the top of the mountain, but 
is there entirely fresh and green instead of black and withered 
as below. A leafless trailing Asclepiad (Sarcostemma daltoni) 
commenced at 900 feet. All the plants on Green Mountain 
appear to extend their range of growth to the summit. On the 
summit, the land is all more or less under cultivation, and maize, 
potatoes, tomatos, and pumpkins grow there. There are several 
cottages on the summit, and near one is a double circle of large 
Agaves. 



ST. VINCENT, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 45 

In the Green Mountain, the appearance of the several plants 
at successive heights is due mainly to the gradual increase in 
amount of moisture received by the soil as a higher and higher 
zone is reached. Closely similar conditions determine the distri- 
bution of plants on many other mountains, such as on Green 
Mountain in the Island of Ascension. 

The distribution of plants in successive zones on mountains 
which is most familiar, is that brought about by a successive 
decrease in temperature with increase of altitude, the Alpine flora 
being that which withstands a prolonged covering of snow. In 
Kerguelen's Land thus, a rapid decrease of vegetation is en- 
countered as the mountains are ascended, and at 1,000 feet 
most of it ceases. 

On some active volcanoes, however, as at the Banda Group near 
the Moluccas, a gradual decrease in the vegetation in correspon- 
dence with increased altitude is brought about by exactly opposite 
conditions, namely, gradual increase of heat. Here, close to the 
crater at the summit, the soil is excessively hot, yet one or two 
plants grow in it where it is almost too hot for the botanist's 
hand, and these straggle upwards, beyond distanced more sensi- 
tive competitors, till a region is reached which is barren of all but 
lowly organized algse, which grow around the mouths of natural 
steam jets, as about the hot springs in the Azores and elsewhere. 

In very high latitudes only, apparently, is the vegetation 
not influenced by altitude. On the mountains in East Green- 
land, the same plants extend from sea level up to as high 
as 7,000 feet altitude. This circumstance is accounted for by 
the fact that here the sun never rising far above the horizon, its 
rays strike the mountain-slopes nearly or quite vertically, and 
hence by their greater power compensate for the larger amount 
of heat lost by radiation at great elevations. The flat land 
receives the rays on the other hand very obliquely, and hence 
with much less force.* 

The combination of effects due to difference of aspect with 
regard to the trade wind and sun produces a marked difference 

* "Die Zweite Deutsche Nordpolarfahrt in den Jahren 1869 und 
1870," 2ter Bd. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse. Leipzig, F. A. Brockkaus. 
" Klima und Pflanzenleben auf Ostgronland," von Adolph Pansch in Kiel. 



46 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 



in the altitudes at which plants can grow at various aspects in 
St. Vincent. Thus Aizoon canariense, a Malvaceous plant which 
on Bird Eock grows close to the sea level on its windward side, 
does not commence on the leeward side of the hills of the main 
island till 700 or 800 feet. On the mountains on the southern 
side of the island, the vegetation does not come so far down 
the windward slopes, since the wind is heated and dried before 
reaching them, by passing over the hot central plain. 

Vertical dikes of basalt are very numerous all over the island, 
penetrating the main component rocks, by the disintegration of 
which they are often weathered out so as to project as walls. 
They usually show a columnar structure, the columns being as 
usual at right angles to the cooling surfaces. I saw several in 
which the cleavage in the centres of the masses was laminar 
and parallel to the lateral surfaces, whilst on either side the dikes 
were composed of very regular small columns disposed at right 
angles to these surfaces. In the Auvergne district, I have observed 
dikes in which laminar cleavage parallel to the surfaces occurred 
at the sides of the dikes and the columnar cleavage in the centre 
just the opposite condition. 






^Oif[l&> 



sit] 



so 



io 






3) 



a 




DIAGRAMS OF THE CLEAVAGE STRUCTURE OF BASALTIC DYKES. 

1 In S. Vincente; 2 in the Auvergne, near M. Dore; a central portion with laminar cleavage ; 
b lateral regions with horizontal columnar cleavage ; c lateral regions with laminar cleavage ; 
d central mass with horizontal columnar cleavage. 

On Bird Island, the rocks about tide mark, are covered 
with a broad band of a dense incrustation composed of Coralli- 
nacese, which forms a striking feature in the appearance of the 
island as seen from the sea, and is more marked here than on the 
main island. The Corallinaceae are seaweeds which secrete a 
dense skeleton of carbonate of lime. The incrustation on Bird 



ST. VINCENT, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 47 

» 

Island is of several colours, white, bright pink or cream colour, 
and is mainly composed of two species, of Lithothammion, 
L. polymw-phv/rn and L. mamillare. The incrustation assumes 
very varied forms, being simply incrusting, and following the 
form of the rock surface on which it rests, or forming smooth 
rounded convex masses, or being covered with a close set series 
of projections, sometimes of considerable length, and with a 
sinuous arrangement. 

I broke off specimens from the mass with my geological 
hammer. It is bored in all directions by Mollusks, such as 
Lithoclomus caucligerus — a Senegambian species with two curious 
little tails at the hinder extremities of the valves so cut out as to 
lap over one another when the shells are closed. On the whole, 
plant-life seems to play a far more important role than do corals 
in accumulating carbonate of lime around the Cape Yerdes. 
The principal role in this respect is however played by the larger 
Forarainifera, of the shells of which the calcareous sand of 
St. Vincent is mainly composed. 

I made excursions every day along the shore or over the hot 
sandy plains or over the sharp and rugged lava, in search of 
plants and animals. So desolate is the place that a naval 
schoolmaster, who had come to St. Vincent to join the 
" Challenger," got lost on one of the mountains just before 
the arrival of the ship, and died of exposure. His body was 
found only after the lapse of several months. 

On a visit to Bird Eock, I found that the sea birds' dung 
forms there, as at St. Paul's Eocks, pendent stalactite-like masses. 
The rock is composed of volcanic conglomerate and tuff, traversed 
in all directions by dikes of hard almost obsidian-like lava. Small 
rock pools at a short distance above the waves were filled with 
solid salt evaporated out from the spray. On the main island, 
on the windward side, the shore rocks are covered high up with 
an incrustation of salt dried out from the spray blown up by the 
trade wind. Men-of-war use Bird Eock occasionally as a target, 
and there were plenty of broken shot and shell upon it. 

At low tide, along the shore of the main island, numerous 
rock pools were exposed at low tide. These are inhabited by 
vast numbers of sea urchins (Echinometra) which rest within 



48 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

rounded cavities in the rock excavated by the urchins for them- 
selves, both in the calcareous sand rock and volcanic conglome- 
rate. With these was a coral (Porites) which forms small rounded 
masses, bright yellow or whitish pink in colour, and a grey Paly- 
thoa, a compound sea anemone, that is a colony composed of 
sea anemones closely joined together, and here forming sheet- 
like masses often a foot in diameter, encrusting the rock. An 
Aplysia, or sea slug, with a pair of large skin folds continued up 
from the sides of the body, and lapping together over the back 
of the animal, was common, and is probably the one referred to 
by Darwin, as seen at St. Jago.* 

A Rock-crab (Grapsus strigosus cf.), was very abundant, run- 
ning about all over the rocks, and making off into clefts on one's 
approach. I was astonished at the keen and long sight of this crab. 
I noticed some make off' at full pace to their hiding places at the 
instant that my head showed above a rock fifty yards distant. 
The crab often makes for the under side of a ledge of rock when 
escaping from danger, and may then be caught resting in fancied 
security by the hand brought suddenly over it from above. The 
dry rocks were covered with the dung of the crab, which is in 
the form of small brittle white sticks about an inch in length, 
very puzzling objects at first sight. The cast shells of the crab, 
which are bright red and very conspicuous, were lying all over 

the rocks. 

At Still Bay, on the sandy beach on which, although it is on 
the leeward side of the island and the sea surface was smooth, 
a heavy rolling surf was breaking, I encountered a Sand-crab 
(Ocypoda ippeus), which was walking about, and got between it and 
its hole in the dry sand above the beach. The crab was a large 
one, at least three inches in breadth of its carapace. In this 
species of crab, the eyestalks are very long. The eyes are on the 
side of the stalks which are longer than eyes, and projecting 
above them are terminated by a tuft of hairs. When the 
animal is on the alert, these long eyestalks are erected and 
stand up vertically side by side far above the level of the 
animal's back. 

With its curious long column-like eyes erect the crab bolted 

* Darwin, " Journal of Researches," p. G. 



ST. VINCENT, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 



49 



down towards the surf as the only escape, and as it saw a wave 
rushing up the shelving shore dug itself tight into the sand and 




OCYPODA IPPEUS. 

(About half natural size.) 

held on to prevent the undertow from carrying it down into the 
sea. As soon as the wave had retreated, it made off full speed 
along the shore. I gave chase, and whenever a wave approached, 
the crab repeated the manoeuvre. I once touched it with my 
hand whilst it was buried and blinded by the sandy water, but 
the surf compelled me to retreat, and I could not snatch hold of 
it for fear of its powerful claws. At last I chased it, hard 
pressed, into the surf in a hurry, and being unable to get proper 
hold in time it was washed down into the sea. 

The crab evidently dreaded going into the sea. These sand- 
crabs breathe air through an aperture placed between the bases 
of the third and fourth pairs of walking legs, and leading to the 
gill chamber. They soon die wdien kept for a short time 
beneath the water, as shown by Fritz Muller's experiments* 

A lizard or gecko is very common both at St. Vincent and 
San Jago. It appears to be the Tarentola Delalandii of Madeira, 
or closely allied to this. 

* " Facts and Arguments for Darwin," p. 33. London, John Murray, 
1869. 

E 



50 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

A beetle, a species of Cicindela, is very common on the dry 
sand along the seashore, and is very difficult to catch. The 
beetles sit five or six together on the sand, and fly off before the 
wind directly they are approached. They are so quick that I 
could not catch them with my net. I found, however, that if a 
handful of sand were thrown at them, they seemed paralyzed for 
a few moments, and could be picked up with the hand. 

Most of the insects on the island are to be found amongst 
the clumps of tamarisk. An Ant-lion (Myrmelion) is very 
common, making pitfalls for the ants under the lee of all the 
tamarisk bushes. Spiders are abundant. A large and handsome 
yellow spider (Nephila). makes large webs of yellow silk every- 
where amongst the bushes. The silk is remarkably strong, and 
the supporting threads of the web often bend the tips of the 
tamarisk twigs, to which they are fastened, right down. Either 
the spider drags on the thread and bends the twig, or the twig 
becomes bent in growing, after being made fast to. The result 
is that the thread is kept tense, although yielding to the wind. 

I ascended one clay one of the steep slopes on the north-east 
side of the town, on the leeward side of the encirclino- rano-e of 
the island. It was terribly hot and parchingly dry, but the 
instant the summit was reached, the refreshing trade wind was 
felt in full force, and its influence was everywhere seen in the 
increased vegetation, and wherever it lapped over the crest, or 
crept through a gully, green tufts marked its range. 

I climbed a peak about 850 feet in altitude, from which there 
was a comprehensive view of the island, showing well the 
general outward dip of the strata composing the encircling 
range. In the distance was the irregular mountainous outline 
of the island of St. Antonio, which was blue and hazy-looking, 
with a line of white clouds hanging against it at a height of 
about 2,000 feet. How I longed to be at the summit of the 
principal mountain, 7,000 feet high, to see the European wild 
thyme growing there far above the Atlantic and African plants ! 
A sheer precipice led down from my feet to the surf and the sea 
driven into white crested waves by the trade wind, which was 
blowing with more than ordinary violence, so that it was difficult 
to stand on the edge of the cliff. 



ST. VINCENT, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 51 

I found a chasm in the cliff where it was possible to descend. 
At about 200 feet from the bottom of the cliff, where the 
stratified volcanic rock was intersected in all directions by dikes, 
was a very small spring, from which issued perhaps a quarter of 
a pint of water in an hour. It was the only natural spring I 
saw in the islands, although a few others exist. There was 
green slimy matter round the spring composed of diatoms and 
other low algse, and a small mass of vegetable mould, in which 
grew two plants which I had not met with elsewhere in the 
island, a yellow flowered crucifer (Sinapidendron Vogelli) and 
Samolus Valerandi. 

This miniature oasis was only about four feet in circumference, 
and absorbed the whole of the w^ater yielded by the scanty 
spring. A number of wood-lice sheltered in it. I suppose the 
seeds of these two plants must have been carried to the spring 
by birds coming to drink. 

On returning to the town down the leeward slopes, I passed 
the principal wells of the town ; they are dug in a now dry 
stream bed, and are about 15 feet in diameter, and 25 to 30 feet 
in depth. There was plenty of water in them, but it was 
slightly brackish, and probably partly derived from the sea. 

The trammel net was set nightly in the harbour by Mr. Cox, 
the boatswain, and yielded some fine fish ; amongst these were 
some large flying gurnets which evidently, from their being- 
caught in the trammel, frequent the bottom a good deal like our 
wingless gurnets. One was caught with a line at the bottom. 
I hooked one, however, near the surface, when fishing with a rod 
and trout tackle for small mackerel and silver fish. This was 
quite a novel experience in fishing. The flying fish darted about 
like a trout and then took a good long fly in the air, and in an 
instant was down in the water again and out again into the air, 
and being beyond my skill in playing with such light tackle, 
soon shook itself loose and got free. 

A species of Balistes, called the trigger-fish, because it has a 
stout trigger-like spine on the back and the belly, which can be 
erected as a defence, was caught in the net. The living fish when 
held in the hand makes a curious metallic clicking noise by 
grating its teeth ; similarly Diodon antcnnatus makes a curious 

E 2 



52 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



» 



noise by the movement of its jaws, as noticed by Darwin * I 
have heard the sound in the case of a Diodon hystrix canght at 
St. Thomas ; it is a sort of grunting sound. A large hammer-headed 
shark (Zygoma malleus), about 12 feet long, was also netted and 
put an end to the net fishing for some time by tearing the net 

to pieces. 

We left St. Vincent on August 15th. I went on that day 
with Captain Nares on a boat excursion to collect corals in a 
small bay with a westerly aspect, not far from Porto Grande. On 
our way we passed under a rocky mountain, 1,594 feet in height, 
which has an outline remarkably like that of a man ; the nose, 
mouth, and chin, are well marked, and the entire range in con- 
nection looks like a giant lying on his back. 

The small bay we visited was bounded by steep cliffs. On 
the rocks beneath was the usual zone of calcareous seaweeds. 
A coral (Cce?iopsammia Ehr enter giana), composed of bundles of 
delicate tubes fused together side by side, covered the rocks 
profusely just below tide level, forming bright vermilion and 
bright yellow masses, which showed out conspicuously as the 
swell fell now and then and exposed the rock surface lower 
down than usual. The coral appears to vary in colour in an 
irregular manner, some clusters of the coral being red, with the 
exception of one or two tubes at one corner of the mass, which 
were yellow, and I saw a young yellow bud given off from a red 
parent tube. Some masses were entirely yellow, and in some 
places only yellow corals were to be seen, but on the whole the 
red predominated. 

At the north point at the mouth of the bay was a regular 
fishing station, where two young Africans were fishing, and 
where the whole rock was reeking of dead and decaying fish, and 
a small cave was full of debris, having evidently been made use 
of by fishermen for many years. 

The two young negroes at first occupied themselves in 
catching small fish with a short bamboo rod, baiting with 
pounded fish, and catching various little rock fish and a Scarus. 
They then began pounding and breaking up the small fish and 

* Darwin, " Journal of Researches," p. 14. 



ST. VINCENT, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 53 

throwing largish pieces of the mass into the verge of the surf off 
the point to attract large fish. 

They watched until they saw a large fish taking these baits 
on the top of the water, and then they threw a bait on a hook 
attached to a long cod line. They thus caught a large Cavalli 
(Caranx), of the mackerel tribe, which they had to play for some 
time and finish with a spear. Large Garfish (Belone) sometimes 
came within reach, and were easily caught, being very ravenous. 

One fish, a kind of Bonito or tunny {Thynnus Argentivittatus), 
of about 25 lbs. in weight, was attracted by the baits, and 
coming close in swam backwards and forwards in front of the 
stand on the rock, taking every bait thrown on to the top of the 
water. The negroes kept feeding the fish for some time to give 
it confidence. A very strong piece of cord with a hook like a 
salmon gaff made fast to it, was then baited with a small bit of 
fish, just enough to cover the point of the hook, and a stout 
bamboo was used as a rod. The cord was hitched tight round 
one end of it, with about a foot of it left dangling with the hook. 
One negro held the rod and the other the cord. 

The bait was held just touching the surface of the water. 
The fish swam up directly and took it, the negro holding the 
bamboo struck sharply and drove the big hook right through the 
fish's upper jaw, and both men caught hold of the line and 
pulled the fish straight out on to the rock. The negroes evidently 
felt quite certain of their fish directly they saw it swimming 
backwards and forwards in front of the rock. I was astonished 
that so large a fish could be caught in so absurd a manner. The 
negro holding the pole was not six feet from the fish when it 
took the bait. 

The inhabitants of St. Vincent are mostly negroes from the 
adjacent coast. In the town at Porto Grande there was an 
albino negress, who was exhibited to visitors. 

Of birds the most conspicuous at St. Vincent are the 
scavenger vultures (Kathartes pernicopterus) , the same which are 
to be seen in great numbers about the native town at Aden, and 
about all the towns of Egypt and northern Africa, and which 
even follow caravans across the desert as gulls follow ships. 
The birds were always to be seen about the waste land close to 



54 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

the town where garbage was thrown, and were often to be seen 
hunting over the refuse heaps in company with ravens and 
crows. Some small finches were common in flocks on the hills 
and some small hawks. 

At the periods of migration, quails are extremely abundant 
on the island, as at St. Jago, and often afford good sport to naval 
officers ; they are, however, mere birds of passage here, and there 
were none at the time of our visit. Of sea birds I saw a cor- 
morant and a bird which looked in the distance like a Merganser. 
Gulls and terns were absent entirely. 

I was told that the goats which are wild on the island, have 
all attained a red colour resembling that of the rocks, and that 
they were hence very difficult to find and shoot ; I, however, 
saw none myself. 

August 6th. — The island of Fogo was in sight ; it appeared to 
our view as two truncated cones, showing out against the sky 
above a bank of clouds. One of the cones, which is 9,000 feet 
in height, is much higher than the other, and has a tiny secondary 
cone at one edge of its main terminal crater, just like Pico in 
the Azores. The volcano is active, but had no smoke issuing 
from it as we passed. The peaks showed out against the sky 
far above the horizon. 

I was constantly astonished at the great height above the 
horizon to which high mountainous islands seem to rise when 
viewed from a long distance at sea. This appearance was 
especially marked in the case of the Peak of Teneriffe. One is 
apt to scan the region of the horizon, when the Peak is just in 
sight far too low down, being accustomed to search for much less 
elevated objects which become visible directly they rise above 
the horizon. The line of sight traversing in that direction, 
clearer air allows the summit of the high distant mountain to 
be visible long before the base. 

When we were approaching the Azores, we sighted the island 
of Corvo at a distance of sixty miles. The island appeared re- 
markably near, being thrown up high above the horizon probably 
by atmospheric refraction. The distance of the island was 
guessed from its appearance at from seven to twenty-five miles. 
The island disappeared from view before mid-day by a change in 



ST. JAGO, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 55 

the condition of the atmosphere, which nevertheless appeared 
clear. 

St. Jago island, August 1th, 8th, and 9th, 1813. — The ship 

anchored at Porto Praya, the port town of San Jago, Cape Yerde 
Islands, on August 7th. The harbour is exposed to the south- 
west, and, during the rainy season, from August to October, when 
south-west gales are frequent, is unsafe. The harbour is 
bounded by black basaltic cliffs, in which, in several places, a 
fossiliferous limestone bed, which is described by Darwin, 
shows out as a conspicuous white streak. 

The town is placed on an isolated mass of a flat, elevated 
plain, which terminates abruptly seawards in the cliffs above 
described. A deep valley, with a flourishing grove of cocoanut 
trees at its bottom, separates this mass from the main table- 
land on the east side. On the west side, at the base of the mass, 
lies a sandy plain which extends far back into the country and 
terminates seawards in a sandy bay, admirably adapted for the 
use of the sein net. On this plain, behind the town, is a large 
plantation of date-palms, with artificially irrigated gardens 
beneath their shade. The dates "were hanging thick upon the 
trees, but were as yet yellow and unripe ; in ripening they turn 
first red and then deep purple or black. 

There is a large Baobob tree near the town, which has been 
mentioned by travellers: its stem is irregular in transverse 
section and short ; it measured 42 feet in circumference at the 
time of our visit. The tree was then in full flower, with no 
fruit as yet of any size. 

The country rises inland in a succession of terrace-like steps 
often remarkably flat at the tops, and formed by successive 
flows of lava. The flat table-land nearest the sea was parched 
and had very little green upon it. Behind rises a succession of 
small conical hills and higher table-lands, which were brilliantly 
green. 

As the ship came to anchor, a flock of kites (Milvus korschum) 
came wheeling round the stern, just as do gulls ordinarily, and 
keep swooping down after garbage from the ship. Instead of 
seizing the morsels with their beaks, like gulls, they did so with 
their claws, putting out one foot for the purpose as they swooped 



56 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

down, and seizing the food with it with wonderful precision. 
As they rose they bent down their heads and ate the food at 
once on the wing from their claws. Some large fish came round 
the ship, and amongst them some sharks, one of which was seen 
to seize one of the kites as it put its foot down to the water 
and carry it down after a short struggle. 

I landed with a party in search of quail shooting. We 
landed at a small stone jetty under the cliff beneath the town, 
and mounted by a zigzag path and steps to the top ; here just 
above the landing-place are the barracks, one-storied, with iron- 
grated unglazed windows, a conspicuous feature in the view of 
the town from the anchorage. The town consists of about two 
dozen two-storied houses, mostly surrounding a public square, 
and a number of one-storied hovels and low wooden houses, 
disposed in three or four parallel streets, along the ridge on 
which the town stands. The inhabitants are nearly all negroes, 
the remainder being Portuguese and half-castes. Attempts were 
being made to improve the place, and there was a fountain in 
the middle of the square with young trees planted round it and 
good water is laid on to the town from a distance of several 
miles. 

As soon as we landed we were beset by a crowd of negro 
boys, wanting to carry our cartridge bags and show us where 
plenty of quails and galinis were to be found. We each selected 
our boy and made for the high flat plain across the valley to the 
west. The plain was covered with tufts of short dry grass, and 
scanty patches of young seedling grasses just coming up. Scat- 
tered about were patches of the darker green of the abundant 
trailing Convolvulus (Tpomcea pes ccifprce), The elevated plains 
are intersected in all directions by deep gorges cut out by water- 
courses which were now quite dry ; the gorges have usually 
steeply sloping sides which terminate above in a range of cliffs. 

Quails were not at all plentiful, being only migratory visitors 
to the island, and not having as yet arrived. The entire party 
shot only about twenty. The Kingfisher mentioned by Darwin 
{Halcyon Erytliroryncha), is common. The bird is peculiar to the 
island, though very closely allied to an African species. It is a 
beautiful bird of a brilliant blue and white with a red beak. 



ST. JAGO, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 57 

Like many other kingfishers it is not aquatic in its habits, but 
feeds mainly on locusts and other small terrestrial animals. It 
has a terribly harsh laughing cry, a feeble imitation of that 
of its congener of Australia, the laughing jackass. 

We met with several flocks of wild galinis, which are abun- 
dant on the island, but are very difficult to approach. The 
birds inhabit the slopes of the gorges which are covered with a 
thick growth of oil trees (Jatv&plvcL mrcas) which have very 
much the habit and general appearance of castor-oil plants. 
The flocks of galinis station sentries to keep a look-out from 
some rocky eminence, and these, when once they have dis- 
covered an enemy, never lose sight of him, but carefully watch 
the stalking operations of a sportsman and give warning as soon 
as he gets too near to their comrades and is just expecting 
to get a shot. 

We returned to the town in the afternoon in order to join a 
seining party. All English men-of-war on foreign service are 
provided with a sein net, and a seining party is regarded as 
a sort of lark or picnic by the Blue-jackets. There are always 
plenty of volunteers eager to go, and a good many officers 
are ready to join. 

With us, Mr. Cox, the boatswain, was the great man on such 
occasions, and he enjoyed the sport as much as anyone in 
the ship. The party of volunteers, of perhaps thirty men besides 
the officers, goes ashore in the afternoon at about four o'clock in 
one of the cutters with the net in the dingey, the smallest ship's 
boat. Then the net is payed out, and everyone is dressed 
and prepared for going into the water up to his neck and 
hauling on the lines. At last in comes the bag of the net, 
or " cod " as Mr. Cox calls it. It is run up the beach with 
a final spurt, and then comes the fun of handing out the fish 
and looking at the many unfamiliar forms, for which the Blue- 
jackets have all sorts of extraordinary names. 

At one haul on the present occasion there was a large shark 
(Carcharias sp.), 14 feet long in the net. Mr. Cox in the dingey 
following the net as usual as it was drawn in, in order to free it 
if it should hitch on the bottom, sighted the shark swimming 
round within the rapidly decreasing circle, and making bolts at 



58 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

the net to try and break through. And the beast would have 
burst through had not Mr. Cox hammered it on the head with 
a boat-hook whenever it turned at the net, whilst the men 
belaboured it with anything they could get hold of as it got 
drawn into shallow water. 

There was great excitement, and it seemed very uncertain 
whether the shark would not break the net and let out not only 
itself but all the other fish. At last we ran the brute up high 
and dry, and then it suffered instant punishment. 

The sailor has absolutely no pity upon a shark. I have 
heard one of our men say to a shark which he had just hauled 
on to the forecastle with a line, " Ah, thou beggar, thou'd hurt I 
if I was in the water and now I'll hurt thee," whereupon 
he caught it a vicious kick and proceeded to gouge it. When a 
big shark like the present one is landed it is regarded as a 
general enemy, against whom everyone has an old score to 
pay off. Mr. Cox shoves the boat-hook about five feet into its 
mouth and down its throat. The others job the beast in the 
eyes with sticks and knives and make a deep slash across 
the tail to prevent its lashing out, and proceed to open the belly, 
where the usual miscellaneous collection is found ; lots of ships' 
beef bones, a two pound lead sinker of a fishing line, with chop- 
stick and hooks complete, &c, &c. 

We caught plenty of fish. Gray and red mullet, a Gar fish 
or Greenbone, with long slender beak-like jaws (Belone), and 
another fish closely like the Greenbone, but with a long beak- 
like lower jaw only, the upper jaw appearing as if cut off close 
to the snout (Hemiramplms). With these were other curious fish 
with deformed-looking heads (Argyrciosus setipinnis, Gcdeoides 
polydactylus). 

A fire had been lighted on the shore and we had a ship's 
boat's cooking stove with us. We fried some of the fish, and 
with bread and preserved meats and plenty of beer made a 
good supper, and set to work again hauling the net till it had 
long been dark. Then we had hot tea and grog, and packed our 
net and fish into the boats and pulled on board. 

We did not reach the ship until past 11 P.M., and at 3 A.M. 
I was, by arrangement, to start on a trip to try and ascend the 



ST. JAGO, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 59 

high mountain of the island called San Antonio, 7,400 feet 
in height, in search of the European plants which grow there. 

I had a very short sleep and landed at 3 a.m. I found two 
horses ready at the landing-place but my guide was not there, 
and it was a long time before I could make the men with 
the horses, who spoke only Portuguese, understand what I 
wanted. At last a negro, who was sleeping on the pier, agreed to 
find the guide, John Antonio, for a shilling, and I sat down on 
the pier wall to listen to the surf and watch the crabs (Grcqmus 
strigosus) running about, for nearly an hour. 

The parapet of the jetty had a capping upon it projecting 
some distance and with a rounded edge. I saw a crab running 
on the jetty, and I thought I could catch it, but to my astonish- 
ment it ran with readiness over the edge of the parapet, round 
the projection and down the flat face of the wall, with all the 
ease of a fly under similar circumstances. 

At last my guide, John Antonio, a negro who spoke English, 
arrived. He was to have been at the rendezvous at 3 A.M., but 
said he was too sleepy. We mounted and rode off inland ; 
after about an hour's ride day began to break. As we ascended 
successive terraces the hills became greener and greener, being 
covered with a continuous carpet of seedling grass, and other 
herbs, as yet only two or three inches in height. John said that 
it would be a foot or eighteen inches high later on, and that then 
the quails would abound and the galinis breed, so that the 
breeding season of these birds appears here to occur in autumn, 
determined by the rainy season. Numbers of the galinis are 
taken when quite young, and their eggs are also sought after. 

The quantity of birds of prey in San Jago is remarkable. 
We passed numerous large falcons at rest on dead trees and 
several hawks, and an owl flew across the road just at daybreak. 
I saw also two eagles in San Domingo Valley. Eavens and 
crows are abundant. 

The valley of San Domingo, into which our road at length 
led, is deep, with precipitous cliffs and steep mountains on either 
side, rising from 1,000 to 2,500 feet above sea level. The valley 
is broken here and there by lateral offsets and backed towards its 
head by irregular mountain masses. The view up the valley is 



60 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

very beautiful. Beneath the cliffs, which are encrusted with 
lichens and stained of various colours, often of a deep black, are 
steep talus slopes covered with oil trees, with a few other shrubs 
sparingly intermingled. At the bottom of the valley is a strip 
of comparatively level land, on which are cultivated all sorts of 
tropical fruits, pineapples, bananas, oranges, lemons, guavas and 
cocoanuts : with cassava, sweet potatoes and sugar-cane as field 
crops. 

All along the valley a little way up the slopes are small 
huts, where boys are stationed, whose duty it is to keep off 
the monkeys, which abound amongst the rocks, and the wild 
blue rock pigeons (Cohimba Uvea) which are very numerous, and 
were seen flying about in flocks and alighting in the road as we 
went along. 

John Antonio said that the monkeys used their tails to pull 
up the sugar cane and cassava with, an unlikely story, since the 
monkeys must be some imported African species run wild. 
I was astonished to hear that there were monkeys at all in the 
island, and have not seen the fact mentioned in any account of 
the place. John said that the monkeys never came out in wet 
weather. I did not see any of them. The boys kept up a 
constant shouting, which resounded through the valley. 

At the bottom of the valley is a small stream running rapidly 
over the stones, like a trout stream, and everywhere very shal- 
low. In this stream grow watercresses and several familiar 
English water plants, and I found two ferns on the banks. Two 
kinds of freshwater shrimps live in the stream under the stones, 
and are very abundant, notwithstanding the shallowness of the 
water. One is a Palsemon, a large prawn, as big as the largest 
specimens of our common river crayfish, and with long and 
slender biting claws. 

The other kind is a very different animal, somewhat smaller, 
and of the genus Atya, which is distinguished by having no 
nippers on the larger pairs of walking legs, but only simple 
spine-like ends to them. The two front pairs of walking legs 
have, however, most extraordinarily shaped claws at their extre- 
mities; quite unlike any occurring in other Crustacea, except 
the Atyidre, as will be seen from the figure. These claws or 



ST. JAGO, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 



61 



nippers have slender arms of equal length and dimensions, 
which are linked together so as to open and shut like a pair of 
forceps, closing flat against one another. 




atya sulcatipes. (Xatural size.) 

a One of the front pairs of walking legs. Beneath ; the same pair enlarged ; a the nippers 

widely open ; b the crescent-shaped joint to which they are hinged. 

At their extremities these forceps arms are provided with 
thickly-set brushes of long hairs, as long as the arms themselves. 
These hairs expand in the water when the forceps are opened, 
and evidently form a widely-sweeping grasping surface, by 
which small particles of food or minute animals can be caught. 
No doubt these forceps catch the food of the Atya, and the 
larger legs with simple pointed ends enable it to hold on to the 
stones in the rapid stream. 

The pair of forceps is not attached directly at its hinge 
joint to the end of the limb, but at a point on the side of one of 
the arms. Here it is hinged on to a crescent-shaped joint, into 
the crescent of which the rounded end of the forceps is received 
when the apparatus is retracted and at rest. The complicated 
manner of jointing gives a very wide sweep and great mobility 
to these very curious prehensile organs. 

The genus Atya must, from its very wide distribution, be a 
very ancient one. Species of the genus occur in the West 
Indies, in the Philippines, in Samoa, and in Mexico, besides in 
the Cape Yerde Islands. The Cape Yerde species * is possibly 

* Atya sulcatipes (Newport) ? A. scabra (Leach). " Ann. and Mag. 
Nat. Hist.," 1847, p. 158, where is a list of species. Upolu is in it placed by 



62 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

identical with one occurring in Mexico. In Mexico and the 
West Indies the animal occurs in the sea : elsewhere in fresh 
water. 

I am greatly indebted to Sr. Jose M. Quirino Chaves, U. S. 
Vice-Consul of Porta Praya, who most kindly sent me specimens 
of the above described Crustacea, on my writing to him, when 
preparing this journal for the press. The only specimen which 
I secured on my visit was lost by accident on board the " Chal- 
lenger." The Palsemon is called in the island " Christao," The 
Atya, " Mouro." 

John Antonio said there were no fish in the San Domingo 
stream, " cos river fresh water." He evidently thought that fish 
were to be found only in the sea. 

We passed the village of San Domingo, which consists of 
scattered thatched stone houses, and the road became worse and 
worse, being sometimes knee-deep in mud. The ponies, small 
fine-built bays, began to show signs of giving in, and soon 
spurring would not make mine move further. I had to dismount 
and flounder back to a cottage, where we had a rest, and fed the 
ponies with grass. The excursion up the mountain is evidently 
too long for one day, although John Antonio had declared before- 
hand that it was an easy matter. I had been riding five hours, 
and we were still a long way from the place where the actual 
ascent commences. The ponies went very badly, at little more 
than a foot-pace. It was raining more or less during the whole 
time that we were in the valley. 

The Portuguese, at whose house we stopped, said that it was 
impossible to ascend the mountain in the rainy season, because 
of the falls of stones, or stone avalanches, which were common 
and dangerous. All this I failed to find out before leaving the 
town, the natives of the island there knowing nothing of the 
mountain. At the house I got some coffee, which was grown in 
the valley just below. 

I ascended the steep side of the valley, to a ridge about 
1,500 feet above sea level, but did not find anything in the plant 

mistake in New Zealand instead of Samoa. M. Edwards places Atya 
with Alpheus. Dana, (U.S. Exp. Ex. Crustacea), places Atya, Atyoides 
and Caridina, in a special family Atyidse, next the Astacidae. 



ST. JAGO, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 63 

way to reward me, the plants being the same as lower down the 
slope. The oil tree (Jatropha curcas) grew np to the top of the 
slope. There were none of the mountain plants which occur at 
St. Vincent at this height. There were a good many fungi. 
They apparently spring up luxuriantly during the wet sea- 
son. Plants generally grow at a lower level at San Jago than at 
St. Vincent. Thus, Sarcostemma Daltoni in San Jago grows 
abundantly almost at sea level on the cliffs near the harbour. 
In St. Vincent I found none lower than 900 feet.. The plant 
was in full bloom at San Jago. In St. Vincent I found only 
a single blossom, though the plant w T as very abundant. 

I exchanged a drink of ship's rum with my Portuguese host 
for his cup of coffee. He had a very pretty young yellow wife, 
who on my return to the house was pounding maize in a large 
wooden mortar, assisted by a very black servant girl, each of 
them wielding a heavy pestle, and striking alternately, like 
blacksmiths on an anvil. A little water was sprinkled on the 
maize to assist the process. 

John Antonio was well known all along the road, and most 
elaborate courtesies passed between him and every one we met, 
or whose house we passed by, sometimes a Creole, sometimes 
a Portuguese. He explained that the Creole greeting which 
he used meant, " What you feel ? " In Portuguese he always 
addressed everyone as Sir, and after mutual congratulation 
on the subject of health, he entered into a lengthy explanation 
of who I was, which wasted a great deal of our time. John 
was a thin, spare man, with a very ragged coat and trousers, 
which had evidently once been respectable on a previous 
owner. He was perpetually hungry and thirsty. 

As soon as the horses were rested we started back. I shifted 
my single spur, for John and I wore a pair between us, to my 
left foot, and managed to reach the town by 3 P.M., in time to 
join a second seining party. The seining was suddenly brought 
to a conclusion, for a south-west gale being expected, we were 
hurried on board. A heavy swell had set in by the time we 
reached the ship., so that there was some difficulty in getting up 
the ship's side. We found all the boats hoisted, and steam up, 
ready for sea at a moment's notice. 



64 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

San Domingo Valley, with its succession of mountain ridges 
and peaks becoming bluer and bluer in the distance, is one of 
the finest mountain valleys I have ever seen, and the tropical 
vegetation gives it an especial charm. The sight of such a place 
is particularly delightful to a man who has for weeks been 
trudging the arid hills and plains of St. Vincent, and who has 
just ascended to it from the almost equally sterile plains about 
the coast of San Jago. 

The gale did not come as was expected, and another oppor- 
tunity of landing being afforded, I went with Buchanan to look 
at the peculiar limestone bed described by Darwin.* On our 
way we passed through the grove of cocoanut trees ; at the foot 
of these trees arehiumerous holes of a large land crab (Cardisoma) ; 
the female of this land crab was found by Von Willemoes Suhm 
to carry its eggs and newly hatched young under its abdomen ; 
the young emerge from the eggs in the larval zoea condition,! 
and are found- in that state attached to the abdominal legs of the 
mother. 

As we made our way along the cliff we disturbed a flock of 
rock pigeons which breed abundantly in ' the cliff, and also a 
wild cat, which was no doubt watching them. The cat was of 
a reddish tabby colour; they are very abundant on the island, 
and it is not easy to understand how so many animals of prey, 
cats, hawks, crows, &c, manage to subsist here. In the quail 
season no doubt they have abundance, but in the dry season they 
must often be nearly starved. 

The limestone band exposed in the cliff around the harbour 
is topped by a thick mass of basaltic lava, which as it flowed 
over the limestone baked and heated it, and altered its structure. 
The limestone band crumbles and weathers away, and thus 
leaves a hollow all along the cliff about half way up its height, 
which forms a convenient path for men and goats. By the 
cropping out of the limestone the under surface of the lava- 

* C. Darwin, " Journal of Researches," pp. 5, 6. 

t R. Von Willemoes Suhm, " On some Atlantic Crustacea from the 
1 Challenger ' Expedition." " On the Development of a Land Crab." Trans. 
Linn. Soc, 2 Ser. Zoology, Pt. I, 1875, p. 46. Proc. R. Soc, No. 170, 1876, 
p. 582. 



ST. JAGO, CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. 65 

flow is exposed to view and in many places ripple marks can be 
seen in it. 

The limestone bed, where exposed to the air, is of a dazzling 
white ; it is full of rounded nodules of a calcareous alga as 
described by Darwin,* a species of Lithothammion.f I dredged 
closely similar nodules to these in ten fathoms off the Philippine 
Islands, in bushelsfull. These nodules were living masses of 
Corallinacece, but loose rounded and unattached, yet covering 
and composing the sea bottom. The basalt, undermined by the 
cropping out of the limestone, falls in large masses and splitting 
off with great regularity leaves the cliff with a remarkably 
smooth vertical surface. 

Eed or precious Coral occurs at San Jago, and also at St. 
Vincent. There are four or five Spanish boats, and seven 
belonging to Italians, engaged in the fishery for it at San Jago. 
It occurs in about 100 to 120 fathoms, and is dragged for with 
swabs as in the Mediterranean : the strands of the swabs are 
made up into a net with about a four-inch mesh. A duty of a 
dollar a kilogram is paid to the Government on the coral. 

A pair of huge fish came round the ship whilst at anchor in 
the harbour during the afternoon ; one, supposed to be the male, 
was struck with a harpoon, but after some time managed to draw 
it out by its struggles ; it twisted up the harpoon and was said 
even to have moved the ship in its throes. I did not see the fish, 
but from the description, coupled with the fact that there were a 
pair of the fish, it seemed probable that the fish were the huge 
ray Cephaloptera, the " Devil fish," which has curious horn-like 
projections sticking out in front on either side of the mouth. 
The fish were described as " as big as an ordinary dining-room 
table." t 

The voyage from San Jago to St. Paul's Eocks occupied nine- 
teen days. When we were two days out some swallows paid us 
a visit, flying behind the ship. We ran at first parallel with the 
African coast, and then stretched over westwards to St. Paul's 

* C. Darwin, "Volcanic Islands," p. 3. Smith and Elder, London, 1866. 
t Prof. G. Dickie, " Journ. of Linn. Soc," Vol. XIV, p. 346. 
X For an account of a visit to Porto Praya, see G. Bennett, " "Wander- 
ings in New South Wales," Vol. I, p. 15. London, R Bentley, 1834. 

F 



66 A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER." 

Bocks. We passed first through a region where we had a pretty 
steady south-west wind, an African land breeze or monsoon. 
Here we had occasional heavy showers, but not so much rain as 
was to be expected, since we were passing a region where it 
rains on an average for seven hours out of every twenty-four, all 
the year round. We next steamed through the belt of equatorial 
calms to reach the south-east trade winds, and left the Guinea 
current, which was running at the rate of 21 miles in 24 hours. 
We entered the trade wind on August 21st, and the air became 
damp and cooler than before, and we were soon running before 
the wind at the rate of seven or eisdit knots. 




67 



CHAPTER III. 

ST. PAUL'S BOCKS AND FEBNANDO DO NOBHONA. 

St. Paul's Rocks. Equatorial Current. Nests of Noddies. Predatory- 
Habits of Grapsus strigosus. Fishing off the Rocks. Nests of 
Boobies. Pugnacity of the Young Birds. Other Inhabitants of the 
Rocks. Fishing for Cavalli with Salmon tackle. Geological Structure 
of the Rocks. Seaweeds growing on the Rocks. Fernando do Nor- 
hona. Calcareous Sandrock containing Volcanic Intermixture. Tree 
Shedding Leaves in dry season. Japtropha urens. Birds. Brazilian 
Convicts. St. Michael's Mount. Frigate Birds Nesting. Pio-eons 
Nesting with Sea Birds. Lizards of the Islands. 

St. Paul's Rocks, August 28th and 29th, 1813. — The ship 

arrived at St. Paul's Bocks, on August 25th. The rocks are 
about 540 miles distant from the coast of South America, and 
350 miles from the island of Fernando do Norhona. The group 
of rocks is scarcely more than half a mile in circumference, and 
their highest point is only 64 feet above sea level. 

At 5 p.m., the rocks were about half a mile from the ship. 
Their smallness is the striking feature in their appearance as 
they are approached. They show themselves as five small pro- 
jecting peaks, which are black at their bases, and white with 
birds' dung on their summits. A yellowish-white band shows 




ST. PAUL S ROCKS. 



out about tide mark. The sea was clashing up in foam at the 
south-east end of the rocks, and a long line of breakers stretching 
from the opposite end marked the course of the equatorial 
current. 

The birds were to be seen hovering over the island in 
thousands. Only three kinds inhabit it. Two noddies and the 

F 2 



68 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

booby. The noddies (Anous stolidus and A. melanogcnys) are 
small terns or sea swallows, black all over, with the exception of 
a small white patch on the head. The booby (Sula leucogaster) 
is a kind of gannet. The full-grown birds are white on the 
belly, with a black head and throat ; the black ending on the 
neck, where it joins the white in a straight conspicuous line. 
The back is dark. The younger birds are brown all over. Some 
few of both birds soon came off to have a look at the ship. 

We moved gradually up to the islands, sounding as we went ; 
the Captain and Lieutenant Tizard mounted into the foretop, 
and steered the vessel from thence, looking out for rocks. The 
water is deep right up to the rocks, and a hawser was sent on 
shore in a boat, and made fast round a projecting lump of rock, 
and the ship was moored by means of it in about 100 fathoms of 
water, although not more than 100 yards distant from shore. 
Such an arrangement is only possible under the peculiar circum- 
stances which occur here. The wind and current are constantly 
in the same direction, and keep a ship fastened to the rock 
always as far off from it as the rope will allow. 

I never properly realized the strength of an oceanic current 
until I saw the equatorial current running past St. Paul's Eocks. 
Ordinarily at sea the current of course does not make itself 
visible in any way ; one merely has its existence brought to one's 
notice by finding at mid-day, when the position of the ship is 
made known, that the ship is 20 miles or so nearer or farther off 
from port than dead reckoning had led one to suppose she would 
be, and one is correspondingly elated or depressed. But St. Paul's 
Eocks is a small fixed point in the midst of a great ocean 
current, which is to be seen rushing past the rocks like a mill- 
race, and a ship's boat is seen to be baffled in its attempts to 
pull against the stream. 

Between the two extremities of the main body of rocks, is a 
bay, enclosed by a somewhat semicircular arrangement of the 
rock masses. We landed on the eastward side of this bay. 
Landing from a boat is a little difficult. There is a perpetual 
swell running in the bay, although it is on the sheltered side of 
the rocks, and one has to jump as the boat rises, and cling to the 
rocks as best one may. 



ST. PAUL'S ROCKS. 



69 



I landed in the first boat. The rock was covered with 
noddies, and their nests, some containing eggs, whitish in colour, 
with red spots at the larger end, and others with young in them, 
little round balls of black down. The air was full of noddies 
and boobies, circling about, and screaming in disgust at the 
invasion of their home. 

The noddies' nests are made of a green seaweed (Caulerpa 
clavifera) which grows on the bottom in the bay and around the 
rocks, and which getting loosened by the surf, floats, and is 
picked up by the birds on the surface. The weed is cemented 
together by the birds' dung, and the nests having been used for 
ages, are now solid masses, with a circular platform at the 
summit, beneath which hang down a number of tails of dried 
seaweed. The older nests pro- 
ject from the cliffs on the shel- 
tered sides of the rocks, like 
brackets, having been origin- 
ally commenced, as may be 
seen by the complete gradua- 
tions existing, by a pair of 
birds laying an egg on a small 
projecting ledge of rock and J 
adding a few stalks of weed. 

It is only the stronger and 
more vigorous noddies that are 
able to occupy and hold posses- 
sion of a nest of this descrip- 
tion. There are only a limited 
number of such on the island, there not being cliffs enough to 
accommodate more.* The island being somewhat over-populated, 
a great many noddies have to put up with the bare flat rocks 
as breeding-places, and there they lay their eggs in any slight 




NEST OF NODDT AT ST. PAUL S ROCKS. 



* The two species of noddy occurring at the rocks are so nearly alike, 
that I did not notice at the time that there was more than one species 
present ; a fact which I have since learnt from Mr. Howard Sanders' 
paper — "On the Laridse of the Expedition," Proc. Zool. Soc, 1877, pp. 
797, 798. Possibly the birds, which make bracket-like nests, are of one 
species only, and those which build on the ground, of the other. 



70 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

hollow or chink. They are plucky birds, and the old ones 
sometimes make dashes at the head of an intruder who goes 
too near their nest. They had so little fear of man, from want 
of experience of his cruelty, that we could have caught any 
number of them with our hands. 

In vast abundance, all over the rocks, crawls about a crab 
(Grapsus strigosus), the same as that already noticed at the 
Cape Verde Islands. This crab has been referred to by nearly 
all visitors to the rocks. It is far more wide-awake than the 
birds, and keeps well out of reach, being thus of some difficulty 
to catch. The crabs are all over the rocks, every crevice has 
several in it. 

You are fishing, and you have put down at your feet a nice 
bait, cut with some care and difficulty from a fish sacrificed for 
the purpose. You are absorbed in the sport. A fish carries 
off your bait ; you look down and see two crabs just disappearing 
into an impracticable crevice, carrying your choice morsel 
between them. You catch a fish and throw it down beside you. 
Before long you find a swarm of crabs round it, tearing morsels 
off the gills, using both claws alternately to carry them to their 
mouths ; and a big old crab digging away at the skin of the fish, 
and trying to bite through it. 

If a bird dies the crabs soon pick its bones, and I saw one 
old crab profiting by our having driven off all the old birds, and 
carrying off a young bird just hatched. The older crabs are 
richly coloured, with bright red legs. The crabs have odd ways, 
and curious habits of expressing anger, astonishment, suspicion, 
and fear, by the attitude of their claws. When two old crabs 
meet unsuspectingly in a crevice they dodge one another in an 
amusing way, and drawing their legs together strut on tiptoe. 

In the tropics one becomes accustomed to watch the habits 
of various species of crabs, which there live so commonly an 
aerial life. The more I have seen of them the more I have been 
astonished at their sagacity. I had, I do not know why, always 
considered them as of low intelligence. 

Admiral Fitzroy gives an account of the large numbers of 
fish caught off the rocks by his men, and states that they hauled 



st. Paul's rocks. 71 

the fish up fronl the bottom with difficulty because they were 
always rushed at by voracious sharks. 

In the evening volunteers for fishing were called for, and I 
went in the jolly-boat with about six officers and four or five 
men. A cutter full of men also put off. We made fast to the 
line across the bay, and for a long time got nothing, till at 
last, when we were getting tired, one man caught a shark, about 
three feet long, and we all got good bait from him. 

Then we caught more sharks, and it was at last discovered 
that we ought to have been fishing at the surface, and not at the 
bottom. As soon as we took the sinkers off our lines and 
allowed the baits to float we began to haul in large fish, some of 
them 20 lbs. in weight, as fast as possible. The fish were 
" Cavalli " (= seahorse ?) — a species of Caranx, which is allied to 
our mackerel, and very good to eat. 

The fish were very game, and pulled hard, making phosphor- 
escent flashes as they dashed about in the water under the boat, 
it being now dark. Every now and then someone hooked a 
shark (Car char ias sp), and then there was a tremendous fight, 
and all the lines in the boat were tangled and fouled as the big 
fish rushed around. At last it either broke the line, or was 
hauled on board. When the latter was the case everyone stood 
clear, whilst the shark hammered in its flurry the thwarts and 
bottom of the boat, till they resounded. At last its tail was cut, 
and it was then soon slit up into bait pieces. 

Sometimes, a tremendous sudden pull was felt at one's line, 
and it went fizzing through one's fingers without possibility of 
checking it. The only thing to be done was to take a turn 
round a belaying pin. Then came a check, and the line broke 
right off, without even a momentary struggle, and some big- 
shark went off with hook and bait, without probably noticing 
anything the matter. We returned to the ship at 12 P.M., with 
enough fish to give the whole ship's company a breakfast. 

In the morning I went to a white peak on the western side of 
the bay. This rock forms the home of the boobies, which are 
not nearly so numerous as the noddies, and seem to be almost 
restricted to this one peak out of the five of which the islands 
are made up. 



72 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

The whiteness of the rock is caused by the birds' dung, 
which in some places forms on the rocks, as described by 
Darwin, an enamel-like crust, which is hard enough to scratch 
glass. I found some of this at about 45 feet above sea level. 

The rock is 50 feet in height, steep on the sheltered sides, 
and there hung all over with the bracket-like nests of the 
noddies ; the weather-side slopes more gently ; and all over 
it, on every little flat space, are the boobies' nests, mere 
hollows, some containing two eggs, but mostly with one only. 
The eggs are as large as a fowl's, sometimes dirty- white all over, 
sometimes blotched with brown. 

In many of the nests were young, which were of all ages ; 
some just out of the egg, ugly big-bellied black lumps, without 
a particle of down or feathers ; then larger ones, as big as one's 
fist, covered with white down ; then others as large as a fowl, 
thickly clothed with down ; then larger ones again, with brown 
wing feathers and brown feathers on the breast, the white down 
remaining only in patches, about the head especially. Then 
birds with brown feathers all over, full- sized and just beginning 
to fly. 

Two almost full-grown birds, as big nearly as geese, were 
having a desperate fight at the bottom of the slope as I came up. 
They evidently thought each other the cause of the whole 
disturbance. They fought furiously with their sharp bills, 
flapping their wings, and half screaming, half croaking, with 
anger. They fought till they were quite exhausted, and could 
not stand, but went at it again after they had rested awhile and 
recovered their breath. 

Some old boobies were sitting on their young on the top of 
the peak. They would not move until actually pushed off the 
nest. The young, both of boobies and noddies, are very brave, 
and scream and strike out hard at anything put near them. Our 
spaniels could not tackle the young boobies, but after one or 
two pecks fought quite shy of them ; and even the little noddies 
kept the dogs pretty well at bay, twisting round in the nests and 
always showing front. Natural selection has no doubt brought 
about this bravery in the young, to protect them from their 
constant enemies, the crabs. 



st. Paul's rocks. 73 

Around all the nests were small flying fish, which are 
brought by the old birds in their crops, and ejected for food for 
the young or for the females whilst sitting. Fitzroy visited 
St. Paul's Eocks on February 16th ; Eoss on May 29th; we on 
August 29th; on all these occasions eggs and young birds were 
found. Hence, breeding goes on all the year round. 

The only other terrestrial inhabitants of the rocks besides 
the birds are insects and spiders which prey on them. They 
are most of them to be found by breaking up the nests of the 
noddies. Darwin* mentions the following : — A pupiparous fly 
(Olfersia), living on the booby as a parasite. This fly belongs to 
the same group as the curious Nycteribia, so common on the 
bodies of fruit-eating bats. The group is remarkable for the 
fact that the female, instead of laying, like most insects, eggs 
which produce grubs, produces a chrysalis, from which the fly 
in a short time emerges. 

A Staphylinid beetle (Quedius), a tick, a small brown moth, 
belonging to a genus which feeds on feathers, and a wood-louse, 
living beneath the guano, and spiders, complete Darwin's list. 
We found two species of spiders, which cover the rock in some 
places with their web, and in addition to the insects noted by 
Darwin, the larva of a moth, apparently a Tortrix, and a small 
Dipter. Yon Willemoes Suhm also found a Chelifer, but could 
not find either the beetle or wood-louse. 

Besides these there are of course to be reckoned the lice, 
parasites usual upon the two birds, and the list of air-breathing 
inhabitants seems then complete. 

St. Paul's Eocks being close on the equator, the sun was 
extremely powerful, and the white guano-covered rocks reflected 
the radiant heat-rays with the same effect as does a snow surface 
in Switzerland. Our faces were severely sunburnt. At the base 
of the " Booby's hill " is a flat expanse of rock with tide pools 
upon it, in which were shoals of small fish, a black and yellow 
banded Clicetodon and numerous small gobies. The sides of the 
pools were covered with a grey Pcdythoa, a sea anemone, forming 
colonies of the same species apparently as that at St. Vincent, 

* Darwin, "Journal of Researches," p. 10. 



74 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Cape Verde Islands. The only seaweeds, however, growing in 
these pools were encrnsting nullipores (Corallinacece). 

Numerous Cavalli had been caught by the men fishing from 
off the rocks in the morning. Lieutenant Aldrich started fishing 
for them with a salmon rod and tackle. The fish fought for the 
bait, racing after it as it was drawn along the top of the water 
in the small bay. One could pick out the largest fish in the 
shoal and manoeuvre the bait with the rod, so as to prevent any 
but that one taking it. The fish showed fine sport, and I broke my 
salmon rod over one of them in trying how hard I could give him 
the butt ; we played them until tired out, and then gaffed them. 

The Cavalli bite best in the early morning and at night ; at 
noon and in the afternoon they seem to cease feeding, and as 
soon as they leave the field open, shoals of trigger-fish (Balistes), 
a species of a sooty black colour with a blue streak along the 
base of the anal and posterior dorsal fins, appear on the scene, 
and rush at the baits and soon clear the hooks, being nearly safe 
from being hooked because of the smallness of their mouths. 
These fish are quite fearless and are small, weighing only about 
one pound, and of no use for food. 

With these fish appears a bright red and green Wrasse 
(Labrus), and a small blue Choetodon with dark stripes. Three 
other fish which I saw caught were a Barracuda pike (Sphyrcena 
barracuda), a yellow eel with black spots (Murcena), and a red 
Beryx. A Eock-lobster, a small Palinurus, is very common about 
the rocks, and is to be seen clinging to the rock, having crawled 
just above the reach of the waves. I caught some of these in 
lobster pots which I set for them. 

Late in the afternoon I had to procure three boobies for 
stuffing They are by no means so foolish as their name would 
imply. They had learnt by experience, even in a day, and I now 
had considerable difficulty in getting within shot of the old birds. 

I climbed the highest peak, which is 64 feet above sea level ; 
the top affords only just standing room ; from it one sees the 
whole of the rocks, and their smallness in size is most striking ; 
here is an island group 540 miles distant from the nearest 
mainland, and yet not nearly so large as, say, the Holmes in the 
Bristol Channel. 



ST. PAUL'S ROCKS. 75 

The group consists of five peaks of rock, disposed in four 
principal masses which are separated by three narrow channels, 
through which the surf perpetually roars and boils ; over one of 
these channels it is possible to cross at low water, the tide 
rising and falling here about five feet. The rocks are disposed 
in a sort of horse-shoe round the bay; they are composed of 
hard black rock, and another yellowish rock with black laminse 
in it, " full of variously coloured pseudo fragments," according 
to Darwin a variety of the former black rock. 

There are in places bands of a green stone resembling Ser- 
pentine. The whole is intersected by various veins, mostly 
nearly vertical and running in all directions, consisting of 
various rocks, viz. : brown ferruginous lamina?, a coarse con- 
glomerate of beach pebbles, and a finer conglomerate which 
contains fragments of sea shells and nullipores, and which are 
considered by Darwin as evidently of later origin than the 
main mass of the rocks. These seams of conglomerates have 
the appearance of having been formed of beach fragments 
washed into fissures in the rock and consolidated there. Each 
face of the containing fissure is covered by a peculiar dense and 
hard black layer of about a quarter of an inch in thickness. 
This black layer is mentioned by Mr. M'Cormick in " Eoss's 
Voyage"; Mr. Buchanan found it to be composed of "phosphate of 
lime, peroxide of manganese, a little carbonate of lime and 
magnesia, with traces of copper and iron."* He considers that 
the rocks as a whole may be classed as Serpentine. 

Mr. Darwin has dwelt on the importance of the fact that 
the rocks are not volcanic, like nearly all other oceanic islands. 
The depth to the eastward of St. Paul's Eocks is irregular, and a 
depth of only 1,500 fathoms was obtained shortly before we 
approached them, succeeded by deeper water. There is no con- 
necting ridge between the rocks and Fernando do Norhona. No 
doubt the rocks are the remnants of a much larger tract of land 
now submerged, probably once continuous with these irregular 
masses in their neighbourhood, and which may have had a 
vegetation of its own. 

* J. Y. Buchanan, "Proc. B. Soc," No. 170, 1876, p. 613. 



76 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

With regard to the present vegetation, as stated by Darwin 
and Boss, there are no aerial plants on the rocks, not even a 
lichen; I found however a microscopic alga (Protococcus affinis), 
growing on the guano in. sheltered places and colouring it of a 
dull green. In the stagnant pools on the rocks grow two low 
green algae, Prasiola minuta and Oscillaria sordida, and a few 
diatoms. 

The rocks are poorly supplied with the larger species of 
seaweeds, apparently because these are unable to endure the 
constant heavy surf. The high-tide mark is formed by a band 
of a pinkish white nullipore (Lithothammion polymorphum) ; its 
calcareous masses form an incrustation on the rocks, in places 
two inches in thickness, and which is bored in all directions by 
tubicolous annelids, and has its surface thus pierced all over by 
small round holes. This band is referred to by M'Cormick as 
the work of coral insects ; there are no corals at all about the 
rocks, except in deep water. 

Above the band of Lithothammion is a band of dark red 
staining on the rocks, caused by an encrusting alga (Hilden- 
brandtia expansa), and from the region of the tide mark depends 
a filamentous brown seaweed [Chonospora atlantica). The 
green weed (Caulerpa claviferd), of which the noddies build their 
nests, grows in from two to twenty fathoms about the rocks. 

Of the whole of the eleven species of non-microscopic algse 
belonging to the rocks, two are peculiar, and the remainder are 
known to occur at widely different localities at the Cape of 
Good Hope, east coast of Australia, Venezuela, &c* 

I went out for a second night's fishing. The fish for some 

reason did not bite so well as before, having possibly, like the 

birds, profited by experience ; but the men in one of the cutters 

alongside us, kept up a succession of songs with hearty choruses, 

and with the aid of rum and beer and the moonlight, and an 

occasional bite, the time soon passed away until midnight, when 

our boat returned to the ship with a party which had been 

stationed on the rocks to observe stars for determination of 

longitude. 

* Prof, G. Dickie, "Algse collected at St. Paul's Rocks." Liiin. Jour. 
Botany, Vol.. XIV, p. 311. 



FERNANDO DO NORHONA. 77 

Accounts of St. Paul's Rocks are to be found in C. Darwin, " Journal 
of Researches," 2 Ed., p. 8. "Volcanic Islands." Smith and Elder, 
London, 1844, pp. 31, 32. Fitzroy, " Voyage of ' Adventure ' and ' Beagle.' " 
Ross, "Voyage to the Antarctic and Southern Regions," Vol. I, pp.14-18 ; 
with extracts from the Journal of Mr. M'Cormick, Surgeon to the 
" Erebus." 

Island of Fernando do Norhona, September 1st and 2nd, 18*73. — 

The ship reached the island of Fernando do Norhona on Sep- 
tember 1st The island is in lat. 3° 50' S., and is about 200 miles 
distant from Cape San Eoque, the nearest point of South America. 
The main island of Fernando do Norhona is about four miles in 
length, and nowhere more than four and a-half broad, and the 
length of the group formed by it and its outliers is seven 
geographical miles. The main island is long and narrow, and 
stretches about N.E. and S.W. 

At the eastern extremity is a series of islets known as 
Platform Island, St. Michael's Mount, Booby Island, Egg Island, 
and Rat Island. On the southern side of the main island are 
several outlying rocks, one of which, called Les Clochers, or Grand 
Pere, appears as a tall pinnacle with a rounded mass of rock 
balanced on its summit. 

At about the middle of the northern coast of the main island 
is a remarkable column-like mass of bare rock, which projects to 
a height of 2,000 feet, and is known as the Peak. The south- 
western extremity of the island runs out into a long narrow 
promontory, which is composed of a narrow wall of rock. 

In this, at one spot near sea level, the sea has broken a 
quadrangular opening through which the sea dashes in a 
cascade. This opening, known as the " Hole in the Wall," is 
visible from a considerable distance at sea. At the opposite 
extremity the island terminates in a low sandy point with 
sand dunes upon it, beyond which stretch out the outlying 
islets already referred to. 

The Peak forms a most remarkable feature in the aspect of 
the island as viewed from the sea, and appears to overhang 
somewhat on one side. One other hill in the island is 300 feet 
in height. The island is volcanic, but has evidently undergone 
a vast amount of denudation, so as to obliterate all traces of the 
centres of eruption. The Peak is composed of phonolith, or 



78 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

clinkstone, as is also St. Michael's Mount, which is a conical mass 
300 feet in height. 

Eat Island and Booby Island are formed of a calcareous 
sandstone, an JEolian formation like that of Bermuda, but here 
containing volcanic particles intermixed. This rock is weathered 
in a closely similar manner to that at Bermuda, the exposed 
surface being covered with irregular projecting pinnacles with 
excessively sharp honeycombed surfaces, in places on Bat 
Island as much as two feet in height. 

On the western side of Bat Island, close to the shore, a beach 
of large oval pebbles of phonolith is embedded in tins sand rock. 
In Blatform Island the sand rock overlies columnar volcanic rock. 
The main island is thickly wooded, and appears beautifully green 
from the sea. 

The principal trees are what Webster, who visited the island 
in 1828, calls the Laurelled Bar a, which has dark green laurel- 
like leaves, and an abundant milky juice, but the exact nature of 
which is unknown, since I did not succeed in procuring a 
specimen, and a Euphorbiaceous tree, or rather tall shrub, called 
by Webster, Jatropha or Binhao (Japhopha gossypifolicC). 

It has a pink flower, and at the time of our visit had only 
single tufts of young leaves immediately beneath the inflo- 
rescence, although in full flower. Its bare stems and branches 
render it a striking object amongst the green of the creepers 
when the forest is viewed from the sea. Webster says that it 
casts its leaves in July and August, that is, at the commencement 
of the dry season. It is evidently the tree mentioned by Darwin 
as occurring on the Beak. 

There is a dry and a rainy season on the islands. The rainy 
season is from January to July, and the dry from July to 
December. In the dry season there is occasionally want of 
water, but it often falls heavily during this season, as it did during 
our stay, on September 2nd. 

Fernando do Norhona is used by the Brazilians as a convict 
settlement. Close to the base of the Beak is the citadel or small 
fort, on which the Brazilian flag was seen flying as we approached 
the shore, and beneath this are the convict buildings, a group of 
low huts, with the governor's house, a small church, and a long 



FERNANDO DO NORHONA. 79 

low building in which some of the convicts are locked up at night. 
Farther to the eastward on some low-lying land close to the 
beach is an old ruined fort, off which we anchored at about 
4 P.M. 

Captain Nares landed at once and paid a visit to the governor 
of the island to ask permission for our parties to land and 
explore, and I availed myself of permission to follow him on 
shore and hear the result of the interview. The surf was heavy 
on the sandy beach ; one of our boats was upset in it, and I got a 
sea round me in landing, up to my neck. 

I found the littoral blue flowered convolvulus (Ipomcea pes 
caprce), so common in the West Indies and Cape Verde Islands, 
abundant on the shore. It was beset by a Dodder (Cuscuta), 
winch parasite was seen twining round it everywhere in masses. 

A horrible pest, a stinging plant, Jatropha urens, one of the 
Euphorbiacece, was very common. The plant has a thick green 
stem, and leaves resembling those of our common garden gera- 
niums in shape, and a small white flower. The plant is covered 
with fine sharp white bristles, winch sting most abominably. I 
lassoed a specimen with my knife, lanyard and kicked it up by 
the roots and carried it on board carefully slung on a stick, but 
I got stung as I was putting it in paper to dry, though handling 
it with forceps, and the stinging sensation lasted for more than 
two days. The pain is like that produced by the nettle, but far 
more intense. 

The path to the settlement led through the woods. The ground 
was covered with innumerable large black crickets (Grylhos). 
These are most astonishingly abundant, especially around the 
cultivated fields. The woods were also full of flocks of reddish 
brown doves (Peristera geoffroyi), a species which occurs in 
Brazil, and has possibly been introduced into the island. They 
are in vast numbers, and, being scarcely ever shot at, are so tame 
that we had to throw stones at them to make them take wing. 
Many of them had nests and eggs, and they probably breed all 
the year round. 

I saw also a small warbler {Sylvia), with greenish brown 
plumage, and a bird which, from its appearance and song, I took 
to be a thrush of some kind. Mice are extraordinarily abundant, 



80 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 5 ' 

running about everywhere amongst the bushes. Large butter- 
flies seemed to be absent. I saw only a small blue butterfly 
{Polyommatus). A tomtom was being beaten as a call for the 
convicts, which reminded me of the exactly similar drumming 
which wearies one on coffee estates in Ceylon. 

On the slope of a hill opposite the fort is a square of open 
space, roughly pitched with stones, at the top of which is the 
governor's house, with a row of bread-fruit trees planted in front 
of it. A black sentry was lolling in front of the house. 

I was told that there was a garrison of about 120 men on the 
island, and that these, with a few officials, constituted the entire 
non-convict population. There were said to be 1,400 convicts on 
the island. They are all let loose during the day-time, the blacks 
being locked up at night whilst the whites are allowed to live in 
their huts with their families, if they have any. They have to 
answer a roll-call daily, and are flogged if they fail. 

They are all criminals, political prisoners not being confined 
here ; many of them are murderers, capital punishment not being 
exacted in Brazil. They have as a rule a horribly ruffianly 
appearance, especially the blacks, and being mostly half naked 
they appear especially savage. 

All are, however, not of this bestial type. Some few are 
well educated, "and convicts do duty as waiters and interpreters 
to the governor. The interpreter of the time being was a most 
gentlemanly looking fellow and well dressed. He was well 
informed and spoke English and French well ; he was most polite, 
and on the governor's producing coffee and cake, took a cup with 
the rest. 

He told us that the ordinary punishment for a convict was 
50 lashes, but that troublesome ones got as many as 500 lashes 
delivered with a rod cut from one of the native trees. No one 
had ever stood to receive more than 250 cuts. After that they 
were supported by means of rests placed under the arms until 
the flogging was complete. Then they were taken to the 
hospital and never seen again. He had known a man receive 
700 lashes. Two-thirds of the convicts had been flogged during 
the last seven months. He said he himself had had a misfortune 
and had got 64 years' imprisonment. He had bought off 20 



FERNANDO DO NOPJIONA. 



81 



of these. He would like a bible and some newspapers. He 
would sooner die than be flogged. His statements must be 
taken for what they are likely to be worth. 

The convicts receive a small pay, and are obliged to find 
their own living. The black ones are obliged to work for ten 
hours daily on Government plantations. Some of these convicts 
£0 out fishing on small rafts made of three or four logs lashed 
together, provided with a small stool for a seat. A basket for 
the fish is placed on the raft in front of the seat, and a small 
fishing-rod is stuck up behind. 




CONVICT ON FISHING EXPEDITION. 



(From a sketch by Lieutenant H. Swire, R.N.) 

The men steer these rafts with great dexterity through the 
surf with a paddle, usually standing up to paddle, and sitting 
down to fish. At a distance, the raft being almost entirely 
under water, the men look as if walking on the water. These 
rafts were termed " catamarans " by the naval officers. Sailors 
are apt to apply this term to any out-of-the-way canoe or boat 
for which they have no other name. I believe the word is of 
South American origin. Xo boats of any kind are allowed on 
Fernando do Norhona, for fear the convicts should use them to 
escape with. 

The huts of the convicts form a sort of small town round the 
square. They have most of them a bit of garden enclosed. I 
saw several women and children. There are plantations of 
sugar-cane, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, bananas, 
and melons. The latter are remarkably fine in size and flavour, 
both water and marsh melons ; we paid about three pence each 
for them. 

We had to wade in up to our middle, to reach our boats 

G 



82 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 



on account of the surf. A large shoal of dolphins (Delphinus) 
was feeding in the bay close to the shore. 

The governor having first given full permission for explora- 
tion subsequently retracted it, and sent off a message to say that 
he would allow no surveying or collecting. This was most 
unfortunate, since very little is known of the fauna and flora 
of Fernando do Norhona. 

September 2nd. — I landed with Captain Nares on St. Michael's 
Mount, a conical outlying mass of phonolith, 300 feet in height. 
It is comparatively inaccessible, and owing to its steepness has 
never been cultivated ; hence it seemed likely to yield a fair 
sample of the indigenous flora of the group. Most of the plants 
collected proved, when examined at Kew, to be common Brazi- 
lian forms, but a fig tree (Ficus norhonce) with pendent aerial 
roots like the banyan, which grew all over the upper parts 
of the rock, and which in favourable spots forms a tree 30 feet in 
height, proved to be of a new species and peculiar to the island, 
as far as is yet known.* 

The only land birds which I saw on the island were the 
doves, but I saw a nest, probably that of a finch. The principal 




FRIGATE BIRD. TACHYPETES AQUILA. 



bird inhabitants of the island were boobies and noddies of the 
same species as at St. Paul's Eocks, but far shyer here than there, 

* Ficus norhoTwe. D. Oliver, F.K.S., "Icones Plautarum," Vol. Ill, 
3rd Ser., p. 18, p. 1222. 



FERNANDO DO NORHONA. 8 



o 



and boatswain birds and frigate birds (Tachypetes aquila). These 
latter soared high overhead, looking, with their forked tails, like 
large kites. 

All these birds nest on the rock. They circled round our 
heads in vast numbers as we stood on the top of the rock. The 
frigate birds put their nests here well out of harm's way, on the 
very verge of a precipice which was quite inaccessible. I could 
look down and see the nests, five or six of which were built 
close together, almost touching one another, and each containing 
a single egg. 

On the low cliffs of Booby Island, the noddies and boobies 
nest on all the available ledges, and sat on their nests quite 
undisturbed as we rowed past them. It was curious to see the 
doves nesting together with these two sea birds on the same 
ledges and with their nests intermingled with theirs. The 
utmost harmony seemed to prevail on the breeding ground. 
A similar association of land and sea birds occurs in Great 
Britain. In caves on the coast of Harris, in the Hebrides, 
starlings and rock pigeons nest together with cormorants.* 

Progression on Eat Island is by no means pleasant. The 
calcareous sand rock of which the island is composed, is, as has 
been before described, weathered on the surface in the same 
curious manner as at Bermuda. The surface is here so deeply 
excavated by pluvial action as to leave projecting a series of 
sharp edged honeycombed pinnacles, often two feet in height, 
and separated from one another by intervening jagged holes and 
crevices. Into these, as they are in many places overgrown by 
creepers, one's foot and leg readily slip and may easily get badly 
bruised and cut ; whilst in putting out one's hand to save a fall 
it is not at all improbable that one lays hold of a vigorous plant 
of Jatropha urens, which can show no quarter even if it had 
the will. 

A small Gar-fish (Belone) was caught in abundance at the 
foot of St. Michael's Mount. A Grapsus (G. strigosus), the same 
species as that at St. Paul's Eocks, occurred on the shore rocks, 
but as far as I saw, Land-crabs and Sand-crabs (Ocypoda) are 
absent from Fernando do Korhona. 

* Macgillivray, " British Water Birds," Vol. II, p. 397. 

G 2 



84 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

Two lizards occur in the islands, which are South American 
in their affinities.* One, Thysanodoxtylus bilineatus, is one of 
the Iguanidce. The genus is distinguished by a scaly projection 
on the outer side of the hinder toes. The species occurs also in 
South America. We did not meet with this lizard, which was 
obtained in the island by the officers of H.M.S. " Chanticleer." 

The other lizard, Euprepes pundatus, belongs to the Scin- 
cidce. The species is peculiar to Fernando do Norhona, its 
nearest ally, E. maculatus, inhabiting Demerara. This lizard 
is very abundant on the main island, and especially so on 
St. Michael's Mount, where it is remarkably tame. Some 
specimens are more than a foot in length. I did not see the 
Gecko mentioned by Webster. 

I could find no fern on any of the islands, nor any moss 
or Liver-wort. These may, however, no doubt occur on the 
moister parts of the main island. Fernando do Norhona is in 
its fauna and flora closely allied to South America. It has 
however, a peculiar species of fig and a peculiar lizard. Possibly 
amongst the three land birds noted, other than the dove, peculiar 
species may occur, but it seems unlikely that it will hereafter 
yield either in fauna or flora any very remarkable endemic 
forms. The seaweeds of the island are found by Professor 
Dickie to be related chiefly to those of the Mexican Gulf. 

Accounts of Fernando do Norhona are to be found in "Webster's 
narrative of Capt. Foster's voyage. " Voyage of the Chanticleer." London, 
1834. See also Appendix for Webster's notes on the Geology and Natural 
History of the Island. 

Darwin's "Journal of Researches," p. 11. 

Darwin's " Volcanic Islands," p. 23. 

" Report and Charts of the U.S. brig 'Dolphin,'" edited by Lieut. 
S. P. Leet "Washington, 1845, p. 75. 

Snow's "Voyage to Tierra del Fuego and the South Seas." London, 
Longmans, 1857, p. 32. 



* Gray, "British Museum Catalogue of Lizards," p. 193. 



85 



CHAPTER IV. 
BAHIA. 

Harbour and Town of Bahia. Religious Procession. Black Angels. 
Land Planarians. Clicking Butterfly. Primaeval Forest. Shooting 
Humming Birds and Toucans. Caxoeira. Mewing Toads. Excur- 
sion to Feira St. Anna. Mule Riding. Former Highway Robbers. 
Inn at Feira St. Anna and its Guests. The Fair. Anteaters Eaten 
as Medicine. Vaqueiros. Tailing Cattle. Horse Dealing. German 
Settler in the Country. Driving Cattle in the Bush. Farm Slaves. 
Preparation of Cassava. Overburdened Ant. Three-toed Sloth. 
Slavery in Brazil. 

Bahia, Brazil, September 14th to 25th, 18*3. — The ship ap- 
proached Bahia under steam and sail, on September 14th. It 
was all the morning almost a dead calm, and at noon the stock 
of coal came to an end, with the exception of a few bushels 
which had to be reserved for steaming to anchorage amongst 
the shipping in the harbour. The ship crept slowly towards 
shore in the afternoon, under sail, at the rate of about a mile an 
hour. 

As the shore was approached, swarms of a butterfly, a Heli- 
conia (H. narcea), filled the air, and settling on the ship, alighted 
everywhere and penetrated even into the ward-room. With 
these a few beetles, flies, and a Hymen opterous insect came on 
board, whilst a land bird settled in the rigging. 

The anchor was dropped in the harbour at about half-a-mile 
from shore. The city of Bahia or San Salvaclos lies on the 
north side of a wide and extensive bay, the Bahia de todos 
os Santos, or Bay of All Saints. On the north side of the bay is 
a slightly elevated ridge, stretching east and west, on which the 
town is built, and under the lee of which is the anchorage for 
shipping. 

The town resembles Lisbon in the general appearance of its 
buildings. These are mostly whitewashed, with very numerous 



86 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER," 

windows. They rise one above another on the hill- side, with a 
large number of convents and churches interspersed amongst 
the houses. The churches have all two towers at the west ends, 
as at Lisbon, and usually an open plateau or square in front. 
The architecture is thoroughly Portuguese. 

The bright green tropical vegetation, the palms and banana 
plants, interspersed between the buildings, give the town in 
reality a different look from that of a home Portuguese town. A 
small strip of flat land intervening between the foot of the ridge 
occupied by the main town, and the harbour, affords space for 
wharves and warehouses for the mail steamers and general 
shipping. There were a large number of small trading vessels 
at anchor in the harbour, and two Brazilian vessels of war, a 
gun brig, and a small iron ram, which had conspicuous shot 
marks on its hull, received in the Paraguayan war. 

The usual mode of ascent from the lower shipping district to 
the higher town is by means of sedan chairs of the old European 
pattern, which are painted black, with yellow beading, and are 
carried up the hill, each by a pair of negroes. A mechanical 
lift was being constructed to take the place of this primitive 
arrangement. 

I preferred walking, and made my way through steep narrow 
stinking streets, where slops were being constantly emptied from 
upper stories without any warning or " Garde de i'eau." After 
a stiff climb, I reached the main street of the town, which runs 
all along the top of the ridge, and was just in time to see a 
religious procession, held in commemoration of the day of the 
saint of one of the churches. 

The bells of the church were clanging and tinkling, sound- 
ing something like Swiss cow-bells, a regular jangle, "tinkle, 
tinkle, tinkle, cling, cling, clang," and the procession was pouring 
itself from the church door. First came men in blue cassocks 
with white surplices over them, carrying lighted paper lanterns 
on poles. They marched on and then formed line on each side 
of the street for the rest of the procession to pass. 

Then came men with white cassocks and black surplice-like 
vestments, also bearing lanterns, and at intervals amongst them 
were borne silver crosses with bunches of artificial flowers on 



BAHIA. 87 

silver-mounted poles, carried on either side of each of them. 
Amongst these also walked here and there a priest, in the usual 
cassock and alb, and one or two old monks with hooded robes 
and double chins, with a well-nourished appearance. 

A crowd of acolytes succeeded, dressed nearly like the 
priests, and, like them, mostly white-skinned or but slightly 
yellow. All the remainder of the procession had deep yellow- 
brown or almost black faces. A body of priests came next, and 
then the saint, carried on a silvered platform on the shoulders 
of eight bearers. 

The saint was a wooden figure, of life-size, with a Vandyke- 
like countenance, black hair, moustache, and beard. He was 
dressed in a stiff crimson velvet cape, worked with gold lace, 
crimson trunk hose, and flesh tights over very thin and shaky 
legs, and had a curious sort of plume or cockade of feathers and 
tinsel sticking up at the back of his head. 

In front of the saint, skipped along two little girls, one of 
them with a dark yellow complexion, the other jet black. They 
were dressed as angels, with wings of feathers and tinsel. 
Around the saint marched a guard of soldiers with fixed 
bayonets, and immediately behind came a military brass band 
in full bray, but playing well. Another body of soldiers fol- 
lowed with fixed bayonets and led by their officers with drawn 
swords. 

Behind the procession followed a crowd of negro women, 
crushing through the street. The negro women of Bahia are 
strapping females and apt to become very stout. The balconies 
in the narrow street were crowded with the wives and daughters 
of the townspeople, who pelted the saint as he passed with 
bouquets of flowers. 

Vespers were going on at the churches. I entered one, an 
oblong building with a small apse for a chancel, and a row of 
rectangular pillars on either side, shutting off the aisles. There 
were three or four clerestory windows, but no others. The 
interior was profusely ornamented with bright colour and gilt 
tracery in relief. The chancel and altar, which had an elaborate 
gilt reredos, were brilliantly lighted up by candles, whilst the 
body of the church was comparatively dark, having no light but 



88 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

that which reached it from the chancel. The air was full of 
incense, and the whole effect was fine and impressive. 

The floor of the church was crowded with negro women, 
kneeling and singing at intervals a simple chant in response to 
a choir which could not be distinguished in the gloom. There 
were a few white women in the church, but they appeared to go 
into the aisles and not to mix with the blacks. 

After the procession was over, fireworks, rockets full of 
crackers and blue lights, were let off, and the soldiers marched 
to their barracks. They were small dark-skinned dwarfed-look- 
ing men. Fireworks are as invariable concomitants of religious 
ceremonies in Bahia as in China, and as they are let off before 
as well as after the ceremonies, occasionally wake one up at 
4 A.M. 

There are tramways in Bahia leading to the railway station, 
the Campo Grande, and out into the country. The Campo 
Grande is a large open space, turfed and surrounded by trees. 
It is here that the best residences are, and there are several 
hotels, including a Swiss one, and a German one with a Kegel- 
bahn, and where dinner is served in regular German style. 
There are large numbers of Germans in Bahia, and a great part 
of the trade is in their hands. 

There are public gardens in Bahia, and a theatre, and at 
certain seasons an opera troupe comes from Bio de Janeiro to 
perform. At the distance of a mile or two from the town, where 
the country tramway ends, the roads degenerate at once into 
mere green lanes, and lead between a succession of small mud- 
built cottages, each with its fenced garden, and numerous 
intervals of neglected land, often planted with coffee bushes 
but overgrown with weeds. 

The principal features of the vegetation are made up of 
banana plants and large mango and Jack-fruit trees. The Jack- 
fruit is a huge sort of bread-fruit, as large as a man's head, and 
grows on a large tree with dark green laurel-like foliage. These 
three trees are no more indigenous than are the people with 
whose well-being they are so dosely bound up, but are of Asiatic 
origin, as the people are of European and African extraction. 

At a short distance from the town the country is covered 



BAHIA. 80 

with a thick wild growth, but with numerous scattered cottages. 
The inhabitants of these are mostly black, but there are many 
whites amongst them, and white and black children are to be 
seen playing together on almost every doorstep. 

I frequently visited these suburbs to search for Land- 
planarian worms,* which I found resting beneath the sheathing 
leaf stalks of the banana plants, just as I had found them in 
Ceylon, and accompanied, curiously enough, as in Ceylon, by a 
peculiar slug ( Vaginulus). 

A butterfly which makes a clicking sound whilst flying, a 
fact first observed by Darwin, is common near Bahia.f I only 
heard the sound when pairs were flying together in courtship. 
I do not know whether the butterfly in question at Bahia is 
Prqrilio fcronia, the species which Darwin met with at Bio de 
Janeiro. It has, however, the peculiar drum with a spiral 
diaphragm with it at the base of its wings, as described by 
Doubleday. This organ of sound is large and conspicuous. 

I made an excursion with one of the sub-lieutenants about 
20 miles inland, along the railway intended to reach Pernambuco, 
but at the time of our visit, completed only for about 60 miles 
to the Bio Francisco. Free passes were given by the railway 
company to all the officers of the " Challenger," and the officials 
of the line, who were Englishmen, were extremely hospitable 
and gave us every possible assistance. 

Leaving Bahia, the railroad led along the shores of the bay, 
fringed with gardens and houses. Further on the land was 
covered with wild vegetation, with occasional sugar plantations 
and frequent cottages. Almost the whole of the land has been 
cleared at some time or other of the dense forest winch once 
covered it. 

On a sugar plantation, ground is cleared in patches. The 
patches are planted and cultivated for about fifteen years and 
are then allowed to run waste, or sleep, as the Brazilians put it. 
A fresh piece of land is then cleared, and so the whole estate is 

* See H. N. Moseley. " Notes on the Structure of several Forms of 
Land Planarians." Quart. Journ. Micro. Sci. Vol. XVII, New Ser., 
p. 273. 

t C. Darwin, " Journal of Researches," p . 33. 



90 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

gradually gone over, and the original clearing eventually reached 
again. The forest land on the banks of the Lower Moselle is 
cultivated in much the same way. 

There were no large trees to be seen along the route, but rather 
a dense growth of large shrubs and small trees, bound together 
by creepers and loaded with epiphytic plants, amongst which the 
Bromeliacece, plants allied to the pineapple, were most conspi- 
cuous, especially one with a bright scarlet and blue inflorescence. 

Near the station where we stopped there was a small river 
and a patch of primaeval forest, which was what we had come to 
see. A guide led us a short distance into the forest. The most 
striking feature about it was the immense height of the trees, 
their close packing and great variety. At home we are accus- 
tomed to forests composed mainly of one gregarious species of 
tree. Here the trunks are covered with parasites and climbers. 
Mistletoes of various kinds, some of them with scarlet flowers, 
grow amongst the upper branches, from which also hang down 
the stems of various creepers in festoons, often sweeping the 
ground. In the forks of the great branches repose the large 
green masses of the Bromeliaceous plants, and up the trunks 
climb numerous aroids with their huge sagittate leaves. The 
ground is covered with decaying branches, and here and there 
dead trunks, on which grow fungi in abundance. 

The forest was so thick as to be quite gloomy and dark, and 
as we passed along the path we heard no sound and saw no 
living animal, except a few butterflies (Heliconice), some small 
fish in a little stream, along which the path led, and an Oven- 
bird gathering mud for its curious nest. There were two 
deserted armadillo holes close to the path, but we saw no 
mammal of any kind, nor did I see a single wild mammal during 
my short stay in Brazil, notwithstanding the abundance of forms 
which exist in the country. The abundant vegetation hides 
them from the casual view, and they are not conspicuous, as in 
an open country, such as California. 

We returned to the railway station, where we found beds 
made up for us in the waiting room. Thanks to the energy of 
the English railway officials, Bass's ale is to be had at all the 
stations on the line at 2s. 2d. a bottle. 



BAHIA. 91 

As soon as it was dark, numbers of fireflies came out. The 
small negro boys of the village lighted a bonfire and sat round 
it, making horrible squealing noises by blowing through short 
conical tubes, made by rolling up strips of palm leaf spirally, 
and so arranged that at the mouth-piece there are two pieces 
placed flat against one another, as in the reed of a hautboy. 
Such excruciating sounds seem to be as pleasing to the youthful 
African ear as to that of the London street boy. 

Next morning at daybreak, we started off to a part of the 
forest where the negro guide said there were Toucans. We 
passed a tree covered with white blossoms, over which about 
a dozen Humming-birds of three species were hovering. We 
shot some, but it is not an easy matter to obtain them in good 
condition. They are of so light weight that they often hang 
amongst the leaves when killed, and even when they do fall it 
is almost impossible to watch them and distinguish them from 
the failing leaves knocked off lyy the shot. 

Then the ground beneath the bushes is frequently covered 
with thorny plants and sharply cutting grasses, amongst which 
it is not pleasant to force one's way, and where search is almost 
hopeless. The negroes who make it their business to collect 
Humming-birds for sale can afford to wait till they get their 
birds in good position. 

The birds did not care at all for the sound of a gun but went 
on buzzing like sphinx moths over the flowers quite uncon- 
cernedly, whilst their companions at the same bush are being 
shot one after another. They can even often be caught with a 
butterfly net, or knocked down with a hat. I saw five species 
on the wing whilst in the neighbourhood of Bahia. 

We turned into the gloomy forest and for some time saw 
nothing but a huge brown moth, which looked almost like a bat 
on the wing. All of a sudden, we heard, high upon the trees, a 
short shrieking sort of noise ending in a hiss, and our guide be- 
came excited and said " Toucan." The birds were very wary and 
made off. They are much in request and often shot at. At 
last we got a sight of a pair, but they were at the top of such a 
very high tree that they were out of range. 

At last, when I was giving up hope, I heard loud calls, and 



92 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER/ 

three birds came and settled in a low bush in the middle of the 
path. I shot one, and it proved to be a very large toucan 
(Ramphasios arid). The bird was not quite dead when I picked 
it up, and it bit me severely with its huge bill. Most of the 
plumage of the bird is of a jet black colour, but the throat is of 
a brilliant orange, and the breast has a bright- scarlet patch. 
The bill is brightly coloured yellow at its base, and has a light 
blue streak along its upper crest, but these colours soon fade 
after the bird is skinned. The skin round the eye is coloured 
scarlet. 

Into the wide bay of Bahia, which is twenty miles across in 
the broadest part, open several navigable rivers, on two of which 
steamers ply regularly. The Peruaguacu is the largest of these 
rivers, and it is navigable for 54 miles up to a town called 
Caxoeira. At Caxoeira a railway was in process of construc- 
tion. The English engineer of the line, a Mr. Watson, most 
hospitably provided me with a free pass by the steamer to 
Caxoeira, and one of his own mules, and a guide for a trip up 
country thence. 

The river steamers are small paddle-boats, old and dirty. 
The Caxoeira boat was crowded with passengers, mostly Brazi- 
lians and negroes, but amongst them several German Jews going 
up to buy diamonds. 

The bay has all the appearance of an inland lake, there 
being several islands scattered about in it covered with green to 
the water's edge. Near its mouth the banks of the river are 
somewhat low but backed by hills, and here and there are 
mangrove swamps. As the river was ascended the hills and 
cliffs on either hand soon became higher. They are thickly 
covered with vegetation, but with cliffs and occasional rock 
masses showing out bare amongst it. 

The scenery on the whole is not so unlike that of the Ehine, 
excepting that there are no castles : but the white buildings 
of sugar estates perched here and there on the tops of the lower 
hills take their place. The far-off hills appear of the usual 
blueish green due to distance, and successive ranges become 
gradually yellower as they lie nearer to the eye of the observer 
and show more and more plainly the forms of the vegetation 



BAH1A. 93 

clothing them ; only in the actual foreground do the palms 
and feathering bamboos, planted in long lines as boundaries, 
distinguish the scenery as tropical. The bamboos are especially 
conspicuous, from the bright yellow green of their foliage. The 
steamer left Bahia at 10 a.m. and reached Caxoeira at 4 p.m. 

caxoeira. — There are two towns at Caxoeira, one on each 
side of the river. These consist of the usual whitewashed 
houses and two or three churches, one broad street and several 
narrow ones, with mostly dirty dilapidated two-storied houses 
tailing off towards the country into one-storied hovels. On 
the river, canoes hollowed out of a single tree trunk, simple 
and trough-like in form and pointed at both ends, ply between 
the town and its suburb. They are large enough to contain six 
persons. 

The hotel at which we stayed consisted of a restaurant below 
and a long barn-like chamber above, with a passage down the 
middle, and a series of small bed chambers on either hand, 
enclosed by partitions about twelve feet in height. As one lay 
in bed one looked up at the bare rafters and tiles, and was apt to 
receive unpleasant remembrances from the bats. I have seen 
sleeping places arranged in the same manner in the hotel at 
Point de Galle, Ceylon, and it is closely similar in all Japanese 
houses ; the great disadvantage is that you have to put up with 
the snorings and conversations of all the guests in the hotel. 

In the evening, just outside the town, in a small pond, a 
number of small toads were making a perfectly deafening noise. 
The sound is like a very loud harsh cat's mew, and I could not 
at first believe that it would come from so small an animal. It 
is however not unlike the extraordinary moan made by the 
fire-bellied toad of Europe {Bomhincdor igneus), but much louder 
and with more distinct intervals between the sounds. The frog 
tribe made a horrible noise at night at Caxoeira, a bull frog 
shouting the loudest with a deep bass voice. 

Trip inland. — I started on my trip in the morning. I was to 
go to Feira St. Anna, about 28 miles from Caxoeira, to see the 
great fair held there every Monday, and from thence go down to 
St. Amaro, a town on another river running into the bay, whence 
I could take steamer for Bahia. Caxoeira, Feira St. Anna, and 



94 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

St. Amaro, form with each other roughly an equilateral triangle, 
being each distant from the other about eight leagues. 

My guide was a German, who acted as interpreter on the 
railroad. He spoke English, French, Italian, Spanish and 
Portuguese, and had been in Brazil about twelve years. He 
was a wild sort of young fellow, and had undergone various 
vicissitudes of fortune, having been once reduced to selling 
jerked beef, and once having been a dancing-master. He was 
a capital merry companion, knowing everyone on the road and 
having a joke for all. 

We rode extremely well-broken mules of large size that 
ambled along, rendering it no labour to ride. Mine much 
preferred his natural rough trot to ambling, and tried to make 
me put up with it, finding that I was a tyro at mule riding. 
But I was told that I was ruining the beast by letting Mm get 
into bad habits, and was told to dig in my spurs and jerk back 
his head with the bit at the same time. This receipt never 
failed to make the poor brute so thoroughly uncomfortable that 
he ambled as softly as possible at once. 

The road led up the steep side of the river valley on to the 
table land above, From the top of the hill there is a fine view 
of the river and its valleys, and the white town below. Some 
trees, the leaves of which turn scarlet before dropping, set 
off the green of the rest of the landscape. In their action on 
foliage and plant life generally, the wet and dry seasons take 
the place of summer and winter at home, and many plants 
become bare of their leaves at the dry season, and only burst 
out again into leaf at the commencement of the wet season. 
This condition is far more marked in other regions of South 
America. Humboldt observed that certain trees anticipated the 
coming wet season, and put out their leaves some weeks before 
there was any appearance of its approach. 

The road was very much like a green lane. In places a 
regular slough of mud, in others dry and sandy ; it was broad, 
but usually more or less overgrown with grass and weeds, with 
a narrow track picked out along the best ground by the mules. 
There were numerous cottages along the road, and fields of 
tobacco, maize, and cassava ; every now and then a bit of wood 



BAHIA. 95 

was passed with beautiful flowers growing about it, and amongst 
them numerous forms of Melastomacece with their characteristic 
three-veined leaves. 

I saw here most of the plants which I had collected at 
Fernando do ISTorhona growing as road-side weeds. As we 
rode on, a splendid Iguana, about three feet in length, ran across 
the road. I was astonished at the brilliant dark green and 
bright yellow-green colouring of the animal, and have never 
seen any other lizard so bright. 

Every now and then a village was passed ; in the first, as it 
was Sunday, the villagers were enjoying a cock-fight. Every 
villager keeps a fighting-cock. Good Lisbon wine is sold along 
the road ; the drinking-places consist of a hole about a yard 
square in the gable-end of the usual mud-walled cottage, placed 
at such a height as to be convenient to a man on horseback, who 
thus gets his drink without dismounting. Ladies travel along 
the road either in the saddle or in a sedan chair slung between 
two horses or mules by means of a long pole. 

A thick growth of myrtles and shrubs which was passed, 
was pointed out as having been the hiding-place of a notorious 
highway robber, a negro named Lucas, who used to lay in wait 
for merchants on their way to the fair at St. Anna ; he was the 
terror of the district, and committed several murders and worse 
atrocities. Though he was caught and executed in 1859, stories 
about him are already beginning to assume a mythical dress, 
and I was told that miraculous flowers grew out from a tree to 
which he bound one of his victims, a white girl, leaving her to 
die of exposure. 

We took seven and a half hours over the 28 miles to Feira 

St. Anna. 

Feira St. Anna. — The town consists of about three long 
parallel streets, with a broad cross street, or rather open oblong 
space on which the small dealers erect their booths on fair day. 
We rode into the town at about five o'clock in the evening. 

The girls were all dressed in their best, expecting home their 
various sweethearts who are away all the week in search of 
cattle, and only come to town on Sundays in time for the fair 
on Monday. Several of them greeted my guide as an old 



96 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

friend, as we rode up a long street to the other end of the town. 
Here is an open common-like space surrounded by houses, which 
serves as tobacco and cattle market. We stopped at an inn close 
to the market. 

The inn was a one-storied house, consisting of an eating room 
fronting the street, and two sleeping rooms, and a kitchen behind. 
The eating room had large windows with jalousies, but no glass, 
looking out upon the market. It had a cement floor, a trestle 
table at one end for eating on, a small table opposite with a red 
curtained box upon it, containing the household gods, the Virgin 
in plaster, and Sta. Antoinetta in china, and a half round table 
with an inkstand for the use of those customers who could write. 

The host, an old Brazilian, greeted us with great politeness, 
and we bowed according to custom to the assembled guests. 
The company consisted of about half-a-dozen cattle dealers, who 
were in animated discussion concerning the prices of stock. 
One of them, who was quite black, was evidently the sharpest of 
the lot, and a wag. Presently there came in a dirty coarse- 
looking grey-haired man with a black skull-cap on; he wore a 
dilapidated black garment something like an Inverness cape. 
He was chief vicar of the town ; he was in considerable excite- 
ment, and addressed himself to the black cattle dealer, who 
produced a letter for him. 

The reverend gentleman had not got his spectacles with him, 
so the host proceeded to spell out the letter aloud. It appeared 
that the vicar did a bit of general trading, and had sent some 
horses, mules, and slaves to a neighbouring fair, in hopes of a 
good price. The letter was to inform him that he had made a 
bad speculation, and that no buyer had been found. The vicar 
was in a great rage, and made an excited oration about the 
hardships of his position and terrible depreciation in the value 
of slaves, and left. He was said to receive £60 per annum as 
stipend and fees in addition. 

We had some excellent fresh beef for dinner, fried in small 
pieces with garlic and potatoes and carrots, and with it farinha, 
the coarse meal made from cassava root, the fine siftings from 
which are tapioca. The farinha is universally used here, and is 
very good with gravy. 



BAHIA. 97 

The sleeping apartment was a space of abont eight feet square, 
separated from the front room by a low partition : in it were 
three light cane-bottomed sofas, one at each end, and one op- 
posite the door ; they were packed so close together as to touch 
one another. A neatly folded small coverlet and a pillow were 
placed in the middle of each. 

Here we turned in ; the third bed being occupied by a very 
dirty dealer in tobacco. Eenderecl sleepless by the fleas, I lay 
awake most of the night listening to the mingled crying of 
children, barking of dogs, croaking of frogs in the marsh below, 
and squeaking and groaning of the axles of the ox-carts bringing 
merchandise to the fair. 

Though other charges were comparatively cheap, we had 
each to pay two shillings for our beds, as did also some of the 
cattle dealers who slept in a small house over the way, rented 
by the host for that purpose, and to keep the guests' saddles and 
bridles in. 

At 6 A.M. there was no bustle or signs of the fair, and not 
till 9 or 10 o'clock did strings of mules, laden each with a 
pair of bales of tobacco, arrive opposite the inn. The mules 
carry about seven or eight arrobas (arroba = 25 lbs.). The 
tobacco comes to the market compressed and cut into neat 
rectangular bundles ; the merchants test it by pulling some 
from the bundle and rolling a rough cigar. 

In the broad open street in the middle of the town were 
rows of small booths, at which farinha, fruit, vegetables, and 
jerked beef, imported largely from Buenos Ayres, were for sale ; 
the dried beef varies in price from six to two milreis = 2s. an 
arroba. It seemed singular that it should pay to bring it to a 
place where fresh meat was so abundant. 

Other stalls offered needles and thread, sweet stuff for 
children, &c. ; but most trying to a naturalist's eye, were stalls 
where various Eodents and other small native animals were for 
sale, spitted on wooden skewers, roasted and dried for eating. 
Amongst these I saw at least a dozen of the tree-climbing ant- 
eater, the Tamandua, and many Three-toed Sloths : the skulls of 
all were split open, and they were utterly lost to science. The 
flesh is supposed to cure various diseases. 

H 



98 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Makers of the long riding boots so fashionable here wan- 
dered about the fair trying to sell their handiwork, and I bought 
from a similar wanderer one of the vaqueiro's leather hats, 
which did me the best of service in thick and thorny forests 
throughout the remainder of the cruise ; with this on my head 
I could butt my way head first into any bush with impunity. 

Close by the market-place was the church of the vicar 
already mentioned, which had a mosque-like dome ornamented 
with variously coloured dinner and tea plates set in patterns in 
cement, a very original form of decoration. 

In the leather market quantities of skins of leather were 
exposed for sale, and also tanned puma skins used for saddle- 
cloths, and boa-constrictor skins, also tanned, used to make boots 
and said to be remarkably waterproof. 

But the great sight of the fair is the cattle market, the 
situation of which has already been described ; the cattle are 
bred at estates far up the country, where they run wild in the 
bush and are caught and branded, and drafted for market every 
two years. 

The men who look after and drive the cattle are termed 
" vaqueiros " in Portuguese. They are of all shades of colour, from 
black to white ; they are dressed when at work from head to 
foot in undyed red brown leather ; they wear leather breeches, 
high leather boots with huge spurs, a leather coat like a longish 
jacket, and a leather hat with rounded close-fitting crown and 
broad brim : they ride small rough horses, which are worth 
at Feira St. Anna from £4 to £5. They ride in saddles of the 
form commonly called Mexican or Spanish. 

The vaqueiros receive as payment from the owners every 
tenth head of cattle brought to market. They are, of course, 
extremely expert riders, and it is marvellous what work they get 
out of their small horses. 

The breeders rarely bring the cattle to market on their own 
account, but sell them to dealers, who take them to Feira 
St. Anna, and hand them over to other dealers again, who sell 
them in Bahia or Caxoeira. 

The cattle are driven by the vaqueiros, who use a short, 
leather thong to strike them with. Bands of from 20 to 50 head 



BAHIA. 99 

of cattle were being driven into the market as we approached. 
A vaqueiro rides in front of each herd, one on each side, and one 
or more behind. They keep up a constant shouting, and bring 
the animals along at a fair pace. 

Every now and then, a beast wilder than the rest, or less 
exhausted by the long journey from the interior, breaks away, 
and goes off at full gallop over the open market-place or up the 
street. Off gallop two or three vaquieros, in full chase, with 
outstretched arms, spurring their horses to the utmost. They 
try to drive the beast back into the herd, and often succeed 
forthwith ; but often it gets in amongst another herd, and then 
it is wonderful to see how rapidly they manage to single it out, 
get it on the outside of the herd, and start it afresh. 

Sometimes the animals are very fresh and wild, and make off 
at full pace, and cannot be headed. The vaqueiros then strain 
every effort to come up behind them, catch hold of their tails, 
and spurring their horses forward so as to get up alongside the 
beasts, give a sudden violent pull, which twists the animals round, 
and throws them sprawling on their sides. 

The cattle, though they fall so heavily that this expedient is 
resorted to as little as possible at the fair, because it bruises the 
meat, are often up after a fall and off again in an instant ; but 
two or three falls knock the breath out of them, and they are 
then driven back to the herd quietly. Sometimes, even this 
treatment does not subdue them, and then they are lassoed 
round the horns and dragged back. 

The various herds were driven in compact bodies against the 
walls bounding the market, and some of the vaqueiros dis- 
mounted, and kept the cattle together by the use of their thongs 
and shouting, but one at least at every herd remained mounted 
ready to chase any animal which might break away. The scene 
was most exciting. Often three or four cattle were loose at once 
and careering madly in all directions, jumping over obstacles 
like deer, and with two or three vaqueiros after each, at full 
gallop, spurring their little horses to the utmost, twisting and 
turning with wonderful dexterity. 

One wild cow went right up the main street. She was very 
fast, and five vaqueiros had a sort of race after her ; now one 

H 2 



100 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

gained a little, now another, and it appeared as if the beast were 
going to make off altogether ; but at last a big black vaqueiro 
shot ahead, and threw her sprawling in the road. I kept close 
to a sheltering corner, ready to retreat round it when a beast 
came in my direction. 

The cattle dealers rode round from herd to herd, on their 
mules and horses, and most of the dealing was done on horseback. 
As soon as a herd was sold, it was driven off, one or more 
vaqueiros accompanying the drovers, according to the wildness 
of the cattle. 

In the middle of the open space, horses and mules were 
being sold. The sellers of the horses were mounted on them, 
and were showing off their paces in an open lane formed 
amongst a crowd of buyers and lookers-on. The sellers made 
their horses amble full pace up the lane, turn sharp round, and 
return : and on reaching the starting-point, stop suddenly, 
without slacking pace in the least beforehand, in doing which 
the animals were thrown almost back upon their haunches. The 
being able to stop thus suddenly when in full pace is one 
of the points most admired in horses by Brazilians. 

The horses are small, but well made. Good well-trained 
horses cost about £40. Good riding mules are worth as much or 
even more. The Brazilians of the better class ride their ambling 
horses, with their legs straight and stiff and carried right forward, 
with the toes turned up and the tips of the toes only resting on 
the stirrup irons. The vaqueiros, however, ride much in the 
usual English fashion. 

Sheep are used as beasts of burden in a small way in Feira 
St. Anna. I saw three or four laden with small barrels of water 
slung across their backs. They were driven by children, who 
were thus taking water from the well outside the town round to 
the various houses. The sheep seemed perfectly trained, and 
went along at a smart pace. Sheep are used as beasts of burden 
in Ladak to transport goods over the mountains of Little Thibet, 
and carry from 20 to 30 lbs. ; * but their use for such purpose is 
very uncommon. 

In the crowd we met with a German farmer, who was a 

* " The Middle Kingdom," Williams, Vol. I, p. 204. 



BAHIA. 101 

friend of my companion, and he invited us to pass the night at 
his house, his farm lying on the road to St. Amaro, by which 
we were to travel. We had our mules brought up to the inn 
door, and there gave them a feed of maize to make sure that they 
got it. We saddled them ourselves in front of the inn, and 
after much ceremonious shaking of hands with the host, and 
polite speeches, rode off. 

On the road we passed several herds of cattle, which were 
being driven towards Baliia. In one of these some of the cattle 
were very wild. There were three vaqueiros in charge of it, a man, 
and two lads of from 16 to 18 years of age. There was thick 
bush on either side of the road, and every now and then the cattle 
broke away into this. The use of the rough lurcher-like clogs 
which follow the vaqueiros now appeared. In the thick scrub 
the vaqueiro could do nothing without his dog. The cattle are 
out of sight in an instant, and go off dashing full pace through 
the bushes. The dogs are after them at their heels at once, and 
drive them, to the vaqueiros, who dash off into the thick of 
the bushes in pursuit, bending right forward in the saddle, and 
stooping till their heads are beside their horses' necks, to avoid 
the branches. 

One cow came full charge down the road behind me, and I 
had only just time to back my mule into the bush out of the 
way. One of the lads was after her. He seized her tail just as 
he was opposite to me, held on for about twenty yards, and then 
digging in his spurs and shooting forwards, turned her over with 
a thud. She was up, however, again, and off into the bush in an 
instant, and he after her with the dog in full pursuit, and I saw 
him disappear under the branch of a tree with his body laid 
right back on his horse's rump to avoid it. 

We passed about sunset through a village, where there is a 
hospital, a very substantial building, erected by the vicar, who 
diligently collected subscriptions for that purpose for many 
years. The church was lighted up and the people were going to 
vespers. One of the villagers was pointed out to me by the 
German farmer as being the hereditary owner of a large estate 
worth several thousand pounds, and a number of slaves. He was 
quite black and dressed in tatters, and looked like a slave him- 



102 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

self, and was driving cows along the road. He conld neither 
read nor write. 

Onr host was an emigrant from the Hartz District. He had 
been ont in Brazil about 14 years, and had a farm of several 
hundred acres, most of which was grass land ; the grass growing 
where sugar had once been planted. He bought cattle and sheep at 
Feira St. Anna, kept them some time on his farm, and then killed 
them and sold the meat in St. Amaro and the district. He also 
grew a large patch of sugar-cane, which was ground at a large 
mill close by, he receiving half the sugar produced as his share. 
He had bought one slave : all foreigners, except English, being 
allowed to possess slaves in Brazil. The slave was married to a 
girl, who was principal servant in the house. The farmer had 
assisted the girl to buy her freedom. 

Frau Wilkens, his wife, who had no children, described the 
girl as most trustworthy, honest, and deeply attached. Her 
small child, a chubby little negro, was a great pet in the house. 
The greater part of the work on the farm was done by slaves 
hired from the owners of neighbouring plantations. There was a 
row of about thirty very small wooden houses or huts on a 
neighbouring hill, where the slaves belonging to the owner of the 
sugar mill lived. 

Cassava or Mandiocea, which is a Euphorbiaceous plant, 
allied to our common spurge, was also grown on the estate, 
and there was a small manufactory of farinha. The Cassava 
(JatropJm manihot) is an indigenous South American plant, 
though now widely spread in the tropics, and was cultivated in 
Brazil by the original inhabitants, before they were molested 
by Europeans. The plant is not unlike the castor-oil plant 
in appearance, and is planted in rows slightly banked up. 

The tubers are long and spindle shaped. The preparation of 
them was conducted in a small hut. A large fly-wheel was 
turned by a negro, and drove, by means of a band, at a rapid 
rate, a small grinding wheel provided with iron cutting teeth. 
The cassava root, which had been peeled and washed by a 
negress, was reduced to a coarse meal by means of the grinding 
wheel. The meal was then put into a wooden trough, and a 
board was tightly pressed upon it by means of a lever, heavily 



BAH I A. 10 



o 



weighted with stones. The cassava was thus left in the press 
for twelve hours, in order that the poisonous juice which it 
contains should be expressed. The meal was then taken out and 
dried on a smooth stone surface, beneath which a wood fire was 
burning. 

The resulting chalky- white meal, when sifted, yields samples 
of three degrees of fineness. The finest, a white flour-like 
powder, is tapioca, i.e., true, original tapioca, an imitation of 
which, made from potato starch, is commonly sold in England. 
The intermediate sample is used in starching clothes and in 
cooking; and the coarsest substance, which is coarser than 
oatmeal, and consists of irregularly-shaped dried chips of the 
roots, is called farinha, and is, as before described, commonly 
eaten with gravy at dinner, taking the place of bread, and 
forming a staple article of food. 

Our host was well to do, having thrived best of all the 
emigrants who came out w r ith him, and, having no family to pro- 
vide for, talked of going home soon. An old German was 
staying in the house, an idler, whose real occupation was 
gardening, his father having been Imperial gardener, as he 
informed us with great pride. He had landed, more than twenty 
years before, at Eio, and had reached Bahia on foot. He was 
now travelling from estate to estate, and staying at each as long 
as he could, under pretence of doing up the garden, but although 
he had been two months at the farm, the few square yards of 
garden were as yet untouched. 

He had been too lazy to learn Portuguese, and understood 
very little. He did a little trade in the way of peddling books. 
He seemed, however, a favourite at the farm, and was well taken 
care of, tea being made as a special luxury for him, and he had 
many stories to tell, and quaint sayings, and had amusingly 
strong Prussian sympathies. 

The farmer guided us to a large tract of primitive forest close 
by, which was extremely difficult to penetrate. Here I caught a 
curious bat (Saccopteryx canina). This bat has remarkable 
glandular pouches on the under sides of the wings, at the elbow- 
joints ; these pouches are well developed only in the males, 
rudimentary in the females, and secrete a red-coloured strongly- 



104 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

smelling substance, supposed to act as a sexual attraction. The 
bat was resting on a bare tree-trunk, asleep, the dense forest 
growth overhead making this exposed situation quite dark 
enough for it. I caught it with a butterfly net. 

On our way back to the farm, we watched some ants 
carrying off bits of cassava leaves to their holes. One cannot 
walk anywhere in the neighbourhood of Bahia without seeing 
these Leaf-cutting Ants (CEcodoma) at work. Their habits have 
been described by many observers, and recently by Mr. Belt * at 
great length. 

One soldier-ant was carrying a piece of young cassava root, two 
inches in length. It held the stick by one end thrown over its 
back, but not touching it, the other end projecting far behind the 
insect. There was just a balance. The slightest extra weight on 
the hinder tip of the stick would have upset the bearer back- 
wards. The ant staggered from side to side under its burden, 
like a heavily-laden porter, and got along very slowly. 

I pulled the burden away and then put it back again. The 
ant struggled a long while to get it back into its old position, 
but could not. Then it tried to balance it crossways by the 
middle, but one end always tilted up, and the other stuck against 
the ground. So at last the ant cut the stick in two, and carried 
off one half, a worker hoisting the other. The further road to 
St. Amaro lay through sugar estates all the way. I left 
St. Amaro early next morning by steamer, and reached Bahia at 
10 A.M. 

Bahia. — On the quay I bought a living full-grown Three- 
toed Sloth {Bradypus tridactylus) from a countryman for two 
shillings. We kept the animal alive in our work-room for some 
days, where it hung on to the book shelves and bottle racks, 
and crawled about. As I could not get it to feed, I had to 
kill it. 

The beast was the most inane-looking animal I ever saw, and 
never attempted to bite or scratch ; none of us could look at its 
face without laughing. It merely hung tight on to anything 
within reach. It showed, however, one sign of intelligence. 

* " The Naturalist in Nicaragua," by Thos. Belt, p. 71, et seq. 
London, John Murray, 1874. 



BAHIA. 105 

I hung it on a brass rod used for suspending a lamp beneath one 
of the skylights in our room. It remained there half a day, 
hanging head downward, and constantly endeavouring to reach 
the book shelves near by, but without success. At last it found 
out an arrangement of its limbs by which this was possible, and 
got away from the lamp rod, and in future whenever I hung it 
up on the rod it climbed to the book shelves within five minutes 
or so. 

When I reached the ship I found that a case of yellow fever 
had occurred on board. This determined our immediate de- 
parture, and we sailed for Tristan da Cunha direct, being 
obliged to hasten to cold weather, for fear of other cases breaking 
out. We thus missed our intended visit to the islands of 
Trinidad and Martin Vas, to which I had looked forward with 
the greatest interest, since they are the only islands in the 
Atlantic, the flora and fauna of which are absolutely unknown. 

A word or two about slavery in Brazil. A law is now in 
force by which every child born in the country is free, and 
further, a master is obliged to free a slave if the slave can raise 
a sufficient sum to buy himself off. The value to be paid is 
fixed by a Government valuer, and the sum is always fixed as 
low as possible by him. Slaves commonly buy themselves off, 
and a Society exists which assists them to do so, advancing the 
money on loan, and receiving it back by instalments. Slaves 
also go round and collect money from charitable people to assist 
them in the matter. The fact that the children become free, and 
that the slaves can buy themselves off so cheaply, has made them 
fall very much in value. A female slave's time is much taken up 
with her children, which a master has to feed, although after all 
they do not belong to him. Hence a strong young man was 
worth, at the time of our visit, only about £120, and a young 
woman about £70 to £80. 

The slaves, however, do not often change hands. Old 
families pride themselves on the numbers of their hereditary 
slaves, and often having fallen in the world and being poorly off, 
have nevertheless a dozen slaves, for whom they find hardly any 
work, and whom they can scarcely afford to keep. These slaves 
are much attached to their masters, and often their masters to 



106 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



j> 



them. A member of the House of Assembly has been known to 
refuse to speak on an occasion of importance, because his foster 
brother, a slave, had just died. 

The slaves are hired out as servants: and foreign residents, 
especially English, who cannot hold slaves, hire them as domestic 
servants. They make the engagements with the slaves them- 
selves, and pay them the wages, and the slaves carry these wages 
to their owners, who, if kind ones, give them a fourth part or so 
as a present. Other slaves are hired from the owners, but not 
the best ones. At the best hotel in Bahia, kept by a German, 
most of the servants were thus hired slaves. The proprietor 
said that was much better than buying slaves, since when they 
were ill you sent them back to their owners and got fresh ones. 

Owners also employ their slaves as sellers of various goods 
in the streets. The slaves are usually well treated, but in some 
rare cases owners are cruel and beat them. At Caxoeira, a 
pretty girl was collecting money to buy herself off because, 
according to her story, her master beat her constantly. There is 
no slave market in Bahia. The slaves that have not been born 
in the country, but were brought from the coast, have marks 
cut on their cheeks, the marks of the tribes to which they 
belong, and of which they are proud. There are many of these 
to be seen in the streets ; but there is no means of distinguishing 
a slave from a freed man. The following slave statistics are 
taken from the Anglo-Brazilian Times : — 

Brazil Slave statistics.—" In the province of Goyaz the 8,903 
slaves registered in 1872, had on the 31st of December, 1875, 
become reduced to 7,888 by 357 deaths, 222 liberations, and 436 
removals. At the same date there existed 921 freebom children 
of slaves. In the province of Pernambuco, during the same 
four years, the 106,201 slaves diminished 3,386 by death, and 
1,049^ by emancipations. From September 28th, 1871, to the 
end of December last, the number of children of slaves born free 
under the law of 1871 was 12,312, of whom 2,802 died, leaving 
9,510. In the province of San Paulo there died, from April, 
1872, to the end of 1875, of the 147,746 slaves registered, 8,561 
and 3,410 were emancipated. In 111 of the 151 parishes the 
ireeborn births were 18,176, of whom 5,861 had died. 



BAHIA. 



107 



We left Baliia on September 25th. The voyage to Tristan 
da Cunha was not very eventful. ' A suspicious case of fever 
appeared on board, and we were for some time in anxious 
suspense as to whether we were not going to suffer from an 
epidemic of yellow fever, but all turned out well. We crossed 
the track of sailing vessels bound round the Cape, and sighted 
two English vessels bound for Chittagong and Point de Galle. 
There is some doubt as to when the first Albatross was met with ; 
but a bird, either an Albatross or the Giant Petrel (Ossifraga) was 
seen on October 4th, in lat. 27° 43'. We arrived at Tristan da 
Cunha on October 15th. 




108 



CHAPTER V. 

TRISTAN DA CUNHA, INACCESSIBLE ISLAND, 
NIGHTINGALE ISLAND. 

Settlement of the Island. Geological Structure. Vegetation. Tempe- 
rature of Fresh Water. Phylica arborea. Eigorous Climate. Con- 
dition of the Settlers. Inaccessible Island. Eock hopper Penguins. 
Tussock Grass. Penguin Eookeries. Peculiar Land Birds. Noddies 
and other Sea Birds. Southern Skuas. Wild Swine. Change of 
Habits of Penguins. Nightingale Island. Vast Penguin Eookery. 
Seal Caves. Eocks Worn by the Feet of the Penguins. Mollymauks 
and their Nests. Derivation of Seamen's Names for Southern 
Animals. Dogs run Wild in a Penguin Eookery. Migrations of 
Penguins and Seals. Insects, &c, of the Group. Flowering Seasons. 
Sea Beans. Eelations of the Flora. 

Tristan da Cimha, Oct. 15th, 1813. — The ship arrived at 
Tristan da Cunha on October 15th. The island of Tristan da 
Cimha is one of a group composed of three, the other two 
being called Nightingale and Inaccessible Islands. Besides these, 
another small island, Gough Island, lies about 200 miles to the 
south and somewhat to the east of Tristan da Cunha, and from 
its vegetation would seem to be naturally included in the group. 

Tristan da Cunha itself lies in Lat. 37° 2' 48" S., Long. 12° 
18' 20'' W., distant westward from the Cape of Good Hope, 
1,550 miles, and about one-third farther from Cape Horn, lying 
nearly on a line drawn between the two Capes ; it lies 1,320 
miles south of St. Helena. The island is about 16 square miles in 
area* it is nearly circular in form, its highest point is 8,326 feet 

above sea level. 

The latest information concerning the inhabitants of the 
island, extant at the time of our visit, is to be found in the 

* I regret exceedingly, that owing to ignorance of the nature of a 
German geographical square mile, I concluded that Grisebach had, in his 
" Veer, der Erde," made an error in describing the area of Tristan as two 
geographical square miles, and that I stated this in " Jouvii. Linn. Soc." 
Bot, Vol. XIV, p. 328. 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. 109 

"Cruize of H.M.S. < Galatea/ " p. 28 (London, Allen and Co., 1869). 

In this account reference is made to the various mentions of the 

place in books of travel. The visit of the Dutch brig " Dourga " in 

about 1827 is omitted * Before the time of the second exile 

of Napoleon, the island had been settled by some American 

agriculturists ; but their adventure failed, and the place was but 

scantily inhabited until the date at which Napoleon was sent 

to St. Helena. 

A corps of Artillery was then sent to Tristan, and batteries 

were begun to be constructed. A corporal named Glass received 

permission to stay on the island when the men were withdrawn, 

and a small colony sprang up which has lasted till the present 

time, Glass having been for many years regarded as a sort of 

governor. The numbers were at one time over 200, but were at 

the time of our visit about 90 ; the younger members of the 

settlement constantly migrate to the Cape. 

We anchored at early morning on the north-west side of the 
island of Tristan da Cunha, nearly opposite to the settlement. 
The island here rises in a long black cliff range; above this 
stretches a plateau about 2,000 feet above sea level, on which 
can be discerned from below two or three small secondary 
craters ; above the plateau rises the Peak, a conical mountain with 
rounded summit, which at the time of our visit and throughout 
the year, excepting in the middle of summer, is covered over with 
a smooth shining cap of snow, its lower slopes being dotted over 
with irregular patches of snow, between which the dark rocks 
showed out in relief. The whole island has a peculiar cold 
barren uninhabitable appearance, which seems to be character- 
istic of the islands of the Southern Ocean. 

The cliffs show a very regular stratification, and are com- 
posed throughout of a series of beds lying nearly horizontally, but 
dipping slightly towards the shores, at least they appear to do 
so east and west of the anchorage. The beds, which are con- 
spicuously marked, are alternately of hard basalt and looser 
scoriaceous lava, with occasional beds of a red tuff. The whole 
section is traversed by numerous dykes, mostly vertical and 

* " Voyage of the Dutch Brig of War, ' Dourga,' " p. 2. Trans, by W. 
Earle, London, John Madden and Co., 1840. 



110 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

usually narrow, and is not unlike that exposed in the Grand Cural 
at Madeira in appearance. 

Streams, or rather cascades, which come dashing down to the 
sea during the constant heavy rains, have eaten their way into 
the cliffs, and their beds form conspicuous features in the view as 
narrow gullies, descending the rocks in a series of irregular steps. 
At the foot of the cliffs, immediately opposite the anchorage, are 
debris slopes and irregular rocky and sandy ground, forming a 
narrow strip of low shore land. 

The settlement lies on a broader and more even stretch of 
low land which extends westwards. In the margin of this 
lower tract a small low secondary cliff has been formed by the 
waves. Steep debris slopes lead from the cliffs above to the 
settlement tract, and the cliffs are here and there broken into 
ledges and deep gullies, by which ascent to the summit is easy. 

At the landing-place the beach is formed of black volcanic 
sand, but elsewhere in the neighbourhood, of coarse basaltic 
boulders. At the summit of the Peak, as the inhabitants told 
us, is a crater basin with a lake at the bottom of it. From their 
description given, it appears that there is something like the 
Canadas of the Peak of Teneriffe, around the terminal crater. 

The cliffs have a scanty covering of green, derived mainly 
from grasses, sedges, mosses, and ferns, with darker patches of 
the peculiar trees of the island (Phylica arhoi m), and the crowberry 
(Empetrum nigrum var. rubrum). These dark patches become 
more and more marked towards the summit. Conspicuous 
patches of bright green are formed under the cliffs at the foot of 
the watercourses by a dock (Rumex). Further dotted about 
amongst the other herbage are rounded tufts of pale blueish- 
green, consisting of the tall reed-like grass (JSpartina arun- 
dinacea), which is peculiar to the Tristan da Cunha group and 
Amsterdam Island. 

On nearer inspection the damp foot of the cliff is found to 
be covered with mosses and liverworts, which latter form, in 
favourable situations, continuous green sheets covering the earth 
beneath the grass. 

Two ferns, an Asplenium (A. obtusatum, Forst.), growing in 
the clefts of the rocks just as does our home A. marimcm, and 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. Ill 

Lomaria alpina are most abundant under the cliffs. The Lomaria 
plants where situate on stony slopes, and comparatively starved, 
were all provided with fertile fronds, whilst when growing in 
rich vegetable mould, they were commonly without fructification. 

The commonest flowering plants under the cliffs are Apium 
australe, wild celery, almost the same as the common garden 
plant abundant here, in Tierro del Fuego, and in the Falkland 
Islands : the crowberry : the common sow-thistle, a cosmopolitan 
weed : and a plant with strongly scented leaves (Chenopodium 
tornentosum), which is used as tea by the islanders, a decoction 
of the leaves being drunk with milk and sugar. The islanders 
call it " tea." 

Creeping amongst the damp moss, is a small narrow-leaved 
plant with small bright red berries (Nertera depressa). 

The streams which run down the cliffs, and which vary from 
violent dashing cascades in rain time, to narrow rills fed only 
by the melting of the snow above in dry weather, were small at 
the time of our visit ; their water soaks into the banks of sand 
at the foot of the cliffs and on the shores, and is mostly lost, 
but in some places reappears in the shape of shallow freshwater 
ponds close to the sea beach. 

The water of the streams had a temperature of 50° F., whilst 
the ponds were warmer, 54° F. The temperature of the lower 
regions of the island is no doubt constantly reduced by the 
descent of the cold water from the snow far above ; in the gully 
above the settlement, shrubs of Phylica arborea commence at 
about 400 feet elevation. 

The trees have in this locality all been cut down for fire- 
wood, but there is still plenty of wood on the island : Phylica 
arborea is the only tree occurring in the islands ; it is a species 
found only in the Tristan da Cunha group, in Gough Island, and 
in the far-off island of Amsterdam, 3,000 miles distant. Other 
species of the genus occur at the Cape of Good Hope, but they 
are low and shrubby. It belongs to the natural order of the 
Buckthorns (Rhamnacew). 

The foliage of the tree is of a dark glossy green, with the 
under sides of the narrow, almost needle-like leaves, white and 
downy. Hence the tree, which in habit is very like a yew, 



I 



112 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



» 



presents as a whole a mixture of glaucous grey, and dark olive- 
o-reen shades ; it bears berries of about the size of sweet-peas 
which are eaten by the finch which lives in the islands. 

The constant heavy gales do not permit the tree to grow 
erect ; the trunk is usually procumbent at its origin for several 
feet, and then rises again often at a right-angle. It is always more 
or less twisted or gnarled. In sheltered places, as under the cliffs 
on the north-east of Inaccessible Island, the tree is as high as 25 
feet, but it is not nearly so high on the summit of the island, though 
the trunks are said there to reach a length of 30 feet or more. 

The largest trunk I saw was about one foot in diameter, but 
they are said to grow to eighteen inches. The wood of the tree is 
brittle, and when exposed, rapidly decays, but is serviceable when 
dried carefully with the bark on. The German settlers in Inacces- 
sible Island, used it even for handles to their axes and other tools. 
The Tristan da Cunha group has a terrible climate. For 
nine months in the year there is constant storm and rain, with 
snow. It is only in the three summer months that the weather 
is at all fine. In October the " bad season," as the islanders 
called it, was just beginning to pass away, but the weather was so 
uncertain that the ship might have had to leave her anchorage 
at a moment's notice, and only a steamer dared anchor at all. 
Hence no one of our party was allowed to go for more than half 
an hour out of sight of the ship, nor for a distance of more than 
an hour's walk from the settlement. 

I botanized under the cliffs on the lowland in the morning, 
and intended to reserve the upper plateau and cliff ascent for 
the afternoon, but as I was making my way up the steep 
slope above the settlement in the afternoon at about 3 or 4 
o'clock, suddenly a dark squall came scudding over the sea, and 
rapidly reaching us, and climbing the hill-side, chilled us to 
the bone. My guide, a small boy, born and bred in the island, 
crouched down instantly under the tall grass and fern, lying on 
his side, drawing up his legs, tucking in his head, and screwing 
himself down into the grass like a hare into her form. We 
followed his example, and found that the perfection of the shelter 
to be thus obtained from such scanty herbage was astonishing. 
The squall being felt at the anchorage, up went the recall 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. 113 

flag on board the ship, and as soon as the hail ceased, I had to 
hurry down to the shore, without having ascended the mountain 
side for more than 500 feet. I was only able to secure a 
specimen of the tree fern (Lomaria Boryana), which grows in 
the islands, and is common also in the Falkland Islands and 
Fuegia, and at the Cape of Good Hope. 

The boy was peculiarly taciturn, and, like all the islanders, 
extremely curt in his language, and very independent. Like 
most of the others he showed a strong Yankee twang in the 
little I got him to say, and he seemed to have considerable 
difficulty in understanding what I said to him in ordinary 
English, and indeed often not to be able to understand at all. 

Having heard that there were penguins in the island, but at 
some distance, and not to be approached without wading, I 
had offered a reward of £1 for a pair, with their eggs. I found 
them ready for me in one of the huts, and I paid for them. 
Had I known what countless numbers I was so soon to be 
amongst I should not have made such an offer, but I have found 
in the long run, that on a voyage like this, where there is so 
much uncertainty, it is always best to take the very first oppor- 
tunity, and I always landed on the places we visited with the 
very first boat, even if it were only for an hour in the evening. 
It may come on to blow, and another chance may never occur. 
I strongly advise any naturalist similarly situated to do the same. 

The cottages of the Tristan people are built of huge blocks 
of a soft red tuff, fitted together without mortar, and are 
thatched with tussock grass. They are all low one-storied 
houses, with small enclosures formed with low stone walls about 
them, in which a few vegetables are grown, and pigs and geese 
roam about. The potato fields are all walled for shelter from 
the wind. A large quantity of potatoes are grown, and form the 
principal source of food. 

The islanders had about 400 or 500 head of cattle and about 

as many sheep. They often lose cattle in the very cold weather 

from exposure. There is no horse on the island. Formerly 

there were numbers of wild rabbits, but they are now almost, if 

not quite, extinct, as are certainly the wild goats and pigs, which 

have been entirely killed off. 

I 



114 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

The Sea Elephants (Morunga elepliantina) have almost 
entirely deserted the island. The last was seen two years be- 
fore our visit on the beach, just below the settlement. Seals are 
seldom seen on the island. The islanders make yearly visits to 
Inaccessible and Nightingale Islands in pursuit of seals, but 
these are becoming scarcer every year. 

A mouse lives about the houses in the settlement, but there 
is no rat on the island. 

This I gathered from conversation with some of the islanders 
in one of the cottages ; the walls of which were decorated all 
over with pictures from illustrated newspapers. Several of the 
women were dark, of mixed race, from the Cape of Good Hope. 

On the way down to the beach I saw two willow bushes 
growing in the stream running down from the settlement. The 
stream has cut deeply into the alluvial soil, and the willows, here 
entirely sheltered from the wind, thrive well. They could only 
grow in such a place. 

We got geese, sheep, beef, and potatoes from the Tristan 
people, who knew well how to charge the full value for every- 
tlnng. They are all sharp at a bargain, and as on an average 
twelve ships visit them each year, or one a month, they manage 
to live pretty comfortably without working very hard. 

Four or five of them who came on board to receive the money 
for the provisions, stayed as long as ever they could, till the ship 
was well under way, begging for all sorts of things, such as 
matches and copybooks for their children, and putting down all 
the drink they could get. They never have any store of strong 
drinks on shore, because when any spirits are landed the liquor 
is cleared out at once in a single bout. At last the men went 
over the side, and we made off for Inaccessible Island, where, as 
we heard from the Tristan people, there were two Germans, who 
might be in distress. 

The appearance of Tristan da Cunha, as seen in the distance, 
is very remarkable. The snowy peak up in the clouds shows 
out far above the high dark plateau, with its precipitous cliffs 
everywhere leading down to the sea. 

Inaccessible Island, October 16th, 1873. — The ship moved over 
to Inaccessible Island and kept close under its high cliffs all night. 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. 115 

Inaccessible Island lies W. by S. i S. of Tristan, distant 
about 23 miles, i.e., from the Peak of Tristan to the centre of 
Inaccessible Island. The island is about 4£ miles in length, from 
east to west, and about 2 miles broad, 4 square miles in area. 
The highest point of the island is 1,840 feet in altitude. We 
anchored on the north-east side. 

All night the penguins were to be heard screaming on shore 
and about the ship, and as parties of them passed by, they left 
vivid phosphorescent tracks behind them as they dived through 
the water alongside. 

In the morning we had a view of the island. It presented 
on this side a range of abrupt cliffs, about 1,000 feet in height, 
of much the same structure as those of Tristan, viz., successive 
layers of basalt, traversed by vertical or oblique dykes, but mostly 
by narrow vertical ones. At the foot of the cliffs are some very 
steep debris slopes extending in one place a long way up the 
cliff, but not so as to render the ascent possible. 

In front of these stretches a strip of narrow uneven ground, 
formed of large detached rocks and detritus from the cliffs above, 
which terminates seawards in a beach of black boulders and 
large pebbles. In one place, where the cliff is somewhat lower 
than elsewhere, there is a waterfall, which at the time of our 
visit was scantily supplied with water, but from the marks left 
by it on the rocks and vegetation, evidently attains much greater 
dimensions in rainy weather. The cascade pours right down 
from the high cliff above into a dark pool of peaty water on the 
beach below. The rocks about its course are covered with 
mosses and green incrusting plants. 

The face of the cliff generally is sprinkled over with green, 
the vegetation consisting principally of tussock grass (Spurt ina 
arundinacea), Apium graveolens (a small sedge), Sonchus olcra- 
ceus (Sow thistle), fiumex (Dock), and ferns: with dark green 
patches of Phylica arbor ea on the debris slopes and ledges. 
The strip of accessible lower shore land is mostly covered with 
a dense growth of tall grass, called by the Tristan people 
" tussock," but quite different in structure from the well-known 
tussock of the Falklancls, though in outward habit resembling it 

very closely. 

i 2 



116 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Amongst the grass are several patches or small coppices of 
Phylica arborea trees, which keep the ground beneath them free 
from tussock, it being covered instead with a thick growth of 
sedges, ferns, and mosses, which form an elastic carpet on the 
dark peaty soil. Amongst the moss creeps Nertera depressa, 
with its bright red berries, and the Potentilla-like Acama 
ascendens grows here and there together with the "tea-plant'' 
of the islanders. 

The stems and branches of the Phylica trees are covered with 
lichens in tufts and variously coloured crusts, and the branches 
of the trees meeting overhead these little islands as it were, in 
the seas of tall grass, afford most pleasant shady retreats, which 
seem a perfect paradise after the terrible struggle and fight 
through the penguin rookery, which it is necessary to endure in 
order to reach them. 

In the early morning, we made out with a glass two men 
standing on the shore gazing at the ship. The Captain went on 
shore first, and brought off the men, who proved to be the two 
Germans we had heard of at Tristan da Cunha. They were 
overjoyed at the chance of escape from the island; we gave 
them breakfast, and heard something of their story. 

They both spoke English, one of them remarkably well. 
They were brothers ; one of them had been an officer in the 
German army during the war, the other one a sailor. They had 
got landed at Inaccessible Island by a whaling vessel, in the 
hopes that they would be able to make a considerable sum by 
killing fur seals, and taking their skins. They had been bitterly 
disappointed.* 

After breakfast, I landed with one of the Germans as guide 
with a large party. We passed through a broad belt of water, 
covered with the floating leaves of the wonderful seaweed 
Macrocystis pirifera, which here, as at Tristan and Nightingale 
Island, forms a sort of zone around the greater part of the 

* For an account of the sojourn of the Germans in the island, and 
valuable particulars as to the habits of the various birds, see an article by 
Mr. R Eichards, Paymaster, H.M.S. "Challenger," "Two Years on In- 
accessible," in the "Cape Monthly Magazine," Dec, 1873. Cape Town, 
J. C. Juta. 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. 117 

island, and of which we afterwards saw so mnch at Kerguelen's 
Land. 

As we approached the shore, I was astonished at seeing a 
shoal of what looked like extremely active very small porpoises 
or dolphins. I could not imagine what the things could be, 
unless they were indeed some most marvellously small Cetaceans; 
they showed black above and white beneath, and came along in 
a shoal of fifty or more, from seawards towards the shore at a 
rapid pace, by a series of successive leaps out of the water, and 
splashes into it again, describing short curves in the air, taking 
headers out of the water and headers into it again; splash, 
splash, went this marvellous shoal of animals, till they went 
splash through the surf on to the black stony beach, and there 
struggled and jumped up amongst the boulders and revealed 
themselves as wet and dripping penguins, for such they were. 

Much as I had read about the habits of penguins, I never 
could have believed that the creatures I saw thus progressing 
through the water, were birds, unless I had seen them to my 
astonishment thus make on shore. I had subsequently much 
opportunity of watching their habits. 

We landed on the beach ; it was bounded along its whole 
stretch at this point by a dense growth of tussock. The 
tussock (Spartina arundinacea), is a stout coarse red-like grass : 
it grows in large clumps, which have at their base large masses 
of hard woody matter, formed of the bases of old stems and 
roots. 

In penguin rookeries, the grass covers wide tracts with a 
dense growth like that of a field of standing corn, but denser 
and higher, the grass reaching high over one's head. 

The Falkland Island " tussock " (Dactylis coespitosa), is of 
a different genus, but it seems to have a similar habit. 
Here there is a sort of mutual-benefit-alliance between the 
penguins and the tussock. The millions of penguins sheltering 
and nesting amongst the grass, saturate the soil on which it 
grows, with the strongest manure, and the grass thus stimulated 
grows high and thick, and shelters the birds from wind and 
rain, and enemies, such as the predatory gulls. 

On the beach were to be seen various groups of penguins, 



118 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 



either coming from or going to the sea. There is only one 
species of penguin in the Tristan group ; this is, Eudyjptes scdtator, 




GROUP OF " ROCK HOPPERS " AT INACCESSIBLE ISLAND. 

(From a photograph.) 

or the " well diving jumper." The birds stand about a foot 
and a half high; they are covered, as are all penguins, with a 
thick coating of close set feathers, like the grebe's feathers that 
muffs are made of. They are slate grey on the back and head, 
snow white on the whole front, and from the sides of the head 
projects backwards on each side a tuft of sulphur yellow plumes. 
The tufts lie close to the head when the bird is swimming or 
diving, but they are erected when it is on shore, and seem then 
almost by their varied posture, to be used in the expression of 
emotions, such as inquisitiveness and anger. 

The bill of the penguin is bright red, and very strong and 
sharp at the point, as our legs testified before the day was over ; 
the iris is also red. The penguin's iris is remarkably sensitive 
to light. When one of the birds was standing in our " work 
room" on board the ship with one side of its head turned 
towards the port, and the other away from the light, the pupil 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. 119 

on the one side was contracted almost to a speck, whilst widely 
dilated on the other; Captain Carmichael observed the same 
fact.* The birds are subject to great variations in the amount 
of light they use for vision, since they feed at sea at night as 
well as in the day time. 

It seems remarkable that there should be only one species 
of penguin at the Tristan da Cunha group, since in most 
localities several species occur together. It would have seemed 
probable that a species of "jackass" penguin (Spheniscus), 
should occur on the islands, since one species (S. Magellanicus), 
occurs at the Falkland Islands and Fuegia, and another (S. 
demersus), at the Cape of Good Hope, intermediate between 
which two points Tristan da Cunha lies. The connection between 
these two widely separated Sphenisci is wanting ; it perhaps once 
existed at Tristan, and has perished. 

Most of the droves of penguins made for one landing-place, 
where the beach surface was covered with a coating of dirt from 
their feet, forming a broad tract, leading to a lane in the tall 
grass about a yard wide at the bottom, and quite bare, with a* 
smoothly beaten black roadway ; this was the entrance to the 
main street of this part of the " rookery," for so these penguin 
establishments are called. 

Other smaller roads led at intervals into the rookery to the 
nests near its border, but the main street was used by the 
majority of birds. The birds took little notice of us, allowing 
us to stand close by, and even to form ourselves into a group for 
the photographer, in which they were included. 

This kind of penguin is called by the whalers and sealers 
" rock-hopper," from its curious mode of progression. The birds 
hop from rock to rock with both feet placed together, scarcely 
ever missing their footing. When chased, they blunder and 
fall amongst the stones, struggling their best to make off. 

With one of the Germans as guide, I entered the main street. 
As soon as one was in it, the grass being above one's head, one 
was as if in a maze, and could not see in the least where one 

* In the " Supplement to the British Museum Catalogue of Seals and 
Whales," p. 7, reference is made to a like peculiarity of the iris in the case 
of Otaria Jubata. 



120 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

was going to. Various lateral streets lead off on each side from 
the main road, and are often at their mouths as big as it, more- 
over, the road sometimes divides for a little and joins again : 
hence it is the easiest thing in the world to lose one's way, and 
one is quite certain to do so when inexperienced in penguin 
rookeries. The German, however, who was our guide on our 
first visit, accustomed to pass through the place constantly for 
two years, was perfectly well at home in the rookery and knew 
every street and turning. 

It is impossible to conceive the discomfort of making one's 
way through a big rookery, hap-hazard, or " across country " as one 
may say. I crossed the large one here twice afterwards with 
the seamen carrying my basket and vasculum, and afterwards 
went through a larger rookery still, at Nightingale Island. 

You plunge into one of the lanes in the tall grass which at 
once shuts out the surroundings from your view. You tread on 
a slimy black damp soil composed of the birds' dung. The 
stench is overpowering, the yelling of the birds perfectly terri- 
'fying ; I can call it nothing else. You lose the path, or perhaps 
are bent from the first in making direct for some spot on the 
other side of the rookery. 

In the path only a few droves of penguins, on their way to 
and from the water, are encountered, and these stampede out 
of your way into the side alleys. Now you are, the instant you 
leave the road, on the actual breeding ground. The nests are 
placed so thickly that you cannot help treading on eggs and 
• young birds at almost every step. 

A parent bird sits on each nest, with its sharp beak erect and 
open ready to bite, yelling savagely " caa, caa, urr, urr," its red 
eye gleaming and its plumes at half-cock, and quivering with rage. 
No sooner are your legs within reach than they are furiously 
bitten, often by two or three birds at once: that is, if you have 
not got on strong leather gaiters, as on the first occasion of 
visiting a rookery you probably have not. 

At first you try to avoid the nests, but soon find that impos- 
sible ; then maddened almost, by the pain, stench and noise, you 
have recourse to brutality. Thump, thump, goes your stick, and at 
each blow down goes a bird. Thud, thud, you hear from the 



TKISTAN DA CUNHA. 121 

men behind as they kick the "birds right and left off the nests, 
and so you go on for a bit, thump and smash, whack, thud, " caa, 
caa, urr, urr," and the path behind you is strewed with the 
dead and dying and bleeding. 

But you make miserably slow progress, and, worried to death, 
at last resort to the expedient of stampeding as far as your breath 
will carry you. You put down your head and make a rush 
through the grass, treading on old and young hap-hazard, and 
rushing on before they have time to bite. 

The air is close in the rookery, and the sun hot above, and 
out of breath, and running with perspiration, you come across 
a mass of rock fallen from the cliff above, and sticking up in the 
rookery ; this you hail as " a city of refuge." You hammer off it 
hurriedly half a dozen penguins who are sunning themselves 
there, and are on the look-out, and mounting on the top take out 
your handkerchief to wipe away the perspiration and rest a while, 
and see in what direction you have been going, how far you have 
got, and in which direction you are to make the next plunge. 
Then when you are refreshed, you make another rush, and so on. 

If you stand quite still, so long as your foot is not actually 
on the top of a nest of eggs or young, the penguins soon cease 
biting at you and yelling. I always adopted the stampede 
method in rookeries, but the men usually preferred to have their 
revenge and fought their way every foot. 

Of course it is horribly cruel thus to kill whole families 
of innocent birds, but it is absolutely necessary. One must 
cross the rookeries in order to explore the island at all, and 
collect the plants, or survey the coast from the heights. 

These penguins make a nest which is simply a shallow 
depression in the black dirt scantily lined with a few bits of 
grass, or not lined at all. They lay two greenish white eggs 
about as big as duck eggs, and both male and female incubate. 

After passing through the rookery, we entered one of the 
small coppices I have already described. Hopping and flutter- 
ing about amongst the trees and herbage, were abundance of a 
small finch and a thrush ; no other land birds were seen. The 
finch (Neospiza Acuhnce) looks very like a green-finch, and is 
about the same size. 



122 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

The thrush (Nesociclda eremita) looks like a very dark- 
coloured song thrush, but it is peculiar for its remarkably 
strong acutely ridged bill. It is peculiar to the Tristan group. 
It feeds especially on the berries of the little Nertera ; but also 
is fond of picking the bones of the victims of the predatory 
gull (Stercorarius antarcticus). The finch eats the fruit of the 
Phylica. 

It was here that we first encountered that remarkable 
tameness, and ignorance of danger in birds which has been so 
constantly noticed by voyagers landing on little frequented 
islands, and notably by Darwin, who dilates on the fact in his 
account of the Galapagos Archipelago. 

The thrush and finch hopped unconcernedly within a yard or 
two of us, whilst stone after stone was hurled at them, and till 
they were knocked over, and often sat still on a bough to be 
felled with a walking stick. By whistling a little as one ap- 
proached them, numbers could be thus killed, and yet the 
Germans, with their house close by, had been constantly thus 
killing the thrushes for eating for two years. The birds are, 
however, not quite so tame in Tristan Island. 

The finch seems to have become extinct in Tristan da Cunha 
itself. Yon Willemoes Suhm was told that the Tristan da 
Cunha people had tried to introduce the bird into their island.* 

We were in search of another land bird, a kind of Water-Hen 
(Galimda nesiotis), which is found on the higher plateau at 
Tristan, and is described by the inhabitants as scarcely able to 
fly. We could not meet with a specimen. Only very few 
inhabit the low land under the cliffs, and we were not able to 
land at the only place from which the higher main plateau of 
the island is to be reached. 

The Germans said that the Inaccessible Island bird is much 

* I presume that the Neospiza Acuhnce of Cabanis, described from old 
specimens from Bullock's collection, is the Emberiza Braziliensis of Car- 
michael. No second species of finch was seen or heard of by us as 
existing now in the islands. The genus Neospiza is peculiar to the 
Tristan group, but of South American affinity. Crithagra imularis, the 
other finch described by Cabanis as found in the group, is a peculiar 
species allied to African forms. A list of the Tristan land birds collected 
by the " Challenger " has not yet appeared. 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. 123 

smaller than G. nesiotis, and differs from it in having finer legs 
and a longer beak. This is, however, hardly probable, since 
the Tristan species occurs at Gough Island. 

The family of Gallinididce is remarkably widely spread, and 
one of these birds is in several instances the inhabitant of some 
isolated island group ; several occur thus in the Pacific. This is 
curious, since one would at first perhaps think these birds bad 
flyers, but they are not, and are not uncommonly met with on 
the wing at sea far from land, just as we met with Water-rails 
between Bermuda and Halifax. 

Sitting on the tree-tops with the thrushes were numerous 
" noddies " of the same two species as those of St. Paul's Bocks. 
It was strange to see birds wdiich one had met with on the 
equator living in common with boobies, here mingling with 
Antarctic forms. The noddy however ranges far north also, even 
occasionally to Ireland. 

The whole of the peaty ground underneath the trees in the 
Phylica woods is bored in all directions with the holes of 
smaller sea birds, called by the Germans " night birds," a Prion 
and a Puffinus. 

The burrows that these birds make are of about the size of 
large rats' holes. They traverse the ground everywhere, twisting 
and turning, and undermining the ground, so that it gives way 
at almost every step. A further account of these birds and their 
habits, will be found in the account of Kerguelen's Land, in 
which island they abound. 

I went along the beach, and through a second wood towards 
the waterfall, where w T as the hut of the Germans, and their 
potato ground. A flock of thirty or forty predatory gulls 
(Stercorarius Antarcticus), were quarrelling and fighting over 
the bodies of penguins, the skins of which had been taken in 
considerable numbers by our various parties on shore. The 
Skua is a gull which has acquired a sharp curved beak, and 
sharp claws at the tips of its webbed toes. The birds are 
thoroughly predaceous in their habits, quartering their ground on 
the look-out for carrion, and assembling in numbers where there 
is anything killed, in the same curious way as vultures. 

They steal eggs and young birds from the penguins when 



124 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

they get a chance, but their principal food here appears to be 
the night birds, especially the Prions, which they drag from 
their holes, or pounce on as they come out of them. The place 
was strewed with the skeletons of Prions, with the meat torn off 
them by these gulls, which leave behind the bones and feathers. 
The Antarctic Skua is very similar in appearance to the large 
northern Skua, of which a figure is given here in default of 
better. The two species were at first considered by naturalists 
to be identical ; they differ however, especially in the structure 
of the bill. The Skua is of a dark brown colour, not unlike 
that of most of the typical birds of prey. We met with the 




BRITISH SKUA, STERCORARIUS CATARRACTES. 

bird constantly afterwards on our southern voyage, as far down 
even as the Arctic Circle ; and a specimen was noticed by Ross 
further south still, in Possession Island. 

The hut of the Germans was a comfortable one of stone, 
thatched with tussock and with a good frame window and door, 
and comfortable bunks to sleep on. There used to be wild goats 
on the top of Inaccessible Island, and there are still plenty of wild 
pigs. The ferine pigs were, as the Germans told me, of various 
colouring, and showed no tendency to uniformity ; but the goats 
were almost invariably black, only one or two had a few white 
markings about head, neck, and chest. The sows used to be 
seen with litters of seven or eight young, but in a few days the 
number dwindled to one or two ; the sows probably eating their 
young. The young suffered often from a sort of scrofula, in 
which the glands about the neck became much enlarged. 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. 125 

The pigs now remaining are mostly boars : they are very 
hairy and have long tusks. The hogs are fierce, and one of the 
Germans told me that one once regularly hunted him, as if to 
attempt to kill him for food. The pigs feed mainly on birds 
and their eggs, but eat also the roots of the tussock and wild 
celery; they have nearly exterminated a penguin rookery on 
the south side of the island, but a few penguins remain, who 
have learnt to build in holes under stones, where the pigs 
cannot reach them. 

This fact is curious, as showing how easily circumstances 
may arise, such, that in an island even so small as Inaccesible, 
one colony of birds may develop a totally new habit, whilst 
other colonies of the same species preserve their original cus- 
toms. And yet how strong is the tendency in birds to preserve 
their habits ! I know of no more striking instance of this than 
the fact that the Apteryx of New Zealand (A. Australis) con- 
siders it necessary to put as much of its head as it can under its 
rudiment of a wing, when it goes to sleep.* 

The pigs cannot get down the cliffs to the rookeries on the 
north side of the island. 

One penguin at the Falkland Islands (Spheniscus Magel- 
lanicus) regularly nests in burrows, sometimes twenty feet long. 
Another species of the same genus (Spheniscus minor), breeds in 
neat holes burrowed in sandbanks, at New Zealand.f 

On the beach are large banks of seaweed, but as at Tristan 
the heavy surf so batters the weeds, that it is difficult to find a 
serviceable specimen. An Octopus is very common amongst 
the stones, about the edge of the surf. I caught several at- 
tracted by the washing of the penguins' flesh and skins in the 
water. A Chiton, Patella and Buccinum are also common about 
the shore, as at Tristan. 

All night long the penguins on shore in the rookery kept up 
an incessant screaming, no doubt lamenting the terrible invasion 
to which they had been subjected. The sound at a distance was 
not unlike that which one hears from tree-frogs in the south of 

* T. H. Potts, "On the Birds of New Zealand," Vol. II, 1869, p. 75. 
Trans. N. Z. Institute. 

t T. H. Potts, Ibid., Vol. V, 1872, p. 186. 



126 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Europe, "Caa Quark, Caa Quark, Ca Caa Ca Caa." In the 
morning we moved to Nightingale Island, taking the Germans 
with us. 

Nightingale island, Oct. i?th, 1813. — Nightingale Island, the 
smallest of the Tristan group, lies 20J- miles S.W. of Tristan 
Island, and about 22 miles N.W. by W. of Inaccessible Island. 
The island is about l^th miles long, by less than one mile 
broad ; its area is thus not more than one square mile. We 
steamed up to the north-west side in the morning. 

In the north-east is a rocky peak, from which an elevated 
ridge runs down to the sea on the east side, whence the Peak is 
accessible. On the north side it is impracticable, being too 
precipitous. A lower ridge stretches N.E. and S.W. on the 
south side of the island, and a broad valley separates the 
western termination of this ridge from the high ground and 
peaks on the N.E. ; the highest peak is 1,100 feet in height, and 
the highest point of the lower ridge, 960 feet. 

The whole of the lower land, and all but the steepest slopes 
of the high land and its actual summits, are covered with a 
dense growth of tussock, which occupies also even the ledges 
and short slopes between the bare perpendicular rocks of the 
Peak. The lower ridge is covered with the grass on all except 
its very summit, where amongst huge irregularly piled boulders 
of basalt, grow the same ferns as are found in Inaccessible 
Island, and Phylica arborea trees. The summit of the higher 
ridge appears to have a similar vegetation, the tussock ceasing 
there. 

In the sea of tall grass, clothing the wide main valley of the 
island on its south side, are patches of Phylica trees, growing in 
many places thickly together, as at Inaccessible Island, with 
a similar vegetation devoid of tussock, beneath them. The 
appearance of the tall grass, when seen from a distance, is most 
deceptive ; as we viewed the island from the deck of the ship, 
about a quarter of a mile off, we saw a green coating of grass, 
coming everywhere down to the verge of the wave-wash on the 
rocks, and stretching up comparatively easy looking slopes 
towards the summit of the Peak. 

The grass gave no impression of its height and inipenetra- 



« 



TK1STAN DA CUNHA. 127 

bility, and one of the surveyors started off jauntily to go to the 
top of the Peak and make a surveying station. On closer 
inspection, however, the real state of the case might be inferred, 
for there was plainly visible a dark sinuous line leading from 
the sea, right inland through the thickest of the tussock. This 
was a great penguin road, and the whole place was one vast 
penguin rookery, and the grass that looked like turf to walk on, 
was higher than a man's head. 

I made out with my glass a great drove of penguins on the 
rocks under the termination of the road, and I went below at 
once to put on my thickest gaiters. 

We pulled on shore through beds of kelp, and landed on 
shelving rocks leading up to caves, the haunt of the Fur Seals in 
the proper season. We met the surveyors coming back, well 
pecked and dead beat, having given up the Peak in despair. 

The shelving rock is composed of volcanic conglomerate, full 
of irregular fragments and rounded lumps of hard basalt, and 
various scoriaceous forms ; in places also of a similarly deri- 
vative rock of a reddish colour, but devoid of larger embedded 
fragments. In a cliff about forty feet in height, adjoining and 
rising from the shelves, are beds of fine-grained volcanic sand- 
stone rock, banded yellow and black, and horizontally bedded, 
probably of submarine formation. 

These beds constitute the whole mass of two or three small 
outlying rocks or islands lying to the N.E., and are there also 
horizontal. These beds appear about twenty feet thick in the 
cliff, and above them is a layer of basalt of about the same 
thickness, which extends east and west, capping the softer beds 
and conglomerates. This layer is evidently a lava flow of com- 
paratively late date, as it seems to have run down the valley 
between the two ridges, and to have come from the south ; its 
upper surface is a little rounded, higher in the centre, and 
thinning off at the edges, as may be seen in the section exposed 
in the cliff. 

It is on the almost level upper surface of this flow, that the 
great penguin rookery lies. The island has evidently, like 
Inaccessible Island, undergone immense denudation, and there 
is no trace of any centres of action remaining. In the low cliffs 



128 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

of the coast, numerous caves are formed by the eating out by 
waves of the softer strata underlying the hard cap of basalt. 

The caves are so numerous as to form a striking feature in 
the appearance of the island as it is approached from seawards ; 
such caves are not apparent at Inaccessible or Tristan da 
Cunha Islands. 

The caves with the sloping ledges leading up to them, are 
frequented as was said by fur seals. Four years before 1,400 seals 
had been killed on the island by one ship's crew ; they are much 
scarcer now, but the island is visited regularly once a year by 
the Tristan people, as is also Inaccessible Island. The Germans 
only killed seven seals at Inaccessible Island, but the Tristan 
people killed forty there in December, 1872. Two seals were 
seen by us in the water about the rocks, but none on land. 

The sloping rock ledges are covered with a thin coating of 
dark green ulva, which, when dry, has a peculiar almost metallic 
glance. A short scramble up the rocks brought us at once face 
to face with the tall grass and penguins. 

The party broke up into small groups, each choosing what it 
thought the best route for penetrating the enemy's country. I 
made along the rocks to the point where, as I had seen from 
the ship, the main street ended : here were hundreds of penguins 
coming from and going to the sea in droves, or hurrying along 
singly to catch up some drove, or lolling about on the rocks, 
basking ; the moving ones going along hop, hop, hop, just like 
men in a sack race. 

The hard rock was actually polished, and had its irregu- 
larities smoothed oft' where the feet of the birds had worn it 
down at the entrance to the street. No doubt the Diatom 
skeletons present in the food and dung of the penguins, and 
always in abundance in the mud of their rookeries, adhering to 
their dirty feet, acts as polishing powder and assists the wearing 
process. 

The street did not open by a single definite mouth towards 
the sea, but split up into numerous channels leading down to a 
number of easy tracks through the rocks. A little way in there 
was a clear open track six feet wide, and in places as much 
as eight or ten feet in width. 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. 129 

On each side narrow alleys led at nearly right angles to the 
rows of nests with which the whole space on either side of the 
main street was taken up. 

Amongst the penguins here were numerous nests of the 
yellow-billed Albatross {Diomeclea culminata) called by the 
Tristan people " Mollymauk," variously spelt in books, Molly 
Hawk, Mollymoy, Mollymoc, Mallymoke. It is, as are most 
of the sealers' names in the South, a name originally given to one 
of the Arctic birds, the Fulmar, and then transferred to the 
Antarctic from some supposed or real resemblance. 

In the same manner the name given by northern whalers to 
the Little Auk is given in the South to the Diving Petrel of Ker- 
guelen's Land. And the term " clap match " given to the female 
southern fur seals by the sealers is the name originally given by 
the Dutch to the hooded seal or " bladdernose " of Greenland 
(Cystocephalus), and is a corruption of the word "Klapmuts," 
a bonnet, " the seal with a bonnet/' It is curious that in this 
case the term should have been thus transferred to so very 
different a seal, which has nothing resembling a hood, but the 
word is so peculiar that there can be no doubt about its origin. 

Various similar corruptions are in use as terms for southern 
animals. The name A lbatross itself is the Spanish word " alca- 
traz " a " gannet." The Spanish no doubt called the albatrosses 
they met with " gannets," their familiar sea bird, just as common 
sailors will call every sea bird a gull, and a foreigner's corruption 
of the word became adopted as a special name for the bird. 

The name Penguin is another instance in point. The word 
was not coined, as often supposed, by the early Dutch navigators, 
from the Latin word " pinguis," but is, as has been shown by 
M. Eoulin, and others, a Breton or Welsh word, " pen gwenn," 
" white head," the name originally given to European sea birds 
with white heads, probably to the Puffin (Mormon fratercula). 
The name Pingouin is applied in modern French to the Great 
and Little Auk. In early voyages the name is applied to 
various exotic sea birds. In early Dutch travels the true 
meaning of the word is given, and it is stated to be English.* 

* Sy worden Pinguijnsghenaemt niet van wegenhaer vettigheyd, so de 

K 



130 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



» 



The Mollymauk is an albatross about the size of a goose, 
head, throat, and under part pure white, the wings grey, and 
the bill black with a yellow streak on the top and with a bright 
yellow edge to the gape, which extends right back under the eye. 
The yellow shows out conspicuously on the side of the head. It 
is not thus shown in Gould's coloured figures. The bird is 
extremely handsome. They take up their abode in separate pairs 
anywhere about in the rookery, or under the trees, where there 
are no penguins, winch latter situation they seem to prefer. 

They make a cylindrical nest of tufts of grass, clay, and 
sedge, which stands up from the ground. The nest is neat and 
round. There is a shallow concavity on the top for the bird to 
sit on, and the edge overhangs somewhat, the old bird under- 
mining it, as the Germans said, during incubation, by pecking 
away the turf of which it is made. 

I measured one nest, which was 14 inches in diameter and 

10 inches in height. The 
nests when deserted and 
grass-grown make most 
convenient seats. The 
birds lay a single egg, 
about the size of a goose's, 
or somewhat larger, but 
elongate, with one end 
larger than the other, as 
are all albatross eggs. 
The egg is held in a sort of pouch whilst the bird is incu- 
bating. The bird has thus to be driven right off the nest before 
the egg is dropped out of the pouch and it can be ascertained 
whether there is one there or no. 

The birds when approached sit quietly on their nests or 
stand by them, and never attempt to fly; indeed they seem, 

schryver van dit Journael verkeerdelijck meent, maer om dai sy witte 
hoofden hebben, want dat betekent Pinguijns in't Engelsch, gelijck in 
Sir Thomas Candish voyage te sien is. " Begin ende Voortgang vande 
vereenigde Neederlandtsche Geoctroyeer de Ost-Indische Compagnie." I te 
deel. Long folio, Pub. 1646. " Schip.-vaerd der Hollanders nae de Straet 
Magal janes," p. 28. 




NEST OF THE MOLLYMAUK. 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. 131 

when thus bent on nesting, to have forgotten almost the use of 
their wings. 

Captain Carmichael, in his account of Tristan da Cunha, 
relates how he threw one of the birds over a cliff and saw it fall 
like a stone without attempting to flap, and yet these birds will 
soar after a ship over the sea as cleverly as any other albatross ; 
indeed, the same peculiarity occurs in the case of the large 
albatross when nesting. 

When bullied with a stick or handled on the nests, the birds 
snap their bills rapidly together with a defiant air, but they 
may be pushed or poked off with great ease. Usually a pair is 
to be seen at each nest, and then by standing near a short time 
one may see a curious courtship going on. 

The male stretches his neck out, erects his wings and feathers 
a bit, and utters a series of high-pitched rapidly repeated sounds, 
not unlike a shrill laugh. As he does this he puts his head 
close up against that of the female. 

Then the female stretches her neck straight up, and turning 
up her beak utters a similar sound, and rubs bills with the male 
again. The same manoeuvre is constantly repeated. 

The albatrosses make their nests sometimes right in the 
middle of a penguin road, but the two kinds of birds live 
perfectly happily together. I saw no fighting, though, small 
as the penguins are, I think they could easily drive out the 
Mollymauks if they wished it. 

The ground of the rookery is bored in all directions by the 
holes of Prions and petrels, which thus live under the penguins. 
Their holes were not so numerous in the rookery at Inacces- 
sible Island as here. The holes add immensely to the difficul- 
ties of traversing a rookery, since as one is making a rush, the 
ground is apt to give way, and give one a fall into the black 
filthy mud amongst a host of furious birds, which have then full 
chance at one's eyes and face. 

Besides the mollymauks and petrels, one or two pairs of 
Skuas had nests on a few mounds of earth in the rookery. How 
these mounds came there I could not understand. 

The Skuas' eggs are closely like those of the lesser black- 
backed gull, and two in number. The birds swooped about our 

k2 



132 A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER 



j> 



heads as we robbed the nests, but were not nearly so fierce as 
those we encountered further south. All round their nests 
were scattered skeletons of Prions. 

I, with three sailors carrying my botanical cases, attempted 
to scale the Peak ; we had a desperate struggle through long 
grass and penguins, and at last had to come back beaten, and 
made for the Phylica patches, where the ground was clear. 
Thence I fought my way through the grass up to the top 
of the lower ridge of the island, but though there were no 
penguins on this slope, I never had harder work in my life. 

I had to stop every ten yards or so for breath, the growth of 
the grass was so dense. My men lost me and never reached 
the top. On the summit I found the rest of the party which 
had come on shore, full of the hardships they had suffered 
in getting through the rookery, and looking forward with no 
pleasure to the prospect of going back again through it. 

Two spaniels had been brought on shore and were taken 
through the rookery, partly by being carried, partly dragged. 
One of these was lost on the way back ; he would not face the 
penguins and could not be carried all the way, so got left behind, 
and I fear must have died and been eaten by Skuas. 

Poor old " Boss," Lieutenant Channer's pet, though one- 
eyed and too old to be much good for shooting, was a favourite, 
and we were all very sorry for him. Three volunteers charged 
back into the rookery in search, but it was of no use. He was 
frightened to death and would not answer to a call. 

The dogs brought to Inaccessible Island by the two Germans 
ran wild in the penguin rookery, notwithstanding their exertions 
to keep them at home, and finally the dogs had to be shot. 
They fed themselves on the eggs and young. 

After getting through the rookery on to the rocks, it was 
amusing to see the party arrive singly and in twos at all sorts 
of points of the edge of the rookery and on the verge of the 
cliff, having lost their direction, and often to their disgust 
having to turn back through the edge of the rookery again 
to reach some spot where they could get down to the sea. 

The penguins were having their evening bath and pluming 
themselves on our arrival. The number of birds here must be 



TRISTAN DA CUXHA. 133 

enormous. At least one-fourth of the surface of the island and 
small outlyers, for these also are rookeries, must be covered 
by them ; taking thus a space a quarter of a mile square, and 
allowing two only to a square yard, there would be nearly 
400,000 penguins. 

The rookery has evidently once been larger than at present, 
since a good part of the tall grass, now not occupied by birds, 
had old deserted nests amongst it. Probably the number of 
birds varies considerably each season. 

One of the most remarkable facts about the penguins is that 
they are migratory ; they leave Inaccessible Island, as the 
Germans told us, in the middle of April after moulting, and 
return, the males in the last week of July, the females about 
August 12th ; and I do not think it possible that the Germans 
could have been mistaken. Whither can they go, and by what 
means can they find their way back ? The question with 
regard to birds that fly is difficult enough, but it may always be 
supposed that they steer their course by landmarks seen at 
great distances from great heights, or that they follow definite 
lines of land. In the present case the birds can have abso- 
lutely no landmarks, since from sea level Tristan da Cunha is 
not visible from any great distance; the birds cannot move 
through the water with anything approaching the velocity of 
birds of flight ; they have however, the advantage of a constant 
presence of food. The question of the aquatic migration of 
penguins and seals seems a special one, and presents quite 
different difficulties to that of the migration of birds of flight. 
The penguins certainly do not go to the Cape of Good Hope nor 
St. Helena, and they cannot live at sea altogether. 

The migration of the turtles at Ascension Islands, seems to 
be possibly a parallel case. The young turtles on leaving the 
egg go down to the sea and disappear, returning only when full 
crown to breed ; this is the account given bv residents. If 
they do really leave the neighbourhood of the island, there seems 
no possible means by which they can find their way back. 

There is little fresh water on Nightingale Island. I saw one 
pond in the rookery, but the water was undrinkable. In a 
cave, however, where we landed, there was a scanty trickling 



134 



A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER 




spring of excellent water filling a small basin ; water enough to 
keep three or four persons alive might be got here. 

We left Nightingale Island in the evening, and made for the 
Cape of Good Hope. 

Besides the birds I have mentioned, the great Albatross 

(D. exulans) breeds at Tristan da 
Cunha, and on the top of Inac- 
cessible Island. At Tristan da 
Cunha it nests actually within 
the crater of the terminal cone 
around the lake, 7,000 feet or 
more above the sea. 

The Mollymauk is common 
in Tristan da Cunha, and its eggs 
were brought off to us by the 
islanders for sale ; they are not 
bad eating. Cape pigeons (Daption 
capensis) and the Giant-petrel 
(Ossifraga gigantea), nest in Tris- 
tan da Cunha, and one specimen 
of Procrtlaria glacial oides, was obtained on shore by Yon 
Willemoes Suhm. 

There are two land shells of the genus Balca allied to pupa ; 
an Oniscus, three small Curculios, four Geometrce, a Hippobosca, 
Musca, and Tijmla, mentioned by Captain Carmichael as found 
in Tristan da Cunha ; we found them also, and besides an lulus 
was very common, and several spiders. 

From what the Germans told him, Von Willemoes Suhm 
concluded that there were two butterflies, a Vanessa and an 
Argynnis in the island ; if so, these may no doubt be attracted 
by the scarlet blossom of the Pelargonium, so abundant in the 
island, and fertilize it, and act as a stimulus to the preservation 
of its colour, and to some extent account for this. 

Otherwise one must regard this case as an instance of the 
survival in an island, where it is now without function, of a 
brightly coloured flower developed originally in the progenitors 
of the plant on a continent amongst numerous insects. 

Though some of -the plants in the Tristan da Cunha group 



GREAT ALBATROSS, DIOMEDEA EXCLANS. 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. 135 

appear to flower all the year round, others have their regular 
blooming season. This is the case with the Pelargonium and 
the Tea plant. The Pelargonium blossoms, according to the 
Germans, in the middle of summer. Large numbers of the plants 
come into blossom at the same time, so that the beach is thickly 
strewn with the coloured petals fallen from the cliffs. 

The Tea plant was nowhere found in blossom hi October, 
though it was abundant. The Phylica trees were all in the 
same stage of development, bearing fully formed but green fruit. 

The existence of the Cape Horn current sweeping up to 
the islands, may account for the presence of many South 
American plants in them. The part of the Brazilian current 
which turns from the coast of South America, and runs across to 
the Tristan group, brings with it many seeds to the islands, but 
these, being tropical, do not germinate. The seeds are cast upon 
the beach at Tristan, and are familiarly known amongst the 
islanders as sea beans, from a belief that they grow at the bottom 
of the neighbouring sea. 

Two of these seeds were shown to me ; one of them was a 
bean of a tropical American tree, the other was the seed of a 
Guilandina* also tropical, which seed, singularly enough, is also 
cast up sometimes at Bermuda, and is there called a sea bean, 
and worn on watch chains as a curiosity, and I believe as an 
antidote to drowning. • 

Sir Joseph Hooker, in his lately published account of the 
Botany of Kerguelen's Land,| writes : " The flora of Tristan da 
Cunha, Nightingale and Inaccessible Islands, is essentially 
Puegian, with an admixture of Cape Genera, but with none of 
those characteristic of Kerguelen's Island. Of Cape types it 
contains a Pelargonium and an abundance of both the Phylica 
and Spartina of Amsterdam Island, together with species of 
Oxalis and Hyclrocotyle. The Puegian and Falkland Island 
plants of Tristan da Cunha and its islets, which have not 
hitherto been found in the islands south and east of them, are 
however, more numerous than the Cape genera even, and include 

* See page 17. 

t Transit of Venus Expedition, Botany. " Observations on the Botany 
of Kerguelen's Land," p. 8. By Sir J. D. Hooker, P.B.S. 



136 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Cardamine Mrsuta, Nertera depressa, Empetrun nigrum var. 
rubrum, Lagenophora Commersoniana, and Apium australe ; 
and the flora contains besides the strictly American genus 
Chevreidia" 

The close similarity of the flora of the three islands of the 
group points to a former connection between them. Their high 
cliffs, composed of successive layers of lava, and the absence, 
except in Tristan da Cunha, of well marked centres of eruption, 
as well as their general features, show that they have undergone 
great denudation. A sounding between Tristan da Cunha and 
Inaccessible Island gave a depth of 1,000 fathoms ; between 
Inaccessible and Nightingale Islands, the depth was 460 
fathoms. 

It is obvious, from the relative position of the three islands, 
that the prevalent winds blow directly from Inaccessible Island 
towards Nightingale Island and Tristan da Cunha. 

With regard to the Cryptogamous vegetation of the group, 
nearly all the seaweeds, as appears from Prof. Dickie's report on 
the specimens collected by me, are Cape of Good Hope species, 
or occur at the Cape as well as at numerous other localities ; two 
only are new and apparently endemic. Of Fungi, an Agaricus, 
which grows on the Phylica stems, is described by Mr. Berkeley 
as new, as A. phylicigena. Of the mosses and Hepaticce, Mr. Mitten 
describes ten species as new, out of thirty-six collected by me ; 
of eleven lichens collected, two were new ; one, Lecanora acun- 
hana, is noted by Nylander as " bene distincta." 

An Islander told me that the flowering plants on Gough 
Island were the same as those of Tristan da Cunha, but he 
thought there were different ferns ;■ he had lived there some 
time sealing. 

Scientific Notices of the Tristan da Cunha Group. 

Du Petit Thouars, flora of the island, in his "Melanges." 

Captain Carmichael's account of the island in " Linn. Trans.," Vol XII, 
p. 496. 

For descriptions of the collections of plants made by me in the Islands, 
see list of papers relating to the "Challenger" Expedition, at the end of this 
Book. 

For a description of Gallinula nesiotis, by P. L. Sclater, F.R.S., &c, see 
"Proc. Zool. Soc, 1855," p. 146. 



TRISTAN DA CUNHA. 137 

For notes on the Zoology of the Islands, see Von Willemoes Suhru, 
"Proc. R Soc.," No. 170, 1876, p. 583. 

For notes on the Geology, see J. Y. Buchanan, Ibid., p. 614. 

For Birds, see " Cabanis iiber zwei neue Finken-Arten." Journal fur 
Ornithologie, 1873, s. 153, 154. 

The ship took ten days to reach the Cape of Good Hope; 
the only interesting feature of the voyage was the appearance of 
the various southern Oceanic birds which constantly were to be 
seen flying at the stern. The great albatross or Cape sheep, 
the Mollymauk, which however was not seen far from land ; 
the Giant-petrel (Ossifraga gigantea), the Cape hen {Procellaria 
cequinocticdis), the Cape pigeon (Daption capensis), a Prion and 
a Stormy-petrel. 




138 



CHAPTER VI. 

CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 

Aspect and Formation of the Country. Simons Bay. Appearance of the 
Vegetation. The Koad to Cape Town. The Silver Tree. Habits of 
Baboons. The Eock Rabbit. Habits of Rodent Moles. Kitchen 
Middens. Burial Places of Natives. Antelopes. An Ostrich Farm. 
Tracks of Animals in the Sand. Great Variety of Flowering Plants. 
Clawless Otter. Land Planarians. Chameleon. Jackass Penguins. 
Bdellostoma. Rare Whale with Long Tusks. Peripatus capensis, the 
Ancestor of Insects. The Turacou. 

Simons Bay, October 28th to December 11th, 18^3. — We 

anchored at Simons Bay on October 28th, but found ourselves 
in quarantine because we had had yellow fever on board at 
Bahia. 

The Cape of Good Hope lies at the end of a long narrow 
promontory running nearly north and south, and forming 
between itself and Cape Hangklip on the east, a large bay 
known as False Bay, whilst at its point of origin from the 
mainland and on its east side, is Table Bay with Cape Town at 
its head. 

The promontory has a sort of backbone of mountains, which 
in some places come right clown steep into the sea, in others 
are flanked by more or less extensive sand-flats. The moun- 
tains are highest towards the northern extremity of the ridge 
which terminates in the far-famed Table Mountain, 3,550 feet 
in height. Constantia Berg, about one-quarter of the distance 
from this point to the Cape, is 3,200 feet high; the remaining 
mountains range from about 2,000 to 1,500 feet. 

The sandy flats are towards the southern part of the pro- 
montory almost confined to its Western side, the steep slopes of 
the mountains on the False Bay side, being for the most part 



CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 139 

washed directly by the sea, but at the head of False Bay a wide 
extent of flat sandy plain extends right across the head of the 
bay and round the foot of Table Mountain northwards. This 
plain is known as the " Cape Flats." 

The Cape of Good Hope is at the tip of the promontory, 
and is not, as I used to think, the southernmost point of Africa. 
Cape Agulhas to the eastward is far south of it. 

The mountains are entirely composed of a hard metamor- 
phic sandstone, passing in many places into a white quartzite 
which is disposed in perfectly horizontal strata. This perfect 
and remarkably uniform horizontality of the rock-beds is the 
cause of the peculiar form of the Cape land surface and forms 
the chief feature in the landscape. 

Everywhere the mountains rise by a series of steps with 
flat intervening surfaces. Table Mountain itself derives its 
name from its horizontal flat top, bounded by perpendicular cliffs 
rising straight up from the flats ; and the same formation being 
continued for hundreds of miles inland, the country continually 
rises in steps forming successive table lands, known as the 
Karroo Plains, about 2,000 feet above sea level, and beyond these 
the Eoggefeld, 3,500 feet in elevation. 

We steamed into False Bay past the Cape Point lighthouse 
up to Simons Bay, where is the dockyard. The long range 
of mountains extending from Hangklip along the eastern shore 
of False Bay in the district known as Hottentots' Holland, seen 
in the distance was strikingly beautiful, with soft and delicate 
outlines, and lighted up with beautiful pink and violet tints as 
in an Italian landscape. I was astonished at the beauty of the 
scenery, as I had been led from the accounts of Simons Bay 
to expect nothing but a desert of sand. 

Simons Bay lies on the east side of the Cape promontory, 
and about half way up the west side of False Bay. There is a 
dockyard, houses for the dockyard officials and workmen, a 
small barrack, a naval hospital, a small town of one street 
stretching along the shore, and a few houses scattered on either 
side of the road which leads in one direction towards Cape Town, 
in the other towards Cape Point. The town stands on a narrow 
tract of land composed of talus from the hills which rise in 



140 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 

steep slopes behind it, buried more or less in different places in 
glistening white sand. 

The hills about the Cape district have all an exactly similar 
appearance as far as their clothing with vegetation is concerned. 
They look not unlike Scotch moorland, being covered every- 
where with low bushes without trees. The vegetation has 
a general brownish or greyish tint; there are no bright greens in 
the landscape. This arises from the fact that the plants are 
nearly all evergreen, and have, as a rule, either narrow needle- 
like leaves, like the pines, or leaves covered with grey downy 
hairs ; in fact, all sorts of contrivances for resisting their great 
enemy, the drought. 

The most characteristic feature, however, in the landscape is 
the showing through in all directions of the red soil between 
the bushes and clumps of vegetation; the interspaces not 
being filled in with grasses, and no continuous covering of 
vegetation being formed. 

In the flowering season, from June to August, which depends 
here on the rainy season, and falls thus in mid-winter, the 
aspect of the landscape is entirely changed, and whole tracts of 
country are coloured of most brilliant hues. We were too late 
for this, but nevertheless could form an idea of what it must be 
like, because, though the greater numbers of plants of each of 
the various species blossom all together at the regular season 
of the species, there are always to be found stragglers blossom- 
ing at other seasons, and nearly every plant can be collected in 
flower by search at almost any period of the year. 

Simons Bay is 84 miles from Cape Town by road, but a 
railway runs from a village called Wynberg, about 14 miles 
distant from Simons Bay, to the town. There is practically 
only one road at Simons Bay, for though two others start with 
great promise, the one along the shore towards Cape Point, and 
the other up the steep hill at the back of the town (Eed Hill), 
they soon lose their character and dwindle to the condition 
of mere tracks over the moorland, very difficult for a stranger 
to follow, as I more than once found. Hence " going up the 
road " or " down the road," is the term at Simons Bay for visits 
to and fro Cape Town. 



CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 141 

The road follows the shore, being cut out on the side of the 
steep coast, and crosses at several places sandy sea beaches, where 
the driver keeps the horses with their feet at the very verge of 
the surf, because the sand is harder here, as everyone knows 
who has had to walk along a sandy shore. 

The conveyances are two-wheeled carts with a hood cover, 
open in front and with two parallel seats placed transversely. 
There is a pole to them, and a pair of horses are always driven, 
great care being taken as to balancing. I never saw a pair 
of horses thus driven in a two-wheeled vehicle before. 

The drivers are mostly Malays, of whom there are large 
numbers in Cape Town and Simons Town, emancipated slaves 
of the Dutch, or progeny of these. Those who disregard expense 
take four horses to one of these traps, and the mail always has 
four. It is a shabby cart, like the rest. The Malays drive well, 
and manage a very long whip to a nicety. The travelling is not 
dear ; a cart and pair to Wynberg, i.e., 14 or 15 miles, costs 15s. 

Half-w r ay to Wynberg is a noted wayside inn, called "Farmer 
Peck's," with a long rigmarole about the Gentle Shepherd of 
Salisbury Plain, over the door, and some Latin verse, and inside 
some quaint old prints illustrating coarsely the Life of the Prodigal 
Son. Here it is the custom to stop and take stimulants, and a 
peculiar drink of milk, eggs, and brandy is made, and is highly 
recommended for anyone coming down w T ith a bad head after 
dissipation at Cape Town. 

The road after this leaves the head of the bay behind and 
stretches over part of the flats, and passing at a distance High 
and Low Constantia, where the celebrated wine is made, reaches 
Wynberg. Wynberg is by far the most beautiful spot about 
Cape Town, and almost as beautiful as any village I have seen ; 
but then nearly all its beauties are derivative, not indigenous, 
and arise from the fact that it is situate in the midst of thick 
pine groves and plantations of other trees. Here one sees 
growing together the European pines, the oak, poplars, and the 
gnarled and contorted South American Cactus (Cereiis), and 
numerous Australian gum-trees and acacias. 

The road at Wynberg leads through a grove of pines for 
a mile or more, the pines meeting overhead and forming a 



142 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

delicious shade, and shutting in the road on either hand with 
their closely set stems. No doubt the very trying heat and glare 
of the open sand-flat over which one drives before reaching the 
Wynberg grove, makes one exaggerate the beauty of its refresh- 
ing shade. Even amongst the grove the brick-red dusty soil 
stains the trunks of the trees, and after long absence of rain 
turns the very foliage brick-red. At Wynberg is the cricket 
ground where the Army plays the Navy, the Army the Cape 
Town Club, and so on, and also a most excellent hotel, known 
as " Cogill's," after the proprietor. 

Above Wynberg are the talus slopes and debris mounds of 
Table Mountain, covered with the wonderful Silver-tree, whose 
leaves shine like burnished metal, and which is found nowhere 
else in the world but about the slopes of this mountain and its 
immediate neighbourhood. It does not even grow at Simons 
Bay. Nowhere on the earth but just round this one mountain. 

The Silver-tree (Leacadendron argenteum) is one of the 
Proteacece, which natural order is characteristic of the flora 
of the Cape and South Australia, the genera being nearly 
equally divided between the two regions, and found scarcely 
anywhere else. A few only are found in tropical Australia, in 
New Zealand, South America, and equatorial Asia. Another 
group of plants, the Restiacece, serve further to connect the Cape 
with Australia, and there are other marked alliances. 

The wide difference between the West and East Australian 
flora has been treated of by Sir Joseph Hooker, and the greater 
resemblance of the Western Australian flora to that of South 
Africa. Sir Joseph Hooker thinks it probable, from botanical 
grounds, that Western Australia was connected with the Cape 
district by land at a time when it was severed from Eastern 
Australia. 

How is it that Marsupials are not found at the Cape, being 
nevertheless found in the Great Oolite in England ? It would 
seem necessary almost that they must have been present at the 
Cape and have died out, unless it is possible that Proteacece and 
Restiacece are very much older than Marsupials, in which case 
they would be very old indeed. 

Table Mountain is most easily accessible from this side, and 



CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 143 

it was from hence that I ascended it with Dr. Mansell, F.L.S., 
as my guide, who gave me most useful information about the 
Botany. 

From AVynberg the rail takes one in about half an hour to 
Cape Town, the train stopping at about half a dozen villages or 
suburbs, where many of the business men of the city live. 
Cape Town is not very interesting in itself. There are few fine 
buildings. The best is that containing the library and museum. 

The officers of the ship liked Cape Town for its gaiety and 
dancing. I enjoyed Simons Bay most thoroughly, because it 
is a place where one can get at once amongst wild nature, and 
over the hills and moors, amongst the rocks, or along the coast, 
and come into immediate relation with examples of nearly all 
the characteristic South African animals in their wild condition. 
I constantly crossed the high ridge of the Cape promontory, just 
above Simons Bay, and made across to the shore on the other 
side. The whole promontory is one tract of open moorland, with 
only a few farms and houses of boers with small holdings, 
scattered at lonsf distances from one another. 

On one of my first expeditions I came across a troop of 
baboons, Cynocephahts porcarius. They are as big as a New- 
foundland dog when full grown. They live especially about 
the sea-cliffs and steep talus slopes leading down from these 
to the sea ; but they are to be met with also on the open moor- 
land above. They live in droves or clans, of 30, 40, or even 
up to 70, and there w r ere three such bodies of them in the 
country immediately about Simons Bay, and in the tract 
stretching down to Cape Point. 

When on the feed, two or three keep watch, and one usually 
hears them before one sees them. The warning cry is like the 
German " hoch " much prolonged. As soon as they see one, 
three or four of them mount on the scattered rocks so as to have 
a clear view over the bushes and heaths, and watch every move- 
ment of the enemy, so that it is extremely difficult to get within 
shot of them. If one stands still, or does not go any nearer, 
merely passing by, they employ themselves, as they sit un- 
concernedly, in scratching in the usual monkey fashion ; but still 
never losing sight of their object of suspicion. 



144 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Once I came across a troop on a sudden, on looking over a 
low cliff. They dashed off at a tremendous pace, galloping on all 
fours, till far out of shot, when they climbed up on to a rocky 
eminence, and calmly sat down to watch me. The baboons 
live on roots, which they dig up, and on fruits, and they turn 
over the stones to search for insects and such food under- 
neath. It is striking thus to see monkeys roaming about on 
open moorland, where there are no trees. I had never properly 
realized the fact before. 

The track of the baboons in the sand is unmistakable. The 
foot makes a mark where the animal has been galloping, just 
like that of a child's foot ; the fore-limb makes a mark not half 
so deeply indented, the hand being used merely to touch on, as 
it were, to prepare for a fresh spring with the feet. I found the 
skeleton of one of the baboons in a cave at Cape Point. The 
animal had evidently crawled into the cave to die. 

Everywhere amongst the rocks lives the Bock-Babbit (Hyrax 
ccvpensis). The Babbits live in large crevices in the cliffs or under 
huge masses of rock, which have fallen and lodged on some 
ledge. In the places frequented by them the rock ledges are 
covered with bushels of their dung. They come out to feed in 
the mornings and evenings, but also bask sometimes in the hot 
sun at mid-day. 

They are very inquisitive, and sit up on a rock, and look at 
one, and then suddenly dash into their hiding-place. After a 
time, if one remains quiet, they come out for another look, and 
afford a good chance for a shot. Their cry of alarm is a sort of 
short hissing noise, not a whistle like that of the marmots, of 
which animal they immediately remind one, though so widely dif- 
ferent in structure, their nearest living ally being the rhinoceros. 

They had young at "the time of our visit, and I met with two 
litters, each of three young, which were about the size of very 
large rats, with soft chocolate-brown downy hair. The young 
play about on the rocks together like kittens, chasing one 
another, and darting in and out amongst the clefts. I shot two at 
one shot. One of these, when dying, made a regular squeal very 
like that of a rabbit. The old ones are hard to kill, carrying off 
a considerable charge of shot, and they bite very fiercely. 



CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 145 

Amongst the heath are partridges and a few quails, at some 
seasons plenty of the latter ; but just now, only a few were to be 
found, and they were breeding. I saw two nests. In the 
thicker bushes are so-called " pheasants " (Francolinus). There 
are introduced true pheasants about the foot of Table Mountain 
in considerable numbers, preserved for shooting. 

A large shrike, with a yellowish breast, is the commonest 
and most conspicuous of the smaller birds ; but the most beau- 
tiful are the little Kectariniclce or Honey-birds, winch here take 
the place of the Humming-birds of South America, and in their 
splendid gold and green colouring are almost equal to them. 
Above Simons Town is a sort of small gorge or chasm in the 
mountain-side, where there is a waterfall with beautiful ferns 
growing about it, and where above, on the cliffs, nest hundreds 
of swallows. I used as a boy to wonder how chimney swallows 
and house martins managed to nest before there were any 
houses. 

The sandy flats and fields about the sea-shore are covered 
with mole-hills, and bored in all directions with tunnels, large 
enough to admit the hand and arm easily, by the huge Sand- 
mole (Bothy ergus suilus). Bathyergus is a Eodent, with an 
excessively long pair of projecting lower gnawing teeth. It is 
a foot long, and covered with a light grey-brown silky fur. 

There is another similar Eodent mole of about half the size 
(Georychus capensis), which rather affects higher land, but occurs 
also sometimes with Bathyergus. 

The two together are in such abundance as to cover the 
country in all directions with mole-hills, and in galloping over 
the sand one is very apt to be thrown headlong by one of their 
galleries giving way under the horse's feet. I had two such falls 
in one day. A clever horse, brought up in the country, learns 
however, whilst turned out on the run, to lift Ins foot out of a 
hole without stumbling. 

It is the custom to call the moles, such as we have in Europe, 
the true moles, and to regard these Eodent moles as animals which 
in some extraordinary way have adopted habits not proper to 
Eodents, but natural and what is to be expected in a certain 
group of Insectivora. But in reality, there seems to be no 

L 



146 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 

reason why the one set should be the true moles rather than the 
other, excepting merely as a matter of home nomenclature and 
prejudice. The South American Eodent mole, the "tucutuco" 
(Ctenomijs), is familiar as described by Darwin in his Journal. 
And besides this, there are all the Spalacini, or Blind-moles, of 
which there are nine genera, including Bathyergus and Georychus, 
forming steps towards the ground squirrels, Geomys. 

Of the true moles, or Insectivora, with the habits and outward 
shape of Bathyergus and Georychus, there are only five or six 
genera in all. Why should not Talpa be looked upon as the 
plagiarist ? There is still another very different animal, with 
mole-like habits, the little armadillo (Chlamyphorus) of the 
Argentine Eepublic. It seems remarkable that no Marsupial in 
Australia has become modified to suit mole-like habits. All 
other Mammalian habits almost have been adopted by Mar- 
supials. Bathyergus has, like our Talpa, a bare snout, and strong 
diomnor bands and feet. It burrows of course in search of roots 
and vegetable food only, not for worms like Talpa. 

The people about Simons Town have an idea that the animals 
work the earth at certain stated hours, and have regular periods 
of rest ; but I was always able, by going over a good deal of 
ground, to find one working at any time of the day. The heaps 
thrown up are huge, a foot high, five or six times as big as those 
of our little mole. A fresh heap is betrayed at once by its 
darker colour, i.e., its dampness ; in a few hours the dry heat of 
the Cape reduces it to a glistening white. 

One has not long to watch, standing a few yards off, before 
the fresh heap is seen to heave up, three or four times in suc- 
cession, as the mole forces freshly scooped-out earth up into it 
from below. I tried at first shooting into the heap as it was 
thus heaving, in the hopes of getting the mole, but never with 
any success. In order to shoot the worker, the earth should be 
quickly thrown back from the fresh heap, and the hole laid open 
to the air. 

One then has only to retire about ten paces and wait pa- 
tiently. The mole does not like the fresh air, and in the course 
of five minutes or so, comes back to fill it up, but usually puts 
its head out for a moment first, to find out what's up, though it 



CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 147 

certainly cannot see far with its minute eyes, which are not 
bigger than the heads of carpet pins, the whole eye-ball when 
extracted being not bigger than a tenth of an inch in diameter. 

Of course, a charge of shot at the moment the animal shows 
its head is effective. But the easiest method of getting speci- 
mens is on scraping away the earth from the fresh mound 
to insert in the hole a common rabbit gin, well secured with peg 
and string. I trapped a good many Bathyergi in this way, and 
one Georychus. Bathyergus is very fierce when dragged out of 
its hole, fast by one leg in a gin. The animal bites the air 
savagely with its enormous teeth, which project an inch and a 
half from the lower jaw, and makes an angry half-snarling, half- 
grunting noise. 

I took several of the moles on board the ship alive in a sack. 
I let the sack swing by accident against one of my legs, and one 
of the moles gave me a very unpleasant nip, biting through 
the sack and my clothes. 

When put in a strong wire cage the mole first tried to 
burrow, but finding that absolutely impossible, tried to bite the 
wires all round, and that failing, became sullen and quiet. The 
animal can evidently see for short distances. 

Besides these moles, which are a great pest in gardens, there is 
a little Insectivorous mole (Chrysochloris inauratus), the Golden- 
mole, which is not more than half the size of our English mole, 
and has a dark silky fur shot with most brilliant metallic golden 
tints. This mole makes quite superficial runs in the ground, so 
near the surface that the earth is raised all along the run, and 
hence the track can be followed everywhere above ground. 
When one of these is seen at work, it can be thrown out with a 
stick or spade at once. 

I several times went over the hills to the coast on the other 
side of the promontory. At White Sands, nearly opposite, are a 
series of shell mounds, or " kitchen middens," which occur also at 
Cape Point and many places along the coast. There are huge 
mounds of large Patellas, Haliotis, and other shells ; the limpets 
are so large as to make convenient drinking cups. 

All about the mounds are to be found various stone imple- 
ments used by the people, either Bushmen or Hottentots, who 

L 2 



148 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

made the mounds (probably Bushmen). There are flat stones, 
each with a long shallow groove worn on them, and small 
cylindrical stones lying about which fit the hand, and have 
evidently been used for rubbing up and down the grooves, and 
have indeed thus worn them. The use of these grooved stones 
is uncertain. The usual idea is that various bulbs and roots 
used by the midden people were ground in them. Perhaps 
they used them partly for pounding or rubbing tender the hard 
muscular foot of Haliotis, Patella, and other Gasteropods, to 
prepare them for eating. 

Haliotis (the large Ear-shell) is prepared now at the Cape 
for eating by pounding, as also at the Channel Islands. The 
Haliotis, as cooked at the Cape, is excellent, quite a luxury. 
No iron is allowed to touch it in preparation ; it must be got 
out of the shell with horn or wood implements, then pounded 
with stone or wood and finally stewed. It is considered that if 
iron touches the animal it becomes rigidly contracted and 
hopelessly tough. It is quite possible that the popular opinion 
may be correct, and that contact with iron may produce a rigid 
tetanus of the muscles. 

Some of the grooved stones have grooves on both sides, one 
groove having been evidently worn out. Some of the grooves 
are as much as a foot long and two inches, or a little more, in 
width. 

Besides these stones there are the well-known digging stones ; 
circular disc-shaped stones, perforated in the centre. The stone 
is passed over a stick, the lower end of which is hardened in the 
fire or thrust into an antelope's horn, and the stick thus weighted, 
is used by the Bushmen and Hottentots to dig roots. A Bush- 
man whom the late Dr. Bleek, the distinguished South African 
linguist, had under his charge, called the apparatus a squaw's 
stick, because, of course, the squaws have to do the digging. He 
showed us how it is used. 

Well-made spear and arrow-heads and scrapers are found 
with these things, but are comparatively scarce, and far more 
abundant on the Cape Flats. 

Very broken pieces of a coarse pottery are common about 
the refuse heaps. The pottery is black, and seen on fracture to 



CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 149 

be full of fragments of quartzite. I found two pieces with 
handles, evidently the side handles of pots. In the Cape 
Museum are plenty of similar pieces, and also a drawing on 
a small slab of stone, from a neighbouring cave which was 
probably a home of the midden people. 

The middens lie in places where there are banks of shifting 
sand. As the sand shifts, there are exposed, all about on the 
slopes, heaps of stones, evidently put together for some purpose. 
A considerable number of human bones were lying about. I 
turned over several of the stone heaps which had evidently been 
hitherto undisturbed, and excavated for a short depth beneath 
them without finding any interments ; but in one case a complete 
skeleton lay around one of the heaps, and at Cape Point I saw 
a second one lying beneath a similar heap, having been evidently 
buried in a crouching position with the body unstraightened 
after death. The majority of the stone heaps have, however, 
certainly not been graves, but are very possibly the remains 
of places where fires have been lighted. 

The sand at White Sands is calcareous. As it shifts before 
the wind it in many places buries bushes growing near the 
shore. These die, and their stems, buried in the sand, decay, 
and in doing so set free a certain amount of acid which brings 
about a solution and redeposit of calcareous matter in the 
sand. The sand immediately surrounding the stems is thus 
cemented into a solid mass which encrusts the remains of the 
bark. The wood decays away, and a pipe with a wall of 
cemented calcareous sand is the result. The sand shifting 
again, these pipes, which are often branched, are left exposed on 
the beach.* 

In my excursions to White Sands I often stopped at the 
cottage of an old-fashioned " boer." He was a boer in a very small 
way : an old man who, at the age of nearly sixty, had married 
a young wife. He was partly of French parentage, many French 
having come to the Cape at the time of the Eevolution. These 
people were wonderlully hospitable, and gave me milk, coffee, 

* Darwin observed similar structures in Australia, but in this case the 
cavities left by the decaying branches had been filled in by hard calcareous 
matter. "Journal of Pcesearches," p. 540. 



150 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

and Cape brandy, and were delighted to hear about the 
" Challenger's " voyage. 

The old man had a huge old Dutch bible, 150 years old, 
with pictures, maps and commentary. He prided himself very 
much on his knowledge of it, and got it down, put on his 
spectacles and showed me the map of the Garden of Eden, with 
Adam and Eve and the rivers. He knew it by heart, and 
evidently considered it as of perfect geographical accuracy. 
But the commentary was his delight. It was the true old 
gospel that he loved. He terribly disliked modern innovations. 

I was led to cultivate his acquaintance, because he let slip 
at our first interview the information that he knew where, close 
by, there was the skeleton of a Hottentot lying under a rock. 
Directly he had said so I saw that he repented, and at first he 
would not hear of showing me the place. He said he was afraid 
the ghost of the skeleton would haunt him. 

It was a long time before his wife could laugh him out of 
this notion. Eventually he showed me the place, but un- 
fortunately the bones were rotten and the skull was battered 
in, the man having apparently been murdered, whether Hot- 
tentot or no, and half covered up in a hurry with a few stones. 

I had naturally a desire to see wild antelopes at the Cape. 
I did not, however, in the least expect to see one without going 
into the interior, and was surprised to find that antelopes still 
exist in the Cape peninsula, and I had a shot at three of them 
on the very Cape of Good Hope itself. I had an erroneous 
notion concerning antelopes, that they all lived in much the 
same way, forming vast herds that roamed over flat plains, and 
performed migrations in bodies from one place to another as 
scarcity of food necessitated. 

Now, however, I found that the various species are mostly 
totally different in their habits. Some are nocturnal, some 
diurnal ; some live on the mountains, some on the plains, some 
amongst the bushes, some in forests ; some are gregarious, others 

solitary. 

The antelopes are all called "Bok" (goat), pronounced in 
the country "Buck" by the Cape people. The two antelopes 
about Simons Town are what the Dutch named, from its 



CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 151 

resemblance to that animal the roebuck, " Eheebok ,! (Pelea 
capreola) and the "Grysbok" (grey goat) (Galotragus melanotis). 
The Eheebok lives about on the stony hills and rocks in 
small herds of from six to a dozen, or so. There are now forty 
or fifty of these antelopes on the estate of a Mr. McKellar at 
Cape Point, and there are plenty of Grysbok there also. I 
twice went over to Cape Point Farm from Simons Town to 
hunt these antelopes. 

The Eheebok are shot either by being stalked, or more 
easily by being driven, they using regular passes in the hills 
where guns can be posted. The Eheebok is as large as a small 
fallow deer, and of a light-grey colour ; it is extremely difficult 
to see it at any distance, it being so like in colour to the bush 
and rocks. It is only as it moves its tail and shows the white 
underneath it, that the hunter catches sight of it at first ; the 
white patch under the tail is certainly a very material dis- 
advantage and source of danger to the animal. It is very wary 
and difficult to stalk ; it feeds in the day-time. 

The Grysbok on the other hand, lies hid in the thickest 
bushes or beds of reed, during the day, and only comes out to 
feed at night time. It is very small, less than half the size of 
the Eheebok. When rain has fallen, it is easily tracked to its 
lair, and turned out and killed with shot, but in dry weather the 
only chance for the sportsman is to drive it up by riding through 
the bushes and shooting from horseback, or to turn it out with 
dogs. I saw one only dash for a moment through the bush, spring 
lightly over a mass of thick low scrub, and disappear instantly 
in the bush again, before I could get my gun to bear. The 
animal is of a dark-red colour. Mr. McKellar used to hunt the 
Grysbok with beagles with great success. 

Mr. McKellar, who was most kindly hospitable, has an 
ostrich farm, but his flock of birds was not very large at the 
time of our visit, he having had bad luck at first in breeding. 
He owns the actual Cape of Good Hope and a long stretch of 
the moorland adjoining, and has thrown a wire fence right across 
the peninsula, so as to give his ostriches the run of a large tract, 
stretching right down to the Cape itself. One old hen ostrich 
was a pet about the house, but used to do sad damage in the 



152 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

farm-yard, eating the young goslings, swallowing them like 
oysters. It was amusing to go with Mr. McKellar into one of 
his breeding paddocks ; here a pair of ostriches were brooding 
on a nest of eggs, dividing, as usual, the labour between them. 
The cock was very savage and attacked all intruders, so his 
master had a long pole with a fork at the end of it, and 
when the ostrich ran at the party, he caught its neck in the 
fork. The ostrich was excessively enraged, but soon had to give 

in. 

A kick from an ostrich is well known as very dangerous. 
The only thing to do when attacked without means of defence, 
Mr. McKellar said, is to lie flat down and let the bird walk on 
you till he is tired. I was astonished at the brightness of the 
red colouring developed on the front of the legs of the cock 
bird during the breeding season. The ornamental appearance 
of the bird is greatly enhanced by it. 

A narrow but strong and high pen was provided for plucking 
the birds in. They are driven into it and held fast. It is found 
better to pluck the feathers out than to cut them off. The 
stumps, if left in, are apt to cause trouble. 

Young ostriches, when first from the egg, have curious horny 
plates at the tips of their feathers, like those in the feathers of 
one of the Indian jungle fowls, and some other birds not in the 
least related to one another. 

The Cape Peninsula becomes very narrow towards its ter- 
mination, and ends in two capes, Cape Point, on which is 
the lighthouse, and the Cape of Good Hope. The Cape of Good 
Hope itself is a mass of rock terminating in perpendicular cliffs 
towards the sea, but with ledges here and there on which 
numbers of cormorants (Phalaeocorix capensis) nest. 

Behind the terminal rocky mass is a waste of white sand, 
horribly dazzling to the eyes in bright sunshine. Similar sand, 
loose and deep, so that one's foot sinks into it at every step, lies 
all around the farm-house, but is more or less covered with 
bushes. This sand is terribly tiring to walk on, but after a little 
rain the various animals can be tracked on it as easily as on fresh 
snow, and it is thus that they are best hunted. 

The boys thus find numbers of small tortoises {Testvdo 



CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 153 



goemetrica), which are here in great numbers, extremely pretty- 
ones with embossed shells. These shells are often made to do 
duty as ornamental paper weights, being filled with lead. Besides 
these there are the tracks of the various snakes. A broad groove 
with a much narrower groove in its centre, marked by the tip of 
the tail, is made by the terrible Puff-adder (Clotho arietans), on 
which one always stands a chance of treading when walking 
about. Then there are Cobra tracks, and tracks of numerous other 
snakes. Both Cobras (naja haje ?) and Puff-adders are sufficiently 
abundant about Simons Town. I had four or five adders and 
two Cobras brought me to preserve. The Cobra was caught 
swimming in the sea, just off the dockyard. 

Again, there are tracks of the Ichneumon (Herpestes), called 
by some name sounding like " moose haunt," and those of the 
Musk-Cat (G-enetta felina), both extremely destructive, and 
trapped and hunted with all energy by the farmers. There are 
tracks of porcupines leading to their holes, which are often in 
the caves about the sea cliffs, and have stray quills lying about 
their mouths, sufficient evidence of the nature of the inhabitant. 
There are Ptock-rabbit tracks, and there are the tracks of the 
Rheebok and Grysbok, all to be readily distinguished by an 
educated eye. 

The great variety of the flowers at the Cape is a source of 
constant interest to the naturalist. It is also pleasant to see in 
their wild condition, large numbers of beautiful flowers, with 
which one has long been familar as the chief decoration of green- 
houses at home. All over the hills grow " Everlastings " (Heli- 
chrysum), some with large snow-white flowers, others of various 
bright tints. There is an endless variety of handsome heaths, 
and numerous familiar Pelargoniums. Amongst bulbs, there are 
various showy Gladiolus and various species of Iris, and the tall 
white-flowered Aroid (Richardia cethiopica), commonly called 
" Arum" without the white spathe and golden spadix of which 
no English conservatory is complete ; all these are very common. 

I had not before I saw the Cape flora, realized the wonderful 
power of change-ringing, as it were, in plants. Here may be seen 
a plant with a yellow flower, very like a dandelion, but with 
leaves dark on the upper surface, and downy beneath, yet in 



154 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

shape like those of our familiar plant. Close by, one meets 
with a similar flower with neeclle-like leaves, like those of a 
heath ; close by again, is another growing on a low bush with 
leaves, something in the style of those of the holly : then again, 
another with extremely sharp stout thorny spines for leaves, 
then another heath-like, but with the leaves reduced to small 
tubercles. These are all forms with this one sort of flower (I 
speak only as to outward appearance). One easily finds a white- 
flowered daisy as it were, ringing similar changes, and so on. 
Lobelias, again, are to be seen with exactly similar looking blue 
flowers ringing all the changes of heath forms, spiny forms, &c. 

Amongst the animals which live on the Cape Peninsula, 
the Clawless otter (Luira inunguis), is, worthy of mention : it is 
a very large otter, twice or three times as large when full grown 
as the European one. It lives about the salt marshes and lakes, 
and is tolerably common ; it hunts like the South American 
marine otter, in companies, but only of three or four. It has no 
claws on the fore feet, having lost them by natural selection in 
some way or other, and on the hinder feet the claws are 
wanting on the outer toes, and only rudiments of them remain 
on the middle ones. There are, however, pits marking the 
places where the claws used to exist. The webbing between 
the toes is also in this otter rudimentary ; the beast altogether 
is very heavily built, with the head very broad and powerful. 
It appears to be an otter bent on returning to land habits. 

I found two species of Land Planarian worms on some 
American Agaves, in the grounds of the Observatory. At first I 
thought these Planarians might have been introduced from 
South America with the Agaves, but they correspond in structure 
exactly with the genus Rhyncliodemus of Ceylon, and seem 
certainly indigenous, although Land Planarians were not hitherto 
known to exist in Africa.* 

A small Chameleon is very abundant everywhere on the 
hedges near Cape Town. We had one alive in the ward-room : 

* For a description of these Planarians, and an account of the Land 
Planarians obtained during the voyage elsewhere, see H. N. Moseley, 
" Notes on the Structure of several forms of Land Planarians." Quar. 
Journ. Micro. Sci., Vol. XVII, New Ser., p. 273. 



CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 155 

it was quite tame and rested quietly on a bunch of twigs, hung 
up to the lamp rail, and would whip flies out of one's fingers 
from a distance of at least four inches with its tongue. It gave 
birth to three young ones one night: they twisted their tails 
round the twigs on which the mother was reposing at once, and 
at once began catching flies ; but our house-flies were too big for 
their mouths to swallow, and they had to chew away at them 
for a long time before they could get any juice out of them. 

About the sea-shore at Simons Bay, are quantities of cor- 
morants, or shags, as they are called (Phalacrocorax capensis) ; 
they sit in groups on all the rocks about the town, and bask in 
the sun, and at times appear in vast flights darkening the air. 
Gannets (Sula capensis) are constantly in sight, and gulls {Lams 
dominicanus) ever flying over the water. 

I paid a visit to an island in False Bay, called Seal Island. 
It is a mere shelving rock on which it is only possible to land 
on very favourable occasions. The whole place is a rookery 
of the Jackass penguin (Spheniscus demersa). It is an ugly 
bird as compared with the crested penguin of Tristan da 
Cunha ; the bill is blunter, but the birds can nevertheless bite 
hard with it : [all the penguins seem to bite rather than peck]. 
The birds here nested on the open rock, which was fully ex- 
posed to the burning sun and occasional rain. It must not be 
supposed that either penguins or albatrosses are necessarily 
inhabitants of cold climates, a species of penguin and an 
albatross breed at the Galapagos Archipelago, almost exactly 
on the equator. 

There was not a blade of grass on the rock, but it was covered 
with guano, with little pools of filthy green water. The birds 
nested under big stones, wherever there was place for them ; most 
of the nests were, however, quite in the open. The nests were 
formed of small stones and shells of a Balanus, of which there 
were heaps washed up by the surf, and of old bits of wood, nails, 
and bits of rope, picked up about the ruins of a hut which were 
rotting on the island, together with an old sail, some boat's spars, 
and bags of guano, evidently left behind by guano-seekers. The 
object of thus making the nest is no doubt to some extent to 
secure drainage in case of rain, and to keep the eggs out of 



156 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

water washing over the rocks ; but the birds evidently have a 
sort of magpie-like delight in curiosities : Spheniscus magdla- 
nicus at the Falkland Islands, similarly collects variously coloured 
pebbles at the mouth of its burrow. Two pairs of the birds had 
built inside the ruins of the hut. 

All the birds fought furiously, and were very hard to kill. 
They make a noise very like the braying of donkeys, hence their 
name ; they do not hop, but run or waddle. They do not leap 
out of the water like the crested penguins when swimming, but 
merely come to the surface and sit there like clucks for a while, 
and dive again. We dragged off a number in the boat for 
stuffing, and took young and eggs ; the old ones fought hard 
in the boat and tried to bite one another's eyes out. 

There was a large flock of terns on the rock, rendering it 
quite white on one part, but they were not nesting. There were 
plenty of shags' nests, some few with young ones, but most of 
them were already relinquished : they were built on a higher 
standing-piece of the rock, and were large round deep nests made 
of dried seaweed. 

There is a great fishery at the Cape of a fish called " Snook," a 
sort of Barracuda, which is salted and dried, and sent mainly to 
Mauritius for sale. The Snook boats were always to be seen 
about in the bay. The fish are caught with a hook and line, 
whilst the boat is in motion. The fishermen are especially 
careful not to get bitten by the fish as they haul them in ; wounds 
caused by the bite of the fish are said to fester in a violent 
manner as if specially poisoned. 

The fish, however, which is most interesting from a scientific 
point of view, which is caught at the Cape, is a large Myxinoid 
(Bddlostoma) allied to the lamprey. Two or three, of these were 
cauo-ht with a hand line and fish bait from our ship whilst 
at anchor at Simons Bay, and they are not at all uncommon, 
though so very rare in European museums. The specimens 
cauo-ht were nearly three feet in length. They swallowed the 
bait far down, and astonished the sailors by the immense 
quantity of gelatinous slime which they discharged from the 
surfaces of their bodies when drawn on board. The slime forms 
masses of a jelly-like substance. 






CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 



157 



The villages between Simons Bay and Wynberg have fences 
made of various bones of whales. A whale fishery was formerly 
carried on here, but no longer pays. An extremely interesting 
and very rare whale is occasionally procured at the Cape. It is 
a Ziphioid, Mesoplodon layardii. The Ziphioids are a group of 
the toothed whales and allied to the sperm whale. They have 
the bones of the face and upper jaw drawn out and compressed 
into a long beak -like snout which is composed of solid bone, 
hard and compact like ivory. The upper jaw is devoid of teeth, 
having lost them in the process of evolution, and the lower jaw, 
which is lengthened and pointed to correspond with the upper, 
retains but a single pair of teeth. 

In the species in question, Mesoplodon layardii, these two 
teeth in the adult animal become lengthened by continuous 
growth of the fangs into long curved tusks. These arch over the 
upper jaw or beak, and crossing one another above it at their 
tips, form a ring round it and lock the lower jaw, so that the 
animal can only open its mouth for a very small distance 




1 Skull of Mesoplodon layardii. 2 Lower jaw ; a small cap of dentine on the tooth. 3 Top of lower 
jaw seen from the front, showing the ring formed by the teeth. Copied from the British 
Museum Catalogue of Seals and Whales. 



indeed. The tusks are seen always to be worn away in front 
by the grating of the confined upper jaw against them. How 



158 A NATUliALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

the animal manages to feed itself under these conditions is a 
mystery. 

It is remarkable that the main mass of each tusk is made up 
of what appears as an abnormal growth of the fang.* The 
actual conical tooth, that is the original small cap of dentine of 
the tooth of the young animal, which corresponds to the part of 
the tooth showing above the gum in other whales, does not 
increase at all in size, but is carried up by the growth of the 
fangs, and remains at the tips of the tusks as a sort of wart-like 
rudimentary excrescence. 

Specimens of Mesoplodon layardii are excessively rare, and 
I sought diligently for such during the whole of my stay at the 
Cape, and was rewarded by procuring parts of two skulls. One of 
these, a skull without the lower jaw, I found near Mr. McKellar's, 
at Cape Point. The skull was exposed on the beach, being stuck 
up with its beak thrust into the sand to be used as a rifle 

target. 

The animal, as Mr. McKellar told me, had come on shore 
about eight years before. It yielded oil of a very superior 
quality, which sold for more than twice the price of ordinary 
whale oil. It was about 10 feet in length, and was, as far 
as he remembered, coloured black on the back and white on the 
belly, with a conspicuous line of demarcation of the colours on 
the side. The beast had the usual tusks. 

The other specimen consisted of the snout and lower jaw, 
with the tusks of another example of the species. It was given 
me by Mr. A. M. Black, of Simons Town. The animal came on 
shore at Walwick Bay in 1869. It yielded 80 gallons of oil, 
and was from 16 to 18 feet in length. It is remarkable that 
these whales seem never to be met with or caught at sea. They 
always are procured by their running on shore. The Ziphioids 
are especially interesting, because many species were abundant 

* Prof. Owen, with the single original specimen only before him, 
considered that the tusks had acquired " an abnormal direction and state 
of growth "in that particular specimen. " Palseontographical Soc.,"Vol. 
XXIII 1869 p 26. Prof. Flower, though knowing of a second specimen, 
still seems do'ubtful. "Trans. Zool. Soc," Vol. VIII, 1874, p. 211. Now 
that more specimens are known, there can be no longer doubt as to the 
normal occurrence of the condition described. 



CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 159 

in Tertiary times, and their beaks being so dense in structure as to 
be readily preserved as fossils, are common in such deposits as the 
Eed Crag of Suffolk. I had the good luck to procure another 
Ziphioid at the Falkland Islands during the voyage, near Port 
D arwin. 

I stayed at the hotel at Wynberg for a fortnight, whilst 
working at the anatomy and development of Peripatus capensis. 
Peripatus is an animal of the very highest importance and 
antiquity, and I believe it to be a nearly related representative 
of the ancestor of all air-breathing Arthropoda, i.e., of all insects, 
spiders, and Myriapods. 

The animal has the appearance of a black caterpillar, the 
largest specimens being more than three inches in length, but 
the majority smaller. A pair of simple horn-like antennae 
project from the head, which is provided with a single pair 
of small simple eyes. Beneath the head is the mouth provided 
with tumid lips and within with a double pair of horny jaws. 
The animal has seventeen pairs of short conical feet, provided 








peripatus capensis. (Natural size.) 

each with a pair of hooked claws. The skin of the animal 
is soft and flexible, and not provided with any chitinous rings. 

The animal breathes air by means of tracheal tubes like 
those of insects. These, instead of opening to the exterior by a 
small number of apertures {stigmata) arranged at the sides 
of the body in a regular manner as in all other animals provided 
with tracheae, are much less highly specialized. The openings 
of the short tracheae are scattered irregularly over the whole 
surface of the animal's skin. 

It appears probable that we have existing in Peripatus 
almost the earliest stage in the evolution of tracheae, and that 
these air tubes were developed in the first tracheate animal out 
of skin glands scattered all over the body. In higher tracheate 
animals the tracheal openings have become restricted to certain 
definite positions by the action of natural selection. 






160 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 



jj 




The sexes are distinct in Peripatus. The males are much 
smaller and fewer in numbers than the females. The females 
are viviparous, and the process of development of the young 
shows that the horny jaws of the animal are the slightly 

modified claws of a pair 
of limbs turned inwards 
over the mouth as de- 
velopment proceeds ; in 
fact, " foot-jaws," as in 
other Arthropods. 

Before I studied 
Peripatus at the Cape, 
nothing was known of 
its manner of develop- 

HEAD OF EMBRYO OF PERIPATUS CAPENSIS, SHOWING meilk, nOl 01 Llie iaCl 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ,AW. ^ ft ^^^ ^ ty 

means of tracheae. It was generally placed with the Annelids, 
though its alliance with the Myriapods had been suspected by 
Quatrefages. 

That Peripatus is a very ancient form is proved by its wide 
and peculiar distribution. Species of the genus occur at the 
Cape of Good Hope, in Australia, in New Zealand, in Chili, in 
the Isthmus of Panama and its neighbourhood, and in the West 
Indies. If its horny jaws were only larger they would no doubt 
be found fossil in strata as old as the Old Eed Sandstone at 
least. 

The animal is provided with large glands, which secrete a 
clear viscid fluid, which it has the power of ejecting from two 
papillae, placed one on either side of the mouth. When the 
animal is touched or irritated, it discharges this fluid, with great 
force and rapidity, in fine thread-like jets. These jets form a 
sort of net-work in front of the animal, which looks like a 
spider's web with the dew upon it, and appears as if by magic, 
so instantaneously is it emitted. 

The viscid substance, which is not irritant when placed on 
the tongue, is excessively tenacious, like bird-lime, and when I 
put some on a slip of glass, some flies approaching it were at 
once caught and held fast. It appears from the observations of 



CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. 161 

Captain Hutton on the New Zealand species,* that the jet of 
slime is used by the animal not only as a means of offence, but 
to catch insects, on which the animal feeds. 

I found only vegetable matter in the stomachs of the Cape 
species, and concluded that the animals were vegetable feeders. 
The animals live at the Cape in or under dead wood, and I 
found nearly all my specimens at Wynberg, in Mr. Maynard's 
garden, in decayed fallen willow logs, which were in the con- 
dition of touchwood. I tore the logs to pieces, and found the 
animals curled up inside. 

The animals are very local, and not by any means abundant, 
so that an offer of half-a-crown for a specimen to boys did not 
produce a single example. My colleague, the late Von Willemoes 
Suhm, and I both searched hard for Peripatus. He was unsuc- 
cessful ; but I was lucky enough to find a fine specimen first 
under an old cart-wheel at Wynberg. Immediately that I 
opened this one I saw its trachea? and the fully-formed young 
within it. Had my colleague lighted on the specimen he would 
no doubt have made the discovery instead. 

Peripatus capensis is- nocturnal in its habits. Its gait is 
exactly like that of a caterpillar, the feet moving in pairs, and 
the body being entirely supported upon them. The animals can 
move with considerable rapidity. They have a remarkable 
power of extension of the body, and when walking stretch to 
nearly twice the length they have when at rest.f 

Had I not been engaged for so long a time in working at 
Peripatus, I should have certainly paid a visit to the Knysna 
Forest, accessible by steamer from Cape Town, which contains 
wild elephants preserved by Government, and numerous ante- 
lopes, and other large animals. My principal object in going, 
however, would have been to see the curious bird, the Touracou 
(Turacus albocristatus), one of the Plantain-eaters. This bird has 
bright red feathers in its wings, the red colouring matter of which 

* Capt. F. W. Hutton, "On Peripatus Novse Zealandiae." Ann. and 
Mag. Nat. Hist,, 1876, p. 362. 

t For a detailed account of the anatomy, and development of Peripatus 
Capensis, see H. N. Moseley, "On the Anatomy and Development of 
Peripatus Capensis." Phil. Trans. E. Soc, 1874, p. 757. 

M 



162 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

is soluble in water, so that the birds are apt to wash their red 
feathers white when in confinement. 

The colouring matter, " Turacin," as was discovered by 
Prof. A. H. Church,* is distinguished by yielding a remarkable 
absorption spectrum, and contains a considerable quantity of 
copper. The bird is very common in the Knysna. and I was 
told by sportsmen who had shot it, that in rainy weather it will 
hardly fly, but crouches down under the bushes, and may some- 
times be knocked down with a stick. 

A most extraordinary statement concerning these birds, to 
the effect that the red colour, when washed out of the feathers, 
becomes restored, is made by M. Jules Verreaux.f It seems 
impossible to understand how this can happen, since there seems 
no means by which the colouring matter can be conducted from 
the body of the bird to the web of the feather. Such a result 
seems only possible in Horn-bills, some of which, as is well 
known, paint their feathers yellow by rubbing in a yellow 
secretion discharged from glands under the wing. 

M. Yerreaux states that in rainy weather, just as I was 
informed, the Turacous get their feathers wet through, and are, 
in consequence, unable to fly, but crouch on the ground, instead 
of resting on the tree-tops as usual. He caught several with the 
hand, the colour came out on his hands from the wet feathers. 
He washed the colour out of their wings with soap and water 
till the feathers were almost white. The bright red colour 
however, returned directly the feathers were dry, and this 
occurred even when the same bird was washed twice in the 
same day. 

The red colouring matter is scarcely at all soluble in pure 
water, but the addition of the slightest trace of alkali to the 
water enables it to extract the pigment from the feathers, and 
yield a blood-red solution. 

For notes on P. N. Zealandine, see H. N. M. Ann. and Mag. Nat. 
Hist., 1877, p. 85. 

* " Researches on Turacin," Phil. Trans., 1870, p. 627. 
t M. Jules Verreaux, " Proc. Zool. Soc," 1871, p. 40. 



163 



CHAPTER VII. 
PRINCE EDWARD ISLANDS. THE CROZET ISLANDS. 

Appearance and Formation of Marion Island. Vegetation of the Island. 
Azorella selago. Limit of Vegetation in Altitude. Relations of the 
Flora. Former Extension of Land in this Region. Nesting of the 
Great Albatross. Mode of Courtship. Skuas. " Johnny " Pen- 
guins. Rock Hoppers. Rookeries of King Penguins. Absurd 
appearance of the Young Birds. Singular Mode of Incubation. 
Habits of Sheath-bills. Appearance of the Crozet Islands. Tree-trunks 
found in the Island by former Voyagers. 

Marion Island, December 26th, 18^3. — Marion Island, which 
with the smaller island of Prince Edward makes up the Prince 
Edward Group, was sighted on the evening of December 25th. 
The centre of Marion Island is in lat. 46° 52' S., long. 37° 45' E., 
that of Prince Edward Island in lat. 46° 36' S., long. 37° 57' E., 
the City of Lyons being in a nearly corresponding latitude 
in the northern hemisphere. 

The islands are distant from the Crozets (which lie a little 
to the north or west of them, and are the nearest land) 450 
miles. The African continent is distant from them about 960 
miles, the nearest point being about Cape Recife at Algoa Bay. 
From Kerguelen's Land the Marion Islands are distant about 
1,200 miles, from Lindsay and Bouvet Islands about 1,400 
miles, from Tristan cla Cunha and Gough Islands about 2,150 
miles ; and, lastly, from the Falkland Islands and Euegia 
(to which, in common with all the other Antarctic islands 
hitherto examined, except the Campbell and Auckland group, 
they are in their flora most nearly related) they are distant 
about 4,500 geographical miles. 

The islands lie, as do the Crozets and Kerguelen's Land, well 
within the course of the Antarctic drift, which, fusing with the 
Cape Horn current, sweeps in an easterly direction across the 

m 2 



164 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Antarctic sea and further within the broad belt of prevalent 
westerly winds. The combined action of the winds and the 
current have, no doubt, brought about in greater part the 
diffusion of the Fuegian and Falkland Island plants to the 
islands lying eastward of them; but it is possible that the 
multitude of sea-birds inhabiting the islands, and nesting, as 
they do, amongst the herbage, may have been of influence 
in the matter by transporting seeds attached to their feathers or 
feet. Most of the birds are of widely wandering habits. 

The island of Marion, the larger of the two forming the 
group, and on which alone of the two an opportunity of landing 
was afforded, is about 11 miles in length, 8 in extreme breadth, 
and about 80 square miles in area. The highest point is about 
4,250 feet above the sea-level. The island is entirely volcanic, 
and presents the usual features of volcanic islands which are of 
considerable age. The highest land is in the centre; and 
irregular slopes lead down to the sea on all sides. These slopes 
are of very moderate inclination, and are broken in numerous 
places by shallow valleys bounded by cliffs where the more 
ancient flows of lava have suffered denudation. These valleys 
are occupied by more recent lava-flows, which still retain their 
rough pinnacled upper surface. Further, all over the slopes 
and summits of the island are scattered irregularly, numerous 
small cones, formed mostly of conspicuously red scoriae. The 
lava is basaltic, presenting in many places in the cliffs a columnar 
structure. Some sand gathered on the shores of a small fresh- 
water lake near the sea was full of augite and olivine crystals. 

The island was sighted, together with Prince Edward Island, 
on December 25th, but was not approached closely till the 
morning of December 26th. The upper part of the island was 
covered with snow, commencing, as usual, on the slopes as 
patches lying unmelted in sheltered hollows, succeeded by a 
general thin coating or powdering over, through which the black 
rock showed out in all directions, and above this, again, on the 
highest cones and peaks, forming a continuous sheet of glistening 
white. The summits were enveloped in clouds, which lifted or 
dispersed in a partial manner from time to time. Below the 
snow and up amongst the patchy region, the slopes of the island 



MARION ISLAND. 165 

were covered with a coating of green, .which formed a contrast 
to the dark cliffs and red lower cones, which were almost 
destitute of verdure and had very little snow upon them. Here 
and there large patches of yellow showed out amidst the green, 
and were conspicuous even at some distance from the shore. 
It was found that these patches were formed of mosses. The 
mosses, indeed, occurring thus in patches, some dark, some 
nearly white, and others yellow, form the principal features in 
the vegetation as seen from a distance, showing out, as they do, 
amongst the very uniform mixture of phanerogamic plants. 
The small rocky projections on the rough surfaces of the modern 
lava-flows, standing out dark above the verdure, have at a 
distance exactly the appearance of low bushes with dark foliage, 
and were at first believed to be such. Landing was effected on 
the north-east side of the island. The day was remarkably 
line and sunshiny. 

The rocks, about high-tide mark, are covered with a dense 
growth of the large brown seaweed, D' Urvillcea uiilis, which is of 
great assistance in breaking the surf. Beyond the ordinary 
reach of the sea, but still within the beach-line, the rocks are 
covered with a crassulaceous plant (Tillcea moschata, D.C.), 
occurring also in Kerguelen's Land Succeeding the beach is a 
thick growth of herbage investing a swampy black peaty soil, 
which covers the underlying rock more or less thickly every- 
where on the lower ground and extends up with the herbage 
almost to the snow. The principal plants forming the thick 
growth are an Accena {Accena ascendens), Azorella selago, and 
a grass {Poa cookii, Hk. £). The Accena is by far the most 
abundant plant on the island. 

The Azorella forms low, convex, bright green patches in 
intervals between the Accena or cake-like masses at its roots. 

Azorella selago is a characteristic plant of the southern 
islands, and will be frequently referred to in the sequel. It 
belongs to the Umbelliferse. It forms lar^e convex masses often 
several feet in diameter, which are compact and firm, and when 
on solid ground yield little to the tread. The masses are made 
up of the stems and shoots of the plants closely packed together 
side by side, with their flowering tips and small stiff and tough 



166 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 



leaves forming an even rounded surface at the exterior, being all 
of the same length. The interior of the masses is full of dead 
leaves and stems. The whole where growing in abundance 




VIEW IN KERGUELEN'S, NEAR ROYAL SOUND. 

In the foreground, the rounded masses formed by Azorella selago. From a 
photograph. In the distance, Mt. WjriUe Thomson. 

forms sheets and hummocks which invest the soil sometimes for 
acres in extent at Kerguelen's Land, with a continuous elastic 



green coating. 



An allied plant, Bolax glebaria, forms similar 



MARION ISLAND. 167 

masses at the Falkland Islands, and there is a tendency in many 
Antarctic plants to assume a similar habit, as in the case, e.g., 
of Lyallia kerguelensis. 

The grass is abundant everywhere, mingled with the Accena 
and Azorella. The plants are, no doubt, rendered especially 
luxuriant by the dung of the numerous sea-birds ; but no mutual 
benefit arrangement has sprung up between the Poa and the 
penguins, as it has at the Tristan da Cunha group between the 
penguins and Spartina arundinacea. The Poa cookii nowhere 
forms a tussock. The rookeries of King Penguins are entirely 
bare, and the grass is not more luxuriant around the nests of the 
Golden-crested Penguins than elsewhere. The Poa was the 
only grass found in flower in the island. Different-looking 
forms were observed, especially around the numerous pools 
of water on the hill slopes ; but they are possibly mere modi- 
fications of the same grass due to alteration of conditions ; none 
of them were in flower. Pringlea antiscorbutica, the Kerguelen 
cabbage,* is at least in the part of the island explored, by 
no means so abundant as at Kerguelen's Land. It was some 
time before a plant was found ; but subsequently a good many 
were met with, but not growing in groups of more than four or 
five plants. Some were found on the very verge of the shore, 
within reach of the spray, and the rest on the banks of a small 
rivulet. The cabbage was mostly in full flower and bud, with 
sepals and anthers complete. No plants were found with seed 
at all ripe. The last year's seeds were decayed. This plant at 
least would appear to have a regular summer flowering-season, 
since Sir Joseph Hooker found only the fruit at Kerguelen's 
Land in the winter. 

Of the ferns the Lomaria alpina is the most conspicuous, 
forming thick and wide patches amongst the Accena and grass, 
and occurring abundantly everywhere. Aspidium mohriodes 
was found growing under sheltered banks beside the small stream 
together with the other three ferns. 

Hymenophyllum tunbridgense, the British species, and Poly- 
podium australe grow abundantly on the sheltered sides of the 

* For an account of this plant and figure, see under Kerguelen's Land, 
p. 184. 



168 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

projecting rock-masses already mentioned, but are dwarfed and 
almost hidden amongst the mosses. They grow in greatest 
luxuriance on the damp banks of the stream. 

The mosses are in most striking abundance,* and, in some 
very wet places, form continuous sheets over the ground many 
square yards in extent. Lichens are not in very great quantity, 
except the incrusting forms, which are tolerably abundant 
on the rocks. 

An attempt was made to reach the actual upper limit of 
vegetation, but failed from being commenced too late in the day. 
The ascent was up the bed of the small stream already men- 
tioned, which lay at the verge of one of the modern lava-flows, 
where it abutted on a low cliff exposing a more ancient flow in 
section. The more recent flow had a very gradual inclination of 
not more than 8°. The first scattered patches of snow were 
encountered at about an elevation of 800 feet. A patch of the 
cabbage was met with at 1,000 feet. 

The highest point reached was at about 1,500 feet elevation. 
Here Ranunculus biternatus had disappeared, and where growing 
a little lower down was very much dwarfed. The Azorella, 
with a few mosses, formed the principal vegetation; but the 
green was merely dotted over the bare rock and stones. The 
patches of snow were here frequent. The Azorella appeared 
from this point to be continued on for about 300 feet more, 
becoming scantier and scantier. The absolute limit of vege- 
tation may probably be placed at about 2,000 feet. The part 
explored was somewhat sheltered. A red cone of scoria? more 
exposed was quite bare of green from about 1,000 feet elevation 
upwards. 

At about 1,400 feet elevation, the water in a shallow pool 
exposed to the sun was found to have a temperature of 65° F., 
the temperature of the air in the shade being 44°. At 900 feet 
a similar pool, but one which had a small stream of colder water 
running into it from the cliff, had a temperature of 55°, the air 
here being at 45°. The thermometer here, when plunged into 
the midst of a rounded mass of Azorella, rose to 50°. It is 

* Thirty -one species were collected, five of which are described by 
Mr. Mitten as new. 



MARION ISLAND. 169 

evident that these mounds retain and store up a considerable 
quantity of the sun's heat; and this fact probably yields a 
partial explanation of their peculiar form, which is that of so 
many otherwise widely different Antarctic plants, and of some 
New Zealand Alpine plants [Raoidia, Hastia). No doubt power 
gained of resistance to wind is one of the chief causes of 
assumption of this form. 

The island being of such considerable area, and so short a 
time having been available for the examination of its flora, no 
conclusions can be drawn from the absence of certain plants, 
such as Lyallia, which might have been expected to occur there, 
since they occur in Kerguelen's Land associated with nearly all 
those found. Although the few plants on such islands as these 
are, as a rule, widely spread, yet some appear to be local and 
somewhat scarce, as, for example, the Aspidium, which was 
only found at the last moment, under the banks of one of the 
streams. It is thus highly probable that several plants have 
been overlooked, and amongst them possibly Lyallia. The nine 
flowering plants collected in the island are all identical with 
the species growing in Kerguelen's Land ; and the same is 
the case with the Club-mosses. Of the ferns, two occur in 
Kerguelen's Land, which has also two others not occurring here. 

Fifteen vascular plants in all were found in the Island of 
Marion. 

Mr. Darwin suggests that Kerguelen's Land has been mainly 
stocked by seeds brought with ice and stones on icebergs.* 
The occurrence of Pringlea on Marion Island, as also on the 
Crozets and Kerguelen's Land, probably points, however, to an 
ancient land connection between these islands, which the an- 
tiquity and extent of denudation of the lavas would seem to bear 
out. It is difficult to see how such seeds as those of Pringlea 
could have been transported from one island to another by birds ; 
and these seeds seem to be remarkably perishable ; besides, the 
distinctness of the genus points to a former wide extent of land on 
which its progenitors became developed. The existence of fossil 
tree-trunks in Kerguelen's Land points to similar conditions. 
Sir J. D. Hooker, in the " Flora Antarctica," p. 220, expressed 
* "Origin of Species," 6th Edition, p. 354. 



170 A NATUKALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

the above conclusion after his voyage with Capt. Ross, 35 years 
ago, and with singular foresight suggested that there has taken 
place "the destruction of a large body of land, of which St. Paul's 
and Amsterdam Island may be the only remains ; or the sub- 
sidence of a chain of mountains running east and west, of which 
Prince Edward Island, Marion and the Crozets are the exposed 
peaks." This view is directly confirmed by the discovery by 
the " Challenger's " soundings of the Kerguelen Plateau, which 
"rises in many parts to within 1,500 fathoms of the sea 
surface, and forms the common foundation of all the islands 
situated in this part of the world, viz., Prince Edward's Islands, 
the Crozet Islands, the Kerguelen Group, the Heard Islands, and 
the islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam," " as proved by the 
soundings of both the ' Challenger ' and the ' Gazelle.' "* The 
occurrence with the cabbage on Heard Island, of the helpless 
wingless fly, seems a further proof that the plant was not 
conveyed to the various islands by birds. It is hardly possible 
that both could have been transported. The fly could probably 
not exist without the cabbage. The existence of the same 
species of fresh water fish in New Zealand, Tasmania, the 
Falkland Islands and South America, points also to the former 
existence of more intervening land between these points, f 

* " Thalassa," an Essay on the Depth, Temperature and Currents of 
the Ocean, by J. J. Wild, of the Civilian Scientific Staff of H.M.S. 
"Challenger," pp. 19 and 23. London, Marcus Ward, 1877. 

f A. R. Wallace, "The Geographical Distribution of Animals," 
Vol. I, p. 401, 403. London, Macmillan, 1876. 

The species of Phanerogamia and vascular cryptogams found in 
Kerguelen's, Marion, and Heard islands, are enumerated in Prof. Oliver's 
report upon my collection, " Journ. Linn. Soc," XIV, p. 389, from which 
report the specific names above cited are taken. For the Cryptogamia 
of Marion Island, vide list of papers at the end of this book. 

The following are the temperature-observations taken on board the 
" Challenger" by Staff Commander Tizard, R.N. : — 

On December 26th, when the ship was off Marion Island, the ther- 
mometer, read at six in the evening, showed for the preceding twelve 
hours, maximum 45°'5 F., minimum 36°'2. 

December 27th. The ship was occupied dredging off both islands ; 
6 a.m. maximum 43° F., minimum 40 o, 5 ; sea-surface 40° to 41°. 

On December 26 the temperature at 10 a.m. was 37° *8 F. ; midday, 
43° ; midnight, 42°. 



MARION ISLAND. 171 

The tracts of lower, nearly flat, land of Marion Island skirting 
the sea, and the lower hills and slopes along the shore, presented 
a curious spectacle as viewed from the ship as it steamed in 
towards a likely-looking sheltered spot for landing. The whole 
place was everywhere dotted over with albatrosses, the large 
white albatross or Goney (J), exulans). The birds were scattered 
irregularly all over the green in pairs, looking in the distance 
not unlike geese on a common. 

A boat-load of explorers went on shore, everyone having a 
heavy stick, as it was expected that we might meet with Fur 
Seals. As the boat pulled on shore cormorants flew about over 
our heads in numbers. A gull also was common, probably the 
same as at Kerguelen s Land, and I saw a small bird fly by, 
close to the water, which was probably Pelacanoides tirinatrix, 
also of Kerguelen. 

As we approached the shore we saw a pair of terns sitting 
on the rocks, probably Sterna virgata, which occurs at Kerguelen's 
Land ; beautiful birds of a light soft grey and white plumage 
with coral red beaks and feet. The Giant Petrel or " Break- 
bones " was also wheeling about over the water, and a few large 
albatrosses. 

As we neared the beach we saw a bird like a small white 
hen, eyeing us inquisitively from the black rocks, against which 
a considerable swell was washing. This bird was the " Sheath- 
bill " {Chionis minor), of which we afterwards saw so much. 

The surf is subdued a great deal by the thick growth of 
D' Urvillcea utilis upon the rocks. The plant is a huge brown 
seaweed with stout stems, as thick as one's wrist, attached to the 
rock by large conical boss-like suckers, and with large spreading 
leaves on the stalks, provided with floats composed of a series of 
honeycomb-like air-cells within a thickened frond. With some 
little difficulty we scrambled out on to the rocks, which were 
extremely slippery. 

The first to get on shore fell in immediately with a female 
Sea-Elephant lying on a little patch of damp grass-land at the 
mouth of a miniature gully, opposite to which we landed. 
They thought they had got a Fur-Seal, and killed the animal at 
once by striking it on the head with a stone. 



172 



A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER. 



I made my way up a steep bank and over a low hill to 
reach the plain where were most albatrosses. The walking was 
extremely tiring. The bank was steep and the soil saturated 
with moisture, and consisting of a black slimy mud, with holes 
full of water everywhere. The thick rank herbage concealed 
these treacherous places, and the ground being covered with 
Azorella tufts, these gave way under one's feet and rendered 
progression excessively wearying. Further, the sun coming out 
bright and hot every now and then, made us, who had gone 
on shore thickly clad, perspire very freely. 

The albatrosses were all around, raised from the ground. Their 
nests are in the style of those of the Mollymauks, but much 
larger, a foot and a-half at least in diameter at the top. They 
are made up of tufts of grass and moss, with plenty of adhering 
earth beaten and packed together, and are not so straight in the 
sides as those of the Mollymauks, but more conical, with broad 
bases. 




GREAT ALBATROSS ON ITS NEST, MARION ISLAND. 



(From a photograph.) 

The female albatross is sprinkled with grey on the back, and 
is thus darker than the male, which is of a splendid snow-white 
with the least possible grey speckling, and which was now, of 



MARION ISLAND. 1 



— o 

i O 



course, seen in his full glory and best breeding plumage ; the tails 
and the wings of both birds are, of course, dark. The albatrosses 
one meets with at sea are most frequently birds in young plumage 
or bad condition, and have a rather dirty draggled look. 

The brooding birds are very striking objects, sitting raised up 
on the nest, commonly with the male bird beside it. They sit 
fast on the nest when approached, but snap their bills savagely 
together, making thus a loudish noise. They will bite hold of 
a stick when it is pushed up against their bills. They need a 
good deal of bullying with the stick before they stand up in the 
nest and let one see whether they have got an egg there or no. 

Then the egg is seen to appear slowly out of the pouch in 
which it is held during incubation. It is nearly five inches long, 
or about as big as a swan's, and is white with specks of red at 
the large end. Only one egg is laid. In most of the nests there 
were fresh eggs ; in some, however, nearly full grown young 
birds. 

At Campbell Island, of the Campbell and Auckland group, 
the young of Diomedea exulans were found just breaking the 
shell in February by an exploring party.* Charles Gooclridge, 
who was one of a sealing party on the Prince Edward Islands in 
1820, and spent two years on the Crozets, says, that the albatrosses 
there lay at about Christmas, and that the period of incubation is 
about three months. (?) The young, he says, were wing-feathered, 
and good to eat about May, and did not fly off till December.f 

The young albatrosses are dark grey in plumage. They snap 
their bills, like the old ones, to try and frighten away enemies. 

The old birds never attempt to fly, though persistently ill- 
treated or driven heavily waddling over the ground. Very many 
were killed by the sailors that their wing-bones might be taken 
out for pipe stems, and their feet skinned to make tobacco 
pouches. The old males tried to run away when frightened, but 
never even raised their wino;s. 

* "Notes on the Geology of the Outlying Islands of New Zealand. 
Reported by Dr. Hector, F.E.S." Trans. N. Zealand Inst., Vol. II, 1869, 
p. 75. 

t " Narrative of a Voyage to the South Seas, and eight years' residence 
in Van Diemen's Land," p. 35, by C. M. Goodridge. London, Hamilton 
and Adams, 1833. 



174 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER 



■>■> 



It is amusing to watch the process of courtship. The male 
standing by the female on the nest raises his wings, spreads his 
tail and elevates it, throws up his head with the bill in the air, 
or stretches it straight out forwards as far as he can, and then 
utters a curious cry, like the Mollymauks, but in a much lower 
key, as would be expected from his larger larynx. Whilst 
uttering the cry, the bird sways his neck up and down. The 
female responds with a similar note, and they bring the tips 
of their bills lovingly together. This sort of thing goes on for 
half an hour or so at a time. No doubt the birds consider that 
they are singing. Occasionally an albatross flies round and 
alights upon the grass, but I saw none take wing. 

There were numerous nests of the Skua about amongst the 
herbage in dry places. Two nests of these birds are never built 
near together. The birds always have a wide range of hunting 
ground round their nest. The Skuas in Marion Island were 
extremely bold and savage, as they were also in Kerguelen's 
Land. When one approaches the nest they swoop down, passing 
with a rush close down to one's head, whizzing past one's ears in 
a most unpleasant manner. 

The two birds take turns at towering above, and thus swoop- 
ing. They have sharp claws and beaks, and no doubt would 
injure one's face or eyes severely if they touched them as they 
passed. One has to beat them off with a stick or gun barrel. 
They are very clever in avoiding the stick as they rush past, 
but several were knocked down. Sometimes I have had to 
waste a charge on them to get rid of them. Some pairs are 
much more savage than others. They have a harsh cry. Of 
course, when their young is handled they are most furious, and 
one has to keep a stick going as one carries it off. The birds 
are very like the Northern Skuas in their habits. One of them 
swooped down on a duck which I had shot one day at Kerguelen's 
Land which fell in the water. The bird picked it up when I was 
not more than half a dozen yards off, and was making off with it in 
its beak, carrying it easily, when I brought it down with a second 
shot, the duck thus costing me two barrels. 

I searched the sea-shore along for a considerable distance in 
the hope of finding Fur-Seals, but saw none. Three sorts of 



MARION ISLAND. 175 

penguins were abundant. One was a penguin called by the 
sealers the "Johnny" (Pygosceles tceniata), the " Gentoo" of the 
Falklands. This penguin is a great deal larger than the crested 
Penguins, in fact nearly as big as the King Penguin. The beak 
is bright red, long and sharp-pointed, the back dark blackish, the 
breast white. The colour of the back is continued on to the 
head, but a white patch on the top of the head in contrast with 
the dark colouring is the marked feature about the bird. These 
penguins we nowhere meet with nesting. They are often 
associated with the King Penguins. They were usually to be 
met with here and in Kerguelen's Land in parties of a dozen or 
twenty or thirty on the grass, close to the shore, and were 
apparently moulting at the time of our visit. At Christmas 
Harbour, Kerguelen's Land, some lots of them camped at 
100 feet, at least, up the steep but green hill-side at the end 
of the harbour. 

These penguins do not hop, but run, and when closely pur- 
sued throw themselves on their bellies on the ground, and 
struggle along, rowing themselves with violent blows of their 
wings on the sand or mud, dashing the mud into one's eyes, as 
one chases them. When in the water, as they come to the sur- 
face, they make a sort of very feeble imitation of the leap of the 
crested penguins, never throwing the whole of the body out of 
the water, but only the back. They are also to be seen 
swimming about when undisturbed, with their head and back 
out of the water, and body horizontal. 

Another penguin, the "Eock Hopper" (Eudyptes saltator), 
the same species that occurs at Tristan da Cunha, but a little 
smaller, as far as I could judge, was nesting about the low cliffs 
on the shore. The ground on which the nests were made was 
very wet and filthy, and the nests were, like those of the 
Jackass Penguins at the Cape of Good Hope, made of small 
stones, raising the egg about an inch from the mud. These 
penguins were exactly like the Tristan ones in their cry, and 
were quite as savage, but then they were in full sight, and not 
amongst grass ; for though there was plenty of grass just over 
them, nearly a foot in height, they prefer to build where the 
ground is quite bare. The birds therefore for some reason have 



17G 



A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER. 



adopted slightly different habits from those of the representatives 
of the species at Tristan da Cunha. 

Most interesting, however, by far, amongst all rookeries of 
penguins which I have seen, was one of King Penguins (Apte- 
nodytes longirostris), which I met with a little further along the 
shore. The rookery was on a space of perfectly flat ground of 
about an acre in extent. It was divided into two irregular 
portions, a larger and smaller, by some grassy mounds. The flat 
space itself had a filthy black slimy surface ; but the soil was 
trodden hard and flat. About two-thirds of the space of one of 
the portions of the rookery, the larger one, was occupied by 
King Penguins, standing bolt upright, with their beaks upturned, 
side by side, as thick as they could pack, and jostling one 

another as one disturbed 
them. In the figure the 



birds' heads are drawn 
as if held horizontally. 
This is unnatural, the 
head and neck should be 
stretched out vertically, 
quite straight, with the 
tip of the beak pointed 
directly upwards. 

The King Penguins 
stand as high as a man's 
middle, they are distin- 
guished at once not only 
by their size, but by two 
narrow streaks of bright 
orange yellow, one on each 
side of the glistening white 
throat. 

Penguins were to be 
seen coming from and 
going to the sea from the 

KING PENGUIN. APTENOB.TES LONGIKOSTK.S. ^^ ^ g^g^ an d 

not in companies like the Crested Penguins. The King Penguins, 
when disturbed, made a loud sound like " urr-vrr-urr" They 




t-rt-r 



MARION ISLAND. 17 

run with their bodies held perfectly upright, getting over the 
ground pretty fast, and do not hop at all. A good many were 
in bad plumage, moulting, but there were plenty also in the 
finest plumage. 

On the small area of the rookery, which consisted of a flat 
space sheltered all round by grass slopes, and which formed a 
sort of bay amongst these, communicating with the larger area 
by two comparatively narrow passages, was the breeding esta- 
blishment. 

These penguins are said by some observers to set apart regular 
separate spaces in their rookeries for moulting, for birds in clean 
plumage not breeding, and again for breeding birds. Here the 
breeding ground was quite separate and the young and breeding 
pairs were confined to this smaller sheltered area. This was 
the only King Penguin rookery which I saw in full action. 
At Kerguelen's Land, the King Penguins were only met with in 
scattered groups of a dozen and twenty or so, and they were 
then not breeding, but only moulting. 

On this breeding ground, at its lower portion, numbers of 
penguins were reclining on their belhes, and I thought at first 
they might be covering eggs, but on driving them up, I saw they 
were only resting. There was a drove of about a hundred pen- 
guins with young birds amongst them. The young were most 
absurd objects. They were as tall as their parents, and moved 
about bolt upright with their beaks in the air in the same 
manner ; but they were covered with a thick coating of a light 
chocolate down, looking like very fine brown fur. 

The down is at least two inches deep on the birds' bodies, 
and gives them a curious inflated appearance. They have a 
most comical look, as they run off to jostle their way in amongst 
the old ones. They seemed to run rather better than the adults, 
but perhaps that was fancy. 

Absurd in appearance as these young are, those that are just 
dropping the clown and assuming the white plumage of the 
adults, are far more so. Some are to be seen with the brown 
down in large irregular patches, and the white feathers showing 
out between these. In others the down remains only about 
neck and head, and in the last stage a sort of ruff or collar of 

N 



178 A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER." 

brown remains sticking ont round the bird's neck, and then, 
when it cocks up its head, it looks like a small boy in stick-up 
collars. The manner in which these young ones cock up their 
heads gives them a peculiar expression of vanity, and as they 
ran off on their short stumpy legs, I could not resist laughing 

outright. 

At the farthest corner of the breeding space, in the most 
sheltered spot, was a clump of birds of a hundred or more. The 
birds were most of them in a slightly stooping posture, and with 
the lower part of their bodies bulged out in a fold in front. As 
I came up and bullied these birds with my stick a little they 
shifted their ground a bit, with an awkward sort of hopping 
motion, with the feet held close together. It immediately struck 
me that they were carrying eggs with them, as I had read that 
King Penguins do. Their gait was quite peculiar, and different 
from the ordinary one, and evidently laboured and difficult. 

I struck one of them with my stick, and after some little pro- 
vocation she let drop her egg from her pouch, and then at once 
assumed the running motion. These birds carry their egg in a 
complete pouch between their legs, and hold it in by keeping 
their broad web feet tucked close together under it. They make 
absolutely no nest, nor even mark from habitually sitting in one 
place ; but simply stand on the rookery floor in the described 
stooping position, and shift ground a bit from time to time, as 
occasion requires. I suppose the egg is not dropped till the 
young one begins to break the shell. Charles Goodridge says 
that the period of incubation is seven weeks, and that the birds 
commenced laying in the Crozets in November, and continued to 
lay, if deprived of their eggs, till March. 

The birds with eggs were sitting close together. When, on 
my frightening them, some were driven against others, savage 
fights ensued, and blood was drawn freely; the birds whose 
ground was invaded striking out furiously with their beaks. 

Eound about the brooding birds were others, I think males, 
in considerable numbers. These males probably feed the 
females with which they are paired. There were also some 
young downy birds. If one of these latter was driven in 
amongst the brooders it was at once pecked almost to death. 



M.VKION ISLAND. 179 

The young ones utter a curious whistling cry, of a high 
pitch and running through several notes, quite different from 
the simple bass note of the adults. 

The rookery was only inhabited in about a quarter of its 
extent, but it was strewed everywhere with the bones of the 
penguins in heaps, and on the verge of the rookery was a small 
ruined hut, with the roof tumbled in, and overgrown with weeds, 
and containing an old iron pot and several old casks, and some 
hoop iron ; evidently an old sealer's hut. The sealers had pro- 
bably employed their spare time in making penguin oil, and 
taking perhaps skins, which are made up into rugs and mats at 
the Cape of Good Hope, often only the yellow streaked part 
about the neck being used. Hence the many bones and empti- 
ness of the rookery. The egg of the King Penguin is more than 
ordinarily pointed at the small end. It is greenish-white, like 
other penguin eggs. 

Living also about the rookery was a flock of about thirty 
Sheath-bills {Chionis minor). The instant they saw us ap- 
proaching they came running in a body over the floor of the 
rookery in the utmost excitement of curiosity, and came right up 
within reach of our sticks, uttering a " Cluck Cluck," which with 
them is a sort of half -inquisitive, half-defiant note. We knocked 
over several with big stones and our sticks ; but the remainder 
did not in the least become alarmed. They just fluttered up off 
the -ground to avoid a stone as it was sent dashing through the 
thick of them ; but immediately pitched again, and ran up, as if 
to see how the stone was thrown. I only on one other occasion 
saw the Chionis thus living gregariously in flocks ; at Kerguelen's 
Land we found them already paired, except one flock which I 
saw near the entrance of Eoyal Sound, and at Marion Island 
many were already paired. That they should thus form flocks, 
when not breeding, is what might be expected from their near 
alliance to the Plovers. 

At the rookery these birds were living on all sorts of filth 
dropped by the penguins, and were the scavengers of the 
place, and when I drove some of the brooders off their eggs, 
and an egg or two got broken, the Sheath-bills, who had 
followed us up closely, notwithstanding the slaughter we had 

x 2 



180 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER. 

done amongst them, came and pecked at the eggs almost between 
onr legs. 

The Sknas of course were close at hand, and swooped down at 
once on the body of a penguin that we skinned. Beyond the 
penguin rookery was a large tract of nearly flat land, very 
swampy, and covered with grass. On the drier parts were 
numerous troops of from twenty to thirty King Penguins, and 
in one place a smaller rookery, but as far as I saw without 
brooders. 

There was here a shallow freshwater lake, on which some 
young albatrosses were swimming. I ascended the slope inland 
towards the snow, going up the gentle slope of the modern- 
looking lava flow already referred to. The ground was very 
boggy, and let one sink in sometimes almost up to the middle. 
There were numerous Great Albatross's nests scattered about, 
but they did not extend more than 100 feet above sea level, and 
hardly anywhere as high up as that. 

Far above the level of these, I found a young bird, I think 
the young of the Giant Petrel, in a nest scarcely raised from the 
ground ; the young bird vomited up the contents of its stomach 
and gush after gush of red oily fluid at me as I stirred it up 
with a stick. All the petrels vomit oil in this way, and the 
white ones thus are apt to spoil themselves for stuffing in a 
most provoking way, before one can get their mouths and 
nostrils stuffed with cotton wool. 

The valley in which the lava flow up which I was going, lay, 
was bounded to the south by a cliff about 200 feet high, com- 
posed of a series of more ancient lava flows. The lowermost of 
these showed a more perfect columnar structure than the upper- 
most, and the columns of the lower layers were much smaller 
than those of the upper. A small stream ran down in the 
narrow depression, between the border of the lava stream and 
the talus slopes of the cliff. In the bed of this were at intervals 
small beds of a compact red earth, forming almost a rock, 
deposited by the stream, and subsequently in places cut through 
by it and exposed in section. 

High up, at about 500 feet elevation, 'were some four or five 
Sooty Albatrosses (Diomedea fuliginosa, the Piew or Pio of 



CROZET ISLANDS. 181 

sealers), soaring about the tops of the cliffs and probably nesting 
there. This bird is continually to be seen about cliffs and 
higher mountain slopes, and seems never to nest low down like 
the Mollymauk and Gony. 

In holes in the banks at this elevation, a Prion was ex- 
tremely abundant, but it was also pretty abundant down about 
sea level. Its peculiar angry cry, somewhat like the snarling 
of a puppy, uttered as it hears footsteps about its hole, is very 
puzzling at first as one listens to it, coming up from the ground at 
one's feet, but is unmistakable and quite unlike the cry of any 
other of the Procellaridce, which we met with ; I see however 
that Mr. Eaton in his notes, as cited by Mr. E. B. Sharpe, says : 
" that the cry of the petrel Halabcena ccerulea is exactly similar 
to that of the Prion." We dug out a bird with its egg. 

I saw a hole with ears of grass dragged into it, and like a 
mouse's. It is not unlikely that there is a mouse in the island, 
as at Kerguelen ; in Goodridge's time mice were so abundant on 
St. Paul's Island, that he speaks of feeding hogs, which he kept 
in confinement, on them. They were found lying in heaps in a 
dormant state in the early mornings (1. c, p. 65). A Curculio and 
two Staphylinidw were found by Von Suhm on the island, and 
also a small land shell which was common. A fly with rudi- 
mentary wings was also found by him, apparently the same 
as one of those at Kerguelen's Land {Amaloj)Uryx maritima). 
No land bird was met with, and no duck was seen, though one 
species of duck is so abundant at Kerguelen's Land. 

crozet islands, Jan. 2nd, 18*4. — We ran on towards the 
Crozet Islands, before the westerly winds, and after lying about 
close to this group in a dense fog, which prevented our sighting- 
it and landing on Hog Island as we had intended, the fog at 
last lifted slightly on the evening of Jan. 2nd. 

We ran in between Possession Island and East Island, as 
Ross had done thirty years before. As we steamed towards the 
land, the coast of Possession Island could just be discerned 
under a dense fog bank, the white breakers being plainly 
visible. The fog lifting a little more, a long range of cliffs could 
be seen ; the tops of these, however, were still hid, together with 
all the higher portion of the island, in the densest fog. The fog 



182 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

seemed to lie some little way off the land, for the cliffs were 
lighted up by sunlight. Down these cliffs in several places, 
waterfalls poured into the sea. 

As we neared the island and entered the passage between 
Possession Island and East Island, and came opposite the 
sealers' anchorage at Navire Bay, we had a clear view of this end 
of the island. It here presented a series of gentle slopes, 
bounded by low littoral cliffs. Further off, towards America 
Bay, the cliffs were seen to be much higher. ISTavire Bay is a 
very slight indentation of the coast line, affording hardly any 
shelter : it has a beach of large pebbles, and from it extends up 
inland a sinuous valley, appearing to my eye as rather a space 
left between two lava flows than the result of denudation. On 
one side of the beach was seen a hut and a store of oil barrels. 

A shot was fired, but no one showed himself. The place 
was evidently deserted. There was too much surf on the beach 
to allow of landing. It was late in the evening, and a bank of 
fog appeared to be drifting up to envelope us ; so after sounding 
we made for Kerguelen's Land, greatly of course to my dis- 
appointment, for the flora of the Crozets was then quite unex- 
plored. The slopes, however, appeared from the ship as if covered 
with a similar vegetation to that of Marion Island, which how- 
ever, did not extend so high up the mountains. 

The slopes were covered with albatrosses, nesting as at 
Marion, and the birds seen about the ship were the same as at 
that island, but in addition a Molly mauk was seen. 

East Island presents towards Possession Island, very high 
sheer precipices, with most remarkable jagged summits. Only 
these summits, with their bold outline showing out against the 
sky, lit up by the light of the sunset, were to be seen ; the base of 
the cliffs was hidden in impenetrable fog. The Crozets are in 
about the same latitude as the Prince Edward Islands. 

Crews of vessels have several times been cast away on the 
Crozet Islands. I have already referred to the account given by 
Charles Goodridge of his stay of two years in the islands in 
1821-23.* Goodridge describes the discovery by his party at 

* "Narrative of a Voyage to the South Seas, &c.," pp. 42, 43, by C. M. 
Goodridge. London, Hamilton and Adams, 1833. 



CEOZET ISLANDS. 183 

above a mile from the reach of the tides, of several trunks of 
trees about 14 feet long, and measuring from 14 to 18 inches 
through, which were found lying on the ground as if thrown 
up by the sea. The wood was close, heavy, and hard, but being 
split up with wedges made very good clubs. Hence it was not 
fossil wood. Goodridge concluded that it was drift-wood thrown 
up so far during some volcanic convulsion. 

We were told by the sealers that the rabbits, which are 
abundant on the Crozets, were not good to eat, because of their 
food. The wild hogs were, in Goodridge's time, very fierce and 
dangerous to approach single handed. The hogs have large 
tusks. Sealers told us that it would not be well to introduce pigs 
into the other southern islands, as they would destroy the birds, 
the main support of chance castaway mariners. The last account 
of a visit to the Crozets is that of Captain Lindesay Brine, RK, 
who saw an iceberg 300 feet in height within sight of the group.* 

The mean temperature of the air whilst the ship was off the 
islands, from December 30th to January 2nd, was about 44° or 
45°. The highest reading was 50°, which occurred twice, the 
lowest 39-6°. 

January 6th. — We sighted Bligh's Cap in the evening. It 
appeared as a hazy rounded cone on the horizon. Numerous 
birds surrounded the ship, and as on our approach to the other 
islands, penguins were to be seen in every direction. The birds 
were, Dromedea exulans, D. fidiginosa, D. culmiuata, a Prion, 
Dctption Capensis, Ossifraga gigantea, and an Oceanitis. A Skua 
also was seen, though the land was eight miles distant A 
squall in the morning brought a slight fall of snow. The water 
assumed a peculiar dark colour, probably from its shallowness. 
Bligh's Cap is a small outlying rocky island to the north of 
Kerguelen's Land. 

January ith. — After lying off for the night we reached 
Christmas Harbour and anchored at 8.30 p.m. 

For a list of Plants collected in the Crozet group by the U.S. Transit of 
Venus Expedition, see J. H. Kidder, M.D., "Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus.," No. 
3, II, p. 31. 

* Capt. Lindesay Brine, B.N., "Geogr. Mag.," Oct., 1877. 



184 



CHAPTER VIII. 

KERGUELEN'S LAND. 

Position of the Island. Its Mountains and Fjords. Active Volcano. 
Christmas Harbour. Sea Elephants and Fur Seals. Shooting Teal. 
The Kerguelen Cabbage. Wingless Flies and Gnats. Vegetation at 
Successive Heights. Fossil Wood. Rookeries of Rock Hopper and 
Macaroni Penguins. Penguins Inhabiting a Cave. Betsy Cove. 
Glaciation of the Land Surface. Iceborne Rocks. Excavation of the 
Fjords. Beds of Burnt Coal. The Sea Leopard. Killing Sea 
Elephants. Nature of the Trunk of the Sea Elephant. Carrion 
Birds. The Giant Petrel. Habits of several Burrowing Petrels. 
The Diving Petrel. Habits of Sheath Bills. Struggle for Existence 
amongst the Birds. Mode of Whaling amongst the Kelp. 

Kerguelen's Land, January 1th to January 30th, 1814. — 

Kerguelen's Land extends from about lat. 48° 39' S., to lat. 
49° 44' S* Its southernmost point is therefore in about 
corresponding latitude to the Lizard in Cornwall, which is in a 
little less than 50° K In longitude, very roughly speaking, 
Kerguelen's Land corresponds with the island of Eodriguez, 
the Maldive Islands, Bombay, Tobolsk, and the mouth of the 
Eiver Obi. 

The extreme length of the island is about 85 miles, and the 
extreme breadth 79 miles ; but the coast is so much indented by 
sounds or fjords that the area of the island is not more than, 
very roughly, 2,050 square miles, or about three times as great 
as that of Oxfordshire. 

The island lies within the belt of rain at all seasons of the 

* Lat. of Cape Francis, the northernmost point, 48°- 39 S., long. 
69°-02 E. 

Lat. of Cape Challenger, the southernmost point, 49°'44 S., long. 

70°'05 E. 

Extreme breadth between long. 70°'35 E. and long. 68 0> 42 E. 
The Lizard is in lat. 49°'57 0' 41" N. 



kerguelen's land. 185 

year, and being reached by no drying winds, and its temperature 
being kept down by the surrounding vast expanse of sea, has 
hence its soil and vegetable covering permanently saturated 
with moisture. Further, with this fact of constant precipitation 
of moisture is connected the form of the island itself, since fjord 
formation is accomplished only by glaciation on a large scale, and 
this can only occur where there is a constant supply of snow. 
The island further Kes within the line of the Antarctic drift, as 
do also the Crozets and Prince Edward Group ; and this cold 
current must reduce the temperature considerably. 

The island is in the region of prevailing westerly winds, the 
course of which is in the Southern Ocean, untrammelled and 
undisturbed by barriers of land. Since the line of greatest 
length of the island lies in a north-west and south-east direction, 
and the coast line, though much broken, trends on either side 
in the same direction, the north-east side is the sheltered one, 
and that, consequently, where are the safest anchorages, whilst 
the south-west side is the weather one. 

The island is throughout mountainous, made up of a series 
of steep-sided valleys separated by ridges and mountain masses, 
which rise to very considerable heights. Mount Eoss, the 
highest, is 6,120 feet in altitude, Mount Eichards 4,000 feet, 
Mount Crozier 3,250, Mount Wyville Thomson 3,160, Mount 
Hooker 2,600, Mount Moseley 2,400. 

The island thus, when viewed from the sea at a distance, 
presents a remarkable jagged outline of sharp peaks, which is 
most striking when the island is observed from the south. The 
valleys run down everywhere to the sea, broadening out as they 
approach it. The coast is broken up everywhere by deep sounds 
or fjords, which resemble closely in form the fjords of Norway, 
and of all other parts of the world were fjords exist. They are 
long channel-like excavations of the coast-line, occupied by 
arms of the sea, often shallower at the mouths* than at the 
upper extremities, and bounded on either hand by perpendicular 
cliffs. 

The island is of volcanic formation as far as it has yet been 

* The shallowness of the mouths of the fjords is well marked in the 
case of Royal Sound and Rhodes Bay. 



186 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

investigated, and there is no doubt that it is entirely so formed, 
the beds of coal alone excepted, and certain beds of red earth, 
which are of the same origin as the coal, but merely different in 
that they have undergone a more intense heating. 

The island has undergone immense denudation, and on its 
whole north-eastern and southern regions there is no trace 
of any volcanic cone or signs of comparatively modern volcanic 
action, as at Marion Island. Every appearance bespeaks con- 
siderable antiquity. 

Nevertheless it seems to be certain that there exists towards 
the south-west of the island, a still active volcano with hot 
springs in its neighbourhood. We fell in with an American 
whaling captain, Captain Fuller, who has been often on the 
weather shore, and is well acquainted with the position of the 
volcano, and though he had not been actually at it himself, some 
of his men had ; and in Tristan da Cunha we received indepen- 
dent testimony in the matter from old sealers. 

The appearance of the island in the region of the volcano 
must thus be very different from that of the north-eastern and 
south-eastern portions. 

As necessarily follows from the presence of fjords, the whole 
of the lower rock surface of the island shows most marked 
evidence of glaciation. 

Christmas Harbour, almost on the extreme north of the 
island, is a small example of one of the fjords. It is a deep 
inlet with dark frowning cliffs on either hand at its entrance. 
The land on either side runs out into long narrow promontories, 
which separate the harbour from another similar fjord on the 
south and from a bay on the north. The promontories thus 
formed are high and bounded throughout almost their entire 
stretch by sheer precipices on either hand. On the northern 
side only of Christmas Harbour, somewhat above its mouth, does 
the land rise in a steep broken slope, which can be ascended 
directly from the sea. 

At the termination seawards of the southern promontory, is 
the well-known arched rock of Christmas Harbour, a roughly 
rectangular oblong mass, evidently formerly continuous directly 
with the rest of the promontory, but now separated from it, 



KERGUELEX S LAND. 187 

except at its very base, by a chasm, and perforated so as to form 
an arch. Above the high cliffs on the south side of the harbour, 
towers up a huge and imposing mass of black-looking rock with 
perpendicular faces ; this overhanging somewhat towards the 
harbour from the weathering out of soft strata beneath it, looks 
as if it might fall some day and fill the upper part of the harbour. 
On the north side rises a flat-topped rocky mass 1,215 feet in 
height, called Table Mountain. 

At the head of the harbour is a sandy beach and small 
stretch of flat land, as exists at the heads of all the fjords, and 
beyond this the land rises in a series of steps, separated by short 
cliffs towards the bases of Table Mountain and the great rock 
on the south. 

The appearance of the whole is extremely grand, and the 
marked contrast between the blackness of the rocks and the 
bright yellow green of the rank vegetation clothing all the lower 
region of the land, so characteristic of the appearance of all 
these so-called Antarctic Islands, renders the general effect in fine 
weather, most beautiful. I landed on the morning of the 7th of 
January at the head of the harbour, with a large party, all eager 
to kill a Fur Seal ; as the boat grounded on the black volcanic 
sand, some greyish brown forms were made out, lying amongst 
the grass just above the beach. A rush w r as made to the spot, 
but they were found to be only four Sea Elephants, reclining 
beside a small stream which runs down here from a little lake 
on a small plateau above, into the sea. 

The Elephants, w T hen stirred up, raised their heads and put on 
their usual savage expression which they exhibit when disturbed, 
which is effected by contracting the facial muscles about the 
nose, so as to throw it into a series of very prominent transverse 
folds. They opened their mouths, showed their teeth and 
uttered a roar, which consists of a series of quickly succeeding 
deep guttural explosions. They bit savagely at a stick, and 
twisted it out of our hands, but made no attempt to go to sea, 
making on the contrary into the stream, and up it inland, 
moving by the regular flop flop motion of the body, like that of 
the common British seal, but more clumsily performed. 

"Whilst everyone was either looking at these Elephants, or 



188 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

beating the ground for ducks, I looked round for other seals, and 
on a shot being fired, I saw the head of an animal raised high 
above the grass on the flat close to the beach, and about a 
hundred yards off. I knew at first glance that it was a Fur 
Seal, and made for it in all haste. The seal, or Sea Bear, was 
lying in a sort of form in the grass. It contrasted most strongly 
in its appearance and gait with the Sea Elephants we had just left. 

The Otariadce, or seals with external ears, differ from all 
other seals in that, in progression on land, they turn their hinder 
limbs or flippers forwards, and rest on the backs of them, and 
raising the body from the ground with the fore limbs, shuffle 
along with a sort of awkward walking gait, by the alternate use 
of the hind limbs. All other seals keep their hind limbs stretched 
straight out behind when on land as when in the water, and these 
limbs are therefore of no aid in moving on land, which is accom- 
plished entirely by undulating movements of the body. The 
Otariadce are in fact connecting links between the true seals 
and such beasts as the Sea Otter ; their limbs still retain some of 
their old land functions. 

The Sea Bear has besides a thick coating of long hair, the 
familiar thicker layer of silky fur beneath, which renders its 
skin so valuable. The Sea Bears are nimble on land as compared 
with the helpless Sea Elephants, and can climb up on to rocky 
ledges, and even spring some little distance. 

The seal I had found was an old male, covered with greyish- 
brown shaggy hair, and with a short greyish mane about the 
neck. He moved his head up and down uneasily when dis- 
turbed, as one sees a bear sway his head. One of the party 
came up as we were watching him, and running up close to the 
beast, as if it had been a helpless Sea Elephant, was forced to 
retreat in a hurry, for the beast made a savage dash at him, open- 
mouthed. 

The seal was very difficult to kill outright. Fur Seals 
are easily knocked over with a blow on the nose, but are very 
tenacious of life, and require to have their throats cut directly 
they are stunned, or they escape after all. 

There are still a considerable number of Fur Seals about 
Kerguelen's Land. I killed two ; two others were killed by our 



kehguelen's land. 189 

party at Howes Foreland, and two others were seen there. 
Two of the whaling schooners killed over 70 Fur Seals on one 
day, and upwards of 20 on another, at some small islands off 
Howes Foreland to the north. It is a pity that some discretion 
is not exercised in killing the animals, as is done in St. Paul's 
Island in Behring's Sea, in the case of the northern Fur Seal. By 
killing the young males, and selecting certain animals only for 
killing, the number of seals may even be increased.* The sealers 
in Kerguelen's Land kill all they can find. 

The sealers told us that the southern Fur Seals sometimes eat 
penguins, and that they had found the remains of them in their 
stomachs. Seals feed to a very large extent on Crustacea. Thus 
Otaria jubata is said to feed more on Crustacea and smaller fish, 
than on large fish, and in the Campbell and Auckland Islands 
to eat also birds,f and Mr. Brown, in his account of the habits of 
Arctic seals and whales, says that the food of the northern seals 
consists mostly of Crustacea, species of Gammarus, called " seals' 
food " by the whalers 4 In summer the Northern Seals eat fish. 
They sometimes take down birds, but not often. Dr. Buckholtz 
found only Crustacea in the stomachs of Phoca Greenlandica in 
the Arctic regions, mainly Gammarus Arcticus, and G. Themisto.^ 

The sealers told me, that sometimes, but very rarely, they 
found another kind of seal, like the Fur Seal somewhat, which 
they called the " Sea Dog." A second species of eared seal 
probably thus occurs as a rarity at Kerguelen's Land. 

The whole beach of Christmas Harbour was covered with 
droves of the Johnny Penguin (Pygosceles tamiata) and King 
Penguins, and establishments of these penguins were to be seen 
on small level grassy spaces far up the hill slope. 

* " The Eared Seals." J. A. Allen. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., Harvard 
Univ., Cambridge, Mass., Vol. II, No. 1. 

t For an account of the habits of the Southern Sea Lion, see " Twenty 
Months in the Campbell and Auckland Islands." Peterm. Mitt. 1866, 
s. 103. 

+ R. Brown, " On the Mammalia of Greenland," with succeeding 
papers on the Seals and Whales. "Proc. Zool. Soc," 1864. 

§ " y Die zweite Deutsche Nord-Polarfahrtin den Jahren 1869 und 1870," 
2. Bd. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse. Leipzig, F. A. Brockhaus, 1874. 

W. Peters, " Zeugethiere und Fische." 






190 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 



>j 



Teal were shot in great numbers by our party. The teal of 
Kerguelen's Land (Querquedula Eatoni) is peculiar to the island 
and the Crozets. It is somewhat larger than our common teal, 
and of a brown colour, with a metallic blue streak, and some 
little white on the wing. It is enormously abundant all about 
Kerguelen's Land, near the coast. I killed in one day, twenty- 
seven teal, and similar bags were frequent. Four or five guns 
used to bring back usually over 100 birds. 

The teal feed mainly on the fruit of the Kerguelen cabbage, and 
are extremely good eating. They were the greatest treat possible 
to us, when living, as we necessarily were, almost entirely on 
preserved meat. 

The teal are to be found mostly in flocks, or when breed- 
ing in pairs. They are, where they have not been shot at by 
sealers, remarkably tame, and require to be kicked up almost to 
afford a shot. At one valley near Three Island Harbour in 
Eoyal Sound, which had probably not been visited by man for 
thirty or forty years, perhaps hardly ever, after tramping some 
distance after teal without success, I saw a flock get up from the 
bed of a river which ran down the valley, about 150 yards off. I 
thought the birds must be wild and had been recently shot at ; but 
no, they got up merely to come and look at me. They pitched 
about 40 yards off, and then set off running towards me in line, 
like farm-yard ducks, seven of them in a row, headed by a drake. 
As a sportsman, I hesitate to describe the termination of the 
scene. Only those who have been long at sea know what an 
intense craving for fresh meat is developed by a constant diet of 
preserved and salt food. The teal were most excellent eating, 
and there were many mouths to feed. My rule was always to 
shoot them on the ground if I could, and as many at a shot as 
possible. When I could not do this I took them flying, and with 
tolerable success. 

Some of the teal were breeding at the time of our visit ; 
some with young full-fledged and already away from the nest ; 
others with eggs. The nest is a neat one, placed under a tuft of 
grass, and lined with down torn from the breast of the parent 
bird. There were five eggs in one nest that I found. 

The duck, when put up off the nest, to effect which the nest 



kerguelen's land. 191 

requires almost to be trodden upon, or when found with her 
young away from the nest, nutters a few yards only, as if 
maimed, and pitches again, and cannot be frightened into a long 
flio-ht. It is curious that the bird should have retained this 
instinct where there are no four-footed or human enemies ; 
possibly she finds it a successful ruse when the brood is attacked 
by the Skuas. 

The young must fall constantly a prey to these ever-watchful 
Skuas, for in most cases I found only a single young one fol- 
lowing the mother. There were no young met with in the 
condition of flappers, and the general breeding season was 
probably only about to begin, as it was with many birds of 
the island. The greater part of the birds were yet in flocks. 

The flat stretch of land at the head of Christmas Harbour is 
covered with a thick rank growth of grass (Festuca Cookii), and a 
Composite herb with feathery leaves and yellow flower (Gotula 
plumosa), also with Azorella as at Marion Island, with Acoena 
Montia fontana and Callitriche verna about the dampest places. 
The soil is black and peaty and saturated with water. It is 
almost impossible to find anything to burn ; the Azorella is the 
only thing that will burn, and sometimes pieces of this may be 
found that are dry enough, in places where the Azorella bunches 
overhang small precipices, and the water can thus drip away. 

The feature which distinguishes the general appearance of 
the vegetation of Christmas Harbour from that of Marion Island 
is the presence of the Kerguelen Cabbage in large quantities. 
The plant grows on the slopes and bases of the cliffs in thick 
beds. The cabbage is in appearance like a small garden 
cabbage, but often with a long trailing stalk. It is, however, 
not annual, but perennial, and the flowering stalks, instead of 
coming out from the centre of the head, come out laterally from 
the sides of the stalks between the leaves. 

The old flower stalks die and wither, but do not drop off. I 
counted on one cabbage at Betsy Cove 28 flowering stalks, of 
different ages ; three of them only being of the current year's 
growth and fresh. They appeared to belong to eight successive 
years. The cabbage about Christmas Harbour was either in 
flower or green fruit, mostly the latter. It was only to the 



192 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER.' 



south of the island, about Eoyal Sound, that ripe seed was met 
with; but there, especially at Mutton Cove, it was abundant. 
The cabbage (Pringlea antiscorbutica), which like the familiar 
vegetable is a cruciferous plant, is peculiar to the Prince Edward, 
Crozets, Kerguelen and Heard Islands, and belongs to a genus 
with no near ally. 




KERGUELEN CABBAGE, PKIXGLEA ANTISCORBUTICA. 



(From a photograph.) 

Crawling about the heart of the cabbages, and sheltering 
there, are to be found swarms of the curious wingless fly, like- 
wise peculiar to Kerguelen's Land, and islands where the cabbage 
is found. The fly (Calycopterix Moseleyi, Eaton) is simply a loiig- 
leo-o-ed brown fly, with very minute rudimentary wings. It crawls 
about lazily on the cabbage, and lays its eggs in the moisture 
between the leaves, about the heart of the plant. 

Another fly ( A ma lopUryxmaritimci), with wings rudimentary 
but larger in proportion to the body than in the other, is found 
about the rocks, on the sea shore, where it jumps about when 
hunted, as if it w r ere a small grasshopper. It is the same as 



KEKGUELEX'S LAND. 193 

found at Marion Island, where it was discovered by Von 
Willemoes Suhm. Probably the fly frequenting the cabbage 
exists also at Marion Island; but we did not know where to 
look for it when there, and cabbages were not very abundant ; 
but it is possible, also, that this fly does not extend there, for 
we saw no teal on Marion Island, though they exist in abundance 
on the Crozets, and especially on Possession Island, where, as 
we were told by the sealers, there is a lake full of them. 
However, we examined but a very small tract of Marion Island, 
and similar tracts are to be found in Kerguelen's Land, with 
very few cabbages, and consequently without teal. Both animals 
may abound in parts of Marion Island not visited by us. 

A wingless Gnat (Halyritus amphibius) also inhabits the 
sea-shore, living amongst the sea-weed constantly wetted by the 
tide. I discovered at the Falkland Islands, a similar wingless 
gnat, and a fly which I believe to be closely allied to the 
Kerguelen Amalopteryx, and which thus adds to those already 
known* a further interesting link between the forms of life 
inhabiting these widely separated islands. 

I mounted up the slope towards Table Mountain. The 
climb is up a succession of steps, the successive flat ledges pre- 
senting; o-laciated surfaces scattered over with stones fallen from 
above. The thick rank vegetation ceases at about 300 feet 
altitude, and then becomes more sparse. Colobanthus Ker- 
guelensis, a Caryophyllaceous plant, peculiar to Kerguelen's 
Land and Heard Island, affects the more barren stony ground 
at this elevation, and I did not meet with it anywhere about 
the lower slopes, or amongst the peaty soil. At Heard Island 
it grows at sea-level. 

At about 500 feet elevation, a very handsome lichen (Neuo- 
pogon Taylori) commences rather abruptly. It is a very con- 

* See Eev. E. H. Eaton. " Breves Dipteramm uniusque Lepidopte- 
rarum insulse Kerguelensis indigenarum diagnoses." The Entomologists' 
Monthly Magazine, August, 1875, p. 58. 

C. 0. Waterhouse, "On the Coleoptera of Kerguelen's Land." Ibid., p. 50. 

There are five genera of Diptera in the island (four of Muscidse, one of 
Tipulidae, all cited as endemic in the southern islands. Possibly, however, 
two of these occur in the Falkland Islands. The beetles are all apterous, 
one having the elytra united. Two genera and all the species are endemic. 

O 



194 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

spicuous plant, being of a mingled bright sulphur-yellow and 
black colour, and of large size. It is abundant on the higher 
rocks everywhere. Azorella and the cabbage grow up to about 
1,000 feet, the height of the ridge from which the rocky mass 
forming the top of Table Mountain rises. Here the cabbage 
ceases, but Azorella is continued in very small quantities to the 
top of the mountain, growing on its very summit, but only in 
very sheltered corners between rocks and much dwarfed. 

Azorella, the cabbage, and a grass (Agrostis Antarctica), were 
the only flowering plants growing at 1,000 feet, and these only 
very sparsely. The land at this height presented a series of 
ridges of barren rock and piles of stones. At Mutton Cove and 
about Royal Sound, a very marked line, at about 1,000 feet, 
separates the green lower slopes from the barren stony ridges 
and peaks above. It is probably the line above which snow lies 
for the greater part of the year unmelted, though the hills just 
above it, at Mutton Cove, were quite free from snow at the time 
of our visit. 

In a pool of water, on the summit of Table Mountain, I 
found a quantity of specimens of a small Lmnbriculus, or allied 
form of Annelid. 

The phonolith of which Table Mountain is composed, is full 
of olivine crystals, occurring in large rounded masses as in the 
Ardeche valley, and many other volcanic districts. 

A comparatively low ridge separates the head of Christmas 
Harbour from the sea directly beyond. On a flat expanse of 
this riclge are two small freshwater lakes, in which grow two 
water plants, Limosella aquatica and Nitella Antarctica, both 
widely spread plants, the first occurring, amongst other places, in 
England ; and the second being very closely allied to a common 
English species. 

I found Limosella aquatica only in these particular lakes, and 
then only after a very long search, since it resembles extremely 
closely, in its general appearance, when growing in masses, a Ra- 
nunculus {Pi. Moscleyi, Hk.f), which grows with it in the water. 
Above the lakes the ridge rises somewhat, and then ter- 
minates in an inaccessible precipice fronting the sea, with short 
talus slopes below, on which are rookeries of crested penguins. 



kerguelen's land. 195 

Under the peculiar overhanging rock, on the south of the har- 
bour, are beds of fossil wood, and the excavation beneath its 
base is hence called Fossil- wood Cave. The wood occurs in beds 
lying nearly horizontal, and a few feet only in thickness. 

The beds are of a soft whitish clay-like matter, which is 
full of black vegetable remains, all apparently so charred and 
decomposed, as to give little or no hope of any structure being 
made out in them. 

The wood is in large trunk-like masses ; the largest which I 
saw was about 1^ feet in diameter ; in some the bark is pre- 
served. The wood is in various states of fossilization, some 
of it being comparatively soft, other specimens extremely hard, 
passing even in the centre into actual basalt, containing small 
amygdaloidal masses of zeolites. Analcite and other zeolites 
are abundant in the Kerguelen lavas, as are also agates.* 

On the talus slopes beneath the cliffs, along the whole south 
side of Christmas Harbour, are vast Penguin rookeries ; the 
Penguins here nesting amongst the stones where vegetation is 
entirely wanting : and to the north of the harbour at its entrance 
are other similar rookeries. Towards the upper part of the 
harbour, the rookeries are those of the smaller crested penguin 
called "Eock-hopper" by the sealers (Eudyptes saltator),t\\Q same 
as that at Marion Island, but nesting scattered amongst these is 
another kind of penguin, Eudyptes chrysolcyihiis, the Macaroni 
of sealers. 

This bird has a most beautiful golden crest, showing con- 
spicuously on the middle of the upper part of the head, com- 
mencing just behind the beak, and with a plume on each 
side as in the bi-crested species. The bird is larger than the 
" Eock-hoppers," and is further distinguished from them by 
the presence of a naked, somewhat tumid space, at the base of 
the beak, which is of a light pink colour. In other colouring 
the bird resembles the Eock-hoppers. This penguin occurs at 
the Falkland Islands, where it nests as at Kerguelen's Land, in 
small quantities amongst the Eock-hoppers.f 

The birds however, only thus nest amongst the other pen- 

* See J. Y. Buchanan, " Proc. E. Soc," No. 170, 1876, p. 617. 
t " Proc. Zool. Soc, 1865," p. 527. 

2 



196 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



» 



gums where they are few in number : towards the head of the 
harbour, and under the natural arch, they have enormous 
rookeries of their own, where, singularly enough, a few of the 
Eock-hoppers nest as guests amongst them ; they have large 
rookeries also in Heard Island, where their eggs are gathered in 
large quantities by the sealers for eating. The sheath-bills are 
as abundant here as at Marion Island, but they are larger and 
heavier than are the birds of that island, and seem to form a 
sub-species. They will be again referred to. 

During our stay at Kerguelen's Land, we put into several 
harbours on the coast. At Aldrich Sound I found a cave in the 
sea-clirT fronting Ship's Channel and under Mount Bromley. 
The cave had been formed by the excavation by the waves of 
the volcanic rock, which had been altered, and rendered more 
yielding at this spot by the intrusion of a dyke which had 
destroyed the tenacity of the rock by its heat. The dyke which 
was a narrow one, and almost vertical in direction, was inclined 
a little, at one part of its course, so as to form the roof of the 
cave on one side. 

The cave was long and tunnel-like. The " Pock-hopper " 
penguins breed in this cave. I went into it about forty yards 
until it was quite dark ; the penguins retreated still before me. 
I had no means of getting a light to explore the cave further. 
The small penguin of New Zealand (Sphenisctcs minoi^) has been 
observed breeding in like manner in the inner chamber of a 
dark cave * and this mode of nesting is in keeping with the 
usual habit of this species and others of breeding in deep 
burrows, which are of course quite dark. 

About Betsy Cove and Poyal Sound, to the southward the 
valleys are broader, and there is more open flat land than there 
is around Christmas Harbour, and there are thus here large 
expanses covered with vegetation. 

At Betsy Cove we stayed about ten days surveying the 
surrounding district. The Cove is also called Pot Harbour, 
from there being an old broken iron pot on the beach, a whaler's 
t ry pot, used for boiling down blubber. As we came into the 
harbour and anchored, though not more than a quarter of a 
* "Trans. N. Zealand Inst.," Vol. II, 1868, p. 75. 



kerguelen's land. 197 

mile from the beach, from some peculiar condition of the at- 
mosphere, the pot looked of immense size, even when viewed 
with a glass, and two King Penguins (Aptenodytes longirostris) , 
standing beside it, looked like men in white and black clothes. 
I went on shore with a boat at once at the desire of Sir Wyville 
Thomson, to get the penguins, for we thought they must be 
stray specimens of the huge antarctic penguin Aptenodytes Fosteri. 
I cannot understand how the delusion came about, it was cer- 
tainly complete. The pot has been for forty years on the beach. 

There are two skulls of the southern Whalebone whale 
(Euoalcena Aiistralis, Gray) lying here in the surf : such skulls 
are common all along the coast, remaining with other bones 
where whales have been towed on shore to be boiled down. 

At Three Island Harbour in Eoyal Sound, there is a long 
row of them on the shore. 

The neighbourhood of Betsy Cove is very interesting from a 
geological point of view, for it is here that the glaciation of the 
surface is most marked, and the glaciated surfaces most easy of 
access. Close to the harbour, on the north, are a series of roches 
moutonnes, but the best examples are on the road from Betsy 
Cove to the head of a fjord adjoining, called Cascade Beach, 
because there is a waterfall on a stream which falls into its 
upper extremity. 

Betsy Cove and Cascade Reach are both indentations in a 
larger bay called Accessible Bay, which lies at the end of a wide 
valley stretching far inland, and bounded on either hand by 
long elevated ridges. In this broad valley, the bottom of which 
forms one of the flat expanses already referred to, project up a 
number of flat topped rocky hills, with smooth ground upper 
surfaces bounded all round by vertical cliffs ; some of the most 
characteristic of these hills are to be met with on the way up 
the south side of Cascade Beach from Betsy Cove. 

The tops of these hills show everywhere rounded surfaces, 
most obviously ground smooth by ice action, but the rock is 
not sufficiently hard to retain striation marks, and since the 
whole surface of the land has evidently undergone immense 
denudation subsequently to its glaciation, these are nowhere to 
be made out, and moraines have also disappeared. 



198 



A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER.' 



The ridges north and south of the broad valley look at first 
glance as if they might be moraines, but their main structure is 
rock, in its original position, though covered mostly by talus. A 
similar ridge to the south of the great fjord, Eoyal Sound, has 
likewise very much the appearance of a moraine ; but here also 
the main constituent is volcanic rock in situ. There is nowhere 
to be seen a free-standing ridge composed entirely of moraine 
matter; but about the flat-topped hills, just described, there 
are beds of sand and stones that may represent broken-down 
remains of moraines. 

Eesting on the rounded surfaces of the flat-topped hills, and 
scattered over them in all directions, are immense quantities of 
stones of all sizes. The stones have all their angles sharp and 




1CEBORNE ROCKS RESTING ON GLACIATED SURFACES, NEAR 
BETSY COVE, KERGUELEN'S LAND. 

unweathered, and they rest in all sorts of positions on the 
smoothed rock, and they have most evidently been dropped into 
their present position by ice floating over the glaciated surfaces 
when these were in a submerged condition. 

The summits of the flat-topped hills are formed of caps of 
basalt, showing usually columnar structure in their cliff faces. 
These caps of basalt of the several hills appear, undoubtedly, to 
have formed at one time a continuous sheet. 

Exactly similar flat-topped hills occur everywhere about in 
Kerguelen's Land, and notably in Eoyal Sound, which is a deep 
and grand fjord studded all over with numerous rocky islets, 
probably 100 or more in number. These islets are all flat- 
topped with erratics on their upper surfaces, and they appear 
to increase gradually in height towards the head of the Sound. 
The hills are of the same constitution as those about Betsy 



KERGUELEX'S LAND. 199 

Cove, and if the great valley at Betsy Cove were submerged, 
we should have on its northern side the hills projecting as 
islands, and giving a miniature representation of those in Eoyal 
Sound. 

There can be but little doubt that the whole of these islands 
in Eoyal Sound were once connected, and that there was thus a 
broad sheet of lava rock with a gentle inclination from inland 
towards the sea. This slope was covered with a huge glacier, 
which was bordered by the mountain ridges now bounding the 
Sound to the north and south, and, perhaps, deposited some of 
the talus at present forming part of the ridge above Mutton 
Cove. After grinding the whole surface of its bed, the glacier 
shrunk and cut deeper channels between masses of rock, which 
were left standing, and thus formed the present islands. 

Either during this period, or after glaciation had ceased, 
the whole was submerged till the upper surfaces of all the 
islands were under the sea, and then ice drifting seawards from 
the remnants of the shrunken glaciers at the heads of the fjords, 
dropped upon the rock surfaces the erratics which at present lie 
upon them. At this time all the moraines were washed away. 

At the base of the hills about Betsy Cove, the bottoms of the 
secondary valleys are as distinctly glaciated as the main valleys 
themselves, and the slopes of the smoothed surfaces seem to 
lead towards the cavity and mouth of the present Cascade 
Harbour. 

About Betsy Cove, thin beds of a red earthy matter a foot or 
two in thickness are very common, underlying beds of basalt 
and weathering out in the cliffs so as to leave ledges and low- 
roofed caverns. They occur in exactly the same manner as the 
beds of coal at Christmas Harbour ; and when this coal is burnt 
in the fire it bakes to a compact mass of red earthy matter, 
exactly resembling that above referred to. There seems no 
doubt that these red beds, as well as the coal beds, represent old 
land surfaces. The soil consisting of black peaty matter as now, 
not many feet thick, has been overflowed by lava streams, 
which in the case of the coal have been only hot enough to char 
all the vegetable matter, in the other case have burnt it to an ash. 

The coal at Christmas Harbour consists of abundant earthy 



200 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

matter, full of charred remnants of vegetable tissue, but I could 
find no recognizable leaves or definite forms, except something 
which resembled a Chara. Even microscopic structure seems 
entirely destroyed. From the glaciated condition of the beds 
overlying the coal and red earth, the great antiquity of the 
Kerguelen vegetation is evident. It has been dwelt upon by 
Sir J. D. Hooker. 

At Betsy Cove are the graves of some whalers, none of very 
old date. They have small white painted wooden monuments. 
It was at Betsy Cove that the best teal shooting was enjoyed, 
there being several small rivers in the neighbourhood, and 
plenty of small ponds and marshy ground with abundance of 
cabbages. On one of my teal shooting excursions I met with a 
Sea-Leopard (Stenorynchus L&ptonyx, Gray). The beast is very like 
the common British seal in appearance. It is spotted yellowish 
white and dark grey on the back, the under surface being of a 
general yellowish colour. 

The one in question was small, not more than five feet long. 
It was asleep, lying almost on its back on the grass in a little 
bay. The poor beast showed no fight at all, and never snarled 
or showed its teeth. I killed it with a stone and my hunting 
knife, and sent it on board to be made into a skeleton. 

The Sea-Leopard seems still pretty abundant on the coasts. I 
saw one much larger in Eoyal Sound, and Yon Willemoes 
Suhm killed another. The sealers said they intended to visit 
Swain's Island, a small outlier, to kill a herd of 400 of these 
seals reported to be in a rookery there. 

Farther along the coast, on the same day, I encountered 
a small herd of Sea-Elephants consisting of four females and two 
males. One male was much larger than the other, and the four 
cows were reclining beside him, the younger and less power- 
ful male lying apart from the rest. All were resting on a thick 
bed of seaweed cast up by the tide on a beach of large pebbles. 

The male was 12 feet long and enormously heavy and fat. 
The females were about eight feet in length. All were of a 
light fawn colour except one female which was shedding her 
coat, and was covered over with patches of reddish hair. Though 
I fired my gun at some teal close by, the Elephants were little 



KERGUELEN S LAND. 



201 



disturbed. The males just raised their heads and then went to 
sleep again ; the females took no notice. 

I went up close to the older male and excited him in the 
hopes of seeing him raise his trunk-like snout, and he was 
roused again later on, but this had not the effect of making him 
move from his ground or frightening him at all ; but on one of 
the ship's cutters, for which I had sent a petition to the ship, 
coming into the bay full of men in order to kill specimens of 
the Elephants and take them on board, the Elephants became 
immediately alarmed as if accustomed only to expect danger 
from boat parties. 

I had forgotten that the Tristan da Cunha people had told 
me that they always shot the male Sea-Elephant and lanced the 
cows, and I thought the beast could be stunned by blows 
on the snout like Fur-Seals, so Lieutenant Channer, who had 
been out shooting with me, went up to the big male and began 
hammering him on the snout with a stick heavily loaded with 
lead, but without any effect beyond enraging the beast to the 
utmost. The animal was not stunned by the blows, because 
the skull of the Sea-Elephant is protected above by a high inter- 
muscular ridge or crest, and the bones around the nostrils are very 
strong. In these point s 
the Elephant is very 
different from the Fur- 
Seal. The beast raised 
itself on its fore-flippers 
and at the same time 
twisted up its tail into 
the air, just as represented 
in "Anson's Voyages," 
where the Sea-Elephant 
was figured for the first 
time as the Sea-Lion of 
Juan Fernandez. 

The beast raised its head and opened its huge mouth to the 
widest, showing formidable teeth and a capacious pinkish gullet, 
from which proceeded loud and angry roars. 

The animal was too young to have a largely developed 




OLD MALE SEA-ELEPHANT OF JUAN FERNANDEZ. 

(Copied from Anson's Voyages.) 



202 



A NATURALIST OX THE " CHALLENGER. 



trunk. There was merely an arched projection thrown up for 
some little distance above the nostrils, partly by inflation, partly 
by strong contraction of muscles on each side of the nose. If 
the beast had got hold of Channer he would have bitten a limb 
to pieces at one crunch. The head of the stick came off, and 
so I ran up and put a bullet into the animal's heart. 

This male Sea-Elephant when enraged had its snout much in 
the condition as that shown in Leseur's plate * in that one of 




SEA-ELEPHANTS. 

(Copied from Leseur's Plate.) 

the animals of the group represented, which is just going to land 
from the sea on the left-hand side of the landscape. The old 
male elephants were described by the sealers of Heard Island as 
having a trunk 10 inches in length. These old males were called 
" Beach-masters/' Anson's sailors called the largest male at 
Juan Fernandez the " Bashaw." 

I obtained from a harponeer on board one of the whaling- 
schooners which we fell in with at Kerguelen's Land, a very well 
executed carving in a soft volcanic stone from Heard Island, 
which represented two men skinning a dead Beach-master. Un- 
fortunately, this was lost with other curiosities in transit from 
the ship, after we reached home. In this, the trunk of the old 
male Elephant was shown hanging like a short flaccid tube from 
the snout. It is shown somewhat thus in Leseur's figure, drawn 
for Peron, in the case of the animal represented as lying on 
beach in the foreground ; but the trunk there is probably shown 

* "Voyage de Decouvertes aux terres Australes." Peron et Leseur. 
Paris, 1807. ° Atlas PL XXXII. 



KERGUELEX'S LAND. 203 

much too prominent and solid looking. The old sealers used to 
eat the trunks as a tit-bit, calling them " snotters." Goodridge 
speaks of it as " a sort of fleshy skin, which hangs over the nose." 
In Anson's Voyage it is described as hanging down five or six 
inches below the end of the upper jaw. Peron says very little 
in his account of the Sea-Elephant about the trunk.* 

I give here a woodcut, from a rough drawing made for me by 
the harponeer above referred to, of a " Beach-master," with its 
trunk in the inflated condition. 

The trunk, when the animal is enraged, is inflated and 
erected, being blown full of air. From the drawing it appears 
that Anson's figure is probably nearly correct in the matter of 
the trunk, as it certainly is in the manner in which the tail is 
curled up into the air in the enraged beast. 




DRAWING OF OLD MALE SEA-ELEPHANT. 

(By a Harponeer.) 



The trunk is produced by inflation of a loose tubular sac of 
skin placed above the nostrils, just as is the "cap" in the 
northern Bladder -nose seal (Cystaphora proboscidea). The trunk 
is evidently, as appears from both the drawings, sacculated, and 
hence irregular in form when inflated. In the Bladder-nose 
the nasal cap develops, only at advanced age, just as in the case 
of the trunk of the Sea-Elephant. 

I bought the stone carving from the harponeer for a sovereign 

* For Peron's " Histoire de l'Elephant Marin," see I.e. T. II, p. 32. A 
translation of it is given in Brewster's " Edinburgh Journal of Science," 
1827, Vol. II, p. 73. 



204 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER 



j> 



and a bottle of whisky. He would not have taken five pounds 
less the whisky, as it was a matter of honour with him that he 
should get a drink for his shipmates out of the proceeds. 

Whilst we were killing the male Elephant, two of the cows 
had been killed by the sailors ; one of them got away for a time 
to our extreme regret, badly wounded, into the sea, and the 
unfortunate animal had to be shot several times before it was 
killed. Being wounded, it made back for the shore. I was 
astonished at this, since it is directly contrary to the ordinary 
habits of seals. I presume the animal sought safety with the 
rest of the herd. 

The Sea-Elephants have a most enormous quantity of blood 
in them. This wounded female stained all the water of the head 
of the little bay, red. The blood, so black as it is in the body 
of the seal, and dark like the muscles, became of a bright arterial 
red as it mingled with the sea water. Mr. E. Brown (in his 
account of the Arctic Seals and Whales inhabiting the Coasts of 
Greenland, " Proc. Zoolog. Soc," 1864), refers to the remarkably 
dark colour of the flesh of seals, due to the gorging of the muscles 
with venous blood ; and states further, that in the young seals, 
which have never been in the water, the muscles are red, and 
that the blood of the seal, dark when shed, turns thus red, when 
exposed to sea water or the air. 

These Sea-Elephants, which were prepared as skeletons on 
board the ship, were found to have only a greenish slime in their 
stomachs. Neither the Otariadw nor the Sea-Elephants feed 
during the breeding season, but live upon their fat, becoming 
gradually thinner and thinner. The Sea-Elephants have a 
reo-ular layer of blubber on their bodies like that of whales and 
porpoises. So perfect a protection is this non-conductor against 
loss of heat, that a dead walrus, which like most seals has the 
same covering, has been found to retain its internal temperature 
after having lain 12 hours in ice-cold water* In the Fur-Seals 
(At otocephalus), there is no such thick layer of blubber de- 
veloped, but only a small quantity of fat attached to the skin. 

* " Die zweite Deutsche Nord-Polarfarht in den Jahren 1869 und 1870." 
2. Bd. Wissenschafttliclie Ergebnisse, Leipzig, F. A. Brockkaus, 1874. 
W. Peters, Zeugetliiere und Fisclie. 



kerguelen's land. 20 



o 



The muscles also are redder than in other seals, more like beef, 
or muscles of land animals generally, not black, and the meat 
was found very good to eat by some of our crew. Mr. Brown 
(loc. cit.) speaks of a green slime found by him in the stomachs 
of the northern Bladder-nose (the northern representative of the 
Sea-Elephant). He ascribes it to seaweed adhering to Mollusca 
(Mya truncata) eaten by the seal. It is, however, probably only 
bile pigment. Peron found cuttle-fish beaks and Eucus in the 
Sea-Elephants' stomachs. The walrus, like the Bladder-nose, 
feeds on Mollusca. In a walrus, dissected by the second German 
North Polar Expedition, the bodies of from 500 to 600 {My a 
truncata) were found in the stomach, with only one single 
small piece of shell, the animal evidently rejecting the shells 
with great care. Stones are found in all seals' stomachs, 
apparently just as in those of penguins. 

There seems little fear of the Sea-Elephant dying out, not- 
withstanding that everyone that can be got at is killed and 
boiled down by the sealers. I saw myself, at Kerguelen's Land, 
eighteen Elephants, and one at Marion Island. On the weather- 
side of the island is a beach, where are thousands of Sea-Elephants. 
These can be got at from land, but shallow water and a heavy 
surf prevents the approach of a boat. Hence, if the animals be 
killed and their blubber boiled down, the casks cannot be got off 
to a ship, nor can they be transported over land. 

The beach is called Bonfire Beach, because some English 
sealers made a lot of oil here, headed it up in casks, and then 
found they could make no use of it. So they piled the casks 
up and set fire to them, in the hopes of driving some of the 
Elephants to more convenient quarters. The numbers of seals 
at Kerguelen in ancient times must have been enormous. Their 
vast old empty rookeries are still marked by trough-like hollows 
in the ground, where the seals used to lie. 

We rolled the dead Sea-Elephant down to the water, and got 
him afloat with some difficulty, then towed the three animals oft 
to the ship with great labour, by rowing against the wind, 
through the thick beds of kelp {Macrocystis jpirifera). Whilst 
we were at work on the beach, crowds of birds began to assemble, 
especially the Giant Petrel or "Breakbones" {Ossifraga gigantea), 



20G A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

the " Nelly " or " Stinker " of sealers. This bird in its habits is 
most remarkably like the vnlture. 

It soars all day along the coast on the look-out for food. No 
sooner is an animal killed, than numbers appear as if by magic, 
and the birds are evidently well acquainted with the usual 
proceedings of sealers— who kill the Sea-Elephant, take off 
the skin and blubber, and leave the carcass. They settled down 
here all round in groups, at a short distance, a dozen or so 
together, to wait, and began fighting amongst themselves, as if 
to settle which was to have first bite. 

The birds gorge themselves with food, just like the vultures, 
and are then unable to fly. I came across half a dozen together 
at Christmas Harbour in this condition. We landed just oppo- 
site them ; they began to run to get out of the way. The men 
chased them, they ran off, spreading their wings, but unable to 
rise ; some struggled into the water and swam away, but two 
went running on, gradually disgorging their food, in the utmost 
hurry, until they were able to rise, when they made off to sea. 

The northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) seems to resemble 
the " Breakbones " very closely in habits. Like it, it does not 
nest in holes like most Proccllaridce. It feeds in the high north 
on carrion, and becomes so gorged with meat from a whale's 
carcass as to be unable to fly without disgorging* 

I was astonished at the comparatively small qnantity of food, 
that is, the smallness of the extra weight, which made all the 
difference between the bird's not being able to rise at all, and its 
being able to soar away with almost its usual power. It would 
be interesting to test various birds with weights and compare 
their power in this respect. A Procellaria is evidently very 
much below an Accipitine in strength in this matter though so 
perfect a flyer. 

But the " Breakbones ' were not the only birds which 
assembled to feast on the remains of the Sea-Elephants. With 
them came the Skuas, but not in great numbers, and multitudes 
of gulls and Sheath-bills, which latter were the most impudent, 
and the first to dare approach a dead cow Elephant which we 
left on the rocks. The whole of the birds must have been clis- 
* MacGillivray, "British Water Birds," Vol. IT, p. 436. 



KEEGUELEX's LAND. 207 

appointed, when they found we were not sealers, for they appa- 
rently could not penetrate the skin of the dead cow, and a day or 
two afterwards only the eyes were pecked out : but the Break- 
bones were then still hanging about the carcass, waiting, though 
not in such numbers as before. 

On another day, beneath the cliffs, north of Betsy Cove, I 
found a young Fur-Seal lying amongst some boulders at the foot 
of the cliff. There was a broad flat shelf of rock here, nearly 
level with the sea, and forming an excellent landing-place for 
seals, so I was especially hunting for them, but should have 
missed this one amongst the rocks, had it not attracted my 
attention by a sort of half-hiss, half-snarl. I killed it, and 
carried the whole beast with great labour to the ship, half a mile 
or more, on my back, in order that a skeleton should be made 
of it. 

On several occasions I superintended parties of stokers, who 
volunteered to dig up birds and eggs for our collection. This 
is the method in which very many of the birds of Kerguelen 
are most readily procured. The beaten ground beneath the 
Azorella is perforated everywhere with holes of various petrels. 
Those of the Prion {Prion desolatus) are most numerous. They 
are about big enough to admit the hand, but the nest and egg- 
are nearly always far out of reach, the holes going in a yard and 
a-half sometimes. 

Prion is a small grey bird, a petrel from the form of the 
nostrils, but with a broad boat-shaped bill, with extremely fine 
horny lamellce, projecting on either margin of the bill inside. 
The bird flies like a swallow, and was nearly always to be seen 
in flocks about the ship, or cruising over the sea, or attendant on 
a whale to pick up the droppings from its mouth. Hence it is 
termed by sealers the "Whale-bird." Its food, as that of all 
the petrels except the carrion ones, seems to consist of the very 
abundant surface animals of the south seas, especially of small 
Crustacea. These form also, apparently, the only food of the 
penguins; for the stomachs of all the penguins which we 
examined were crammed with them only. The Prion lays a 
single white egg. 

Besides the Prion there is the " Mutton-bird" of the whalers 



208 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

(CEstrelata Lessoni),& large Procellarid, as big as a pigeon, white 
and brown and grey in colour. It makes a much larger hole 
than the Prion, six inches in diameter, and long in proportion. 
At the end is a round chamber with a slight elevation in the 
centre, where the nest is somewhat raised, with a deeper passage 
all round ; at least, I saw this in two nests. The old bird is 
very savage when pulled out. It makes a shrill cry, and bites 
hard, the sharp decurved tip of the upper mandible being driven 
right through a man's finger if he is not careful in handling the 
bird. The egg is white, and about the size of a hen's. 

Another petrel, Majaquens cequinoctialis, which also is often 
to be seen cruising after the ship, but then always solitary, 
is called the " Cape Hen " by ordinary sailors, and " Black 
Night Hawk" by the whalers. It makes a hole, larger a good 
deal than that of the Mutton-bird, and nearly always with its 
mouth opening on a small pool of water, or in a very damp 
place. The hole is deep under the ground and very long, two 
vards or more. The birds seem to make their holes in certain 
places in company. At one place, on the shores of Greenland 
Harbour, I found a number of such holes, all within a small 
area. The bird utters a peculiar prolonged and high pitched 
cry, either when dug into on the nest and handled, or on going 
into the hole and finding its mate there. 

I saw once about a dozen of these birds swimming together 
at Eoyal Sound, but usually they hawk over the sea singly, with 
a long sweeping flight like that of the albatross. The young 
are like round balls of grey down, and, as might be expected, 
have the nostrils much more widely open than the adults. 

Further we found a Stormy Petrel (Oceanitis sp.). It makes a 
short small hole in the turf at the verge of the cliffs,, and lays a 
white egg, with slight red speckles at one end, large in size in 
proportion to the bird. 

A more interesting petrel is the diving Procellarid (Pelcca- 
noides urinatrix), which is a petrel that has given up the 
active aerial habits of its allies, and has taken to diving, and has 
become specially modified by natural selection to suit it for this 
changed habit, though still a petrel in essential structure. The 
habits of the bird, which occurs in the Straits of Magellan, are 



KERGUELENS LAND. 



209 



described by Darwin in his Journal.* This bird is to be seen 
on the surface of the water in Koyal Sound when the water is 
calm, in flocks of very large numbers. On two days in which 
excursions were made in the steam pinnace, the water was seen 
to be covered with these birds in flocks, extending over acres, 
which were black with them. The habits of the northern Little 
Auk are said to be closely similar to those of this bird ; so close 
is the resemblance, that the whalers have transferred one of 
their familiar names for the Little Auk to the Diving Petrel. The 
diving petrels dive with extreme rapidity, and when frightened, 
get up and flutter along close to the water, and drop and dive 
again. It is a curious sight to see a whole flock thus taking 
flight. The birds make holes in the ground like the Prions, and 
lay an egg white with a few red specks at one end. They breed 
in enormous quantities on the islands in Eoyal Sound. They 
are readily attracted by a light, and some were caught on board 
through coming to the ship's lights. 

On one of the digging excursions I found a nest of the 
Sheath-bill (Chionis minor), and subsequently found several 
others. The bird has a wide 
range, corresponding to that 
of the Kerguelen cabbage, 
occurring like it in the 
Prince Edward Islands, the 
Crozets and Heard Is- 
lands. Another species of 
the genus occurs in Pata- 
gonia. It resembles the 
Kerguelen species closely in 
general appearance, though 
differing in many essential 
points. A figure of it is 
here given in default of one 
of the Kerguelen bird. It micrht however almost stand for this 
latter. The birds (the " Paddy " of the sealers) are present 
everywhere on the coast, and from their extreme tameness and 



v O^' — -. 




SHEATH-BILL OF FUEGIA. CHIONIS ALBA. 



* " Journal of Eesearclies/ ; p. 290. 



210 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

inquisitive habits, are always attracting one's attention. A pair 
or two of them always forms part of any view on the coast. 
The birds are pure white, about the size of a very large pigeon, 
but with the appearance rather of a fowl. They have light pink- 
coloured legs, with partial webbing of the toes, small spurs on the 
inner side of the wings, like the spur- winged flower, and a black 
bill with a most curious curved lamina of horny matter projecting 
over the nostrils. Eound the eye is a tumid pink ring bare of 
feathers ; about the head are wattle-like warts. 

The birds have been examined anatomically by De Blain- 
ville,* who concluded that they are nearly related to the Oyster- 
catchers. The birds nest under fallen rocks along the cliffs, often 
in places where the nest is difficult of access. The nest is made 
of grass and bents, and the eggs are usually two in number, and 
of the shape of those of the Plovers, and of a somewhat similar 
colouring, spotted dark red and brown. They have been de- 
scribed and figured by Gould, and he considers the eggs to show 
further alliance of the Sheath-bills to the Plovers. I found two 
nests with three eggs, but two is the most usual number. 

The young are black on coming from the egg, following the 
usual law with white birds, the white colouring being' a lately 
acquired peculiarity. The young one has the nostrils wide 
open and merely a tumidity about the posterior margin of the 
nostrils and across the beak where the sheath is commencing to 
grow out. 

On sitting down on the rocks where there are pairs of Sheath- 
bills about, one soon has them round him, uttering a harsh, half 
warning, half inquisitive cry on first seeing one, and venturing 
gradually nearer and nearer, standing and gazing up at the 
intruder with their heads turned on one side. The birds come 
frequently within reach of a stick, and can often be knocked over 
in that way, or bowled over with a big stone, as they will sit 
quietly and allow half a dozen stones, as big as themselves 
almost, to be thrown at them. 

At length, only after being narrowly missed several times, 

* "Voyage de la Bonite," Zoologie, Tom. I, p. 107 ; PI. Oiss. IX. 
The anatomy of the Sheath-bills has been further lately made the 
subject of a memoir by Dr. Kidder. " Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus.," No. 3. 



KERGUELEX'S LAND. 211 

they take flight, and make off, uttering their harsh note a succes- 
sion of times. If a bird be knocked over with a stick, it is 
usually only stunned, the Sheath-bills are very tenacious of 
life. If the one thus caught be tied by the leg with a string 
and allowed to flutter on the rocks, in front of one as one sits, 
the neighbouring sheath-bills will come at once to fight with it 
and peck it, and can be knocked over one after another. When 
courting one another, the birds show all the attitudes of pigeons, 
the male bowing his head up and down and strutting, making 
a sort of cooing noise. 

The birds eat seaweed and shell-fish, mussels and limpets, 
besides acting as scavengers, as already mentioned. They carry 
quantities of the limpet and mussel shells up to the clefts or 
holes under the rocks which they frequent. They readily feed 
in confinement, and we had several on board the ship, running 
about quite at home. One of them established itself in one of 
the cutters for a short time, and used to take a fly round during 
the voyage to Heard Island and return again to the ship. 

The birds, though usually to be seen running on the rocks, 
can fly remarkably well, and their flight is like that of a pigeon. 
I have seen them flying at a great height about the cliffs of 
Christmas Harbour. 

A Tern {Sterna virgatat), the "Mackerel-bird," "King-bird," 
or " Kinger " of sealers, nests on the ground amongst the grass, 
laying a single egg, just like that of other terns. When a nest is 
approached the old birds are very bold, and fly round the head 
of the intruder, uttering a sharp cry. Their young are brown 
and remarkably like a thrush at first glance were it not for the 
web feet. When I saw one for the first time I thought a Land- 
bird had been found in Kerguelen, but such certainly does not 
exist except the Sheath-bill, if it can be considered as such. It 
is, however, worthy of note here, that in Antipodes Island, which 
lies south-east of New Zealand and a little nearer the South 
Pole than Kerguelen's Land, parroquets are abundant, although 
the island is covered with tussock,* and without trees. 

* "Notes on the Geology of the Outlying Islands of New Zealand. 
Reported by Dr. Hector, F.R.S." Trans. N. Zealand Institute, Vol. II, 
1869, p. 176. 

P 2 



212 A NATURALIST OX THE " CHALLENGER." 

The Gull (Larus Dorninicanus) nests also on the open ground 
amongst grass tufts, and the birds breed in considerable flocks 
together, choosing often some dry place on the lower slopes of a 
hill-side. I saw two such places where there were a few nests 
with young and remains of many more. No regular nest is 
made. The young are brown-coloured. The old birds make a 
great deal of noise when the young are carried off, but make no 
attempt to protect them. The brown colour of the young is 
closely like that of the dead grass in which they lie, and 
under which they hide on approach of danger. The colour is 
protective to them; they are, certainly, very difficult to see 
amongst the grass. 

A species of Cormorant (Phalacrocorax verrucosus), which 
occurs at the Falkland Islands and at New Zealand, and which 
is almost certainly the same bird which we saw at Marion 
Island, is very abundant about Kerguelen. The birds are very 
handsome, especially the male. The chest is white, the back 
dark brown and black with green metallic tints upon it. At 
the base of the bill are large orange warty protuberances. 

The birds build on ledges of the cliffs, or on the higher part of 
steep declivities leading directly down into the sea. They are 
especially fond of the horizontal grooves and ledges in the cliffs 
formed where the red earth bands weather out beneath the 
harder overlying basalt. They are gregarious in their nesting, 
and in places small islands or projecting headlands, are stained 
yellow-white with their droppings, so as to be conspicuous from 
a distance at sea. 

The birds make a compact neat round nest, raised about 
a foot from the ground, and composed of mud and lined with 
grass. 

They lay either two or three eggs, pale blue in colour, and 
covered with a chalky substance, as are all cormorants' eggs. 
The young are ugly beasts, covered with intensely black down. 
When there are three in the nest nearly full-fledged they form an 
absurd sight, since the nest is then not big enough to hold more 
than one properly, so the greater part of the bodies of the three 
young projects out, and then, to crown the absurdity, the mother 
comes and sits on the top of these three young as big as herself. 



kerguelen's land. 213 

An idea of the relations of the various birds to one another 
in the struggle for existence will be gained from the following 
incident : I saw a cormorant rise to the surface of the water, 
and lifting its head, make desperate efforts to gorge a small 
fish which it had caught, evidently knowing its danger, and in 
a fearful hurry to get it down. Before it could swallow its 
prey, down came a gull, snatched the fish after a slight struggle 
and carried it off to the rocks on the shore. Here a lot of other 
gulls immediately began to assert their right to a share, when 
down swooped a Skua frcm aloft, right on to the heap of gulls, 
seized the fish and swallowed it at once. 

The shag ought to learn to swallow under water, and the 
gull to devour its prey at once in the air. The Skua is merely a 
gull which has developed itself by fighting for morsels. 

We fell in with three American whaling schooners at 
Kerguelen. They work Heard Island for Sea Elephants and 
Kerguelen for whales more especially. They get their principal 
hands at Fogo in the Cape Verdes on the way out ; the Portu- 
guese there being very willing to embark, even for a South Sea 
whaling cruise, in order to escape the military conscription. 
The schooners, which belong to two different owners, are tended 
by a barque, which brings out provisions and takes home oil and 
skins. 

A difficulty would arise from a whale when struck running 
through the thick beds of kelp (Macrocystis) which everywhere 
form tangled barriers at a certain distance from shore. This is 
got over by having large very sharp knives ready, which are 
held close beside the line as the boat scuds through the water, 
dragged by the whale, and cut a clean passage in the weed. 

The whales are killed by means of a bomb, a cylindrical 
iron tube full of powder provided with a fuse and pointed at 
one end ; at the other, provided with feathers like an arrow. 
The whole is not unlike a laro-e crossbow bolt. The feathers 
are made of vulcanized indiarubber, and when the bolt is 
rammed into the gun from which it is fired, are wrapped round 
the end of the shaft. As soon as the bolt leaves the muzzle 
they expand, and prevent the bombs wobbling or capsizing. 

The invention is extremely ingenious. The bomb is fired 



« mr. TT^Tn^T> " 



214 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 

from a heavy gun from the shoulder, and is good up to about 
fifteen paces. It is fired into the whale just behind the flipper. 

It goes in, and after a while makes a loud explosion, often 
killing the beast almost at once. Four kinds of whales are 
common about Kerguelen's Island, but only one, the Southern 
Whalebone Whale, is regularly hunted. A bomb is fired into 
the other kinds, if there is a chance of doing so from the ship, and 
if the beast hit appears maimed, it is then tackled on to with the 
harpoons. Similar bombs are now regularly used in the North. 

I was sorry to leave Kerguelen's Land, for I enjoyed the 
place thoroughly. We had wonderfully good weather, and 
sometimes the sun was extremely hot. The sunrises and sun- 
sets were often most gorgeous, and the view in evening or early 
morning up Eoyal Sound, with its wide expanse of sea dotted all 
over with rocky islands, like some large inland lake, and with 
Mount Eoss towering blue in the distance, and capped with 
snow and glaciers, is most grand and beautiful. 

The climate of Kerguelen's Land is, as is that of all the 
neighbouring islands, remarkably equable. It is never very 
warm, never very cold. In the middle of winter, during Boss's 
stay there, the thermometer rarely fell below freezing point, and 
the snow never lay on the lower land more than two or three 
days. The whalers told us that it was very rarely that ice 
formed which would bear; and Sir J. D. Hooker speaks of 
breaking ice on the Christmas Harbour Lake only two inches 
thick, and taking from under it Limosella in full flower. 

During our stay, the highest reading of the thermometer was 
59° F., and the lowest 39°'5 F. : the mean about 43° or 44° : 
this in the middle of summer, or rather slightly past the middle. 
The bane of the place consists in the constantly occurring sudden 
storms of wind, one of which made us drag our anchor at Betsy 
Cove, and might easily have sent the ship against the rocks, and 
two of which kept us tediously beating about off the land on two 
occasions, when we were making from one point to another. 

For a complete list of the birds of Kerguelen's Land, see E. Bowdler 
Sharpe, F.L.S., F.E.S. " Trans, of Venus Expedition, Zoology of Ker- 
guelen's Land. Birds." From this paper the names of birds given above 
are taken. 



kerguelen's land. 215 

For the Crustacea, see E. J. Meirs, F.L.S., F.Z.S. Trans. Venus 
Expedition. Ibid. 

For the Terrestrial Annelida, see E. Ray Lankester, F.R.S. Ibid. 

See "Further contributions to the Natural History of Kerguelen's 
Island," by J. H. Kidder, M.D. "Bull. U.S. National Mus.," No. 3, 
1876, II. 

See also, for an account of the island, " Narrative of the Wreck of the 
' Favourite ' on the Island of Desolation ; detailing the adventures, 
sufferings and privations of John Munn ; an Historical Account of the 
Island and its Whale and Sea fisheries." Edited by W. B. Clarke, M.D. 
London, 1850. 




216 



CHAPTEE IX. 

HEAED ISLAND. 

Diatoms on the Sea Surface. Macdonald Island. Whisky Bay, Heard 
Island. Coast-line composed of Glaciers. Structure of the Glaciers. 
Terminal and Lateral Moraines. Glacier Stream. Kocks Cut by 
Natural Sand Blast. Lava Flow and Denuded Crater. Scanty 
Vegetation. Kange in Elevation of Arctic and Southern Plants 
Compared. Mode of Hunting Sea Elephants. Habits of these 
Animals. Sealers Inhabiting Heard Island. Birds of the Island. 

February 2nd, 1814.— We sailed from Christmas Harbour, 
whither we had gone at the termination of our survey to 
erect a cairn with instructions for the Transit of Venus Ex- 
pedition, on February 2nd, and made for the Macdonald Group, 
which lies about 240 miles to the south-east of Kerguelen's 
Land. The channel between the two groups is extremely 
variable in depth, bottom being found at times in less than 
100 fathoms, and at others no bottom being obtained in from 
220 to 425 fathoms. 

The sea surface was full of Diatoms, which filled the towing 
net in large masses. These masses were found by Mr. O'Meara 
to be composed mainly of various species of Chaetoceros, with 
spines of extraordinary length, aggregated in small masses of a 
jelly-like substance. Occurring with these species of Chostoceros, 
were representatives of five other genera of Diatoms, three of 
which were of new species.* 

Heard Island, February 6th, 1874. — On February 6th, after 

beating about for several days in fog, and lying becalmed during 
one day, we sighted the northernmost island of the Macdonald 
Group. It was alternately brightened up by sunshine, and 

* Rev. E. O'Meara, M.A., " On the Diatomaceous gatherings made at 
Kerguelen's Land, by H. N. Moseley." Linn. Journ., Botany, Vol. XV, 
pp. 56, 57. 



HEAKD ISLAND. 217 

hidden in the drifting scud and mist. It consists of a small 
main rocky mass, and two outliers with a very irregular outline 
and weather-beaten appearance. 

The main mass is Macdonald Island, and gives the name to 
the group. It is bounded on all sides by cliffs, which are high 
towards the eastward, but lower towards the westward. There 
was no snow on the island ; on one stretch of sloping flat land, 
a covering of vegetation could be made out no doubt similar to 
that of Heard Island. One of the outliers is in the form of a 
pinnacle, projecting straight up from the sea. 

We anchored at Heard Island, in Corinthian or Whisky 
Bay, as it is named by the sealers, in the afternoon ; I landed at 
once with Captain Nares and Mr. Buchanan. Heard Island is in 
about lat. 53° 10' EL, long. 73° 30' E. It is thus in about the 
same latitude as the eastern entrance of the Straits of Magellan, 
and in a corresponding latitude in the southern hemisphere, to 
our city of Lincoln in the northern ; it is in nearly the same 
longitude as Bombay. It is about twenty-five miles in extreme 
length, and six in extreme breadth, and has an area of about 
80 square miles. The island is elongate in form, stretching in a 
direction about N.W. by W., and S.E. by E. The southernmost 
extremity turns eastward, and runs out into a long narrow 
promontory. 

Whisky Bay is near the northernmost extremity of the 
island. To the south-east of the ship, as she lay in the small 
bay, were seen a succession of glaciers descending right down to 
the beach, and separated by lateral moraines from one another ; 
six of these glaciers were visible from the anchorage, forming by 
their terminations the coast-line eastwards. They rose with a 
gentle slope, with the usual rounded undulating surface up- 
wards towards the interior of the island, but their origin was hid 
in the mist and cloud ; and Big Ben, the great mountain of the 
island, said to be 7,000 feet in height, was not seen by us at all. 

One of the glaciers, that nearest to the ship, instead of 
abutting on the sea-shore directly with its end, as did the others, 
presented, towards its lower extremity its side to the action of 
the waves, and ending somewhat inland, formed a well-marked 
but scanty terminal moraine. 



218 



A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER. 




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HEARD ISLAND. 219 

To the sea-shore this glacier presented a vertical wall of 
ice, resting directly upon the black volcanic sand composing the 
beach. In this wall was exposed a very instructive longi- 
tudinal section of the glacier mass, in which the series of 
curved bands produced by differential motion were most 
plainly marked, and visible from the distance of the anchorage. 

The ice composing the wall or cliff was evidently being 
constantly bulged outwards by internal pressure, and masses 
were thus being split off to fall on the beach, and be melted, or 
floated off by the tide. The ice splits off along the lines of the 
longitudinal crevasses, and falls in slabs of the whole height of 
the cliff; a freshly fallen slab, a longitudinal slice of the glacier, 
was lying on the beach. 

The fallen ice floats off with the tide. Some stones, which 
were dredged in 150 fathoms between Kerguelen's Land and 
Heard Island, were believed by Mr. Buchanan to have been 
recently dropped by floating ice from Heard Island. The 
stones in question were as yet not penetrated by the water.* 

The other glaciers in sight cut the shore line at right angles, 
and thus had no terminal moraines, the stones brought down by 
them being washed away by the sea. 

The glaciers showed all the familiar phenomena of those of 
Europe with exact similarity. There are here the same systems 
of crevasses, more marked in some regions than others, and 
dying out towards the termination of the glacier, where the 
surface is smooth and generally rounded. The crevasses were 
of the usual deep blue colour, and the ridges separating them of 
the usual fantastic shapes. 

Above, the glaciers were covered with snow, which, as one 
looked higher and higher, was seen to gradually obliterate the 
crevasses, and assume the appearance of a neve. The extent 
of glacier free from snow was very small ; the region in which 
thawing can take place to any considerable extent being confined 
to a range not far above sea level. 

Here and there were to be seen, on the surface of the glacier, 
the usual deep vertical pipe-like holes full of water. These 
were lined by concentric layers of ice, composed of prisms 
* J. Y. Buchanan, " Proc. B. Soc." No. 170, 1876, p. 609. 



220 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

disposed radially to the centres of the holes and produced by 
successive night frosts. 

Cones of ice covered with sand, and appearing as if com- 
posed of sand alone, but astonishing one by their hard and 
resistant nature when struck with a stick, were also to be seen 
on the glacier. I have seen closely similar cones in Tyrol; 
and, when a tyro at alpine climbing, have jarred my hand in 
attempting to thrust my alpenstock into them. Here the sand 
was black and volcanic. Small table-stones were not uncommon 
upon the glacier, and, in fact, all the phenomena caused by 
thawing from the action of direct radiant heat were present. 

The usual narrow longitudinal lines or cracks caused by the 
shearing of the ice in its differential motion were present, and 
gave evidence of the grinding together of the closely opposed 
surfaces forming them. 

The dirt and stones on the surface of the ice were as usual 
more abundant towards the termination of the glacier and the 
moraine, but they were not so abundant as usual, and there 
were no large stones amongst them, nor were such to be seen 
in the moraine. 

The harponeer of the " Emma Jane," the whaling schooner 
with which we fell in at Kerguelen's Land, told me that he had 
always wondered where the stones on the ice came from at all, 
and no wonder, for Big Ben is usually hidden from view, and 
the glaciers seem to have nothing above from which the stones 
might come. Most of the stones, no doubt, reach the surface 
and see the light only when they are approaching the bottom of 
the glacier. 

The terminal moraine showed the usual irregular conical 
heaping, and marks of recent motion of the stones and earth 
composing it from the thawing of the ice supporting them, and 
a small stream running from the glacier-bed cut its way to the 
sea through a short arched tunnel in the ice, as so commonly 
occurs elsewhere. A small cascade poured out of the ice-cliff on 
to the seashore from an aperture about half-way up it. All the 
moraines showed evidence of the present shrinking of the glaciers. 

The view along the shore of the successive terminations of 
the glaciers was very fine. I had never before seen a coast-line 



HEARD ISLAXD. 221 

composed of cliffs and headlands of ice. None of the glaciers 
came actually down into the sea. The bases of their cliffs 
rested on the sandy beach and were only just washed by the 
waves at high water or during gales of wind. 

The lateral moraines were of the usual form, with sharp 
ridged crests and natural slopes on either side. They formed 
lines of separation between the contiguous glaciers. They were 
somewhat serpentine in course, and two of them were seen 
to occur immediately above points where the glaciers on either 
hand were separated by masses of rock in situ, which masses 
showed out between the ice-cliffs on the shore and had the 
ends of the moraines resting on them. 

A stretch of perfectly level black sand about half a mile in 
width forms the head of the bay and intervenes between the 
glaciers and a promontory of rocky rising land stretching out 
northwards and westwards, and forming the other side of the bay. 
It was on the smooth sandy beach bounding this plain that we 
landed. The surf was not heavy, but we had to drag the boat 
up at once. 

In this we were helped by six wild-looking sealers, who had 
made their appearance on the rocks as soon as the ship entered 
the bay, with their rifles in their hands, and had gazed on 
us with astonishment. The boss said, as we landed, he " guessed 
we were out of our reckoning." They evidently thought no one 
could have come to Heard Island on purpose who was not 
in the sealing business. 

The sandy plain stretches back from the bay as a dreary 
waste to another small curved beach at the head of another 
inlet of the sea. Behind this inlet is an irregular rocky moun- 
tain mass forming the end of the island, on which are two large 
glaciers very steeply inclined, and one of them terminating in a 
sheer ice-fall. At its back this mountain mass is bounded 
by precipices with their bases washed by the sea. 

The plain is traversed by several streams of glacier water 
coming from the southern glaciers. These streams are con- 
stantly changing their course, as the beach and plain are washed 
about by the surf in heavy weather. At the time of our visit 
the main stream stretched across the entire width of the plain 



222 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



» 



and entered the sea at the extreme western verge of the beach. 
We had therefore to ford it. 

The stream was about 20 yards across, and knee-deep. It 
was intensely cold, and pained my legs worse than any glacier 
water I have ever waded in. The water of the stream was 
brown, opaque, and muddy, charged with the grindings of the 
glaciers. Sunning into the sea it formed a conspicuous brown 
tract, sharply defined from the blue-green water of the sea, and 
extending almost to the mouth of the bay. 

The sandy plain seemed entirely of glacial origin ; it was in 
places covered with glacial mud, and was yielding, and heavy to 
walk upon. 

Mr. Buchanan observed that the isolated rocks which had 
been rolled down upon this plain from the heights above were 
cut by the natural sand-blast into forms resembling trees on a 
coast exposed to trade winds. The effect of every prevalent 
wind was shown by the facets cut by the blown sand upon the 
surfaces of the rocks, the largest facet in each case being that 
turned towards the west.* 

The plain was strewed with bones of the Sea-Elephant and 
Sea-Leopard, those of the former being most abundant. There 
were remains of thousands of skeletons, and I gathered a good 
many tusks of old males. The bones lay in curved lines, 
looking like tide lines, on either side of the plain above the 
beaches, marking the rookeries of old times and tracks of 
slaughter of the sealers. Some bones occurred far up on the 
plain, the Elephants having in times of security made their lairs 
far from the water's edge. A few whales' vertebrae were also 
seen lying about. 

On the opposite side of the plain from that bounded by the 
glacier is a stretch of low bare rock, with a peculiar smooth and 
rounded but irregular surface. This rock surface appears from a 
distance as if glaciated, but on closer examination it is seen to 
show very distinct ripple marks and lines of flow, and the rock- 
mass is evidently a comparatively recent lava flow from a small 
broken-down crater which stands on the shore close by. 

The remains of the crater are now in the form of three 

* J. Y. Buchanan, M.A., Report, "Proc. E. Soc." No. 170, 1876, \\ 622, 



HEARD ISLAND. 



223 



fantastic irregularly conical masses, composed of very numerous 
thin layers of scoriae, conspicuous because of their varying and 
strongly contrasted colours and very irregular bedding. The 




BROKEN-DOWN CRATER, WHISKY BAY, WITH SNOW UPON IT. 

lava flow is seen in section in the low cliffs forming; the coast- 

o 

line of the harbour. 

The present condition of Heard Island is evidently that which 
obtained in Kerguelen's Land formerly. Glaciers once covered 
Kerguelen's Land almost entirely and dipped down into the sea. 
It is, however, an extraordinary fact that Heard Island, only 300 
miles south of Kerguelen's Land, should thus still be in a 
glacial epoch, whilst in Kerguelen's Land, a very much larger 
tract, the glaciers should have shrunk back into the interior, and 
have left so much of the land surface entirely free of ice, the ice 
epoch being there already a thing of the past. 

The great height of Big Ben, and consequent largeness of the 
area where snow constantly accumulates and cannot be melted, 
no doubt accounts to a considerable extent for the peculiar 
conditions in Heard Island. A similar rapid descent of the 
snow-line within a few degrees of latitude occurs in the Chilian 
Andes,* so great is the chilling influence of the vast southern sea. 

* Grisebach, "Die Vegetation der Erde." Leipzig, 1872. 2. Bd. 
s. 467. Ibique citato. 






224 A NATUKALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Heard Island is in a corresponding latitude to Lincoln. No 
doubt, when England was in its last glacial epoch, Heard Island 
enjoyed a much milder climate, and it was possibly then that the 
lar^e trees grew, the trunks of which are now fossil in Kerguelen's 
Land, and that the ancestors of Lyallia and Pringlea flourished. 

A stretch of land on the north-west side of the plain was 
covered pretty thickly with green, which was on closer view 
seen to be composed of patches of Azorella,* growing on the 
summits of mud or sand hummocks, which were separated from 
one another by ditches or cavities, of usually bare brown mud. 

Some of these Azorella patches were of considerable extent, 
and the plant was evidently flourishing and in full fruit. On 
some hummocks grew tufts of the grass Poa Cookii, in full 
flower and with the anthers fully developed ; and on the sheltered 
banks of the hummocks the Kerguelen cabbage (Pringlea anti- 
scorbutica), grew in considerable quantity, but dwarfed in com- 
parison with Kerguelen specimens, both in foliage and in the 
length of the fruiting stems. Most of it was in fruit, but some 
still in flower, as at Kerguelen's Land. 

Around pools of water in the hollows grew a variety of 
a British plant, Callitriche Verna (sub sp. obtusangidata) , in 
quantity, and it occurred also in abundance submerged; in 
company with a Conferva. In the same sheltered spots grew 
Colobanthus Kerguehnsis, in greater abundance even than at 
Kerguelen's Land. 

These five flowering plants,! all occurring also in Kerguelen's 
Land, were the only ones found in the island, and it is im- 
probable that any others grow there. Heard Island has thus a 
miserably poor flora, even for the higher latitudes of the 
southern hemisphere. The Falkland Islands, in lat. 51° to 52° 
S., have 119 phanerogamic plants, and Hermit Island, far to the 
south of Heard Island, in lat. 56° S., has 84 phanerogams, and 
amongst them trees of which this island is the southern limit. 

An Antarctic flora can in reality hardly be said to exist, since 
there are absolutely no phanerogamic plants within the Ant- 
arctic circle, and on Possession Island, lying oft' the coast of 

* See p. 166. 

t Prof. Oliver, P.R.S., "Journal of Linn. Soc.," Vol. XIV, p. 381). 



HEARD ISLAND. 225 

Victoria Land, in abont lat. 72° S., within the Circle, Sir Joseph 
Hooker found* only 18 cryptogams, mosses, lichens, and algae, 
no trace of phanerogams. Yet in Saltdalen, in Norway, north 
of the Arctic Circle, there are fine timber forests and thriving 
farms, yielding abundant crops of hay and barley. Melville 
Island, in lat. 74° 75' K, 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle, 
has a vegetation of 67 flowering plants. 

Sir J. D. Hooker, in his latest memoir on the botany of 
Kerguelen's Land, says : " The three small archipelagos of 
Kerguelen Island (including the Heard Islands), Marion and 
Prince Edward's Islands, and the Crozets, are individually and 
collectively the most barren tracts on the globe, whether in 
their own latitude or in a higher one, except such as lie within 
the Antarctic Circle itself ; for no land, even within the North 
Polar area, presents so impoverished a vegetation."! 

About the sides of the hummocks already described grew 
scantily four species of mosses, one of which proved to be new 
and peculiar to the island. 

The majority of the land surface of Heard Island, free from 
ice, besides the green tract described, is entirely devoid of 
vegetation. Only on the talus slopes of the hills on their shel- 
tered sides, are seen scattered in a very few places scanty 
patches of green. These composed lower down mainly of 
Azorella stretch up the slopes, and terminate at an elevation 
of a few hundred feet in bright yellow patches, consisting 
entirely of mosses, just as at Marion Island, on the higher 
slopes. I searched in vain for lichens of any kind. 

There seems to be a very great difference with regard to the 
vertical range of plants in these southern islands, and in the 
Arctic regions. In Marion Island, I estimated the absolute 
limit of vegetation at an altitude of about 2,000 feet ; in Ker- 
guelen's Land, the limit seems to lie at about 1,500 feet or 
lower ; plants of any kind are there already scarce at 1,000 feet 
above sea level. In Heard Island vegetation seems to cease at 
300 or 400 feet altitude. Yet in East Greenland, the same 

* " Flora Antarctica," p. 216. 

t " Observations on the Botany of Kerguelen Island by Sir J. D. 
Hooker, P.R.S.," &c. Transit of Venus Expedition, Botany, pp. 2, 3. 

Q 



226 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



» 



plants are found to range from sea level up to 3,000 feet, and 
there is no real limit of altitude ; even at 7,000 feet elevation 
a thick cushion of moss, several inches in length, was found by 
the German North Polar Expedition covering the ground.* 

This remarkable condition in the Arctic regions is mainly 
accounted for by Dr. Pansch, by the fact that, with the sun 
always near the horizon in high latitudes, the hill-slopes re- 
ceive its rays nearly vertically on their surfaces, and thus 
receive more radiant heat, even than the flat land below them. 
There is little cooling at night, the clouds and mist preventing 

radiation. 

In Kerguelen's Land, of course, in its low latitude, the 
inclined surfaces do not profit so much by their inclination. 
There, as in the high north, the mosses and lichens are the 
highest plants in range. In the successive groups of islands, 
Marion, Kerguelen, Heard, they come lower and lower down the 
mountain-slopes, and in Possession Island, south of the Ant- 
arctic Circle, the few flowering plants remaining below them 
at Heard Island have disappeared, and they are left growing 
alone. 

In all the southern islands the density of the phanerogamic 
vegetation, the extent of development of the individual plants, 
and the number of species present, decrease directly with the 
height. The facts show how much more the constant absence 
of warmth, and a continuous moderately low temperature, is 
inimical to plant development, than is periodical cold of the 
severest kind. 

The condition of the vegetation in various localities in East 
Greenland depends more on the distance of these from the ice 
barrier, than on their position more or less north or south. The 
vegetation becomes more abundant as progress is made inland, 
away from the ice-bound coast. Exactly the opposite seems to 
hold in Kerguelen's Land, where the chief source of warmth., 
though at the same time the constant cause of the equalization 

* " Die zweite Deutsche Nord-Polarfahrt in den Jahren 1869 und 
187o." 2. Bd. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse, Leipzig. F. A. Brockhaus. 
" Kliin:i und I'ilunzenleben auf Qstgronland," von Adolf Pansch in Kiel. 



HEAED ISLAND. 227 

of temperature, is the sea: and where the accumulated snow 
inland, and its attendant mists, render the soil there barren. 

In East Greenland all phanerogamic water plants are absent, 
because of the long freezing of the water in winter ; in the 
southern islands there is a Limosella, and a large number of the 
other Phanerogams seem to take on a special aquatic habit. 

To return to Heard Island. At Corinthian Bay large masses 
of seaweeds were banked up on the sandy shore. I collected 
eight species, which have been described by Prof. Dickie* 
Amongst them were two new species, two which occur at 
Kerguelen's Land, whilst the remainder occur in Puegia. The 
main mass appeared considerably different from the masses of 
algse found on the Kerguelen shore. Durvillcea utilis grew 
attached to the rocks under the cliffs, but the kelp (Macrocystis 
jpirifera) does not grow at all about this group of islands, 
according to the sealers, which is a remarkable fact, in con- 
sideration of its great abundance at Kerguelen's Land. 

The sealers said that the climate of Heard Island was far 
more rigorous than that of Kerguelen's Land. In winter the 
whole of the ground is frozen, and the streams are stopped, so 
that snow has to be melted in order to obtain water. In 
December, at Midsummer, there is plenty of sunshiny weather, 
and Big Ben is often to be seen. It is possible to land in whale 
boats, on the average of the whole year only once in three days, 
so surf-beaten is the shore, so stormy the weather. 

We saw six sealers ; two were Americans, and two Portu- 
guese from the Cape Verde Islands. They were left on the 
island by the whaling vessels which we met with at Kerguelen's 
Land, their duty being to hunt Sea-Elephants. The men engage 
to remain three years on the island, and see the whale ships 
only for a short time in the spring of each year. 

On the more exposed side of the island there is an extensive 
beach, called Long Beach. This is covered over with thousands 
of Sea-Elephants in the breeding season, but it is only accessible 
by land, and then only by crossing two glaciers or " ice-bergs " 
as the sealers call them. ISTo boat can live to land on this shore, 
consequently men are stationed on the beach, and live there in 

* "Journal of the Linn. Soc," Vol. XV, p. 73. 

Q 2 



228 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER. ' 

huts ; and their duty is constantly to drive the Elephants from 
this "beach into the sea, which they do with whips made of the 
hide of the Elephants themselves. The beasts thus ousted swim 
off, and often " haul up," as the term is, upon the accessible 
beaches elsewhere, and there they are killed and their blubber 
is taken to be boiled down. 

In very stormy weather, when they are driven into the sea, 
they are forced to betake themselves to the sheltered side of 
the island ; hence the men find that stormy weather pays them 
best. Two or three old males, termed " beach-masters," hold a 
beach to themselves and cover it with cows, but allow no other 
males to haul up. The males fight furiously, and one man told 
me that he had seen an old male take up a younger one in his 
teeth and throw him over, lifting^ him in the air. The males 
show fight when whipped, and are with great difficulty driven 
into the sea. They are sometimes treated with horrible brutality. 
The females give birth to their young soon after their arrival. 
The new-born young are almost black, unlike the adults, which 
are of a light slate brown, and the young of the northern 
Bladdernose, which are white. They are suckled by the female 
for some time, and then left to themselves lying on the beach, 
where they seem to grow fat without further feeding. They 
are always allowed by the sealers thus to lie, in order to make 
more oil. 

This account was corroborated by all the sealers I met with. 
I do not understand it ; probably the cows visit their young 
from time to time unobserved. I believe similar stories are 
told of the fattening on nothing of the young of northern seals. 
Peron says that both parent Elephant seals stay with the 
young without feeding at all, until the young are six or seven 
weeks old, and that then the old ones conduct the young to the 
water and keep them carefully in their company. The rapid 
increase in weight is in accordance with Peron's account. 

Charles Goodrid^e gives a somewhat different account, 
namely, that after the females leave the young, the old males and 
young proceed inland, as far as two miles sometimes, and stop 
without food for more than a month, and during this time lose 
fat. The male elephants come on shore on the Crozets for the 



HEARD ISLAND. 229 

breeding season at about the middle of August, the females a 
little later. 

There were said to be forty men in all upon Heard Island. 
Men occasionally get lost upon the glaciers. Sometimes a man 
gets desperate from being in so miserable a place, and one of the 
crew of a whaler that we met at Kerguelen's Land said, after 
he had had some rum, that occasionally men had to be shot;, a 
statement which may be true or false, but which expresses at all 
events the feelings of the men on the matter. 

The men that we saw seemed contented with their lot. The 
" boss " said, in answer to our inquiries, that he had only one 
Fur-Seal skin, which he would sell if he was paid for it, but he 
guessed he'd sell it anyhow when he got back to the States. He 
had been engaged in sealing about the island since 1854, having 
landed with the first sealing party which visited the island. 
For his present engagement his time was up next year, but he 
guessed he'd stay two years more. He'd make 500 dollars or 
so before he went home, but would probably spend half of that 
when he touched at the Cape of Good Hope on the way. 

The men had good clothing, and did not look particularly 
dirty. They lived in wooden huts, or rather under roofs built 
over holes in the ground, thus reverting to the condition of the 
ancient British. Around their huts were oil casks and tanks, 
and a hand-barrow for wheeling blubber about. There were 
also casks marked Molasses, Flour, and Coal. 

The men said they had as much biscuit as they wanted, and 
also beans and pork, and a little molasses and flour. Their 
principal food was penguins (Euclyptes chrysolophv.s), and they 
used penguin skins with the fat on for fuel. Captain Sir G. S. 
ISTares saw five such skins piled on the fire one after the other in 
one of the huts. 

The bay in which we anchored was thronged with Cape 
Pigeons (Daption Capensis) and Prions in astonishing numbers. 
The Prions were on the wing in the usual manner, in dense 
flocks ; the Pigeons, called sometimes by the sealers " Egli Bird," 
were mostly feeding on the water at the mouth of the glacier 
stream. They were breeding in holes in the low basaltic cliffs. 

On the same cliffs was a rookery of Shags. They appeared 



230 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

much whiter than the Kerguelen birds, a broad band of white 
passing round the body, under the wings and across the back. 
The}' were probably of the same species {Phalacrocorax verru- 
cosus) which is described as developing in New Zealand a broad 
white band at the close of the breeding season* The sealers 
had remarked that the Heard Island Shag was whiter than the 
Kerguelen one. The season at Heard Island may have been 
more advanced, or a change of plumage may take place earlier ; 
or from the sealers' remark it would appear that the Heard 
Island birds differ in their amount of development of white from 
the Kerguelen ones.f 

On a steep talus slope leading down from the broken-down 
crater already described, to the sea, was a large penguin rookery, 
from which the sealers drew their supplies. A tern, the same as 
one of the Kerguelen ones, was nesting on the terminal moraine 
of the glacier at the head of the harbour. The sealers call it 
" King-bird " or " Kinger." I saw brooded eggs. The gull of 
Kerguelen's Land (Larus Dominicanus) was very abundant. It 
was curious for the first time to see gulls perched upon a glacier. 
The only other birds which I saw were the Skua (Stercorarius 
Antarcticus) and the Giant Petrel (Ossifraga gigantea), and a 
Stormy Petrel (Occanitis sp.), which was very abundant. The 
" Sheath-bill " (Chionis) was said by the sealers to be common 
in the island ; I saw one only. 

The only insects which I saw w^ere the large apterous fly of 
Kerguelen's Land, which shelters itself, as there, in the heart of 
the wild cabbage, and a single dead specimen of a small beetle, 
found amongst the Azorella, which unfortunately I lost. 

I had only three hours' time on shore. I was busy hunting 
for insects when I saw the Captain signalling for a return, and 
picking up the biggest Sea-Elephant skull which I could find, 
and knocking a few tusks out of some others, to keep as me- 
mentos of this dismal spot, I made the best of my way across 

* "Trans. K Zealand Inst./' Vol. V., p. 224. 

t Messrs. Sclater and Salvin separate Phalacrocorax imperialis from 
P. verrucosus, because of the development in it, and not in the latter, of 
white on the back. It is unfortunate that no specimens could be got in 
Heard Island. "Proc. Zool. Soc," 1878, p. 650. 



HEARD ISLAND. 231 

the muddy and yielding plain, and through the glacier stream, 
although the skull was almost more than I could carry, in 
addition to rock specimens and a big vasculum. We got off only 
just in time, for a considerable sea was running by the time that 
we reached the ship. 

We were to have landed again on the following morning; 
but the wind shifted, and there was a thick fall of snow, covering 
the deck to the depth of two inches, and rendering the shore of 
an uniform white, excepting where a few black precipitous rocks 
showed out here and there in relief. The moraines were scarcely 
visible, and we realized how fortunate we had been in having hit 
upon so fine a day for landing on the island. 

We got under way at about 5.30 a.m. As we left the bay 
we saw, even at this early hour, one of the wretched Portuguese 
starting off to walk the beaches in search of his prey, the 
miserable Elephants. 




232 



CHAPTER X. 



AMONGST THE SOUTHEEN ICE. 

First Iceberg Sighted. Typical Forms of Southern Bergs. Preservation 
of Equilibrium. Wash Lines. Caverns. Bi-tabular Bergs, How 
Formed. Weathering of Bergs. Stratification of Ice in Bergs. 
Cleavage. Scarcity of Rocks on Bergs. Discoloured Bands in the 
Ice. Rev. Cauon Moseley on the Motion of Glaciers. Colouring of 
Bergs. Blue Berg. Surf on the Coasts of Bergs. Scenic effects of 
Icebergs. Appearance of the Pack Ice. Discolouration of Ice by 
Diatoms. Gales of Wind amongst the Icebergs. Snowbow. Whales 
Blowing. Grampuses. Birds amongst the Ice. Antarctic Climate 
in Summer. 

Amongst the Southern Ice, February 8th to March 4th, 1814. — 

From Heard Island we ran nearly due south for six days, 




FIRST ICEBERG, SIGHTED FEBRUARY IOtH. 

(From a sketch by Lieut. H. Swire, R.N.) 

approaching the Antarctic Circle at an average rate of about 
115 miles a day. The first iceberg was sighted on February 10th, 



AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 233 

in a latitude nearly corresponding to that of the Shetland Islands 
and Christiania in Norway, in the northern hemisphere. 

The temperature gradually fell as we went southwards, and 
on February 9th went down for the first time to just below 
freezing point in a snow squall. 

At first, all the icebergs seen were numbered each day, and 
their positions noted down ; but when we came to have 40 in 
sight at once this plan was abandoned, and w r e subsequently had 
more than a hundred in sight on several occasions. 

The typical form of the Antarctic iceberg, as seen above 
water, and apparently the form which it always has when first 
set free on its wanderings, is very simple. The top is a nearly 
flat expanse of snow, and this is bounded all around by per- 
pendicular cliffs. The boundary lines of the expanse are no 
doubt always in the first instance nearly straight lines, since 
they must be produced by the splitting off of the berg from the 
parent mass, and the previous splitting of similar bergs from its 
own outer border when still attached. 

A considerable number of the undecayed bergs seen by us 
were almost rectangular in outline. Some few were irregularly 
oval, and the weathered ones of course of all possible irregular 
outlines. 



Since ice requires about 
nine times its volume to be 
immersed in order to float 
it above sea water, the por- 
tion of an iceberg which 
shows above water is a verv 
small proportionate part of 
the mass. Mr. Buchanan 

DIAGRAM TO SHOW THE PROPORTION OF AN ICEBERG 

made an accurate estimate immersed, and above water. 

of the specific gravity of samples of the berg ice, and calculation 
of amount of immersion of icebergs. The proportionate depth 
of a berg below water will of course depend on the form and on 
the relative density of the upper and lower strata of the mass. 
Usually, no doubt, the mass below water is far less than nine 
times the vertical depth of the height of the part above water, 
from two considerations. Firstly, the sides of the berg are not 



234 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

perpendicular, but long ledges run out from the base of the cliffs 
below water, the immersed part being thus much larger in figure 
than the exposed ; and, secondly, the exposed part is of lighter, 
less compact ice, and often further lightened by excavation of 
caves, and presence of crevasses. 

So large a proportion of the bergs being required to be 
immersed in order that the bergs broken off from the parent 
ice masses should float in stable equilibrium, with their surfaces 
originally uppermost maintained still in that position, it is 
necessary that the pieces thus breaking off, supposing their upper 
surfaces to be square, should be at least as wide as they are 
thick If this were not the case, if the density of the ice masses 
were uniform, the bergs would necessarily topple immediately 
they broke free, and this fact would be shown by their strati- 
fication being vertical to their plane of flotation. This, however, 
seems never, as far as I could judge from the bergs I saw, to 
occur. Tilting only takes place after bergs have been long 
weathered. The bergs seem nearly always to be of large area 
in proportion to their thickness, and to maintain their original 
balance for very long periods. No doubt the much greater 
density of the ice composing the lower portions of the bergs 
tends to keep them in their original position. 

The waves, partly no doubt because of the water at the very 
surface being warmed by the sun, and partly no doubt by heat 
resulting from their motion, cut a wash-line all round the bergs, 
which appears as a concave groove-like channel with a polished 
inner surface, just at the water-level. 

When bergs rise to a higher level, or tilt, these wash-lines 
remain marked on the bergs, as straight polished streaks, visible 
from a great distance (coloured plate, fig. 5), giving evidence 
of the former lines of flotation of the bergs. Sometimes, several 
ancient wash-lines are visible on one berg, and where the 
cliff surfaces on which they are scored are protected at their 
base from the waves by secondary cliffs or projections, they may 
remain intact for very long periods. 

The wash-lines being: hollowed out at the bases of the cliffs, 
these latter soon overhang, and large masses split off along 
the lines of joint and cleavage, and fall. The masses evidently 



AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 235 

split off tolerably evenly from the whole height of the cliffs, 
for these are nearly always, when thus still water-worn at 
their bases, perpendicular, and on our firing a shot at a ber« 
cliff, the ice split off in this manner from the whole height of 
the cliff. 

When there are crevasses in the ice at the level of the wash- 
line leading into the ice from it, the wash of the waves hollows 
out caverns which resemble in general form caves cut in the 
same manner by waves on coast-lines, and have their mouths 
wider at the levels of the wash-lines. 

The presence of caves is a proof that a berg has floated 
at the level of the wash-line, along which they lie for a long 
period. The remains of the upper part of the crevasse which has 
assisted in the development of a cave, is often to be seen stretch- 
ing up from its roof. Often by change of line of flotation of a 
berg, a line of caves is carried up far above sea level, and three 
or four caves disposed along an old wash-line are thus often to 
be seen on the surface of a berg, the line being sometimes 
horizontal, sometimes tilted. In a berg which has undergone 
extreme denudation, or on a narrow spur of a young berg, a cave 
may be excavated right through the berg and give rise to a 
natural arch. A further degeneration of the arch gives rise to 
an isolated pinnacle. 

The base of the berg under water beneath the wash-line beino- 
supported by the water, does not split off at once like the cliff 
above when cut into. Hence the waves constantly deepening 
the wash-line as the cliffs fall, and eating their way into the 
berg at the water-line, a platform of ice is left behind under 
water, projecting at the base of the cliffs above it. After a 
time the part of the berg above water losing weight, the berg 
rises, and this platform is raised above water, and the berg thus 
becomes two-storied or bi-tabular. 

A fresh wash-line is cut below the margin of the platform 
now raised, and low perpendicular cliffs are formed round it. 
A third platform may be formed in the same manner and raised, 
and the berg may become three-storied. 

At the base of the older cliffs in each case, the old wash-line 
is usually to be seen where the cliffs are joined by the platform 



236 



A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 



succeeding them, but in some instances it is obscured by the 
subsequent formation of a debris slope from the falling of the 
cliff; for the cliff, as on land, when no longer cut into by the 
waves at its base, tends to degenerate into a slope of natural 
inclination. 

The resemblance in the weathering of a berg by the action 
of waves to that undergone by a rocky coast under the same 
circumstances is complete. Caves, cliffs, pinnacle-like outliers, 
and a shore platform at the base of the cliffs, are formed in 
a closely similar manner in each case. 

In order that a horizontal platform of any wide extent should 
be formed beneath the water, it is necessary that the berg should 
float at almost exactly the same level for a very long period. I 
do not properly understand how this occurs. Each time that a 




BI-TABULAR ICEBERG. 

At the base of the upper cliff is seen the old wash line. (From a sketch by the Author.) 

mass of ice falls from the undermined cliff in order that the 
equilibrium should be maintained, it is necessary that nine times 
that bulk of ice should be removed from the base. 

No doubt portions of the platforms below water are con- 
stantly being split off by the upward pressure and floating to 
the surface as " calves." The formation of a large platform 
under water must, however, depend on such a " calving " not 
taking place, unless on sides of the berg other than that on 
which the platform is formed. Nevertheless, by some means or 
other, either by melting or calving, a very uniform wasting of 
the berg below water must take place in order to form a plat- 
form. It cannot be supposed that the amount of snow which 
lulls on the berg when set free can be sufficient to balance the 
loss by the action of the sea. 

There must be a reason why the bergs which thus become 



AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 237 

two-storied have their lower story commonly, as in the bero- 
figured here in the text, only at one of their ends. Probably a 
certain amount of lower platform existed all round this berg 
when it first rose, but this was cut away on all the sides where it 
was narrow, by being undermined by the waves. The line of 
the main upper cliff was thus soon reached on these sides, and 
this cliff was then itself further undermined, so that, as shown 
in the sketch, the old wash-line was obliterated, and remained 
only at the base of that cliff which was protected by the still 
remaining secondary platform. 

The greater undermining of bergs at one side may, no doubt, 
be due to their taking up, from the shape of their parts exposed 
above water and the relation of these parts in position to the 
form of the parts below water, a particular direction with regard 
to the wind, and maintaining this so that one particular side is 
usually the windward one, and therefore most battered by the 
waves. 

It seems far more difficult to explain how it occurs that bergs 
suddenly rise to a considerable height further out of water than 
that at which they have floated before. Such a sudden rise 
must necessarily be supposed in order to account for the two- 
storied form. 

In order that, in the case of the berg figured for instance, a 
rise should occur from the height of the old wash-line to the 
present water-line, a mass of the berg above water must have 
been suddenly removed, equal in volume to the whole part 
of the berg above water lying below the level of the top of the 
lower story. 

It seems almost incredible that such a mass should break off' 
and fall away suddenly. A splitting of a berg in two can 
be readily understood, but the mass in this case must come 
entirely from the part of the berg above water. It cannot have 
split off at an angle, for the walls of the berg in question were 
perpendicular cliffs. The berg certainly had never toppled. 

A different explanation possible is, that nine times the 
volume of ice above referred to, was suddenly added to the part 
of the berg below water by its passing into cold water or a 
change of season. It may be that the raised story represents 



238 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

the effects of growth of the base of a berg during one winter 
when it probably still lay far south. The surface water would 
be colder then, and the cliffs not being so much, or hardly 
at all undermined, time would be allowed for the rising without 
destruction of the platform, and thus the process need not be so 
sudden. 

At first sight it seemed to me easy enough that the berg 
should rise suddenly by the falling of part of its mass, but on 
considering the matter with a plan showing the vast proportion 
of its bulk required to be thus removed, I found the question 
more difficult. 

The height of the main cliffs of the bi-tabular berg figured was 
estimated by Captain Tizard at about 200 feet, and that of the 
lower cliffs at 60 feet. We saw some distant bergs which were 
possibly 300 or 400 feet in height and three or four miles 
in length. A berg 200 feet in height would have a base extend- 
ing to a depth of 300 fathoms or so, according to its form, and 
this base will be thawed at different rates at successive depths, 
according to the distribution of temperature in the water at the 
various depths. The shapes of the bergs below water must 
thus follow curves corresponding to those used by physicists to 
express successive deep-sea temperatures graphically. 

A very large proportion of the bergs seen by us were as thus 
described, flat topped and maintained their original balance. 
Very many were bounded by a single range of cliffs washed by 
the waves all round. In some these ranges were evidently old 
and very much indented. These are simple bergs (see the 
coloured plate, fig. 4.) 

Many were highly complex, combining two stories, lines of 
caves, talus slopes, and evidences of having tilted to a certain 
angle from the original line of flotation once or twice ; some 
were excessively worn and weathered, having apparently been 
long in warmer regions, and were pinnacled and broken up 
by deep gullies or channels bounded often by rounded ridges 
projecting at their mouths on either side. 

One much weathered pinnacled berg was passed which had 
its entire surface shining and polished as if it had recently 
toppled, and no fresh snow had fallen since this had occurred. 



AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 230 

We saw several with the parts which had been below water 
partially exposed by tilting. The surfaces of these were always 
polished and smooth. We saw no berg tilt or turn over during 
our voyage. One we saw was divided into three separate 
columnar masses as far as the part above water was concerned. 
No connection of the columns was visible. 

The platforms under water at the bases of the bergs often 
run out into spurs and irregular projections, and these may be 
dangerous to ships going too near. Soundings were taken on 
one of these platforms and gave seven fathoms at some distance 
from the berg and three and a half nearer in. 

Nearly all the flat-topped bergs showed numerous crevasses 
in their cliffs near their summits, and these were always widest 
towards the summits, and were irregularly perpendicular in 
general direction. 

The flat tops of the bergs had usually rather uneven surfaces, 
being covered with small hillocks, apparently formed by drifting 
of snow, or showing irregularities where they covered over the 
mouths of crevasses. The surfaces in fact, looked just like 
those of the " firn ' : or " neve," the cracked snow-fields at the 
heads of European glaciers, and appeared as if they would be 
equally dangerous to traverse, except with a party roped together. 
The second stories of bergs were always covered with snow, 
which had fallen on them after their emergence. 

The stratified structure of the bergs is best seen in the case 
of flat-topped rectangular bergs, where an opportunity is afforded 
of examining at a corner two vertical cliff faces meeting one 
another at a right angle; we had several such opportunities. 
The entire mass shows a w T ell-marked stratification, beino- com- 




BECTANGDLAR BERG. 

Viewed at one of its corners. 



posed of alternate layers of white opaque-looking, and blue, 
more compact and transparent ice. Staff-Surgeon E. L. Moss, 



240 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

B.K, M.D., of the late Arctic Expedition, describes a similar 
stratification as occurring in Arctic ice. He had opportunities 
of examining the ice closely at leisure, and describes each 
stratum as consisting of an upper white part merging into a lower 
blue part, the colour depending on the greater or less number 
and size of the air-cells in the ice.* 

Towards the lower part of the cliffs, the strata are seen to be 
extremely fine and closely pressed, whilst they are thicker 
with the blue lines wider apart, in proportion as they are traced 
towards the summits of the cliffs. In the lower regions of the 
cliffs, the strata are remarkably even and horizontal, whilst 
towards the summit, where not subjected to pressure, slight 
curvings are to be seen in them corresponding with the in- 
equalities of the surface and drifting of the snow. 

In one berg there was in the strata at one spot, somewhat 
the appearance of complex bedding, like that shown in iEolian 
calcareous sand formations, such as those of Bermuda.! The 
strata were often curved in places, but always in their main line 
of run, horizontal, i.e., parallel to the original flat top of the berg. 
The strata in the cliff at the level of the wash-line of a 
rectangular berg 80 feet in height, were so thin and closely 
packed, that they looked almost like the leaves of a huge book 
at a distance, for by the lap of the waves the softer layers had 
been to some extent dissolved out from between the harder. 
In one berg where the face of the cliff was very flat and seen 
quite closely with a powerful glass, the fine blue 
bands were seen to be grouped, the groups being 
separated by bands in which no lines were visible, 
or where these were obscured by the ice frac- 
turing with a rougher surface, not with a per- 
fectly even and polished one, as existed where 
^r.^,.^ ^ , ,, the blue bands showed out. 

STRUCTURE OF ICE. 

a a Blue bands, bb The cliff surfaces, where freshlv fractured, show 

Layers without striae. 

an irregular jointing and cleavage of the entire 
mass, very like that shown in a cliff of compact limestone. In 

* "Observations on Arctic Sea Water and Ice." Proc. Boy. Soc, 
No. 189, 1878, p. 547. 
t See p. 20. 



I 



a 









— i -^ ' ' 




AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 241 

one or two bergs I noticed a fine cleavage lamination like that 
of slate or shale, the laminae being pa- 
rallel to the face of the cliff, and breaking 
up at their edges with zigzag fracture, 
almost as in diamond cleavage of slate ; 
this condition may have been produced 
by peculiar exertion of pressure in this 
particular berg. 

When the lower cliff of the two storied rEACTCRE OF ICE CLIFF ' 
berg, described and figured in the text, had a shot fired into it, 
large masses of ice fell, raising a considerable swell in the sea. 
The pieces of the cliff split off in flat masses parallel with the 
face of the cliff, just as I noticed to be the case in the splitting 
of the glacier cliffs at Heard Island, and did not tumble forward 
but slid down the face of the cliff, keeping their upper edges, 
parts of the old plateau surface, horizontal. 

The ice floated round the ship in some quantity ; it was 
opaque and white-looking, somewhat like white porcelain, and 
the shattered fragments had remarkably sharp angular edges, 
showing that the ice was very hard and compact, far more so 
than its appearance in mass would lead one to suppose, since it 
looks at a distance as if it were hardly consolidated, but merely 
closely pressed snow. Its manner of cleavage only gives 
evidence at a distance of its very compact nature. 

Many of the floating fragments were traversed by parallel 
veins of transparent ice, which were those which, when seen on 
a cliff surface, look blue. A shot fired at the top of the higher 
cliff produced no effect, the ball apparently going in without 
splitting off any ice at all. 

The greater approximation of the strata towards the base of 
the bergs is no doubt due to the increasingly greater pressure 
sustained by them. The blue lines seem to represent successive 
slight surface thawings of superimposed falls of snow. In these 
lines of clear transparent ice, a complete fusion of the snow 
particles has taken place. The opaque white ice between them 
though, as appears from its fracture, very compact, is less so than 
these bands, as shown by its being melted sooner.* 

* See preceding page. 

R 



242 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

There can hardly be a doubt that the ice must be of 
increasing density from its summit downwards. 

Several small bergs were passed, which showed hardly 
any blue stratification in their cliffs ; the top surfaces of 
these showed rounded conical hillocks, and a general appear- 
ance of formation by wind drifting of the snow. What 
few bands were present, were conformable in curve with 
the irregular surface. It appeared as if the denser mass 
w T ere here all below water, and not large enough to float 
more than the lighter, more friable and recent top deposit 
above the water.* 

Antarctic icebergs have been met with by merchant vessels 
in higher latitudes, varying in length from one to seven, or even 
ten miles in length. In 1854, a vast body of ice was passed 
and reported by twenty-one merchant ships in lat. 44° to 40° S., 
long. 28° to 20° W., a latitude corresponding to that of the 
northern coast of Portugal. The ice mass, which was probably 
a group of icebergs locked together, was in the form of a hook, 
60 miles long by 40 broad, enclosing a bay 40 miles in breadth ; 
none of the ice masses composing it exceeded 300 feet in 
height, t 

During the short time that we were amongst the icebergs 
we met with none that bore upon them any moraines or rocks 
which could with certainty be determined as such. The scarcity 
of such appearances has been remarked by former voyagers. 
Nevertheless, there are numerous instances of rocks having been 
seen on southern bergs. 

Several observers have met with rocks on bergs. Wilkes 
saw many such; Eoss also, and the latter, on one occasion 
landed a party on a berg on which there was a volcanic rock 
weighing many tons, and which was covered with mud and 

* For a magnificent series of large photographic views of . Arctic 
icebergs and ice scenery, see " The Arctic Regions," by William Bradford. 
London, Sampson Low and Marston, 1873. 

t " South Atlantic Directory," p. 94. W. H. Rosser, and J. F. Murray. 
London, 1870. Here will be found a general account of icebergs in the 
South Atlantic. On same subject see J. T. Towson, "On Icebergs in 
the Southern Ocean." Liverpool, 1859. 



AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 243 

stones.* Mr. Darwin has published a note on a rock seen on 
an Antarctic iceberg in lat. 61° S.f 

Dr. Wallicht remarks on the similar scarcity of the appear- 
ance of stones or gravel on northern bergs. Not one in a 
thousand shows dirt, &c. He attributes this to the very small 
disturbance of their centres of gravity which icebergs undergo 
when floating freely. Stones and gravel may be present in 
most cases, but remain most frequently invisible under water in 
the lower parts of the bergs. We dredged up in deep water on 
two occasions, near the pack-ice. fragments of gneiss and slate 
which w r ere certainly transported thither by ice. 

On three occasions we saw discolourations of bergs. In one 
case there was a light yellow band on one surface of a cliff high 
up, possibly the result of birds' dung which had fallen on the 
snow when the layer was formed ; it was too high up to be due 
to Diatoms. 

On another occasion two bergs were passed at a distance, 
which showed conspicuous black-looking bands, apparently dirt 
bands. In one of the bergs there were two or three such bands, 
very broad, parallel to the blue bands, and separated by con- 
siderable intervals, in which the berg showed the usual strati- 
fication. In another (coloured plate, fig. 8) two black bands 
existed at one end of the berg and one at the other. Both were 
parallel in direction to the blue bands, but the stratification at 
the end where the two black bands were, was inclined at an 
angle to that of the remainder of the berg, as if a dislocation of 
a part of the berg had taken place. These bergs were too far 
distant to allow of the exact nature of the black bands being 
determined. 

In none of the numerous bergs did I see any bending or 
curved vertical bands, grains evidence of a former differential 
motion in the mass, such as are to be seen on every land glacier. 
How far the absence of these characteristic lines of motion may 

* Eoss, " Antarctic Voyage," Vol. I, p. 173. London, J. Murray, 1847. 

f C. Darwin, "Notes on a Eock seen on an Iceberg in lat. 61° S." 
Geog. Soc. Journ. IX, 1839, p. 528, 529. "The Voyage of the 'Eliza 
Scott,' Commander John Balleny." Journal of Eesearches, p. 251. 

X G. U. Wallich, M.D., F.L.S., &c, "The North Atlantic Sea Bed," 
Pt. 1, p. 56. London, Van Voorst, 1826. 

R 2 



244 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER 



>) 



be explained by the fact, that only about the uppermost tenth of 
the entire height of the bergs is seen, I do not know. A berg 
200 feet in height above water, when floating, must, if it were of 
symmetrical form and equal density throughout, have an actual 
height of about 2,000 feet. 

A mass detached from the edge of the barrier, and then 
showing lines of motion might, whilst floating, receive a sufficient 
addition of weight by successive falls of snow to sink it entirely 
below water in supporting the new structure. 

Moraines and large rock masses would become hidden by 
such snow accumulations, both towards the free margins of the 
continuous glaciers, and also after the bergs containing them 
were detached ; and a berg laden with rock need not expose it 
to view until after long thawing or capsizing. 

The accumulation of rocks and stones in the form of definite 
moraines is, of course, a phenomenon which can only be pro- 
duced by the accompaniment of thawing or evaporation of ice 
in combination with its motion. If both these processes occur 
to very small extent in the ice of the glaciers, whose free edge 
forms the Great Barrier, the rocks and stones received from the 
overhanging cliffs inland, or supporting beds, will be distributed 
evenly throughout the mass, and never be concentrated at all. 
The crevasses seen in the upper parts of the bergs might be pro- 
duced after a berg is set free by the greater expansion, through 
increase of temperature, of the denser ice at the base of the mass. 

I may be allowed here to make a remark with regard to the 
movements of glaciers, a subject to which my late father, the 
Eev. Canon Moseley, devoted much time and research. The 
theory propounded by him to account for the descent of glaciers, 
which, as he proved most conclusively, cannot take place by 
means of their weight alone, was that the motion was due to the 
expansion and contraction of the mass. A heavy body lying on 
a slope, inclined ever so little, and subject to expansion and 
contraction, must necessarily crawl down the slope, every change 
of dimensions tending to push the mass in the direction of least 
resistance.* This theory has been considered inadequate, and 

* Rev. H. Moseley, F.RS., " On the Descent of Glaciers," Proc. Roy. 
Soc, April 19, 1855. "On the Mechanical Impossibility of the Descent of 



AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 245 

very little weight has been given to it, because, although ice 
expands more under the influence of heat than any other known 
solid, it is a bad conductor of heat, and the temperature of Swiss 
glaciers is said not to vary. Now, whatever may be the case 
with the tiny moribund glaciers of Switzerland, it seems to me 
that in the case of the vast continental ice of the Antarctic 
regions, and of the North in Greenland and elsewhere, a very im- 
portant cause of motion must be expansion and contraction, due 
to changes of temperature. In the Arctic regions there is a 
considerable range of temperature below freezing point, and it is 
impossible but that the ice, however bad a conductor it may be, 
should not change its temperature very greatly, and constantly 
when in an atmosphere which ranges during the day, for 
example, between —10° F. and +19° F., a range of 29°. It is 
admitted on all hands that a certain amount of motion of all 
glaciers is due to expansion and contraction, produced by varia- 
tion of temperature ; but it is contended that the proportion so 
contributed to the general motion is insignificant in amount. 

The colouring of the southern bergs is magnificent. The 
general mass has a sugar-loaf-like appearance, with a slight 
blueish tint, excepting where fresh snow resting on the tops 
and ledges, is absolutely white. On this ground-colour there are 
parallel streaks of cobalt blue, of various intensities, and more or 
less marked effect, according to the distance at which the berg 
is viewed. Some bergs with the blue streaks very definitely 
marked have, when seen from quite close, exactly the appearance 
of the common marbled blue soap, (coloured plate, fig. 6). 

The colouring of the crevasses, caves, and hollows is of the 
deepest and purest possible azure blue. None of our artists on 
board were able to approach a representation of its intensity. 
It seemed to me a much more powerful colour than that which is 
to be seen in the ice of Swiss glaciers. In the case of the bergs 
with all their sides exposed, no doubt a greater amount of light 
is able to penetrate than in glaciers where the light can usually 
only enter at the top. A large berg full of caves and crevasses, 
seen on a bright dav, is a most beautiful and striking object. 

Glaciers by their weight only." Proc. Roy. Soc, 1869, p. 202. Also 
" Phil. Mag.," May, 1869. Further papers in " Phil. Mag.," 1869, 1870. 



246 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

One small berg was passed at a distance which was of 
remarkable colour. It looked just like a huge crystal of sul- 
phate of copper, being all intensely blue, but it seemed as if 
attached to, and forming part of, another berg of normal colour 
(coloured plate, fig. 7). Possibly it was part of the formerly sub- 
merged base, and of more than ordinary density. Only one other 
such berg was seen. The intensity of the blue light received from 
the bergs ordinarily is such that the grey sky behind them 
appears distinctly reddened, assuming the complementary tint, 
and the reddening appears most intense close to the berg. 

At night bergs appear as if they had a very slight luminous 
glow, almost as if they were to very small extent phosphorescent. 

The sea at the foot of the bergs usually looks of a dark indigo 
colour, partly, no doubt, out of contrast to the brighter blue of 
the ice. Where spurs and platforms run out under water from 
the bases of the berg cliffs, the shallow water is seen to be 
lighted up by reflection of the light from these. 

The surf beats on the coast of an iceberg as on a rocky shore, 
and washes and dashes in and out of the gullies and caverns, 
and up against the cliffs. Washing in and out of the caves, it 
makes a resounding roar, which, when many bergs surround the 
ship, is very loud. So heavy is the surf on the bergs, and so 
steep are they as a rule, that we did not see one on which we 
could well have landed from a boat. 

As the waves wash up into the wash-lines of the bergs they 
form icicles, which are to be seen hanging in rows from the 
upper border of these grooves. 

A line of fragments is always to be seen drifting away from 
a large berg. These are termed wash-pieces. They are very 
instructive as showing the vast relative extent of submerged ice 
required to float a small portion above water ; the parts of the 
fragments below water being visible from a ship's deck. 

The scenic effects produced by large numbers of icebergs, 
some in the foreground, others scattered at all distances to the 
horizon and beyond it, are very varied and remarkable, de- 
pending on the varying effects of light and atmosphere. 

On one occasion, as we were approaching the pack ice, some 
distant bergs were seen to assume a most intense black colour. 



AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 247 

This was due to their being thrown in shade by clouds passing 
between them and the sun, and the heightening of this effect 
by the contrast with brilliantly lighted up bergs around them. 
They looked like rocks of basalt. 

On February 15th, a remarkable twilight effect was seen 
to the southward at about 10 p.m. A narrow band or line of 
dazzling bright yellow light shone out through a long narrow 
gap intervening between the lower edge of a densely dark cloud 
bank and the equally dark, almost black, horizon line. The 
horizon line was uneven, showing minute black projections or 
jags, due to hummocky pack ice. 

The distant flat-topped icebergs showed out black and sharp, 
with rectangular outlines against the bright band, and some of 
them joined with their dark bodies, the dark cloud line to the 
dark horizon line, bridging over the band of light. The whole 
effect was very curious, and drew all on deck to gaze at it. 

We frequently enjoyed the sight of brilliant red sunsets. 
Then the bergs directly between the observer and the illuminated 
sky show a hard, almost black outline. Bergs lying on the 
horizon, right and left of the setting sun, reflect the light from 
their entire faces, or from those parts of their faces which lie at 
the necessary angle. Hence, bright red bergs, and also fantastic 
red forms, due to reflection from very uneven surfaces, appear on 
the horizon. Bergs that are nearer take a salmon tint. 

In one remarkably brilliant sunset, just before the lower 
limb of the sun reached the horizon, it was of a brilliant golden- 
yellow, wdiich lit up the spars and shrouds of the ship with 
a dazzling light. Later on, the horizon became excessively 
dark. Above it was a streak of golden light, succeeded by 
a band of green sky, the two colours being separated by a 
narrow horizontal violet cloud. Above the green were dark 
clouds lighted up with bright crimson at the edges. The 
bergs reflected the crimson and yellow light, and assumed the 
brightest hues. 

Bergs in the far distance, in ordinary daylight, when lighted 
up often have a pinkish tinge, and then look remarkably like 
land. The deception is very complete. No doubt Commodore 
Wilkes was deceived by it. Bergs often also, from the presence 



248 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

of deep shadows, have the appearance of having rocks upon 
them when they have not. 

We entered the ice rather unexpectedly, on February 13th. 
I was on deck at 11.30 p.m. Two icebergs were then in sight 
aheas, only just visible in the dim foggy haze. They became 
gradually more plain, and then a berg was reported right ahead. 
Sail was shortened, and we glided slowly on. A line of mist, 
contrasting strongly with the dark water, seemed in the un- 
certain light, to be creeping over the surface of the sea towards 
us ; in reality we were approaching it. Its edge was most sharply 
defined. We passed it, and immediately the dark water showed 
a sprinkling over of white dots, which looked as if they had been 
snow-flakes, which for some reason had fallen on the water without 
melting. These white specks became larger and larger, and closer 
together, and all at once I realized that we were amongst the ice. 
The thin layer of mist was hanging over its edge. 

The pieces increased rapidly in size and thickness, as we 
went farther and farther ahead, until, in a very few minutes, we 
were forcing our way through a sort of soup-like looking fluid, 
full of large pieces of ice. The pieces were as much as six feet 
long, and three or four broad, all flat slabs, and standing six 
inches or so out of the water. The pieces bumped and grated 
against the ship's side, and the water line being near the level of 
the officers' heads, as they lay in their berths asleep, several 
came up on deck to see what had happened. We soon steered 
out of the edge of the pack again. 

Next morning I viewed the ice from the foretop, and 
made a sketch of its appearance {see the coloured plate oppo- 
site). All along the horizon, southwards, was a white line of ice, 
broken here and there by the outlines of bergs fast in the pack at 
various distances from the ship ; some partly beyond the horizon, 
and with only their tops showing ; others at the outer edge of the 
vast expanse of ice ; others at all intermediate positions. 

The field of ice appeared continuous, except just near its 
edge, where meandering openings, like rivers, led into it, some- 
times for a mile or so. The edge of the pack was very irregular, 
projecting as it were in capes and promontories, with bays 
Ik 'tween, as on a broken coast-line. The fields of ice were made 




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AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 249 

up of large fragments closely packed together. The pieces were 
not, however, much tilted or heaped up upon one another, as 
commonly occurs in packs. 

Off the edge of the pack, extended serpentine bands of float- 
ing ice which drifted before the wind ; they are termed, " stream 
ice." We dredged within one of the streams. All the packs 
which we saw were similar to the one described. 

Sometimes, the smaller floating masses of ice at the edge of 
the pack were covered with fresh snow. The parts of them 
projecting above water were sometimes of very fantastic shapes. 
Some were like the antlers of deer, others like two pairs of 
antlers with three or four upstanding and branching horns, all 
borne aloft by irregularly shaped submerged floats. The soft 
upper masses of loose or but slightly congealed snow often split 
off and fell away as the masses floated past. 

The ice was frequently stained of the yellow ochreous tint 
described by Sir J. D. Hooker, and found by him to be caused 
by Diatoms washed up on to the ice by the waves, and hanging 
on its rough surface.* The colouring was always most marked 
about the honeycombed wash-lines of the ice blocks. Pancake 
ice is similarly discoloured by Diatoms in the Arctic regions.t 

On February 25th we entered the edge of the pack, sailing 
amongst some loosened outliers of it. The sea was covered 
with masses of ice up to 10 feet in length. These consisted 
mostly of light snow ice, and did not project more than from 
two to four feet out of water. The upper parts of the masses 
were composed of white fresh snow, or honeycombed wet frozen 
snow, which had been partly melted by the waves. Very many 
of these ice masses were stained of an ochre tint, by Diatoms and 
other surface organisms. 

The lower submerged ice was transparent, but extremely full 
of large air vesicles. The ice below the water line, and under 

* Sir J. D. Hooker's collections were described by Ehrenberg. See 
Capt. Boss's " Antarctic Voyage," Vol. I, p. 339, 341. London, J. Murray, 
1847. Ehrenberg's " Eeport on Deposit from Pancake Ice," collected by 
Dr. Hooker. 

t Eobert Brown, " On the Discolouration of the Arctic Seas." Quart. 
Jour. Micro. Sci., 1865, p. 240. 



250 A NATURALIST OX THE " CHALLENGER." 

the overhanging edges at that level looked blue. The upper 
masses were quite opaque. 

I went in a boat to collect discoloured ice. The discoloura- 
tion appears far less marked when the ice is seen at close 
quarters. It becomes almost invisible when the porous snow- 
ice drains dry. When however a small piece of the ice is 
seen floating nearly submerged, it looks almost of a chocolate 
brown colour. 

Mr. Buchanan made experiments on the melting point, and 
amount of salt contained in salt-water ice. He came to the con- 
clusion from analyses of successive meltings and the varying of 
the melting point, that in salt-water ice " the salt is not contained 
in the form of mechanically enclosed brine only, but exists in 
the solid form, either as a single crystalline substance, or as a 
mixture of ice and salt crystals." 

He thinks that by fractional melting, salt water ice might be 
made to yield water fit to drink, although when a lump is 
melted as a whole, the resulting water is undrinkable.* 

We crossed the Antarctic Circle on February 16th, passing 
about six miles to the south of it. There was open water ahead, 
but the " Challenger " was not strengthened for ice work, and we 
were not ordered to proceed further south, so we turned back. 
There seemed to be a deep opening in the pack here, nearly due 
south of Heard Island. We subsequently passed within six miles 
of what is marked on maps as Wilkes' Termination Land, and 
found that this did not exist. Wilkes no doubt was deceived by 
the land-like appearance of distant icebergs. It is to be noted 
that he merely says that he saw appearance of land here, sixty 
miles distant, but high and mountainous. Others have named 
it for him and placed it on the charts. 

On two occasions, whilst amongst the southern ice, our ship 
was in some little danger, having to ride through heavy gales of 
wind amongst numerous icebergs in thick weather. 

On the morning of February 24th there was a fresh breeze, 
in which we sounded in 1,300 fathoms, and attempted to dredge, 

* J. V. Buchanan, M.A., "Observations on Sea- Water Tee," Proc. H. 
Soc., No. 170, 1870, p. (509. 



AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 251 

but the ship drifted so fast before the wind, that the dredge did 
not reach the bottom. The wind became fresher and fresher, 
and the barometer sunk to 28°'50. The atmospheric pressure is 
however, for some reason, normally low in the Antarctic regions, 
and Eoss once observed it as low as 28°*35. 

Before long it blew a gale, with dry powdery drifting snow, 
obscuring the view and rendering it impossible to see for a 
greater distance than 200 or 300 yards. The thermometer sank 
to 21° F., the lowest reading which occurred during the cruize. 
Before the weather became very bad we steamed up under the 
lee of a small sloping berg, with the intention of making fast to 
it if possible by means of ice anchors. 

This was found impracticable, the slope of the berg being too 
steep to allow of men dropping on to it from the end of the 
jibboom, as had been intended. The ship was then placed under 
the lee of the berg, with the view of facilitating the reefino- of 
top sails, as a preparation for the coming gale. Either a back 
current set the ship on to the berg, or the berg itself was drifting 
towards us with the wind more rapidlv than was expected. A 
collision ensued, and the jibboom was forced against the side of 
the berg and broken, together with some parts of the rigging in 
connection with it. 

The end of the jibboom left a star-like mark on the sloping 
wall of the berg, but had no other effect on the mass. The men 
who were aloft reefing the topsails, came down the back stays 
helter-skelter, expecting the top-gallant masts to fall, but no 
further damage ensued. 

As the weather became worse we were in rather a critical 
position. We were surrounded by bergs, with the weather so 
thick with snow that we could not see much more than a ship's 
length, and a heavy gale was blowing. The full power of steam 
available was employed. Once we had a narrow escape of 
running into a large berg, passing only just about 100 }^ards to 
leeward of it by making a stern board, with all the sails aback, 
and screwing full speed astern at the same time. The deck was 
covered with frozen powdery snow, and forward was coated with 
ice from the shipping of seas. 

On February 28th again there were 40 icebergs in sight at 



252 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

noon. It came on to snow thickly at about 4 p.m., and another 
o-ale came on. The plan adopted by Captain Sir G. Nares, was 
to lay down the bearings of the adjacent bergs before the weather 
became too thick for them to be seen, and then steaming with 
all the power of the ship against the gale, to hang on as long as 
possible under the lee of a large iceberg, and when driven away 
from that, to steam rapidly across to the lee of another, the 
position of which was known by the bearings taken. So we 
went on steaming backwards and forwards through the whole of 
a thick dark night. 

When it was at all foggy in calm weather, we hove to 
amongst the bergs during the night. 

One evening, when there was a very slight fall of snow at 
the time that there was a brilliant sunset, a snow bow was seen 
arching high up in the sky. It did not show regularly arranged 
prismatic colours, but only a uniform bright pinkish yellow hazy 
light. It was brighter at its lower extremities, like a rainbow. 

With regard to animals, we saw not a single seal, on the ice 
or in the water, during our Southern trip. No doubt we did not 
go far enough south, or sufficiently amongst the pack ice to 
meet with them. When we were off the pack ice, and especially 
when we neared the Antarctic Circle, whales were extremely 
abundant, apparently all of one species, a " Finback," probably 
the southern " Tinner " (Physalus Australis). I saw no Eight 
Whale amongst them at all. 

As these whales moved under water close to the ship, the 
light reflected from their bodies lighted up the water around, 
and enabled one to follow their movements. I several times 
went away in a small boat from the ship, to shoot birds for our 
collection. 

On these occasions the whales sometimes blew quite close 
to the boat. The appearance of a whale's spout as seen from 
the level of the sea, is very different from that which it has 
when seen from the deck of a ship ; it appears so much higher 
and shoots up into the air like a fountain discharged from a 
very fine rose. The whale of course in reality, does not dis- 
charge water, but only its breath ; this however, in rushing up 
into the air hot from the animal's body, has its moisture con- 



AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 253 

densed to form a sort of rain, and the colder the air, just as in 
the case of our own breath, the more marked the result. 

When the spout is made with the blowhole clear above the 
surface of the water, it appears like a sudden jet of steam from 
a boiler. When effected, as it sometimes is, before the blowhole 
reaches the surface, a low fountain as from a street fire-plug is 
formed, and when the hole is close to the surface, at the moment 
a little water is sent up with the tall jet of steam. The cloud 
blown up does not disappear at once, but hangs a little while, 
and is often seen to drift a short distance with the wind. 

The expiratory sound is very loud when heard close by, and 
is a sort of deep bass snort, extremely loud, and somewhat pro- 
longed ; it might even be compared to the sound produced by 
the rushing of steam at high pressure from a large pipe. 

Smaller Cetaceans, probably of a kind of Grampus (Orca), 
were very common near the Circle ; these had a high dorsal fin 
placed at about the middle of the length of their bodies. Im- 
mediately behind the fin there was a large white saddle-shaped 
patch, extending across their back, and they had further a con- 
spicuous white blotch on each side just behind the head, and in 
front of the flippers. The white patches contrasted strongly 
with the dark general colour of the body. These Grampuses 
swam about in small shoals with their high dorsal fins projecting 
far out of the water, like those of sharks do sometimes, and 
also those of Sword-fish. The Grampuses seemed habitually to 
swim thus, and the group of pointed sickle-shaped black objects 
moving through the water, had a curious appearance at a dis- 
tance. I cannot identify this Grampus with a described species. 

As soon as we neared the edge of the pack ice, a petrel 
which we had not seen at the islands we had left, became 
common (Thalassceca glacialoides), and as soon as we reached 
the ice we fell in with the beautiful snow-white Petrel (Pago- 
droma nivea), which is never to be found far from the antarctic 
ice. The bird flies very much like the Whale Bird (Prion) : it 
settles on the water to feed ; it remains on the wing late at 
night when the other birds have disappeared. I have seen the 
birds flying about the ship as late as 11 o'clock at night, when 
it was quite dusk. 



254: A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

Besides these two petrels we saw when at the edge of the 
pack, the Sooty albatross (Diomedea fuliginosa), the Giant petrel 
(Ossifraga gigantea), Majaquens cequinoctialis and the Cape 
pigeon. These birds all left us when we entered the edge of 
the pack-ice, they appear to remain at its very margin ; but in 
the ice we met with a Skua (Stercorarius antarcticus), which bird 
ranges very far south, and was seen in Possession Island within 
the Antarctic Circle by Eoss. 

Penguins were common at the edge of the ice. They pro- 
gressed through the water like Eock-hoppers, and probably were 
the Eudyptes Adelicc of Eoss's Expedition, since they had black 
heads ; we could not catch any, though we tried to get some 
which were on an ice-block ; they seemed shy. 

We seldom saw birds on the icebergs, but a flock of Cape 
pigeons was sometimes seen roosting on the top of one. The 
Great White Albatross {Diomedea exidans) accompanied the ship 
only about 500 miles south of Heard Island, stopping at more 
than 200 miles from the edge of the pack. 

The Cape pigeon left us when we were in about the latitude 
of Kerguelen's Land, on our return from the ice northwards to 
Australia, and in exchange for it we fell in with a petrel like 
the Mutton-bird, which bird had not accompanied us south. 
We also met at the same time with a second species of albatross 

(J), melanophrys ? ). 

The last iceberg was seen by us on March 4th, in about the 
latitude of Heard Island. On March 9th, the South Australian 
current began to make itself felt, and the air became warm and 
pleasant. We gave up fires, and the sea being calm, were able for 
the first time since leaving Kerguelen's Land to take out our 
scuttles and air our cabins. On March 12th, we were within 
the westerly winds, and we had more albatrosses round the ship 
than we had ever had before ; the Gony and D. melanophrys. 

Appended are the summaries of the temperatures of the air 
during the months of January and February, observed in the 
Antarctic regions on board H.M. ships " Erebus " and " Terror." 



AMONGST THE SOUTHERN ICE. 



IT," 



Means of Temperatures observed on board H.M. ships "Erebus" and 
"Terror," in January, 1841, 1842, 1843, on 93 days. Between lat 
64° and 78° S., long. 53° to 58° W. and 155° to 168° E. 



4 A.M. 



28°795 



8 A.M. 



30°-065 



Xooii 



31° 540 



4 P.M. 



31°o94 



8 P.M. 



29°-956 



Midnight 



28°-982 



Hence general mean for the month, 30 o, 155. 



Means for February observed on the same ships on 84 days. Between 
lat. 60° to 78° S., long. 6° to 56° W. and 158° W. to 165° E. 



4 A.M. 


26°- 7 6 


8 A.M. 


27°-34 


Noon 


2s°-20 


4 P.M. 


28°-09 


8 p.m. 


27°-32 


Midnight 


26°-59 



Hence general mean for the month, 27°'3S4. 

From " Contributions to our Knowledge of the Meteorology of the 
Antarctic Regions." Published by the Authority of the Meteorological 
Committee. Stanford, Charing Cross, 1873. 




256 



CHAPTER XL 

VICTOEIA. NEW SOUTH WALES. 

Excursions into the Bush near Melbourne. Opossum Snare. Tracks of 
the Aborigines on Tree trunks. Town of Sandhurst. The Highest 
Tree in the World. Aborigines on a Government Eeserve. Orni- 
thorynchus paradoxus. Leaves of Australian Trees, why Vertically 
Disposed. Fur-Seal in the Open Sea. Sydney Harbour. The Blue 
Mountains. Excavations in the Ground caused by Bain. Shooting 
Opossums by Moonlight. Fruit-eating Bats. Hunting Bandicoots. 
Browera Creek. Intimate Belation of Land and Sea Animals. 
Geological Import of this. Medusae in Fresh Water. Kitchen 
Middens." Drawings by Aborigines. Handmarks. Trigonia and 
Cestracion. 

Melbourne, March 11th to April 1st, 1814. — We sighted Port 

Otway in a glassy calm, and steamed past Hobson's Bay Heads 
into Port Philip on March 17th, and anchored off Sandridge, the 
seaport suburb of Melbourne. 

The English house sparrow may be seen quite at home on the 
beach at Sandridge in flocks, picking up the refuse from the ships, 
and also about Melbourne generally. The bird is beginning 
to be a pest to the Acclimatization Society which introduced 
it, and finding good food in the cages of the animals in the 
Society's Gardens, refuses to leave them, but consorts with the 
parrots in the trees and bushes, and steals the food on every 
opportunity. 

I made three excursions from Melbourne. The first was 
with Mr. Stephenson, the chief of the railway department, to a 
piece of wild bush-land belonging to him, about 25 miles distant 
from the city. We started with our host in a light bush waggon, 
with materials for camping out. We were not seven miles 
away from the city before the road became a sort of slough, 
through which the horses could hardly drag the waggon, although 



oi:'? 



VICTORIA. 257 

we all got out ; and before we reached a camping ground it was 
pitch dark, and one of the springs was broken. 

We had some difficulty in finding our way in the bit of bush 
to the best camping place, and then in finding the water hole 
and leading the horses to it. We set fire to a great fallen log, 
made tea in a "billy," a simple tin pot with wire handle, the 
universal Australian camp teapot, and had hardly lain down 
to sleep under our tent before it came on to rain heavily. It 
continued to rain all the next day. 

Waking in the night I heard Opossums (Phalangister vulpina) 
caterwauling in the gum trees close by, and in the early morning 
the Laughing-jackasses and Piping Crows kept up a curiously 
contrasted concert ; the loud harsh laugh of the former min- 
gling with the flute-like musical notes of the latter. 

Notwithstanding the rain, I shot a beautiful paroquet, of 
which and other birds numerous flocks were flying about. With 
the help of a neighbouring farmer, who rented the bush for 
grazing, an Opossum was driven out of its hole in a dead- 
branch or " pipe " of a gum tree and secured. 

The scratches of the claws of the Opossum on the bark 
of the tree, show at once whether a tree is inhabited or not. 
All the bigger trees were scored deeply and marked with a 
regular track right up to the various pipes in the dead-branches 
far overhead. The timber of many of the gum trees decays 
away in the heart with great rapidity. Hence, whenever a 
branch is broken off, a pipe is soon formed, and it is especially 
these holes with abrupt entrances which the opossum affects. 

The tracks are always on the side of the tree trunk on which 
the slope renders ascent most easy. The opossum economizes 
liis force, or is lazy, and this fact is turned to advantage by 
trappers, who snare the opossums in order to make the opossum 
rugs, of which so many are used in Australia and exported. 

A short piece of a stout branch with a fork at the end, 
is placed leaning against the butt of a tree meeting the opossum 
path, the jaws of the fork embracing the round of the trunk 
a little, so as to keep all steady. About a foot or so from 
the fork a noose is placed on the lean-to, being kept in place by 

a notch. 

s 



258 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER/* 



The Opossum always conies down head foremost, and finding 
an almost horizontal path to the ground ready made for it, 




_*?«-*■« 



vj^- 



OPOSSUM SNARE. 



takes it at once, gets its head in the noose, falls off and is hung. 
The only precaution necessary, is to allow the animal room 
enough to swing free so that it cannot catch hold of the trunk. 
A trapper had lately been camping on this bit of bush, and 
nearly all the large trees had their lean-to's remaining. 

To ascend to a hole in a tree to drive opossums out in the 
daytime, a light sapling with convenient lateral branches is cut 
down and placed against the tree, and forms a ready ladder. 

One of the most curious sights in the bush was that of the 
ancient tracks of the Aborigines up the trees, which had been 
climbed by them to obtain opossums or wild honey. These 
tracks are the series of small notches made each by three blows 
of the tomahawk, to admit the great toes, and thus act as a 
ladder to the Black man. The tracks, which are to be seen 
everywhere in Australia, lead to the most astonishing heights, 
up bare perpendicular smooth-barked gum-trees. Knowing 
bushmen can distinguish the ancient ones made by the stone 
tomahawk before the Blacks obtained iron from the English. 
Many are to be seen on old dead barkless tree- trunks, and now 
that the Blacks are gone they remind one of fossil foot-prints 
of extinct animals. 

Marvellous as this power of climbing with so little support 
is, it can be done by Whites, and I was assured in New South 
Wales, when on the Hawkesbury river, that there was a White 
man in the neighbourhood who could beat any Black at this 



VICTORIA. 25 9 

sort of climbing, doing it in exactly the same way, and being often 
employed by my informant in collecting wild honey for him at 
so much a nest. In the same way there are said to be Whites 
who can throw the boomerang better than any Blacks. In fact, 
a White man, when he brings his superior faculties to bear 
on the matter, can always beat a savage in his own field, except 
perhaps at tracking. 

We looked up into all the trees for a native bear (Phascolarctos 
cinereus), and saw tracks of , Kangaroos, but not the animals 
themselves. We stayed out only one night, and got back as we 
arrived only at nightfall, after a protracted struggle with the 
mud. The roads were mostly short cuts, and were what are 
called "made, but not metalled." Making a road is simply 
clearing of trees a line of ground of a certain breadth and 
marking the bounds with a plough. In using such a road, 
constant divergencies have to be successively made in order to 
avoid deep mud and swampy bits, or occasionally fallen trees, 
and the track gradually widens and straggles in the adjoining 
bush. 

My next excursion was to Sandhurst, a rapidly grown mining 
town, winch has arisen since 1851 at the site of the most paying 
Victorian diggings. The railway for a long distance, as it nears 
Sandhurst, passes through the midst of various sites of old 
diggings. The surface of the ground on each side of the line for 
miles at a stretch has been turned over, scooped out and heaped 
up, and presents the appearance of an endless succession of 
deserted gravel pits. Here and there a few solitary diggers, 
mostly Chinamen, were rewashing the dirt, but nearly all was 
waste and bare. The vast extent of the fields, and amount of 
work done, astonished me. 

Sandhurst, or Bendigo, is a large town with a newly run-up 
appearance, built amongst the openings of the shafts of the 
numerous mines. The surface gold was long ago worked out, 
and the rich quartz reefs below are now being mined by means 
of shafts and drives. A new shaft was being sunk in the very 
centre of the town, in front of the principal banks and the 
verandah-covered pavements, which were crowded with share- 
brokers, doing business in the open streets. The great winding 

s 2 



260 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER, 5 ' 

wheel and its supports looked out of place in the middle of the 
principal square and public garden of the city. 

I went down two of the mines, and saw specks of gold in the 
richest quartz reef. Some of the very richest quartz, however, 
hardly shows the gold to the eye, for the metal lies hid in black 
dirty-looking streaks in the white rock, and is only brought 
to light after the process of crushing and amalgamation. I saw 
also the crushing establishments, where the din of the heavy 
iron stampers falling with a crash upon the quartz was absolutely 
deafening. Although the men employed in feeding the stampers 
are from habit able to converse, notwithstanding the noise, I 
could not hear in the least when my companion shouted into 
my very ear. I saw the pasty amalgam and the gold fresh from 
the retort, known as " cake," and finally I handled heavy masses 
of melted cake fuzed into solid ingots worth many thousand 
pounds. The mining people were most hospitable. 

My last excursion was up the valley of the Yarra, to the 
besfinnino- of the " ranges." the Australian word for mountains, at 
a place called Healesville. I went with one of the assistants of 
Baron Yon Midler, the celebrated botanist, who kindly offered 
me his assistant as a guide. My object was to see some of the 
enormous Eucalyptus trees which grow in the "ranges," and 
which, as discovered by Baron von Muller, are the highest trees 
in the world, exceeding in height the Sequoia gigantea of 
California. One of these trees, measured when fallen, was found 
by Baron Muller to be 478 feet in length.* 

We travelled about 50 or 60 miles bv coach. The coaches 
are very like Californian coaches, and are rough but very strong, 
the bodies being slung by thick leather straps to wheels as stout 
as cart wheels. The road is scarcely anywhere better than is 

* The highest estimate ever made of the height of a Sequoia gigantea 
is that of Bigelow, who put the height of one at from 420 to 470 feet. 
Bigelow, in " Whipple's Expedition," p. 23 (Pacific Railroad Explora- 
tions) ; cit. by Grisebach, " Veg. der Erde." 

Sir Joseph Hooker, in a lecture delivered at the Royal Institution of 
Great Britain, April 12th, 1878, and published in separate form, p. 12, 
cites Prof. Whitney's careful measurements of the heights of Californian 
Big Trees as the best available estimate up to date. Average height 
275 feet ; maximum height a little over 320 feet. 



VICTORIA. 261 

an English green lane in a clay soil district. In wet weather 
deep ruts are cut in it ; then these are baked dry and hard, and 
at the next shower form watercourses and get scooped out 
deeper than ever. The road at last conies to consist of a 
series of sharp ridges separated by intervening troughs, often 
two feet deep. The consequence is that as the coach rattles and 
leaps bumping over these, the suspended body of the coacli 
heaves and sways, and this to such an extent that my companion 
and a lady in the coach were sea-sick all the way. 

We travelled over some of the roughest of the road at night 
which, of course, made matters worse, since the " driver " could 
not see the pitfalls ; but, like a Californian " stage driver," he 
well knew all the dangerous ones, even in the dark, and in one 
or two places made detours through the bush for a little way. 

The ranges are covered with a dense forest of gum trees, in 
many places of enormous height, standing with their smooth 
trunks close together, and running up often for a height of 
200 feet without giving off a branch. The light-coloured stems 
are hung with ragged strips of separated bark. 

The great slenderness of the trunks of these giant gum-trees 
in proportion to their height is striking, and in this respect they 
contrast most favourably with the Californian " big trees," which, 
in the shape of their trunks, remind one of a carrot upside down, 
so disproportionately broad are they at their bases. The large 
species of gum tree, the tallest tree in the world, is Eucalyptus 
amygdalina. As Baron von Miiller says, " the largest specimens 
might overshadow the pyramid of Cheops." 

Beneath, in the gullies, is a thick growth of tree-ferns and 
underwood on the banks of a mountain stream. The under- 
growth is the haunt of Bush Wallabies (Halmaturiis ualabatus). 
I put one of them suddenly to flight as I was creeping through 
the tangled, almost impenetrable, vegetation in the hopes of 
getting a shot at the Lyre-birds, which were to be heard calling 
in all directions. The animal gave a tremendous bound and 
seemed more to fly than leap. 

Not far from Healesville is a Government reserve, where u 
number of Aborigines are maintained at Government expense 
under a missionary. The reserve is called Coranderrk. There 



262 A NATURALIST OX THE " CHALLENGER." 

were about 120 Blacks there. They live in a small village of 
rouo-h wooden or bark houses, in the midst of which is the house 
of Mr. Green, the superintendent. 

The Blacks have lately been employed in cultivating hops, 
and with tolerably good success, but they are incorrigibly lazy. 
They are delighted when the plough breaks down, and im- 
mediately take a holiday with glee. They had just finished 
picking the crop, so were playing cricket at about half a-mile 
from the village, and whilst they were amusing themselves, three 
Whites employed about the place were hard at work. In fact, 
the Whites do most of the work. The Black women might make 
much money by plaiting baskets for sale, and the men by catching 
fish and hunting, but they never will work till hard pressed. 

We found the cricket party in high spirits, shouting with 
laughter, rows of spectators being seated on logs and chaffing 
the players with all the old English sallies ; " Well hit ; " " Bun 
it out ; " " Butter fingers," &c. I was astonished at the extreme 
prominence of the supraciliary ridges of the men's foreheads. It 
was much greater in some of the Blacks than I had expected to 
see it, and looks far more marked in the recent state than in the 
skull. It is the striking feature of the face. 

The men were all dressed as Europeans ; they knew all about 
Mr. W. G. Grace and the All-England Eleven. One of them 
tried to impress on me the heaviness of the work they had just 
gone through in hop-picking, and that now it was a holiday, and 
he wished to know how much a bushel was paid in England 
for such work, evidently wanting to be able to be even with 
Mr. Green in the matter. The great difficulty at these reserves 
is to manage the distribution of payment for labour. At present, 
or until lately, all the proceeds went to a common stock. Of 
course, this makes all lazy. 

Close by the reserve flowed the Eiver Yarra, in which the 
Platypus abounds, the " Water mole," as it is called here, or the 
" Duck-bill ' : (Omitliorynclius paradoxus). I offered the men 
three half-crowns for one recently shot. Some of the Blacks 
thought they might try and get one ; but although one half- 
crown is the usual price, no one thought of leaving cricket or 
his looking on at the game : nor, though I offered a good price 



VICTORIA. 263 

for a boomerang, did any one care to fetch one from the 
village. 




ORXITHORYXOHUS PARADOXIC. 



Down by the river bank I found a Black camped by a fire, 
with three women, and a lot of mongrel curs. He was just 
going to fish. He had a 21m. and was much excited at the 
notion of " three half-a-crown " for a Platypus. We crept along 
the bank of the river, the Black first, then I, then my companion. 
The Black went stealthily along, with his head stretched forward, 
and every muscle tense, stepping with the utmost care, so as not 
to rustle a twig or break a stick under foot, and assuming a 
peculiarly wild animal appearance, such somewhat as I had 
noticed in a Tamil guide of mine in Ceylon when we were 
hunting for peacocks and deer. Once he started back, as a 
snake made off through the bushes. 

It was all to no purpose. I was doomed not to see a living 
Platypus or even a Kangaroo in Australia. I saw only the 
footprints of the Platypus (like those of a duck), which the Black 
pointed out to me, in a regularly beaten track, made by the 
animals from one pond to another. The Black said that he was 
certain the Platypus did not lay eggs, and that he had several 
times seen the young ones, and his description of them agreed 
with what I knew from Dr. Bennett's researches on the subject. 

Next clay, as I was going down in the coach, I received two 
specimens of the Platypus, shot by this man. Unfortunately, 
the jolting and heat of the coach, on the journey down to the 
coast, rather spoilt them for microscopical examination, for 
which I had wished to procure them. I wished especially to 
examine the eyes, to see if the retina contains brightly pigmented 
bodies, as in the case of reptiles and birds. I could not find any 



264 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

trace of them ; but possibly, if the tissues had been fresher, I 
should have met with them, for Hoffman has discovered their 
existence in marsupials. 

Whilst we were hunting along the river bank, numerous 
bright parroquets were flying about amongst the trees, and a 
great flock of white cockatoos flew overhead, harshly screaming 
at the danger. They settled in some trees near, but were far too 
wary to let me get a shot, though I did my best to creep on 
them. The smaller bright parroquets are not at all wary as a 
rule, but are most easily shot. 

Grisebach, in his account of the Vegetation of Australia* 
dwells on the close relation of interdependence which exists 
between the tree vegetation and the coating of grass which 
covers the ground beneath it ; and remarks, that the amount of 
light allowed by the trees to reach the ground beneath them is 
rendered more than usually great by the vertical position in which 
their leaves grow. Hence the growth of the grass beneath is aided. 

It may be that this permitting of the growth of other plants 
beneath them, and consequent protection of the soil from losing 
its moisture, besides other advantages to be derived, is the prin- 
cipal reason why, as is familiarly known, two widely different 
groups of Australian trees, the Eucalypti and Acacias, have 
arrived at a vertical instead of a horizontal disposition of their 
leaves by two different methods. 

The Acacias have accomplished this by suppressing the true 
horizontal leaves, and flattening the leaf-stalks into vertical 
pseudo-leaves or "phyllodes." The gum-trees, on the other 
hand, have simply twisted their leaf-stalks, and have thus ren- 
dered their true leaves vertical in position. There must exist 
some material advantage, which these different trees derive in 
common, from this peculiar arrangement, and the benefit derived 
from relation to other plants by this means may be greater and 
more important than that arising from the fact that the vertical 
leaves have a like relation to the light on both sides, and are 
provided with stomata on both faces. 

In support of this conclusion I was told, when at Melbourne, 

fc A. Grisebach, "Vegetation der Erde," p. 210. Leipzig, W. Engelman, 
1872. 



VOYAGE TO SYDNEY. 265 

that when the native vegetation was cleared away from under 
gum-trees they ceased to thrive, and in time perished. I was 
shown a number of gum-trees, not far from the city, scattered 
over some public land, covered with only short turf, which 
seemed to be mostly in a dying condition. 

April 2nd, i§?4. — On the voyage to Sydney, two Fur Seals 
were seen about the ship. They were of a smaller species than 
that occurring at Kerguelen's Land. They swam alongside with 
remarkable ease and rapidity, having in the water just the 
appearance of porpoises. The hind limbs were stretched out 
straight behind, as the animals swam, and the motion mostly 
maintained by rapid strokes of the fore limbs. The tail, how- 
ever, i.e., the fin-like expanse formed by the closely applied and 
outstretched flat hind nippers, was used with an undulating 
movement, just as is the tail fin in porpoises. 

The seals swam with ease and rapidity from the stern to the 
bows of the vessel, though it was going 4^ knots at the time, 
thus going 9 knots at least. In fact they swam with all the 
ease of a porpoise, and as once or twice they threw their heads 
and backs out of the water in a forward leap, I should certainly 
have mistaken them for these animals, had I not seen them 
almost at rest several times, and with their heads well out of 
water. 

I never before realized the close connection between the seals 
and whales, and how easily a whale might be developed out 
of a seal. The far seal is one which on land still bends its hind 
limbs forwards, as do land mammals. The seals without exter- 
nal ears, like the sea elephants, carry them habitually stretched 
out behind, as this one does in swimming. Little modification 
would be necessary in order to turn the otherwise useless hind 
limbs of the earless seals into the whale's broad tail fin, which 
probably represents the remains of the seal's webbed hind 
flippers. We afterwards, in the Straits of Magellan, became 
familiar with the motions of Fur Seals in the water, and frequently 
saw them there in shoals, progressing through the water by a 
series of leaps exactly like porpoises or Kock-hopper penguins. 

A bird followed the ship in some numbers, which is appa- 
rently intermediate in its habits between the gulls and terns, a 



266 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

delicate beautiful little sea-bird {Larus Novce Hollandim). The 
bird was abundant about the ship in Hobson's Bay, and in Port 
Jackson. At Wellington, in New Zealand, a species very closely 
allied, but a little smaller in size {Larus scopulinus) * hovered 
round the ship in the harbour. 

Sydney, April ?tn to June 9th, 1814. — The ship arrived at 
Sydney on April 5th. Port Jackson is famed for its beauty. It 
is a broad stretch of water, opening to the sea by a narrow 
passage, between "heads" as they are called, and running far 
inland, into branches and bays, in great number. Towards the 
upper part of the harbour, the vegetation extends down the 
water, and the little cliffs of sandstone rock with their covering 
of green are extremely picturesque. Port Jackson is one of the 
many harbours said to be the best in the world ; but it lacks 
shelter, and the passage at the heads is not deep enough for a 
large ironclad to pass through. 

I made various excursions from Sydney, during our stay. 
One of these was to Botany Bay ; a sixpenny omnibus journey. 
The country here is flat and open, and the vegetation would be 
very like that of the Cape of Good Hope, in general appearance, 
were it not for the Grass-trees and Banksias. The far-famed 
bay is a quiet sandy inlet, resorted to for excursions and the 
enjoyment of sea air by the Sydney people, and now inhabited 
principally by keepers of tea gardens. Not far off, across the 
Bay, the curious Monotreme, the Porcupine Ant-eater [Echidna), 
is abundant, and can readily be found by means of terriers. 
Some men procured one living for Von Willemoes Suhm. 

Another excursion was to the Blue Mountains. A trip to 
the Mountains was given as an act of hospitality by the ministers 
of the New South Wales Government to the officers of the 
" Ancona," a German war- vessel, which was at Sydney, and to 
those of the " Challenger." It is the custom for the Ministers 
thus to give picnics to parties of men, ladies not being invited. 

The Blue Mountains are piles of horizontally stratified sand- 
stone, rising behind Sydney to about 2,500 feet, with remarkably 
abrupt terminations on either side, and cut into extraordinary 

* Howard Saunders, " On the Larin?e," Proc. Zool. Soc. 1878, p. 187, 



NEW SOUTH WALES. 267 

deep gullies and chasms, with perpendicular walls, which bound 
projecting headlands. 

Prof. Dana treats at great length of the question of the mode 
of formation of these extraordinary gullies and precipices, in his 
lt Geology of the U. S. Exploring Expedition," and gives various 
reasons for showing that the whole has been due to aqueous 
erosion ; as have also the exactly similarly formed harbours of 
the coast, with their very numerous branches. These, however, 
have been subjected to lowering of level, and thus filled by the 
sea. 

These multi-ramified inlets of the sea resemble fjords in 
many points, most curiously, but are very different in origin, 
being in fact canons, which by the sinking of the land have 
been invaded by the sea. 

The rains, both at Melbourne and Sydney, are extremely 
violent, and in the friable and easily decomposed soil, have a 
marvellously excavating effect. At Camden Park, 40 miles 
from Sydney, I was shown by Captain Onslow, E.N., a deep 
chasm in a perfectly level expanse of grass-covered land, which 
was at least 20 feet deep and 20 yards across. All this had 
been scooped out in a dozen years or so by the rain. In its 
precipitous walls and isolated pinnacles of undisturbed soil, it 
curiously represented the Blue Mountain configuration on a 
small scale. It is only necessary to plough a furrow anywhere 
in the soil about Camden to lead to the formation in a short 
time of such a chasm. 

I twice enjoyed the kind hospitality of Sir William Mc Arthur, 
at Camden Park. The park is 10,000 acres in extent. Here I 
went out on several occasions to shoot opossums by moonlight. 
The opossums are out feeding on the trees at night or are out 
on the ground, and rush up the trees on the approach of danger. 
They are very difficult to see by one not accustomed to the 
work, but those who habitually shoot them discover them with 
astonishing ease. 

In order to find the animals, one places himself so as to get 
successive portions of the tree between his eye and the moon- 
light, and thus searching the tree over, at last he catches sight 
of a dark mass crouching on a branch, and usually sees the ears 



268 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

pricked up as the animal watches the danger. This is called 
" mooning " the opossums. Then with a gun in one's hand one 
fully realizes for the first time the meaning of the saying 
" 'possum up a gum-tree." 

The unfortunate beast has the toughness of his skin alone to 
trust to ; " bang " and down it comes with a heavy thud on the 
ground, falling head first, tail outstretched, or it clings with 
claws or tail, or both, to the branches, swaying about wounded, 
and requires a second shot. It must come down at last, unless 
indeed the tree be so high that it is out of shot or it manages to 
nip a small branch with its prehensile tail, in which case it 
sometimes contrives to hang up even when dead and remain out 
of reach. 

Nearly all the female opossums which I shot had a single 
young one in the pouch. The young seemed to be attached 
with equal frequency to the right or left teat. I shot the animals 
in the hopes of obtaining young in the earlier stage, but found 
none such. Amongst stockmen, and even some well-educated 
people in Australia, there is conviction that the young kangaroo 
grows out as a sort of bud on the teat of the mother within the 
pouch. We killed about 20 opossums in a couple of hours on 
each occasion on which I went out. 

Sometimes we got a Native Cat, Dasyurus viverrinus. It is 
not easily seen in the trees unless there are dogs to pick out the 
tree. On one occasion we came upon a small animal allied to 
the Native Cat, but much rarer, Phascogale %)enicillata. 

Once I visited a great "camp" of fruit-eating bats, "Flying 
Foxes ' as they are here called (Pteropus poliocephalus). In 
a dense piece of bush, consisting principally of young trees, the 
trees were hung all over with these bats, looking like great 
black fruits. As we approached the bats showed signs of un- 
easiness, and after the first shot were rather difficult to approach, 
moving on from before us and pitching in a fresh tree some way 
ahead. 

The bats uttered a curious cackling cry when disturbed. 
They were in enormous numbers, and although thousands had 
been shot not long before by a large party got together for the 
purpose, their numbers were not perceptibly reduced. They do 



New south wales. 269 

great harm to the fruit orchards about Paramatta, and the fruit 
growers there organise parties to shoot them. They have the 
cunning to choose a set of trees where the undergrowth is 
exceedingly dense, and where it is therefore difficult to get 
at them. I shot seven or eight, but they are very apt to hang 
up by their hooked claws when shot, and I lost several. I could 
find no Nycteribia living on these bats, although these insects 
are usually so common on the various species of Pteropus. 

At Pennant Hills, near Paramatta, there is plenty of bush- 
land and a fine large "common" as it is called, i.e., a tract of wild 
uncleared land of several thousand acres, in which all the 
neighbouring landowners have the right to cut timber and 
firewood. It is a fine wild track, with gullies, in which run 
small streams amongst the sandstone rocks and steep rocky 
banks covered with ferns, orchids, and Grass-trees, and other 
plants, forming a varied and beautiful vegetation. 

Here there are still plenty of Bush Wallabies (Halmcdurus 
tialabatus), and three were shot for me one morning. They are 
wary and difficult to approach, and I rode all day in the bush 
without seeing one. There are nests of wild European bees 
also in the dead limbs of the gum-trees, and we felled a tree and 
got out about thirty pounds of fine honey. 

Once we started a Kangaroo Piat, Hypsiprimnus, from its 
round ball-like nest, which was lying on the ground under a 
tuft of grass. It was like a large wren's nest. The rat is said to 
be wary enough never to return to the nest when once disturbed, 
but always to make a fresh one. 

At night we went out with a pack of terriers and mongrels 
of all kinds, to hunt Bandicoots (Perameles nasuta). Only one 
little terrier was of much use, but he was worth a great deal for 
this kind of work. 

He has not been long off into the fern before we hear his 
short sharp bark, and know he is on the scent. Off go all the 
curs that have been hanging at our heels, lazy and doing nothing, 
to join in the fun. At last a peculiar whining bark is heard, 
and " Snap's " master knows that the Bandicoot is run to earth; 
the earth in this case being the hollow pipe running down the 
stem of some fallen gum-tree. 



270 A NATURALIST OX THE " CHALLENGER." 

A long stick is cut and thrust into one end of the pipe 
whilst a bag is held at the other, and the Bandicoot is soon 
bagged. The Bandicoot does not attempt to bite, but requires 
to be held exceedingly tight or else easily escapes the hands by 
the power of its spring. One female had three young in the 
pouch. Often the tree is too long for the stick, and then a hole 
has to be chopped to get the animal out. 

I made two excursions to Browera Creek, one of the many 
branches of the main estuary, or rather inlet, into which the 
Hawkesbury river runs. The creek is a place full of interest. 
Suddenly, after traversing a high plateau of the horizontal sand- 
stone, the traveller meets with a deep chasm about 1,000 feet in 
depth, but not more than a quarter of a mile wide. 

This chasm or channel has precipitous rocky walls on either 
side, with more or less talus slope, and at the bottom runs the 
river, a small stream, over which one can easily jerk a pebble 
when standing at its brink. The chasm or creek takes a wind- 
ing course, so that only short sweeps of it can be seen at a time, 
and as it widens out and turns sharply or again contracts, one 
seems, when in a boat on its waters, to pass through a succession 
of long narrow lakes. 

The river, or rather stream, at the place where we approached 
the creek, is tidal. It is impossible to say where the river ends 
and the sea begins. The main part of the creek is a long tor- 
tuous arm of the sea, ten or fifteen miles in length, and is itself 
provided with numerous branches and bays. These frequent 
branchings are perfectly bewildering to a man not accustomed 
to row on them every day in his life. The whole is, in fact, 
like a maze. 

The side walls of the creek are covered with a luxuriant 
vegetation, with hugh masses of Stagshorn Fern (Plalycerium) 
and "rock lilies" (orchids), and a variety of timbers, whilst there 
are Tree-ferns and small palms in the lateral shady gullies. 

The descent to the river is very steep, and it was a difficult 
matter to lead the horses down. As we descended, we heard the 
Lyre-birds calling all round ; at the bottom, on a little patch of 
Hat alluvium covered with grass, is a small house and barn, 
where a man lives with his family all alone, and shut out from 



NEW SOUTH WALES. 27 1 

the world. He is extremely industrious, and by fishing, wood- 
cutting, honey gathering, and the proceeds of his farm-yard, 
must be doing well ; we stopped at his cottage for two nights, 
and hired his boat. 

Browera Creek is of varied interest. As an example of denu- 
dation, it appears to correspond exactly to what is seen at a 
much higher level in the Blue Mountains. The extraordinary 
proximity into which animals found usually only in open sea, 
are here brought with those only occurring inland, is of great 
interest from a geological point of view ; it recalls at once to the 
mind such mixtures of marine and terrestrial animal remains, as 
those occurring in geological deposits, such as the Stonesfield 
beds. 

Here is a narrow strip of sea-water, twenty miles distant 
from the open sea ; on a sandy shallow fiat, close to its head, are 
to be seen basking in the sun, numbers of Sting-rays (Trygon) ) 
a kind of skate provided with a sharp saw-edged bony weapon 
(the sting), at the base of its tail. All over these flats, and 
throughout the whole stretch of the creek, shoals of Grey 
Mullets are to be met with ; numerous other marine fish in- 
habit the creek, some growing to 150 lbs. in weight, and often 
caught weighing as much as 60 or 80 lbs. A Diodon or Trunk- 
fish, is amongst the fishes. Porpoises chase the mullet right up 
to the commencement of the sand-flat. 

At the shores of the creek the rocks are covered with masses 
of excellent oysters and mussels, and other shell-bearing 
mollusks are abundant, whilst a small crab is to be found in 
numbers in every crevice. 

On the other hand, the water is overhung by numerous 
species of forest trees, and by orchids and ferns, and other 
vegetation of all kinds ; mangroves grow only in the shallow 
bays. The gum-trees lean over the water in which swim 
Trygons and mullets, just as willows hang over a pond full of 
carp. The sandy bottom is full of branches and stems of trees, 
and is covered in patches here and there by their leaves. 

Insects constantly fall on the water, and are devoured by 
the mullets. Land birds of all kinds fly to and fro across the 
creek, and when wounded may easily get drowned in it. Walla- 



272 A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER?* 

bies swim across occasionally, and may add their bones to the 
debris at the bottom. 

Hence here is being formed a sandy deposit, in which may 
be found Cetacean, Marsupial, bird, fish, and insect remains, 
together with land and sea-shells, and fragments of a vast land 
flora ; yet how restricted is the area occupied by this deposit, 
and how easily might surviving fragments of such a record be 
missed by a future geological explorer ! The area occupied by 
the deposit will be sinuous and ramified like that of an ancient 
river-bed. 

The inlet being so extremely long and so narrow, although 
the rise of the tide is two feet or more at the head of the creek, 
the interchange of water with the ocean is very small; the 
water in the upper parts of the creek, is merely forced back to 
a higher level by the tide below at flood-tide, and similarly 
lowered again at ebb. Hence, after heavy rain, the surface 
water in all the upper parts of the creek is so diluted by the 
torrent of fresh water from the stream, that it becomes almost 
fresh ; indeed, at the time of our visit, it was for three or four 
miles down, which was, as far as we went, so little brackish as 
to be drinkable. At a short depth, no doubt, the water was salt. 

Here are the most favourable conditions possible for turning 
marine animals into freshwater animals ; in fact the change of 
mode of life presents no difficulty. Below, no doubt, the water 
is always salt, but the fish find a fluid gradually less and less 
salt as they rise to the surface. 

We caught the mullets in the almost fresh water, with a net. 
The oysters were flourishing in the same water, and with them 
the mussels and crabs ; I even saw an abundance of Medusa?, 
and a species of Rliizoplwva swimming in the creek above the 
sand-flats, where there was scarcely any salt at all in the water, 
yet evidently in most perfect health. 

Occasionally, in times of long drought, the water becomes as 
salt as the sea. The fishermen told me that after sudden very 
heavy freshets of water from the river, some of the shell-fish 
sickened and died. He accounted for the presence of numerous 
dead cockle-shells (Cardium) in the bed of the creek, since 
he had never found the animals there alive, by supposing that 



NEW SOUTH WALES. 273 

they had all been killed off' by some unusual influx of fresh 
water many years before. 

But beyond all that has been described, and beyond the ex- 
treme beauty of its wild and rocky scenery, the Browera Creek has 
yet another interest ; it was in old times the haunt of numerous 
Aborigines, wdio lived on its banks in order to eat the oysters 
and mussels, and the fish. 

On every point or projection, formed where a side branch is 
given off by the main creek, is to be seen a vast kitchen midden 
or shell mound. So numerous are these heaps of refuse, and so 
extensive, that it has been a regular trade, at which White men 
have worked all their lives, to turn over these heaps and sift out 
the undecomposed shells, for making lime by burning them ; 
unfortunately the numerous weapons thus found in the heaps, 
have mostly been thrown away. 

There is now not a single Black on the creek. Many of the 
mounds are very ancient, and it must have taken a very long 
time for such heaps to accumulate. Stone hatchet blades are 
still to be picked up in considerable numbers, and I obtained 
several. The heaps are very like those at the Cape of Good 
Hope in appearance, but there were none of the peculiar piles of 
stones about them, which I noticed at the latter locality. 

The softer layers weathering out from under the harder slabs 
of the horizontally bedded sandstones, form numerous shelters 
and low-roofed caves, along the creek banks. It was in these 
caves or " gunyas," that the blacks used to camp, and in front, 
of all of them, a mass of shells slopes down towards the creek 
just as the Cape of Good Hope. 

I dug into one of the heaps ; places were found where fires 
had been made, and there were numerous bits of burnt stick and 
charcoal, a piece of Wallaby bone charred by the fire, and the 
thigh bone of a Black woman. This latter was found without 
any of the remaining bones of the skeleton, the woman having 
been perhaps eaten piecemeal. These relics w T ere buried in a mass 
of cockle, oyster and mussel shells, mingled with much black 
powdery matter composed of decayed shells, and other debris. 

The walls and roofs of the caves are covered all over with 
drawings executed by the blacks in charcoal on the rock. These 

T 



274 



A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER." 



are interesting from their rude character, and sketches of them 
are given in the accompanying woodcut. 




AUSTEALIAN NATIVE DRAWINGS. 



1 Opossums ; 2 a fish ; 3 uncertain ; 4 a white man — drawn with charcoal, in caves, Browera 
Creek. 5 figure of kangaroo, five feet in height — cut in a slab of stone — same locality. 

The row of four figures (1) evidently is intended to represent 
four-footed animals, probably opossums (Plialangista), the draw- 
ing being of about the size of that animal. Two of the figures 
are roughly shaded. There were several similar rows of the same 
figures in one cave. 

Figure 2 is a tolerably good representation of one of the fish 
of the Creek. It also is shaded. 

Figures 3 I do not understand. The larger may be intended 
for a shark. Figure 4 is evidently intended for a white man. 
North American Indians are said to have distinguished white 
men in their drawings by putting a tall hat on them. Such a 
form of headdress must be astonishing to a savage at first 
acquaintance. 

Near one of the caves, on a flat slab of stone standing 
naturally erect, is a figure of a Kangaroo cut out in the stone 



NEW SOUTH WALES. 275 

itself. The figure is five feet in height. It is marked out by 
means of an incised groove, which is an inch and a half in depth. 
The figure is shaded, or rather rendered more conspicuous by 
the chipping of irregular small holes all over the area represent- 
ing the body, and also as in the charcoal drawings of opossums, 
by means of lines. 

The fore-legs of the Kangaroo seem not to have been finished, 
or the artist has been especially unsuccessful in his attempts to 
represent them, and perhaps has tried to correct them, as appears 
possible from the number of lines. The contour line of the body 
is carried across the root of the tail. Similar drawings, executed 
by cutting grooves in stone, are common about Sydney. 

In Peron and Leseur's " Voyage,"* a plate is given of similar 
drawings of fish and Kangaroos by Blacks, from Port Jackson, 
and one of the drawings shows a similar attempt at irregular 
shading, as seen in some of the present figures. Another plate 
of the same work, shows the Blacks living on the shore, about 
caves under cliffs, such as those here described. The plates in 
question are unnumbered, and I could not find reference to them 
in the text of the book. 

Besides the drawings, in almost every cave were hand marks. 
These marks have been the subject of much discussion, and 
various speculations have been made as to some important 
meaning of the " Eed Hand of Australia." These hand marks 
have been made by placing a hand against the flat stone, and 
then squirting a mixture of whitish clay and water from the 
mouth all around. The hand being removed, a tracing of it stands 
out in relief, and where the sandstone is red, appears red on a 
whitish ground. 

The hand marks have evidently been made hap-hazard, just 
as the drawings. They are now often out of easy reach, the 
former floors of the caves having slipped away. They are 
grouped in all sorts of ways, and amongst them I saw one in 
which a finger was missing, the native having possibly had a 
finger cut off as a matter of ceremony. The figure of a whole 
man is said to exist thus executed, in Cowan Creek, close by. 

* " Voyage des Decouvertes aux terres Australes." Peron et Leseur. 
Paris, 1807, Atlas. 

T 2 



276 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER.' 



Delightful though it was at Sydney to make so many friends 
amongst one's countrymen, after so long a voyage from home, 
and to enjoy their far-famed hospitality, one could not as a 
naturalist, help feeling a lurking regret that matters were not 
stiii in the same condition as in the days of Captain Cook, and 
the colonists replaced by the race which they have ousted and 
destroyed, a race far more interesting and original from an 
anthropological point of view. 

Whilst we were at Sydney, the ship's steam pinnace was 
constantly employed in dredging for Trigonia shells in Port 
Jackson. These shells, in shape very like cockles, are imme- 
diately known by their brilliant pearly lustre within, and curious 
complicated hinges. They vary very much in the tint of the 
nacre inside. Some are orange-tinted, others pink or purple, 
some without colour. The shells are worn very much by the 
ladies of Sydney, as earrings and other ornaments, being set in 
gold. 

The shell is especially interesting to the naturalist, because 
it occurs fossil in secondary deposits in Europe, and was long 
supposed entirely a thing of the past, until discovered living 
in Sydney Harbour. Moreover, with it occurs in the harbour a 
most remarkable fish, the Port Jackson Shark (Cestracion Phi- 
lippi) which is also closely allied to fish, remains of which are 
found in the deposits together with the Trigonias. 

It was believed for some time that the modern Trigonias 
were very restricted in their distribution. A species occurs 
however at Cape York, and Mr. S. C. J. W. van Musschenbrook, 
Governor of Ternate in the Moluccas, told me that he had 
obtained specimens of the genus from the coast of Halmahera 
(Gilolo). A Port Jackson Shark is also found far away from 
Australia, in the Japanese seas, and at intermediate localities. 



277 



CHAPTER XII. 

NEW ZEALAND. THE FRIENDLY ISLANDS. 
MATUKU ISLAND. 

Wellington, New Zealand. The Eata Tree. Kingfisher with Littoral 
Habits. Peripatus. Egg Capsules of Land Planarians. The Vege- 
tation of the Kermadec Islands. Red coloured Muscles of the Shark. 
Island of Eua. General appearance of the Island of Tongatabu. 
Tongan Natives. Mode of Hairdressing. Facial expression of the 
Natives. A Pea Jacket a Badge of Distinction. Town of Nukua- 
lofa. Dress of Tongan Women. Getting Fire by Friction. Deserted 
Plantations. Fruit -bats Feeding on Flowers. Herons, Tree-swifts, 
and other Birds. Parasitic Algae in Foraminifera. Matuku Island 
Fiji Group. The Island an Ancient Crater. Its Vegetation. En- 
circling Reef. Flocks of Lories. Periophthalmus, a Fish Living on 
Land. Living Pearly Nautilus. Its Mode of Swimming. Account 
of the Nautilus, by Runxphius. 

Wellington, June 28th to July 9 th, 1S94. — We encountered 
constant gales on the voyage from Sydney to Wellington in 
New Zealand. The voyage lasted 14 days, and we arrived at 
Wellington on June 28th. The ship had to be anchored for two 
nights under the lee of D'Urville Island, on the south side of the 
entrance to Cook's Straits, until the weather moderated sufficiently 
to allow of the ship's passing up the straits to Wellington. 

We found deep water, 2,600 fathoms; between the Australian 
coast and New Zealand, as might have been confidently predicted 
from the vast difference of the New Zealand from the Australian 
fauna and flora. Around New Zealand itself, there is a con- 
siderable extent of shallow sea with very uneven bottom, and 
from this shallow a stretch of comparatively raised bottom is 
extended to Northern Australia, including on its surface Norfolk 
Island and Lord Howe Island. 

The stay at Wellington was very short, and as I was not 
in good health I saw very little of the country. The town 



27$ A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

necessarily contrasts unfavourably in appearance with Sydney. 
The buildings are all of wood, even Government House. There 
is one long principal street following the shore, and the 
remainder is more or less scattered. Tattooed Maories were to 
be seen commonly walking about in the streets, but all in 
European costume, reminding one somewhat of English gipsies. 

The coast hills in the general appearance and colour of their 
vegetation, as seen from sea, recalled Kerguelen's Land, especially 
the shores about D' Urville Island, but all the valleys and inland 
slopes are covered with a dense forest and almost impenetrable 
bush. The trees are covered with epiphytic ferns, and Astelias, 
Liliaceous epiphytes, which, perched in the forks of the branches, 
remind one in their habit and appearance of the Bromeliaceous 
epiphytes of Tropical America. 

One of the most remarkable trees which was pointed out 
to me by Mr. T. Kirk, E.L.S., is the Eata, a Metrosideros, M. 
Rohusta. This, though a Myrtaceous plant, has all the, habits of 
the Indian figs * reproducing them in the closest manner. It 
starts from a seed dropped in the fork of a tree, and grows 
downward to reach the ground; then taking root there, and 
gaining strength, chokes the supporting tree and entirely destroys 
it, forming a large trunk by fusion of its many stems. Never- 
theless, it occasionally grows originally directly from the soil, 
and then forms a trunk more regular in form. Another Metro- 
sideros, M. florida, is a regular climber. 

I did not see many birds. The gull of Kerguelen's Land 
(Larus Dominicanus) was common in the harbour. On the 
telegraph wires along the shore sat a Kingfisher (Hcdcyon 
sanctus) in abundance, and dashed down from thence on its 
prey into the shallow water of the harbour. It interested me 
because it was the first Kingfisher that I had thus seen leading 
a littoral existence and feeding on sea fish. I afterwards became 
familiar with Kingfishers thus inhabiting the seashores in the 
Straits of Magellan and the coast of Oregon in North-west 
America. In the poulterers' shops the curious parrot, or Kaka, 
Nestor Meridionalis, is hung up for sale. Mr. Potts describes this 

* T. Kirk, F.L.S., " On the Habit of the Eata, Metrosideros robusta." 
Trans. New Zealand Inst, Vol. IV., 1871, p. 267. 



NEW ZEALAND. 279 

bird as tearing away the dead wood of trees in search of insects, 
and appearing to replace to some extent in its habits in New 
Zealand, the totally absent Woodpecker. 

The New Zealand Peripatns (P. Novce Zealanclice) is abundant 
near Wellington amongst dead wood, and I had 40 or 50 
specimens brought to me as the result of a day's search in the 
Hutt Valley. As in the case of the Cape of Good Hope species, 
the males are much less abundant than the females. 

In essential structure and habits the animal closely resembles 
the South African species. It is distinguished by having fewer 
pairs of feet, viz., 15 instead of 17. The females all contained 
young although it was mid-winter. 

Land Planarian worms are also pretty common near Welling- 
ton. In their anatomical structure, these New Zealand species 
are more nearly allied to South American forms of the genus 
Geoplana than to the Australian Land Planarians. These latter 
belong to a special genus, Camoplana, which has affinities with 
the genus Bliyncliodemus of India and the Cape of Good Hope.* 

Mr. W. T. Locke Travers, F.L.S., to whom I am indebted for 
much kindness and scientific information during my stay at 
Wellington, brought me specimens of Peripatus N. Zealandice, and 
also of Land Planarians, together with the egg capsules of the 
latter, which were hitherto unknown. 

They are spherical in form, of about the size of sweet-pea 
seeds and of a dark brown colour. The capsules have a tough 
chitinous wall, and contain four or five young Planarians each. 
The production of these capsules by the Land Planarians I 
regard as further evidence in favour of the affinity of these 
worms to the leeches, on which I have dwelt elsewhere.t 

* Captain F. W. Hutton informs me that, as far as he knows, the 
genus Bipalium does not exist in New Zealand. His assertion that it did 
exist there in his well-known and admirable paper, " On the Geographical 
Eelations of the New Zealand Fauna," Trans. New Zealand Inst, Vol. V., 
1872, p. 227, was due to imperfect determination of the genus in the 
case of the species of Geoplana of the locality. 

f H. N. Moseley, " On the Anatomy and Histology of the Land 
Planarians of Ceylon." Phil. Trans. 1875, p. 148. Also "Notes on the 
Structure of Several Forms of Land Planarians." Quart. Journal, Micro. 
Sci., Vol. XVII, p. 275. 



a r\x~ 



280 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 

Off the Kermadec Islands, September 14th, 1814. — We were 111 
the morning in sight of Eaoul or Sunday Island, and Macaulay 
Island, of the Kermadec group. No landing was effected on 
any of the islands. This small group of islands forms with 
New Zealand, McQuarrie Island, and the Tonga group, a direct 
line of volcanic action, stretching about N.E., and thus at right 
angles nearly to the north-west lines, which are followed by 
most of the remaining Pacific groups, such as the Fijis, for 
example. The Kermadec Islands are all very small. The flora of 
Eaoul Island was described by Sir J. D. Hooker* from collections 
made by Mr. MacGillivray, of H.M.S. " Herald." Forty-two 
vascular plants are known from the islands, of which five are 
endemic species. Half of the number consist of New Zealand 
ferns. The large proportion of ferns in the flora is most remark- 
able, and also their New Zealand character. There are no 
currents leading from New Zealand towards the Kermadecs. 
The group lies in the fork of the great current which, stretching 
westward from the region of Ducie, Pitcairn and Tubai Islands, 
follows the line of the Tropic of Capricorn, and branching, sends 
its northern half to the east coast of Australia to form the East 
Australian current, whilst its other half passes down S.W. to 
sweep past the east coast. 

The group lies just at the northern limit of the zone of 
westerly winds, and within that of calms and changeable winds, 
but so close to the limit that the winds may well have trans- 
ported many of the plants, and the preponderance of ferns 
may be clue to the possible fact, that the winds have been the 
main agents in the colonization of the islands, and have sufficed 
to carry the minute fern spores, whilst heavier seeds have 
seldom reached the island, and by other means of transport. 

If fern spores are diffused mainly by wind, it should be 
especially difficult for them to cross the zones of constant rains, 
and there ought to be a marked separation of fern forms in 
distribution about those lines. 

There is no connection between the flora of the Kermadecs 
and that of Norfolk Island, although sucli would have been 

* Sir J. D. Hooker, "Botany of Kaoul Island." Jour. Linn. Soc, Bot. 
Vol. I., 1857, p. 125. 



OFF THE KERMADECS. 281 

expected, as Sir J. D. Hooker states, on all considerations to 
occur. The soundings of the " Gazelle " and " Tuscarora," have 
proved that a channel of more than 2,000 fathoms in depth, 
passes up between New Zealand and the Kermadec Islands. 
Hence, an ancient land connection cannot be looked to as an 
explanation of the New Zealand affinities of the Kermadec 
flora. 

Whilst dredging was going on off the islands, a shark (Car- 
charias brachyurus), which was attended by a pilot fish (No it- 
erates sp.) } was caught ; it was, as is commonly the case, covered 
by a small parasitic Crustacean, a species of Pandarus. Some 
specimens of this parasite had, curiously enough, a Barnacle 
(Lepas) attached to them as large as themselves. 

On the shark being skinned, I noticed that a layer of super- 
ficial or skin muscles extending all over the animal, and only 
about one-fourth of an inch in thickness, is coloured dark-red 
by blood-colouring matter (Haemoglobin) , as are all the muscles 
of Mammalia. .The main internal muscular mass of the shark 
is pale, almost white. 

Prof. Eay Lankester has described several similar instances 
of the restriction of the red colouring matter to certain muscles 
only in animals which possess it.* A closely parallel case is 
that of the little rish, the " Sea-Horse " (Hippocampus), in which 
the muscles of the dorsal fin only are red. 

Mr. Lankester accounts for the presence of the Haemoglobin 
in the dorsal fin muscles only in this case, by the special activity 
of the fin in question, but such an explanation fails in the case 
of the shark, the skin of which is apparently immovable ; more- 
over, the structure of the skin precludes the idea of the red 
matter beneath it having a respiratory function. 

Mr. Lankester has shown that Hcemoglobin is entirely 
wanting in one fish at least, the white transparent oceanic 
surface fish Lep>tocep)lialus, and I believe that small oceanic Flat- 
fish, Pleuronectids;* will prove also to be devoid of red-blood 
colouring. 

I was extremely vexed that no landing on the Kermadec 

* E. Ptay Lankester, "On the Distribution of Hcemoglobin." Proc. 
Royal Soc., No. 140, 1873. 



282 A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER." 

Islands was arranged. Further information concerning the flora 
of the islands is very much wanted, and it seemed hard to be 
dredsfino- off the islands and not to be able to land. 

Tongatabu, July 19th to July 22nd, 1814. — Our approach to 

the Friendly Islands group was heralded by the appearance of 
a Tropic Bird, which was seen flying behind the ship, although we 
were 150 miles as yet distant from Tongatabu. 

We sighted the island of Eua in early morning, and passed 
to the north of it. The island is elevated in its highest point 
600 feet above the sea, and is volcanic, with coral rock at its 
base. An ancient, now upraised sea-cliff of the coral rock, is 
conspicuous from the distance, forming a line above the present 
coast-cliff, as described by Dana.* 

The island appears covered with bushes, with very few trees, 
and isolated palms on the summits of the high ground. The 
bushes on the higher land appear to be all bent over in the 
direction of the trade wind. 

The sky was dull, covered with grey clouds, and the air even 
somewhat chilly, and the islands did not look bright and sun- 
shiny, as I had expected these, the first South Sea Islands I had 
seen, to look. At the base of the Eua, the surf in places raised 
jets of spray, looking from a distance like thin white smoke. 

Tongatabu was seen seven miles distant from the small Eua, 
stretched along the horizon as a long narrow neutral tint band, 
with an indented upper margin : towards the northern end the 
band thinned out into isolated rows and groups of palm-trees, 
which looked like dots on the watery horizon. As we ap- 
proached nearer, the forms of the cocoanut-trees became more 
and more distinct. At length we shortened sail and steamed 
through the reefs with a long stretch of palm-covered land on 
the one hand, and numerous islets on the other, some bearing 
many cocoanut palms, others with few. 

The main island is exceedingly flat and low, its highest 
point being only 60 feet above sea level. It thus stretched 
itself before our view as a horizontal streak of green of uniform 
width, the width being due merely to the height of the vegetation ; 
here and there at the water's edge, were seen small inlets and 
* J. I). Dana, " Coral Reefs and Islands," p. 30. 



TONGATABU. 283 

stretches of white sandy beaches, or low honeycombed and 
weathered clifflets of coral rock. 

Above these, appeared a band of dark foliaged shrubs, and 
shrubby trees with shore-loving plants at their foot, growing in 
the sand ; and as a background behind, rose a mass of cocoanut- 
trees of various heights, but densely packed together, and thus 
forming with their crowns a tolerably even line ; no palms other 
than cocoanuts were to be seen in the mass. 

On the small scattered islets which were near at hand, Screw- 
Pine trees were conspicuous, their stems surrounded with prop- 
like aerial roots, whilst on the main island these trees, which 
are numerous along the shore, were almost lost to view against 
the general backing of dark foliage. 

As we steamed on, Ave could see beneath the cocoanut-trees 
on the shores, the villages of the islanders, composed of small 
houses of palm mats and grass thatch, and, as the news spread, 
we saw the villagers assemble on the beach in their conspicuous 
white or red clothing, to gaze at the ship. 

In the harbour were several American whalers, waiting for 
the whales expected to come into the bay in a few days, and 
also a small German vessel of the firm of Goddefroy Brothers, 
the famed collectors of South Sea Island productions. 

Not until we had passed the most difficult twist in the 
passage into the harbour, did the pilot come out, in a small 
English-built boat manned by four sturdy Tongans. 

These Tongans were naked, except that they had a cloth 
round the waist, and one of them a further girdle of green 
Screw-Pine leaves ; they had all, however, linen shirts, which 
they put on as they got cool ; and the coxswain, formerly a 
Mataboolo, or lord, but degraded for drunkenness, wore besides 
a pea jacket. 

The boat was a whale-boat, belonging to the King. As is 
always the case, the men being so little clothed, looked to us 
bigger than they really were. They were, however, remarkably 
finely made men, with all their muscles well developed, and all 
of them were extremely well nourished. The Tongans have 
large broad foreheads and faces, the lower jaws being wide at 
their articulation, the chins narrowung off rather abruptly from 



284 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

the face. The nose is flattened, but not very much ; the eye- 
brows are straight, the lips not large or protuberant. 

The colour of the Tongans is of a light brownish-yellow with 
a tino-e of red. Their hair forms the most remarkable feature in 
their appearance ; it is worn in a sort of mop sticking straight 
up from the head, and composed of a mass of small curls ; it is 
black naturally, as are the eyebrows, beard, and moustache, 
which latter are, however, scanty as a rule ; but it is altered to 
a rust colour by the application of coral lime. 

The colouring is usually only applied partially so as to give 
a contrast between the black and red locks. Sometimes the 
centre of the head is left black, and a marginal zone coloured 
red ; at others isolated locks all over the head are reddened so 
as to show a black mop variegated with red. Various other 
fashions are adopted. The Tongans often sit on their heels like 
Indian races, but more usually sit cross-legged in the posture in 
which Buddah is ordinarily represented. 

Having studied Mr. Darwin's work, " On the Expressions of 
the Emotions," I was immediately struck on seeing the men 
conversing in the boat with one another, by the unusually 
marked development of facial expression exhibited by them. 
The muscles of the forehead during animated conversation, 
are contracted and relaxed incessantly, and in a most varied 
manner ; the brow is strongly wrinkled, and the eyebrows are 
jerked up to such an extent as to remind the observer at once of 
the jerking up of the eyebrows in monkeys. 

I made as careful a study as time would permit of the 
various expressions of the emotions ; all of them appear to coin- 
cide in their intimate character with those of Europeans, and 
this holds good also in the case of the expressions of children, 
but the movements made use of are much more strongly 
marked in the Tongans than in Europeans : thus, for example, 
in the expression of astonishment I noticed the eyebrows thrown 
up with a succession of strong jerks, not merely raised once as 
with Europeans. The use of the forehead muscles is very 
peculiar, and it indeed seems to be the most characteristic 
feature noticeable about a Tongan. I saw no similar exaggerated 
facial expression amongst Hawaians or Tahitians. There was 



TONGATABU. 285 

nothing interesting to be noted about the means of expression of 
these latter islanders ; probably they have copied European 
modes of expression to a large extent. 

In some of their gestures, the Tongans differ remarkably 
from us ; in beckoning, to call a person, they use, like the Malays 
and others, the hand with its back turned towards their bodies, 
and the palm directed towards the person called ; the hand is 
moved downwards and inwards, instead of upwards and inwards 
as with us. 

In affirmation the head is jerked slightly upwards, the eye- 
brows being raised a little at the same time. I asked one of 
the missionaries who visited the ship, about this matter, and to 
test it he pronounced the word for yes, and involuntarily threw 
up his head. The gestures accompanying the language are 
necessary to its perfect use, and to speak without them would 
be like speaking a European language with a false accent. 

In negation, the head is sometimes moved slowly from side to 
side, but never shaken. In pointing out the way to a place, the 
lips are pouted in order to indicate direction at the same time that 
the hand is used to point with in the ordinary manner. The 
use of the arms and head in gesture language, is very remark- 
able, and conversations are carried on thus in an extremely 
animated manner, with the help of very few actual words. 

The coxswain of the pilot's boat, the ex-member of the 
nobility, wore, as I have said, a pea-jacket ; a photograph was 
taken of the boat's crew. I could not persuade the coxswain to 
take off the pea-jacket, in order to make the group uniform ; he 
would only promise that if he were photographed with the 
jacket on in the group, he would allow himself to be taken with 
it off, separately afterwards. The jacket was a thick garment 
of the usual pilot cloth, fit only for an English winter, but the 
man evidently regarded it as a mark of distinction and decora- 
tion, and a proof that he was coxswain. 

I had much difficulty in getting a lock of hair from one of 
the boat's crew, and only succeeded by the help of a missionary, 
who explained that I did not want it for purposes of witchcraft. 
The man also evidently was loth to part with a single lock of 
what was. his chief pride. I often, in collecting hair of various 



286 A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER." 

races subsequently, for scientific purposes, had amusing difficul- 
ties to contend with, and I suspect some of the girls, from whom 
I got specimens, thought I was desperately in love with them. 

The most prominent feature in the town of Nukualofa, as the 
principal place in the island is called, is the small white church 
which stands on the summit of a rounded hill about 40 feet in 
height. Conspicuous also is the King's house, a respectable- 
looking small one-storied wooden building with a verandah. 
There is, further, the Government building, a neat wooden 
structure with a tower in the centre and a wing on either side, 
each containing a single office-room. Here the revenue of the 
Friendly Island Group, which amounts to about £7,000 or 
£8,000, is dispensed, and the King's seal is attached to docu- 
ments. At a small printing office close by, an almanac, a 
magazine, bibles, and a few books, are printed in the native 
language. 

The remainder of the town consists almost entirely of native 
houses. The houses of the Tongans are small and oblong in 
shape, about 20 feet by 10 feet in dimension. The walls are of 
reed mats or plaited cocoanut leaves, and the thatch of reeds. 
The posts and beams, often of cocoanut stems, are lashed 
together with plaited cocoanut fibre. The ground within is 
simply covered with Pandanus mats. There are usually two 
doors or openings opposite one another in the middle of each 
side of the house, which are closed with a mat only. In most 
houses a sleeping chamber is partitioned off at one end by 
means of mats. 

The only furniture to be seen within is the kaava bowl and 
the pillows, wooden rods supported on four legs, on which the 
neck is rested in sleep in order that the elaborately dressed hair 
may not be disarranged. Most Polynesians use similar pillows, 
and very various other races, such as the ancient Egyptians and 
the modern Japanese. Long practice is required to allow of 
their use. I have tried a Japanese pillow, but found it far too 
painful to be endured for even half an hour. 

Near the houses are small sheds, underneath which a hole in 
the ground serves as an oven for cooking. 

The houses at Nukualofa are clustered under the cocoanut 



TOXGATABU. 287 

trees, with three or four open roadways between them. The 
people are remarkably hospitable, and delighted to get a strange 
visitor into their houses to sit and communicate what little can 
be managed in this way between persons knowing almost 
nothing of each other's languages. They offer kaava or cocoa- 
nuts as refreshment. 

The women are large, they have fine figures and are, most of 
them, handsome. They wear a cotton cloth round the loins 
reaching down below the knees, or often, and especially on 
week-days, a " tappa " or native cloth, made from the Paper 
Mulberry. The missionaries have compelled them to cover their 
breasts, which is done with a flap of cloth thrown up in front, 
and a fine is imposed on any woman seen abroad without this 
additional covering. The women, however, evidently have little 
idea of shame in the matter; and often the cloth is put on 
so loosely that it affords no cover at all. 

The hair of the women was formerly cut short as amongst 
so many savages where the men keep to themselves the right 
of cultivating and decorating the hair, but now it is often 
allowed to grow long and fall down the back. It is oiled and 
powdered with sandal-wood dust as a perfume. On Sundays a 
few women appear in complete European dress, wearing muslin 
gowns, and hats profusely decorated with gaudy artificial flowers. 
The girls are most accomplished coquettes. 

The missionaries have prohibited dancing, and also the 
chewing of the kaava root, which is now grated instead. The 
chewing method was believed to spread disease. The people 
are diminishing notwithstanding all the efforts of the mission- 
aries. There are now r only about 8,000 islanders in the whole 
group. 

The Tongans are a fine manly race, and delighted us all. 
We should all have liked a longer stay in their island. They 
are an extremely merry race, fond of practical jokes ; and as I 
was rowed on shore by a crew of them, they kept playing all 
kinds of pranks on one another between the strokes of the oars, 
such as bending over and catching at each other's legs, and they 
were full of laughter the whole time. 

I had some difficulty in persuading one of the natives to get 



288 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

fire for me by friction of wood. Matches are now so common 
in Tonga that the natives do not care to undergo the labour 
necessary for getting fire in the old method, except when driven 
by necessity. No doubt the younger generation will lose the 
knack of getting fire by friction altogether. 

The method adopted in Tonga is the usual Polynesian one 
of the stick and groove. The wood of the Hibiscus tiliaceus 
is made use of. It is extremely light when dry. It must be 
extremely dry in order that it can be used for getting fire. In 
order to procure fire, a stick or stout splinter of the wood about 
a foot in length is cut at one end so that it has a sharp edge 
bounded by two sloping surfaces on one side of the end. The 
side of the tip is thus in the form of a wedge with a sharp 

edge. 

This stick is held in a slanting position between the two 
thumbs crossed behind it, and the fingers of the two hands 
crossed in front of it. The sharp edge of the wedge is applied 
to the surface of a large billet or stem of the same dry wood, 
and the stick is rubbed backwards and forwards, a certain 
amount of pressure being exerted. A V-shaped groove about 
four or five inches in length is thus cut into the billet. If the 
piece of wood to be grooved is rounded and smooth, a slight 
score is sometimes made upon it with a knife beforehand in 
order to prevent the stick from slipping. 

Of course everything depends on the larger billet being 
kept absolutely immovable during the process. Sometimes the 
operator holds it with his own feet, or often gets some one 
else to stand on it for this purpose. The stick is rubbed back- 
wards and forwards, slowly at first. It must not be pressed 
on too hard or the rubbing surfaces become polished, nor too 
softly or no heating results. In applying the exact amount of 
pressure, a great deal of the knack of getting the fire readily, no 
doubt, depends. 

If the operation is proceeding well, there should be a con- 
stant feeling of slightly grating friction to the operator as he 
rubs, and a fine powder should be rubbed off from the surface of 
the groove and pushed along by the end of the stick, so that it 
accumulates at the far end of the groove in a small heap. 



TOXGATABU. 280 

Great care must be taken that this small heap of powder is not 
shaken or blown away. 

The friction being kept up slowly and steadily, the sides of 
the groove begin to blacken and soon to smoke. Eapid strokes 
are now resorted to, the fine dust rubbed off becomes black like 
soot, and at last ignites at the end of the stroke just as it is 
pushed into the small accumulated heap, which acts as tinder. 
A tiny wreath of smoke ascending from the heap shows that the 
operation has been successful. A gentle blowing soon sets the 
whole heap aglow. 

The operation is excessively tiring to the wrists, since it has 
to be prolonged for a considerable time, but the greater the 
practice the less the waste of force. I have never succeeded in 
getting fire myself, though Mr. Darwin succeeded at Tahiti; 
and I have seen several Englishmen do so after practice, and 
especially Dr. Goode, E.K, who frequently lighted a candle 
in tins way to show me the process on board H.M.S. " Dido" at 
Fiji. It is easy enough to get smoke and char the wood a 
little, but very difficult to get the actual fire. The slightest 
halt during the friction is fatal. 

The old stone implements have entirely gone out of use in 
Tonga, and they are not plentiful, but I bought several from 
natives who had them put away in their houses. They call 
them "toki Tonga," Tongan axe, or adze, in distinction to foreign 
axes, whereas the Sandwich Islanders spoke of their adzes when 
I was buying them as stone adzes, " pohaku koi." All the stone 
adzes which I saw were unmounted ; no doubt the handles had 
been used long ago, when iron was introduced, to fasten hoop- 
iron blades on to in the place of the discarded stone ones. The 
stone adze blades I procured were all of simple form like those 
of Fiji, and not with complex curved surfaces and shanks like 
those of Tahiti and some other Polynesian Islands. 

The manners and customs of the ancient Tongans are pro- 
bably better understood than those of any other Polynesian 
Islanders, because of the existence of Mariner's well-known 
account of them.* 

The Island of Tonga is about 27 miles in extreme length, 

* " An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands. Compiled from 

U 



290 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

and 10 in extreme breadth. The island is entirely composed of 
coral-reef rock, without, as far as is known, any blown-sand 
formation. The sand on the beaches is scanty. The presence 
of blown sand-rock on coral islands must depend on the freedom 
of some part of the coast from breakwaters of coral, in order that 
a heavy surf may form sand in abundance. In Bermuda the 
sand is derived from the unsheltered side of the island. 

In some rock, about 30 feet above sea level, I saw, as Dana 
describes, some Brain Corals imbedded in the position in which 
they had grown. About the reefs are to be seen curious cylin- 
drical blocks of coral standing on end, and often hollowed out at 
the top. These arise from the growing of a mass of ordinarily 
rounded coral until the top reaches the surface of the water or 
an insufficient depth to allow of further growth. The top of 
the mass then dies, whilst growth goes on at the sides, and 
the dead core is hollowed out by decay. 

The surface of the rock in Tonga is covered with a reddish 
soil, like that of Bermuda. It is so hidden with soil and vege- 
tation that it is very difficult to observe the rock structure. 
The wells, round holes sunk to a depth of four or five feet close 
to the shore, show a mere continuation of the reef-structure of 
the shore covered by about a foot of soil. 

I w T as interested to recognise amongst the littoral plants of 
Tonga, many forms which I had gathered on the shores of the 
far-distant Bermuda. They were cosmopolitan tropical plants, 
and became familiar objects on nearly all the tropical shores 
visited subsequently. One plant grows in Tonga which is 
almost identical with one occurring in Kerguelen's Land, but 
it again is cosmopolitan, and a w T ater weed, Nitella flexilis. To 
remind one of Australia, there are Casuarina trees in Tonga, but 
they are nowhere abundant. 

In every direction in Tonga are large tracts of land which 
have been under cultivation, but are now overrun with a wild 
growth, affording plain evidence of the reduction of the popu- 
lation. These tracts are overrun with a dense low tangle of 
several species of convolvulus and a trailing bean. The position 

Communications by Mr. W. Mariner, severa years resident in those 
Islands." By John Martin, M.D., London, 181 7. 



TONGATABtt. 291 

of the more recent clearings is marked in the distance by the 
projection from the main mass of dark foliage of the dead 
branches of trees that have had their bark ringed. These, with 
a species of Acacia (?), which at the time of our visit in winter 
had a yellow tint upon its foliage, formed a marked feature in a 
general view of the vegetation from a distance. 

There are naturally no indigenous mammals in Tonga except 
bats. A large Fruit-bat, probably Pteropus keraudrenii which 
occurs in Fiji and Samoa and also in the Caroline Islands,* is 
very abundant. These Fruit-bats appear on the wing in the 
early afternoon in full sun-light, and at the time of our visit 
were feeding on the bright red flowers of one of the indigenous 
trees. Flowers form an important proportion of the food of 
Fruit-bats. In New South Wales, at Botany Bay in May, 
numbers of Fruit-bats were to be seen feeding on the flowers of 
the gum trees. The bats must probably often act as fertilizers, 
by carrying pollen from tree to tree, adherent to their fur. 

As dusk comes on, the Fruit-bats on the wing become more 
and more plentiful. It is probably only those specially driven 
by hunger that come out before dusk. Besides these large bats, 
there are small Insectivorous bats in Tonga, which dart about 
amongst the cocoanut trees, but we obtained no specimens. 
The heavy flap flap of the Pteropus is as strongly contrasted 
with the rapid motion of the true bats, as is the flight of a goose 
with that of a swallow. There are plenty of horses and cattle 
in Tonga, and the high ground of Eua is occupied as a sheep 
run. 

A small Heron (Demicgretta sacra) wades about on the coral 
reefs at Tonga, and catches small fish, and is also to be seen fre- 
quently inland all over the island. This bird changes its plumage 
from pure white to uniform grey, and all stages of parti-coloured 
plumage were to be seen during our visit. Contrary to the 
usual rule, the bird is white when young, and dark in the mature 
state. Hence the ancestors must have been white, and the race 
is assuming a darker plumage for protection. 

In the groves, the most abundant bird is one about the size of 

* "Journal des Museum Godeffroy, Heft II. 1873." "Die Carolinen 
Insel Yap oder Guap." 

D 2 



292 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

a sparrow ; brown with yellow wattles (Ptilotis carunculata). 
The bird has a sweet and very loud song, and fills the woods 
with its melody. A Kingfisher {Halcyon sacra) is constantly to 
be seen sitting on dead twigs, ready to dart on its prey. 
Amongst the cocoanut trees a beautiful little Swift (Collocalia 
spocliopygia), of the same genus as the species by which the 
edible birds' nests, the well known Chinese luxury, are made, 
and which is a Swift, and not a Swallow, as it is commonly 
called, skims about with a constant twittering. These Tree- 
swifts are especially abundant about the villages, though they 
nest in the crowns of the cocoanut palms.* 

In the thickest masses of foliage, a most beautiful small 
Fruit Pigeon, of a bright green, with a patch of the purest 
purple on its head {Ptilinopus porphyraceus) ,is to be heard cooing 
gently, and the great Fruit Pigeon (Carpopliaga pacified), the 
note of which is harsh and drawling, but still derivable from a 
coo, is to be shot with ease by creeping up to the trees on the 
berries of which it is feeding at this season. 

There are two Parrots known from Tonga, but they are very 
scarce. One of them, Platycercus tabuensis, is found only in 
Tonga and in the neighbouring island of Eua. It is called the 
Pompadour Parrot, from the peculiar purple red of its head and 
neck. The natives procure it alive from Eua, where it is abun- 
dant. One was bought for a shilling in the port during our 
stay. The other is a parroquet (Coripkilusfringillaceus), but is 
also scarce in Tonga. I saw neither of the parrots in the wild 
condition. 

Lizards are abundant in Tonga, but of only two or three 
species. Otosaurus microlepis, one of the Scincidse, is peculiar to 
the group. On the reefs an Eel (Murama), whitish yellow-coloured 
spotted with brown, occurs. It is very snake-like in its move- 
ments, and I took it, on encountering it in the water, for the true 
Sea Snake (Pelamys bicolor), which also occurs here. 

A large Foraminifer (Obiiolites) is very common on the reefs. 

* For an account of the nesting of Collocalia, see Bernstein, " On the 
genus Collocalia." Acta Societatis Scientiarum Indo-Nederlandicse, Vol. 
II. For the nesting of the closely allied "Tree-swift," Dendrochelidon, 
see Bernstein, " Habits of Javan Birds," Ibid. Vol. III. 



MATUKU ISLAND. 293 

The shells, as large as threepenny pieces and like them in form, 
but of a chalky white colour, were to be seen in hundreds in the 
shallow pools. I preserved some of these in absolute alcohol, 
and observed that a green colouring matter was dissolved out in 
the spirit. On examining the soft structure of the animals, I 
found they were full of minute cells with very distinct trans- 
parent walls, which had all the appearance of unicellular algae. 
It is possible that the green colouring of the spirit was due to 
the solution of chorophyly contained in the cells. The cells are 
evidently identical with those described by Dr. Carpenter, as 
existing in Orhitolites, and which he regarded as animal in 
origin, and describes as having a crimson hue in spirit 
specimens.* It seems just possible that they may be algae, 
existing as parasites within the Foraminifera. If so, their 
presence would, as my friend Prof. Eay Lankester has pointed 
out to me, give further support to the hypothesis that the well- 
known yellow starch-containing cells of Radiolarians, are like- 
wise parasitic vegetable organisms, and not essential components 
of the Radiolarians, in the bodies of which they occur. 

Matuku Island, Fiji, July 24th, 1814. — We hastened along 

with the trade wind, and on July 24th were off the island of 
Matuku, one of the Fiji group, lying about 70 miles east of 
Kandavu. The island is volcanic, and surrounded by a barrier 
reef, which is about 16 miles in circumference. The highest 
peak is about 1,200 feet in height. I climbed to the top of this 
peak. From the summit the island was seen to consist of a 
single crater, the edge of which had been denuded and cut into 
a series of fantastic peaks, with intervening steep sided gullies. 
The ancient crater itself now forms the harbour, the inlet to 
which is through an opening in the girdling reef, at a spot 
where the border of the crater has been broken down. The 
surfaces of the irregular hills showed the peculiar sharp angled 
ridges so characteristic of volcanic cones denuded of pluvial 

action. 

The windward side of the main peak was precipitous, and 
covered with thick vegetation, whilst the leeward side was 

* W. B. Carpenter, F.K.S., &c, "Introduction to the Study of the 
Foraminifera," Eay Society, 1862, p. 35, PL IV. fig. 1. 



294 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

open, covered only with grass and Pandanus trees. I was 
uncertain whether this condition was due to clearing by the 
natives or to the greater access of moisture from the trade wind 
on the windward side. Seemann describes such a condition 
produced by aspect, as common to all the Fiji Islands. There 
are however dense patches of wood here and there on the lee- 
ward side also of the crater in Matuku, and it may be that all 
the grass-covered area has been cleared at some time for culti- 
vation, the island being too small and low to vary much in 
atmospheric conditions. . 

At all events the most prominent feature in the appearance 
of the vegetation of Matuku, is the contrast of the light green 
open grass slopes with the dark patches of wood. The grass is 
high and reedy, and very tiring to force one's way through, as 
are also the wooded tracts. Through these latter a road had to 
be cleared with the knife. In some places the grass had been 
fired by the natives, as a preliminary to cultivation. 

The view from the summit of the island was most interesting 
as well as beautiful. We stood on what is now the highest 
point of the edge of the weathered crater. Beneath, on the one 
side, a steep slope led down to a narrow tract of flat land border- 
ing the sea. This was partly open and swampy, covered with 
sedges and ferns, and with Pandanus trees dotted about over it, 
and partly covered with groves of cocoanut trees. On the other 
side, a vertical precipice, terminating in a similar steep slope, led 
down into the crater itself. 

The cliff and internal slope of the crater were covered with 
thick and tangled wood, amongst which grew, even close to the 
summit, a few cocoanut palms, and one or two trees of the palm 
called " Niu Sawa " by the natives (Kentia exorliiza). 

All round the island, except for a very short interval at the 
entrance to the harbour, was a circling zone of white breakers, 
marking the position of the barrier reef. The zone was separated 
from the shore of the island by a band of water, which had a 
slightly yellowish tinge, caused by its shallowness and the colour 
of the coral-built bottom. 

The vegetation of Matuku is very different from that of 
Tonga-tabu, though no doubt much like that of Eua. Ferns 



MATUKU ISLAND. 295 

are numerous instead of scanty, and amongst them a beautiful 
climbing species (Lygodium reticidatum) is abundant. I saw 
but few Casuarinas. In the woods the trees are almost hidden 
by a network of convolvulus. 

The most conspicuous trees, except the Screw-pines and 
Cocoa-nut palms, at the time of our visit were those of a species 
of Erythrina* which was in full scarlet blossom. On the 
honey of the flowers of this tree a most beautiful Lory (Domicella 
solitaria) was feeding, and with it some little Honey-birds 
(My zonula jugularis). The Lory is one of the most beautiful 
little parrots existing, showing a splendid contrast of the richest 
colours, jet black, red, and green. It is peculiar to the Fiji 
Islands. It flies in flocks, and hence the term " solitaria s" 
might lead to an erroneous impression. 

A swallow (Hirundo tahitica) was flying about in considerable 
numbers, at the summit of the peak. 

Hopping about on the mud, beneath the mangroves on the 
shore, was the extraordinary fish, Periophthalmus, at which I 
had often been astonished in Ceylon. This little fish skips 
along on the surface of the water, by a series of jumps, of the 
distance of as much as a foot, with great rapidity, and prefers 
escaping in this way to swimming beneath the surface. I have 
chased one in Trincomali Harbour, which skipped thus before me 
until it reached a rock, where it sat on a ledge out of the water 
in the sun, and waited till I came up, when it skipped along to 
another rock. 

The fish are very nimble on land, and difficult to catch. They 
use their very muscular pectoral fins to spring with, and when 
resting on shore the fore part of their body is raised and sup- 
ported on these. There seems to be no figure of this very 
remarkable fish which shows it at all in the attitude which it 
assumes when alive. The accompanying woodcut has been 
drawn from a specimen kindly lent to me by Dr. Giinther, and 
I have put the fish as nearly in the natural position which it 
assumes when on land, as I can from memory. 

* Erythrina Indica. The " Araba " flowers in August, the time to plant 
yams ; hence the flowering of this tree is the basis of the Fijian Calendar. 
Seemann, " Flora Yitiensis.' ; 



296 \ A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

The eyes of the fish, which is one of the Gobies, are remark- 
ably prominent, projecting directly upwards from the skull, 




PERIOPHTHALMUS KOLREUTERI. 

On land ; in act of leaping. 

The fish in mangrove swamps often sits on the lower branches 
and roots. From what I have seen of its habits, I should expect 
that it would be drowned by long immersion in water. The 
Fijian species is Periophthafomis Kolreuteri. Dr. Giinther, in 
his description of the genus, remarks : " these fishes are able to 
progress out of the water, on humid places, and to hunt after 
their prey which consist of terrestrial insects," &c* 

The natives of Matuku were mostly regular Fijians, though 
there were some pure Tongans amongst them, immediately to be 
distinguished by their use of the forehead muscles in expression. 
There is no doubt also mixed blood in the island. The houses 
of the people were miserably dirty, and built on filthy black 
muddy flats close to the sea. 

I saw a boy make his way over a mangrove swamp, with 
remarkable rapidity, by crawling over the tops of the mangrove 
roots, and thus avoiding the mud below. Just so, the coast 
natives in parts of New Guinea are said to traverse the low 
swampy shore. 

In dredging off Matuku Island, in 320 fathoms, on a coral 
bottom, some Phorus, Tim*itello Jy and a few other shells were 
brought up, as well as numerous specimens of the blind crusta- 

* Dr. A. Giinther, " Brit. Mus. Cat., Fishes," Vol. III. p. 97. 



MATUKU ISLAND. 297 

cean, Polycheles, and other animals, showing the fauna to be a 
true deep water one, and with these a living specimen of the 
Pearly Nautilus {Nautilus pompilius). This was the only speci- 
men obtained during the voyage of this animal so rarely seen in 
the living condition by any Naturalist. 

The animal was very lively, though probably not so lively as 
it would have been if it had been obtained from a less depth, 
the sudden change of pressure having no doubt very much 
disarranged its economy. It, however, swam round and round a 
shallow tub in which it was placed, moving after the manner of 
all Cephalopods, backwards, that is with the shell foremost. It 
floated at the surface with a small portion of the top of the 
shell just out of the water, as observed by Rumphius. The 
shell was maintained with its major plane in a vertical position, 
and its mouth directed upwards. 

The animal seemed unable to sink, and the floating of the 
shell, as described, no doubt was due to some expansion of gas in 
the interior, occasioned by diminished pressure. The animal 
moved backwards slowly by a succession of small jerks, the pro- 
pelling spouts from the siphon being directed somewhat down- 
wards, so that the shell was rotated a little at each stroke, upon 
its axis, and the slightly greater area of it raised above the 
surface of the water. 

Occasionally, when the animal was frightened or touched, it 
made a sort of dash, by squirting out the water from its siphon 
with more than usual violence, so as to cause a strong eddy on 
the surface of the water. 

On either side of the base of the membranous operculum-like 
headfold, which, when the animal is retracted, entirely closes 
the mouth of the shell, the fold of mantle closing the gill 
cavity was to be seen rising and falling, with a regular pulsating 
motion, as the animal in breathing took in the water, to be 
expelled by the siphon. 

The tentacular-like arms contrast strongly with those of 
most other Cephalopods, because of their extreme proportional 
slightness, and also their shortness, though they are not shorter 
proportionately than those of the living Sepia. They are held 
by the animal whilst swimming extended radially from the 



298 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

head, somewhat like the tentacles in a sea anemone ; but each 
pair has its definite and different direction, which is constantly 
maintained. This direction of the many pairs of tentacles at 
constant but different angles from the head, is the most striking- 
feature to be observed in the living Nautilus. 

Thus, one pair of tentacles was held pointing directly down- 
wards. Two other pairs, situate just before and behind the eyes, 
were held projecting obliquely outwards and forwards, and 
backwards respectively, as if to protect the organs of sight. In 
a somewhat corresponding manner, the tentacular arms of the 
common cuttle-fish, whilst living, are maintained in a marked 
and definite attitude, as may be observed in any Aquarium. 

The very great abundance of the shells of the Pearly Nautilus 
is most strangely contrasted with the rarity of the animal belong- 
ing to them. The circumstance is no doubt due to the fact that 
the animal is mostly an inhabitant of deep water. The shells of 
Spirula similarly occur in countless numbers on tropical beaches, 
yet the animal has only been procured two or three times. We 
obtained one specimen during our cruize, which had evidently 
been vomited from the stomach of a fish. 

I expect that both Nautilus and Spirula might be obtained 
in some numbers, if traps, constructed like lobster-pots and 
baited, were set in deep water off the coasts where they abound 
in from 100 to 200 fathoms. Nautilus is occasionally caught 
both at Fiji and in the New Hebrides, in this manner, in com- 
paratively shallow water, and the animals were so taken in the 
time of Rumphius, at the end of the seventeenth century. Traps 
seem never to have been tried for them in deep water. 

The fact that the livincr Nautilus was obtained from 320 
fathoms, shows that it occurs at great depths. It is probably a 
mistake to suppose that it ever comes to the surface voluntarily 
to swim about. It is probably only washed up by storms, when 
injured perhaps by the waves. The living specimen obtained by 
us seemed crippled, and unable to dive, no doubt because it had 
been brought up so suddenly from the depths. 

The following is a translation of the account given of the 
habits of the animal by Rumphius, whose figure of the animal, 
as seen when taken out of the shell, is probably still the best 



MATUKU ISLAND. 299 

extant.* "When the living Nautilus floats at the surface of 
the water, it protrudes its head with all the tentacles out, and 
spreads these out in the water, keeping the hinder part of the 
curl of the shell all the while above water. On the bottom, 
however, the animal creeps with the other side uppermost, 
with the head and tentacles on the bottom, and makes tolerably 
fast progress. 

" The animals remain mostly at the bottom, creeping some- 
times into hoop nets set for fish, and lobster-pots ; but after a 
storm, when the weather becomes calm, they are to be seen 
floating in troops on the surface of the water. They are doubt- 
less raised up by the waves caused by the storms. It follows 
that they keep themselves together in troops on the bottom 
also. The floating, however, does not last long, for drawing in 
all their tentacles, the animals turn their boats over, and go 
down again to the bottom. 

" On the other hand, the empty shells are frequently to be 
found floating or cast up on the shore, for the defenceless animal, 
having no operculum, is a prey to crabs, sharks, and crocodiles ; 
and therefore the shells are mostly found with the edges bitten 
off. Since the animal does not adhere fast to its shell, its 
enemies can easily drag it out, leaving the empty shell to float. 

"The young of this Nautilus, not larger than a Dutch 
shilling, are of a clean mother-of-pearl colour wuthin and with- 
out. The rough shell substance overgrows the mother-of-pearl 
only after a time, and this overgrowth commences from the 
foremost part of the boat. 

" The Nautilus is found in all the Moluccan islands, and also 
around the Thousand Islands off Batavia in Java, yet mostly 
only the empty shells are met with, for the animal is seldom 
found unless it creeps into the lobster-pots. 

" The animal is used for eating, like other ' Sea cats '; but it 
is somewhat harder in flesh and difficult of digestion. The 
shell is in much greater request, for the manufacture of the beau- 
tiful drinking vessels so well known in Europe." 

It appears from Dr. Bennett's notes on various species of 

* D'Amboinsche Rariteitkamer door, G. E. Kumphius. Amsterdam, 
1705, p. 61, Taf. XVII. Fol. 62. 



300 



A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER. 



)> 



Nautilus, that the natives in the New Hebrides dive for Nautilus 
Macromphalus, and also take it in fish-falls baited with an 
Echinus, whilst the Fijians trap Nautilus Pompilius, with a 
boiled " Kock lobster " for a bait * 

* Dr. G. Bennett, F.K.S., &c., "Proc. Zool, Soc. 1859," p, 226-229. 




301 



CHAPTER XIII. 

FIJI ISLANDS. 

Position and Area of the Islands of the Group. Kandavu Island. Grind- 
stones for Stone Adzes. Shooting Birds in the Woods. Terrestrial 
Hermit Crabs. Visit to a Barrier Reef. Ovalau Island. Excursion 
to Livoni. Fijian Convicts. Log Drum. Native Hairdressing. 
Kaava Drinking. Buying Stone Adzes. Excursion to Mbau Island. 
Structure of the Island. Na vatani tawaki. Relics of Cannibalism. 
Interview with King Thackombau. Connection of Wooden Drums 
and Bells. Excursion up the Wai Levu. Sugar Plantations at Viti. 
Freshwater Sharks. Joe the Pilot. Fijian Fortifications and Tombs. 
A Chief's House and his Children. A Missionary Meeting. Various 
Modes of Painting the Body. Grand Dancing Performances. Primi- 
tive Origin of Music, Poetry, and the Drama. Wesleyan Missionary. 
Albino Native. Congregation of Races at Levuka. Fijian Modes of 
Expression. Laughter. Cicatrization. The Ula. Particulars con- 
cerning Cannibalism. 

Fiji Islands, July 25th to August 11th, 1S?4. — We arrived at 
Kandavu Island, Fiji, on July 25th, and stayed at Fiji till 
August 10 th, the ship making a short trip to Levuka in Ovalau, 
and returning to Kandavu to complete a survey of the harbour. 
Ngaloa Bay. 

The Fiji Group is scattered over an area of about 40,000 
square miles on either side of the meridian of 180° W., between 
lats. 16° and 20° E. The meridian of 180°, roughly speaking, 
runs northward through the western end of the Aleutian chain, 
and between Bearing's Straits and Kamschatka, and southward, 
passes just to the east of New Zealand. In latitude, the Fijis 
correspond roughly with Tahiti, Bio Janeiro and Bodriguez. In 
the northern hemisphere with St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, 
St. Vincent, Cape Verde Islands, and Bombay. 

The land surface of the Fijis is about 7,000 square miles in 
area, or about 1,000 square miles in excess of that of Yorkshire, 
and there are about 150 islands in the group, excluding the very 



302 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

small ones.* Viti Levu, the largest island, is 94 statute miles 
long by 55 broad. 

The town or village at Ngaloa Bay, in Kandavn Island, was, 
at the time of our visit, miserably small, consisting of a few 
native huts, with three or four small stores kept by Europeans, 
and a whisky shop. 

The main bulk of the island of Kandavu, as of that of 
Ovalau, is made up of a coarse conglomerate, composed of 
rounded fragments of volcanic rock. The surface of the islands 
is worn by denudation in such a manner as to present, as 
viewed from a distance, the appearance of a series of obtuse- 
angled triangles, rising one above the other. These are more 
numerous and less distinctly defined towards sea-level, whilst 
above, their apices form a line of peaked mountain-summits. 
The lower triangles are the foreshortened secondary ridges, 
formed on the mountain slopes by denudation. They struck 
me as having a more than ordinary uniformity of slope and 
general features in the Fiji Islands. 

The whole of these slopes and ridges in Kandavu and 
Ovalau are covered with a dense dark green forest growth, except 
where, in some places, patches of land, often of large extent, and 
always very conspicuous, have been cleared for cultivation.. 
The village at Ngaloa Bay is built at the mouth of a small 
rocky mountain stream which affords a pleasant bath. The 
Fijians still make use of a bow and arrow to shoot small fish in 
the stream, using arrows with several jagged prongs. On the 
banks of the stream, the surface of the live rock is in several 
places covered with deeply scored grooves, having been used 
formerly by the natives for grinding and shaping their stone 
adzes. I fancy most of the grinding work was done by the 
women, and when I see a finely polished Celt, I always picture 
to myself the male savage getting a stick and hammering his 
wife occasionally until the stone assumed the desired form. 

* The whole Fiji Group, exclusive of Coral islets, includes an area of 
about 5,500 square miles of dry land, while at the period when the coral 
commenced to grow, there were at least, as the facts show, 15,000 square 
miles of land, or nearly three times the present surface. J. D. Dana, 
" Coral Reefs and Islands/' p. 94. N. York, Putman, 1853. 



FIJI ISLANDS. 30 



•> 



Tims the man procured it with the least possible expenditure of 
labour on his part. Similar grinding places, with grooves cut in 
the rock, whither natives used to come to grind their stone axes, 
are known in Australia. 

There are no roads in the island of Kandavu, merely narrow 
tracks through the woods and along the shores, which it is 
excessively tiring to traverse. I made one shooting excursion 
at Kandavu. The route lay first amongst beds of reeds on a 
small expanse of flat land at the mouth of the valley in which 
the stream runs ; then skirting a mangrove swamp bordering the 
shallow interior lagoon part of the bay, led amongst " taro " beds, 
and up a steep slope into the densely tangled woods. Here the 
trees were matted together with creepers overhead, and climbing 
ferns (Lygoclium) twined up the trunks in the shade beneath. 

Two young Fijians went with me. We climbed the steep 
dark path for a long time without hearing any bird at all. To 
see a bird without having heard it first was, from the denseness 
of the foliage, impossible. At last we heard a curious low 
whistling cry of two constantly repeated notes. The natives 
soon made out the bird overhead, but it was long before I could 
get a glimpse of it amongst the leaves, and as they kept bringing 
me nearer and nearer, in order to show me the bird, I was so 
close at last that it was nearly knocked to pieces by a charge of 
No. 12 shot. It is a constant difficulty in collecting birds in 
these dense tropical woods, that the birds are only able to be 
distinguished at very close quarters. 

The bird proved to be a new species of Pigeon, Chryscena 
viridis (Layard), peculiar to Kandavu Island. It is small and 
of a yellowish-green colour with a yellow head. The pigeons 
of the genus Chryscena have a very remarkable structure in the 
feathers of the breast and neck. The barbs of these feathers 
are devoid of barbules, but are provided instead with a series of 
small swellings, ranged at intervals along them. The plumage 
of the bird has thus, to the naked eye, a peculiar loose 
appearance. 

The Kandavu Island birds were formerly erroneously sup- 
posed to be the young of another Fijian species, Chryscena 
luteovirens, and we thus, considering all our specimens to be 



304 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

young, concluded that this circumstance explained the peculiar 
whistling note of the birds, which is quite unlike that of other 
full grown pigeons. We obtained a specimen of a closely 
similar bird from Taviuni, in which the plumage is of the 
brightest orange {Glirysama Victor). 

As we crossed a small clearing, I shot a large Fruit-pigeon 
(Carpophaga pacified) which flew across ; the same bird which is 
so common in Tonga. On returning to the bottom of the valley, 
we heard the loud screams of the brightly coloured parrot, Platy- 
cercus splendens. There were a pair of the birds, but they were 
so wild that I could not get a shot. They are, however, not 
usually wild, and a large number were shot by some of the 
officers of the ship. By the bank of the stream I found a pair 
of the Kingfisher, which is so common in Tongatabu, Hal- 
cyon sacra. 

A large green Lizard, which is found at Kandavu and, I 
believe, in the other members of the Fiji group, was brought to 
us alive. The Lizard (Chloroscartes fasciatus) is an Agamid, of a 
genus peculiar to the Fiji group. It measures more than two 
feet and a-half in length. It has a pouched throat with a cross 
fold. All the scales of the body are keeled, and it has a low 
crest of triangular scales on the neck.* 

In all parts of the Fijis which I visited, I met with 
abundance of a land-inhabiting Hermit Crab of the s^enus 
Ccenobita, allied to the well-known crab Birgus latro of the Philip- 
pines and elsewhere, which feeds on cocoanuts. Birgus latro 
is apparently a Hermit Crab, which has given up using a shell to 
protect itself, because it has grown too large to be contained by 
any shell. It has therefore developed, as a substitute, a 
hardened covering to the hinder part of its body, which was, 
no doubt, soft, as in other Hermit Crabs, when it wore a 
shell. The Hermit Crabs of the genus Ccenobita are smaller, 
and always wear shells like marine Hermit Crabs. 

On one small coral island, off the mouth of the Wai Levu, 
the beds of the littoral Convolvulus (Ipomcea) were swarming 
with these air-breathing Hermit Crabs, carrying about with 

* For a description of this lizard, bv Dr. Giinther, see " Proc. Zool. 
Soc. 1869," p. 189, PI. XXV. 



FIJI ISLANDS. 305 

them all kinds of shells in the hot sunshine. In Kandavu 
they climb the hills and go far inland, bearing their shells with 
them, as do the terrestrial Pagtiridce in St. Thomas and other 
West Indian islands. 

On the shores of Wokan Island, in the Aru group, a small 
species of Ccenobita was extremely abundant on the stones and 
about the dry rocks above tide-mark. "When alarmed they 
withdraw their claws and heads suddenly into their shells, and 
drop off their support as if feigning death. In one place at Aru 
I came upon such numbers of them, that their shells made 
quite a distinct slight rattling noise, as a drove of them alarmed 
let go their hold, and their shells fell amongst the stones. 

But what has impressed most deeply upon my memory the 
fact of the existence of these terrestrial Hermit Crabs, was a 
surprise which I encountered at the Admiralty Islands. When 
collecting plants there, I thought I saw a fine large Land Snail 
resting on one of the topmost twigs of a bush about four feet in 
height. I grasped the specimen, but instead of feeling the 
slimy snail's body, I got a very unpleasant bite from a large 
Hermit Crab, and I then saw that the shell was a marine one 
(Turbo). 

The genus Ccenobita has one of its nippers especially stout 
and powerful. In the Admiralty Islands a species gnaws the 
roots of one of the littoral trees (Calophyllum inophyllum). I 
have seen 20 or 30 of these crabs gnawing at one long wound 
made by them in a root, apparently feeding on an exuding gum. 

Professor Semper of Wurzburg has examined the breathing 
apparatus of the Cocoanut Crab (Birgus latro), and finds* that 
a large cavity on the back, commonly called the gill cavity, has 
the function of a true lung. By means of blood-vessels in its 
walls the animal breathes air directly. This cavity has been 
commonly said to contain water, by which the animal was 
supposed to moisten its gills, in order that it might breathe 
through its gills alone. The breathing of the animal by the 
gills when on land is considered by Semper as secondary. 
Similarly, the gill cavity acts as a true lung in other Land crabs. 

* " Ueber die Lunge von Birgus latro." Zeitschrift fur Wiss. Zoologie, 

1878, s. 282. 

X 



306 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

At Kandavu I had an opportunity of visiting the outer 
margin of a barrier reef. It was one of the reefs stretching 
across the mouth of JSTgaloa Bay. As such a reef is approached 
from behind in a boat, and viewed from sea level, nothing is 
visible of the reef itself at a distance but a line of small 
detached masses of rock which appear here and there, standing 
out dark against the horizon. As the waves approach suc- 
cessively the different portions of the reef, their crests are seen 
rising dark above the reef-line. Then as the waves break 
against the margin of the reef, the isolated rock-masses show 
out in relief against the white background of foam. 

As the reef is approached more closely, the water becomes 
shallower, and assumes a yellow tinge, caused by the light 
reflected from the growing corals. The boat now requires to be 
steered with care along a zigzag path between coral patches, and 
at last grates on the growing coral as the water shallows rapidly 
towards the margin of the reef, and it becomes necessary to 
wade in order to proceed further. 

It is in the shallow sheltered water, inside the actual edge 
of the barrier, that the finest and best grown specimens of the 
corals are to be found. The tufts, bushes, and rounded masses of 
the various corals are to be seen growing here in abundance, 
but yet scattered over the area, with plenty of more or less 
barren interspaces in the " coral plantation," as Dana terms it. 
The various forms of the spongy tissued Madreporas, are the 
characteristic feature in these Fijian reefs, there being no less 
than 26 species of Madrepora known from Fiji. 

The outer margin of the reef is raised above the level of the 
coral plantation in the still waters within, and the water on it 
is thus very shallow at low tide, and often the margin is laid 
dry. At Ngaloa Bay the barrier reef springs from the fringing 
reef, running out from the coast across the mouth of the bay. 
Its elevated margin was not more than 20 to 30 yards wide. 
There is an elevated strip of about this width stretching all along 
the reef; its surface is remarkably even, and but few stunted 
corals were growing upon it, but Alcyonarians were abundant, 
and the whole surface was covered with a crust of calcareous 
seaweeds (Corallinacece). 



FIJI ISLANDS. 307 

The water on the reef edge was usually not much more than 
ankle-deep, but the breakers sent from time to time so strong a 
current inwards across the barrier, that it was difficult to keep 
one's footing. On the reef were resting irregularly shaped 
masses of solid stony corals, portions of various Astrceidce, Pori- 
tidce, or of reef rock, thrown up upon the marginal platform of 
the reef by the surf, and reminding one, as they rested in all sorts 
of positions, of the scattered rock fragments on a glacier. Some- 
times they even rest on a narrowed support like " table-stones," 
having become first cemented to the platform, and subsequently 
gradually undercut by the waves. Dana has figured such table- 
stones. It is these thrown-up fragments which are, as has been 
described, the only portions of the actual reef visible from a 
distance. 

The chief differences between the fauna of the Fijian reefs 
and those of Bermuda, are the absence at Fiji of any large 
quantities of coral formed by Milleporidce and large branching 
Oculinidce, and the absence of the large flexible Gorgonidce, 
which form so striking a feature at Bermuda. The great abun- 
dance of Madrepores forms the characteristic feature in the 
Fijian reefs. I saw, however at Fiji, no Madreporas so large 
and fine in growth as those of St. Thomas. 

On the reef-margin, by turning over the cast-up rock frag- 




ACEOCLADIA MAMILLATA. 



ments, I found a few cowries, some huge Troclii, also specimens 
of Turbo operculum, and other shells. Various Holothurians and 
a large bright ultramarine-coloured Starfish (Ophidiaster), were 

x 2 



308 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

in countless numbers, and some splendid Sea-urchins, with 
huge thick spines (Acrocladia mamillata), were found. A Shark 
appeared in the shallow water showing its back fin high out of 
it ; the fish was chased with boarding pikes by the Blue-jackets, 
but was too wary to allow its pursuers to come within reach. 
Captain Nares set up his theodolite on the reef, and took angles 
whilst we collected specimens. 

Whilst at Levuka (in Ovalau Island), I made a trip with 
Lieut. Suckling, E.N"., over the steep mountain ridge which backs 
the town, to the native villages of Livoni and Bureta. A cor- 
poral of the Fijian army and two prisoners, natives of Livoni, 
were sent by Mr. Thurston with us as guides. 

The track led up the bed of a rocky mountain stream, and 
at times up nearly perpendicular faces of rock, which were, 
however, easy to climb because of the nature of the rock already 
alluded to, the harder embedded masses in the conglomerate 
weathering out so as to project and form foot-rests and con- 
venient grasping places for the hands. As we ascended, the 
soil became moister, the wood denser, and the trees more and 
more covered with epiphytes. 

Now and again we passed small cascades tumbling into 
basins amongst the black boulders. The rocks around were 
overgrown with ferns and mosses in great variety ; wild plan- 
tains and beautifully variegated Dracwnas grew in abundance, 
and amongst them the scarlet Hibiscus in full flower. The 
overhanging tree-stems were green with climbing ferns, or 
served as supports to climbing Aroids with large fenestrated 
leaves. The beauty of the various features of this mountain 
stream are, however, far beyond my powers of description. 

Near the summit of the ridge, the tree stems and branches 
became covered with orchids, and in places were loaded with 
dense masses of the bird's-nest fern (Asplcnium nidus), and 
large Lycopods and mosses. On the summit, a hard chase after 
a rat ensued, as I offered a shilling reward for the animal, which 
might have proved at this elevation, I thought, a Native Eat, 
though the black rat and Norway rat are abundant in Levuka. 
There was, however, so much cover for the rat under the 
decayed logs and undergrowth, that it soon escaped. 



FIJI ISLANDS. 309 

The ridge where we crossed it was very narrow, and we 
almost immediately commenced a steep descent down the bed 
of a stream on the other side. On the way down, a flock of 
Lories (Domicella solitaria, " Kula," Fijian), flew by, whilst the 
trees were full of warbling birds (Ptilotis procerior). 

We reached Livoni, formerly a populous village, and the 
head-quarters of the Kaivolo or mountaineers of Ovalau, who 
long defied King Thackombau, murdered one of his envoys, 
and were the terror of the Levuka people. The place was now 
entirely in ruins, the inhabitants having been made prisoners, 
and their town burnt by Thackombau. There remain now, 
only the oblong mounds of earth on each of which formerly 
stood a house, and the ditch and bank of earth, with which the 
village was fortified. 

The place is used now as a convict station, and here a num- 
ber of prisoners, mostly Kaivolos, or " devil men," from the hill 
tribes of the large island "Viti-levu," were undergoing their 
various terms of imprisonment. Eight Tongan soldiers and an 
old English drill-sergeant were sufficient to keep the convicts in 
subjection. The men were made to work at clearing the sur- 
rounding land, and planting sweet potatoes and yams ; whilst 
they were at work, the Tongans mounted guard over them with 
loaded muskets, and though the opportunities in the thick bush 
seemed so great, they were said never to escape ; they are very 
much afraid of the Tongans. 

I was shown amongst the convicts one of the Burns mur- 
derers, who was said to have been caught when dragging the 
body of a white woman by the hair through the bush, with a 
view to eating it. I put a few questions through an interpreter : 
the man protested that he had never eaten human flesh, and 
that he would have no desire to eat me if he had a chance. He 
had evidently learnt that this was the proper attitude to assume 
with regard to this question. I expected that he would have 
made no scruple in confessing to former Cannibalism. 

A drum was used at Livoni for summoning the prisoners, 
which was new to me in its construction: three cylindrical 
holes were cut in the ground in a row, the central one being 
about twice as large as the others. They were about 1 foot 



310 



A NATURALIST OX THE " CHALLENGER." 




SECTION OF FIJIAN LOG DRUM. 

a Log ; b b rests ; cc c resonating holes ; d surface 
line of the ground. 



and 6 inches in diameter respectively ; over these holes a log 
of light Hibiscus wood was supported on two cross rests of 
rolled up palm-leaf mat. placed in the interspaces between the 
holes. The holes in the earth acted as resonators, and when 

the log was struck with a 
wooden mallet, a loud sound 
was produced as from the 
ordinary Fijian drum or 
" lali," which consists of a 
loo- hollowed out like a 
canoe ; this was a rough 
substitute. The use of holes 
in the earth as resonators is remarkable. 

Hearing that there was to be a " meke meke " or native 
dance at the next village, Bureta, we went on to this place, the 
path crossing and recrossing continually a stream running here 
through comparatively flat land, ■ and in places as much as 
20 yards across. We found numerous visitors in Bureta, many 
of whom had passed us on the road. All were dressed in their 
best, with bright new girdles of yellow and scarlet dyed Pan- 
danus leaves, bodies and hair freshly oiled, ornaments displayed, 
and faces painted black or red or a mixture of both. 

The various methods of dressing;- the hair are so numerous as 
to be indescribable. The thickly growing crisp mop of fine close 
curls is trimmed just as an old-fashioned yew hedge used to be. 
Sometimes a single thick tuft is left projecting from the back of 
the head, sometimes a diagonal ridge-like tuft, sometimes one, 
two, or more small plaited tails only, sometimes a curtain-like 
fringe shading the neck. 

The hair is constantly dressed with shell or coral lime, both 
to kill vermin and to change the colour, and also, certainly, 
as a fashion. Most of the young Mbau chiefs that I saw 
had their hair always in this condition. These young chiefs 
cut their hair in front in a straight line across the forehead 
and square at the temples ; and, in fact, trimmed it so that 
when whitened with lime it reminded one most forcibly of a 
barrister's wig. A young Mbau chief was on a visit at Bureta, 
and besides having his hair whitened, his face was blackened 



FIJI ISLANDS. 311 

for the meke, and the contrast between black and white was 
most effective. 

Kaava* drinking was going on in the chief's house at the 
time of our arrival, the young Mbau chief presiding at the 
ceremony. It is usual to decry kaava as a drink altogether, 
because, no doubt, of the nasty manner in which it is prepared, 
but some persons who habitually drink it praise it as extremely 
pleasant and cooling. Many of the resident whites at Fiji, as I 
was told, took kaava once or twice daily, and I knew personally 
of a German planter and an English settler who did so. It 
seems, however, to be only at Fiji, in Polynesia, that this occurs. 
In the Sandwich Islands and in Tahiti the Whites never think of 
drinking kaava, but scout the idea. 

The taste is at first strange and unpleasant, and has often 
been compared to that of Gregory's mixture. Travellers usually 
never make more than one trial of the drink. The taste is, 
however, certainly not more unpleasant than that of London 
porter, for example, must be on the first occasion to Frenchmen. 
Great satisfaction must be derived by Polynesians from the use 
of kaava, or it w^ould not have been so universally upheld as a 
drink amono-st them, nor would its use have become associated 
as it is with an elaborate ceremonial. 

Usually, when the party with which I travelled in the large 
island of Fiji entered a village, the chief of the village made a 
request, as an offer of hospitality, that we would drink kaava 
with him ; and we sat on his right and left hand at the head of 
the circle, or rather long loop, formed by those present on such 
occasions. At the bottoms of the two sides of the loop were 
seated the servants, or a few of the lower orders of the village, 
who crawled in crouching and cringing, expressing their humility 
before the chief in the most ostentatious manner, looking indeed, 
sometimes, as if they were really half afraid to come at all. 

The kaava is prepared at the opposite end of the loop from 
that at which the chief sits. Young men with good teeth are 
chosen to do the chewing, and they pay great regard to clean- 
liness, rinsing their mouths and hands carefully with water 

* A solution in water of the chewed root of a Pepper (Piper methy- 
sticum). An intoxicating drink. 



312 A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER." 

before they commence their task. There is a considerable 
amount of knack to be acquired in the chewing of the kaava 
root. If it is well chewed very little saliva should be mixed 
with it, and it should be produced from the mouth in an almost 
dry round mass about as large as the mouth can contain. 

The masses produced by several chewers are mixed with 
water and the infusion is strained, as has been often described. 
The bowl is placed in front of the chief. It is a four-legged 
wooden bowl cut out of a single block. It has a string of cocoa- 
nut fibre fastened to it underneath to a loop cut in the wood. 
By this string the bowl, when not in use, is hung up against the 
wall in the chief's house. When the prepared bowl is placed 
before the chief it must always be so turned that the string 
is directed away from him. The chief is served first in his own 
private cocoanut shell. Then the others present, in order of 
their rank and position of their seats, receive shells full. We 
were always served immediately after the chief. It is the 
correct thing to drink the cocoanut-shell full off at a draught, 
and then spin the cup on its pointed end on the mat in front of 
one and say " amava," or a word sounding closely like this, 
meaning, I was told, " it is emptied ; " in fact, " no heel taps." 
After the chief has drunk, the company all clap their hands in 
token of respect. 

A considerable quantity of kaava, of a strength such as that 
of the infusion ordinarily drunk at Fiji, must be taken in order 
to produce intoxication ; but I have known a single cocoanut- 
shell of strong Fijian kaava make an Englishman unaccustomed 
to the drink feel a little dizzy and shaky about the legs. There 
is a very great difference in the strength of kaava, depending 
very much on whether the portion of the root employed is young 
or old, and of course on the amount of water employed. 

The infusion of the pepper-root is not allowed to stand so as 
to ferment, but some change probably is effected in the active 
principles by the action of saliva, for grated kaava, which is now 
used in Tonga, by order of the missionaries, as a substitute for 
the chewed preparation, is not so good as the latter. I have 
known three-quarters of an ordinary tumbler-full of Awa (the 
Hawaian forrn of the Polynesian name for the drink), specially 



FIJI ISLANDS. 



313 



prepared by an old woman, in Hawai, Sandwich Islands, as of 
extra strength, make an Englishman intoxicated within ten 
minutes of the time at which it was drunk. 

The effects are very like those of alcohol, in that the gait 
becomes very unsteady, and the slightest touch sends the person 
affected off his balance. An elation of spirits is produced also, 
but apparently no drowsiness. 

At Bureta I was able to buy, for sixpence each, a dozen stone 
Adzes, such as were used for canoe making in the Fijian group, 
before iron implements were imported. The adze blades are of 
basalt. They are bound to the handles with twisted or plaited 
cocoanut fibre. Many of these were still mounted on their 





FIJIAN STONE ADZES. 

Showing two methods in which the blades are mounted. 

handles, and are now used by the people who have not parted 
with them, for cracking nuts. For an exactly similar adze I had 
paid six shillings in Levuka, and clubs which here were to be 
bought for a shilling, cost a dollar on the other side of the ridge. 
It is wonderful how little knowledge has penetrated as yet from 
Levuka to Bureta, so short a distance off. The natives could 
not understand a half-crown, nor could they be induced to give 
four sixpences for a florin. Threepenny-bits they would not 
take at all. " Sixpenny " and shilling they knew well. The 



314 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



;> 



young Mbau chief of course understood these things, and also 
thoroughly understood the working of my central fire breech- 
loading gun, he having one of his own at Mbau. Most of the 
chiefs have good English fowling-pieces and rifles. 

After a long delay, and constant promises of a commencement, 
the dance was begun in a flat oblong open space in the village, 
which had a raised bank on two sides of it, on which the spec- 
tators assembled. As it got dark, bunches of reeds were lighted 
and held up around by girls to light up the dance, for the moon 
did not come up till late. 

Only the young men, all visitors at Livoni, and belonging to 
the army, danced. We waited on, hour after hour, for the girls 
to commence, but they took so long in decorating themselves 
and getting ready, that after four hours' delay we were obliged 
to leave in a canoe which we hired for a dollar to make the 
journey to Levuka by sea. 

We had no sooner left than the girls commenced dancing, 
and they probably waited for us to leave. I saw exactly the 
same dance as that performed by the young men executed after- 
wards in Yiti Levu, many of the performers even being the 
same ; I will therefore describe it further on. 

We started in the canoe in the tidal part of the Livoni River 
at about 10 p.m., and it being low tide, and there being no wind, 
the canoe had to be poled the whole way down the river, and 
along the shore, except for short stretches, where deep water 
compelled the men to paddle. We had imagined that we had 
only five miles or so to go, but found tnat the river on which we 
were came out on the coast of Ovalau, beyond the end of the 
adjacent island of Moturiki, or almost at the very opposite side 
of Ovalau from Levuka. We stretched ourselves on the small 
outrigger platform of the canoe, but the motion was too irregular 
and the bed too unsteady to allow of much sleep. It was 
not till half-past 4 a.m., that we reached Lieut. Suckling's 
schooner. 

At 6 a.m., on the same day, July 31st, I started on a cruise 
in one of the ship's boats, called the barge, to the island of Mbau, 
and the Wai Levu, with a party which was to join the ship 
again at Kandavu. 



FIJI ISLANDS. 315 

There being little wind all day, we failed in reaching Mbau 
on the first day, but arriving in its neighbourhood about dusk, 
we mistook a projecting headland of Viti Levu,* some miles 
north of Mbau, for the island of Viwa, and a small island lying 
off this headland for Mbau. It was impossible to distinguish in 
the gloom what were islands and what promontories, against the 
dark background of the Viti Levu coast. 

All around Mbau, Viwa, and the neighbouring coast are 
extensive shallow coral and mud flats, the mud being brought 
down by one of the mouths of the Eiver Wai Levu, which opens 
in the direction of Mbau. After making several attempts to 
reach the island which we supposed to be Mbau, and constantly 
grounding on the coral, we anchored in a deep channel between 
the coral flats for the night. In the early morning we made 
out Mbau, conspicuous from the white house of the missionary 
upon its summit, and soon reached it. 

Mbau is a very small island, not more than half a mile in 
circumference. It consists of a central hill, of about 50 feet 
elevation, with a flat area at its top, and bounded by steep grass- 
covered slopes, surrounded by a tract of flat ground. The cen- 
tral mass is composed of a friable stratified rock, of a greyish or 
reddish colour. An exactly similar rock composes the main land 
immediately opposite the island, and the strata there correspond 
in inclination with those of Mbau. The central mass of the 
island is thus a small detached fragment left standing by the 
denuding waves. The passage between the mainland and Mbau 
is so shallow as to be fordable at high water, and is nearly dry 
at low water. 

The flat lower part of Mbau which is raised only a few feet 
above the sea, consists of made ground, built up of blocks of 
coral, and mud and stones collected from the vicinity at low 
water, and secured all around against the action of the sea by 
means of large slabs of a sandstone (said to come from the main 
island), having been brought in canoes a distance of several 
miles. These stone slabs are set up on end, so as to form a 
parapet, and keep the earth from washing clown. The slabs 

* Viti Levu (pronounced Veetee layvoo). Levu means "great." 

Settlers often clip the u, and talk of " Viti lib." 



316 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER 



n 



project far above the level of the land surface, and thus form at 
the same time a sort of fence or wall. At intervals, openings are 
left in the parapet, where the water flows np short channels 
into the area of made ground, and allows canoes to put in at 
Irish water into small harbours as it were. 

The top of the hill was formerly used as a general refuse 
heap by the natives, but it is now occupied by the house of the 
missionary. The native houses all lie on the flat low tract close 
to the sea. Mbau has been long a native fortress of great 
strength. Hence the immense labour which has been spent on 
its formation. It is now the residence of King Thackombau, 
and almost everyone in the island is a chief or of high family. 

The whole surface of the island, including the hill -ground, is 
covered almost everywhere with a thick kitchen-midden deposit 
of black soil, full of large trochus-shells and cockles (Carclium), 
which abound on the mud flats all around. Mingled with these 
are quantities of human bones ; Mbau having been one of the 
places in Fiji at which cannibalism was most largely practised. 
There are very few trees growing on Mbau, and the food, such 
as taro and yams, is all brought from the main land, where there 
are extensive plantations. 

One of the most interesting features in Mbau is perhaps the 
stone against which the heads of the human victims destined 
for the oven were dashed, in the ceremony of presenting them 
to the god Dense. This stone stands close to one corner of the 
remains of the foundations of the ancient temple of Denge, the 
" ISTa Vatani Tawake." The temple itself was destroyed when 
the Mbauans became Christians, but the mound on which it 
stood remains, and is of great interest. 

It is a large oblong tumulus of earth, supported by two 
series of vertically-placed slabs of stone, exactly similar to those 
used for the sea parapet. The slabs of the lower series are much 
larger than those of the upper, and the upper series is placed 
further inwards, a sort of step being thus formed in the tumulus 
all round. The mound must be about 12 feet high, and some 
of the stones of the lower series are more than six feet in height. 

Opposite the centre of one side is set up a large column of 
basalt, and there is another opposite the strangers' house. These 



FIJI ISLANDS. 



317 



columns are said to have been taken in war, from some enemies 
on Viti Levu, and intended to have been used as posts for the 
king's house. The columns are however said by Dana* to 
have been brought by a Mbau chief from a small island in the 
harbour of Kandavu, which is composed of them, and where 
they were long desperately defended by the inhabitants, who 
held them sacred. 

The whole mound most strikingly reminds one of ancient 
stone circles and such erections at home. Were the earth of 
the mound to wash away, numbers of the stone slabs might 
remain standing on end. I give a copy of a rough sketch which 
I took of the place in its present condition. Its condition before 
its destruction is to be seen in a book entitled " Fiji and the 
Fijians," by Thos. Williams (London, Hodcler and Stoughton, 
1870). The tumulus supported a large " Mbure ' : or temple, 
with the usual high-peaked roof and long projecting decorated 
ridge pole. 

Now the mound is falling into decay and covered with grass, 
and a small pony (there are very few horses in Fiji, and of 




Sacrificial Stone. 

NA VATAM TAWAKI, MBATJ, FIJI. 



course only room for this one in Mbau) belonging to Eatu 
David, the king's eldest son, found the top of it a pleasant place 
to graze on. The pony had a quiet life, for Eatu David having 



* Dana : " U. S. Exp]. Ex., Geology," p. 348. The columns at Mbau 
are referred to by Capt. Erskine, "Islands of the Western Pacific," 
p. 193, London, J. Murray, 1853, who, however, did not recognise them as 
of unartificial formation. 



318 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

been kicked off on his first attempt at riding, had not tried 



acram 



The sacrificial stone, against which the heads of the victims 
were dashed, is an insignificant looking one, in no way different 
from the other slabs, except that it is smaller and stands by 
itself a little in front of them, near one corner of the monnd. 
In front of it, in old time, bodies have been heaped up till they 
formed a pile ten feet high. Whilst I was sketching the mound 
and its stones, a very pretty daughter of one of the chiefs came 
and looked on, and at my request wrote her name and the Fijian 
name of the mound in my sketch-book, in a very good round 

hand. 

There are several similar slab-built foundations of temples 
about the open space near the site of the Na Vatani Tawaki, but 
except in the case of one small one, they are not in such good 
preservation. The slabs from one of these are now being used 
to construct the foundations for a Wesleyan church. Con- 
spicuous amongst the buildings close by, is the large " visitors' 
house," where guests were entertained, and, if of distinction, 
always provided with human flesh, at least once, by their hosts. 

Beside the building, a slight depression in the turf is the 
remains of one of the ovens used for cooking the " long pig," for 
this is the actual name by which human flesh always went in 
the Fijian language. I always thought it a joke, until I was 
told by the interpreter. On a tree overhanging the ovens are to 
be seen notches, cut in the trunk from its base to its summit, an 
old score of the number of victims cooked beneath. 

There is another stone, not far from Thackombau's house, 
which is smooth, and somewhat like a millstone in appearance. 
The ground around this is paved with slabs of coral rock, which 
had been perforated with holes by boring mollusks and worms 
before it was taken from the water. So many heads have been 
dashed against this stone, that it has happened that human teeth 
have fallen into almost all the holes in the slabs, and have 
becomed jammed there. The slabs were quite full of them. 

This second stone was seen by Captain Wilkes' officers, and 
is mentioned by Brenchley. We were told by the people that 
a second ceremony was performed at it, the heads of bodies 



FIJI ISLANDS, ;319 

being a second time pounded to pieces here, in honour of the 
slayer, who drank kaava from some grooves which are to he seen 
in the slab in front. The grooves are however very irregular, 
and look much rather as if they had been made in sharpening 
stone axes. I think this second stone must have been used by 
a separate tribe, occupying this quarter of Mbau, for even on 
this small island the people were often much divided. 

On going up the hill we came suddenly upon two old women 
bathing in a fresh water pool. They made for deep water in a 
hurry, but I saw that they were tattooed of a uniform indigo blue 
colour, from the hips to near the knees, just like the Samoan men. 

King Thackombau was visited in the morning by two of our 
party, who took him by surprise ; he was found lying on his 
stomach, reading his Bible. I went with a party and we were 
regularly announced. The king, who was dressed in a flannel 
shirt, and a waist cloth reaching to his knees, rose to receive us, 
and came forward and shook hands. He is a very fine looking 
man, six feet high, with his dark face set off with abundance of 
grey hair. His eyes are bright and intelligent, and his face full 
of expression, and in this respect very different from that of the 
ordinary Fijian of lower rank. 

Three chairs were produced, but this was the whole stock 
in the house, and those of our party without chairs sat on the 
matted floor. The king reclined on his stomach as before, on 
his own peculiar mat, at the head of our circle, with his Bible 
and Prayer Book neatly piled on the right hand front corner of 
the mat. We said, through our interpreter, that we were glad 
to see His Majesty looking so well, and explained the nature of 
the voyage we were making in the " Challenger." I was then 
deputed to give an account of the wonders of the deep sea. In 
this subject Thackombau took the liveliest interest, inquiring 
about what kinds of animals existed in the deep water, evidently 
knowing the shallow-water ones well. He was very much 
interested in the fact that they are so often blind. He said he 
could not understand the depth in miles, but comprehended it 
perfectly in fathoms. 

He then inquired the strength of the various navies, asking 
after that of England, Germany, France, Russia and America, 



320 A NATURALIST OX THE " CHALLENGER." 

and wanting to know even the numbers of wooden and iron 
ships. The information we gave him drew from him the 
remark that the English were a wonderful people, far greater 
than the Fijians. 

The house was a large barn-like one of ordinary Fijian 
structure, with tall open roof, and a sleeping place separated off 
at one end with a "tappa" curtain. There was the usual square 
hearth, with its edging of stone. Overhead were stored the 
heads of canoe masts. A European chest of drawers, a table, 
a lamp, and two tin coffee pots, were the only visible articles of 
luxury. Against the door-post hung a fine club, freshly painted 
blue, belonging to the king's youngest son. 

We asked the king for a pilot, to take us up the mouth of 
the Wai Levu, the great river which opens nearly opposite 
Mbau. He sent out at once to order one for us, and we took our 
leave of this knowing old Christian, who is currently reported 
to have partaken of 2,000 human bodies, and is certainly known 
to have cut out, cooked and eaten a man's tongue, in the man's 
sight, as a preparation to putting the rest of him in the oven, 
and that merely to spite the man because he begged hard not 
to be tortured, but to be clubbed at once. 

The contrast between Thackombau and King George of Tonga 
was very striking, at least as far as concerns their behaviour 
before visitors. Thackombau took the liveliest interest in every- 
thing, and put question after question, whereas it seemed im- 
possible to interest King George in any subject. He said nothing 
at all during our interview. Both are warriors of renown, and 
fought their way to their positions. 

Eatu David the eldest son of Thackombau was very hospi- 
table, and invited us to drink kaava with him in the evening, 
when he produced a bottle of brandy also. We wished to see 
a dance, but this was not possible, because it was Saturday 
evening, which is by order of the missionaries kept in a certain 
way sacred, as a preparation for Sunday. For the same reason 
Eatu David dare not allow his retinue to sing a chant used 
during kaava drinking, and which we were anxious to hear. 

We pitched a sort of tent on a very small islet, about forty 
yards off Mbau, and slept there. Eatu David sent us off a 



FIJI ISLANDS. 321 

young pig and a couple of fowls all alive, a most welcome 
present. They were killed and consumed within an hour of 
their arrival. The islet on which we slept is made up of blocks 
of coral, weathered and bored by various animals, piled up by 
the waves. The blocks near tide-mark are so blackened by 
exposure, that I took them at first for vesicular lava. 

Around Mbau are extensive shallow mud flats, the mud 
being brought down by the Wai Levu. Across these flats we 
sailed next morning, with scarcely a breath of wind, though our 
pilot, whom we christened " Joe," kept constantly calling for a 
breeze, using an old Fijian pilot's chant, " Come down, come 
down, my friend from the mountains." 

As we drifted slowly away over the glassy water, the view 
behind us was beautiful. Far away, blue in the distance, was a 
long range of the lofty peaked mountains of Viti Levu, still the 
abode of the Kaivolos, the long-haired mountaineers, the canni- 
bals. Nearer lay a streak of dark green undulating low country, 
bounded seawards by low cliffs, and showing near the coast the 
numerous cultivated clearings of the natives. Just off the cliffs 
of Yiti Levu lay the small island of Viwa. In the foreground 
was the island of Mbau, with its crowded reed houses, its strange 
stone parapets, and its green hill topped by the missionaries' 
white house. From the centre of the village came the sound of 
what was the old cannibal death drum, beating now for morning 
prayers. 

There were tw T o of these drums in front of the strangers' 
house. They are simply logs of wood, hollowed out above into 
troughs, and supported horizontally on posts at about three feet 
above the ground, looking like horse-troughs. One was larger 
than another. They were beaten with two wooden billets alter- 
nately, and gave out different low bass booming notes. Very 
similar drums are used amongst the Melanesians, as at Efate 
in the New Hebrides,* and at the Admiralty Islands, where 
however they are stuck upright in the ground, and the mouths 
of the trouQ-h-like cavities are contracted to narrow slit-like 
openings, the trunks being hollowed out through these. The 

* "A Year in the New Hebrides," p. Ill, by F. A. Campbell. 
Melbourne, George Roberston, 1873. 



322 A NATURALIST OX THE " CHALLENGER." 

Japanese wooden bell, or narrow-mouthed wooden drum, seems 
to be merely a more perfect development of these drums, and 
no doubt the actual bell was derived from the copying of some 
such wooden instrument in metal. The addition of a clapper to 
a bell is a late improvement. Japanese bells still have none, 
but are sounded by means of a beam of wood, swung against 
them from outside. The term " drum " should perhaps be 
restricted to instruments with a tense membrane. 

As a musical instrument, our ordinary English Chapel Bell 
is much on a par with the Fijian drum, and makes an equally 
uncultivated and unpleasant noise. 

The great river, the Eewa Eiver, or Wai Levu (great water) 
opens into the sea by several mouths. We ascended by the 
northernmost. About the mouth of the river the land is flat 
and alluvial, and the river is bordered on either hand by a thick 
growth of mangroves. Below these trees, slimy mud slopes are 
left bare at low tide, on which a Periophthalmus* hops about on 
the feed just as a frog might hop about. Close to the sea the 
mud is covered with a sea grass (Halophila), and hence looks 
greenish when left uncovered. Ducks {Anas superciliosa) are 
common on the mud at the river's brink, as is also a Heron 
(Demiegretta sacra), which pitches often in the Mangroves. The 
Ptilotis sings amongst these mangroves, and the Parrot Platycercus 
splendens screams amongst them. 

After a stay at ISTovaloa, where there is a mission college for 
training native teachers, and where Fijians learn even rudimen- 
tary algebra, we drifted up with the rising tide, grounding 
once and having to wait an hour to float off again. We passed 
many villages, and several canoes full of people. We slept at 
Nadawa, where a small paddle steamer, the property of a trader 
living there, Mr. Page, and built by him there, was under repairs 
and waiting for new engines from Sydney. Here also was a 
sort of Hotel kept by two Englishmen. Mr. Page, who was 
extremely hospitable, gave me a bed. 

In the morning we had to beat against the land breeze up 
the main river, which we had entered just below Nadawa. The 
Wai Levu is a fine large river, in some reaches 300 yards across, 

* See page 296. 



fiji islands. 32;; 

and in occasional flood time pouring so much fresh water into 
the sea, that ships at anchor three miles off its entrance are 
able to take in their store of drinking-water from the water 
alongside them.* Dana calculates the volume of water poured 
in Eewa Harbour at 500,000 cubic feet per minute, and that 
discharged by all the mouths of the river together at 1,500,000 
cubic feet. The area of the Delta is 60 square miles. 

The mangrove thickets had ceased before the main river 
was reached, and here above Navusa the low banks on either 
4 hand were hidden by a dense mass of a tall grass, a species of 
Saccharum, or w 7 ild sugar-cane. For the first twelve miles or so 
of its lower course, the river flows through its delta, and hence 
the banks are low and the country flat. Some few miles above 
Navusa the banks become steeper, and low hills commence. 
These gradually become more frequent as the ascent is continued, 
until steep slopes, with intervening stretches of flat land, are of 
constant occurrence on either hand. The view up the river now 
shows a succession of ridges, one behind the other, rising gra- 
dually in the distance, and terminating in a line of distant blue 
mountains. 

The steep slopes are covered with a thickly interw T oven vege- 
tation, the large trees being covered with Epiphytes, Ferns, 
Lycopods, and climbing Aroids, and festooned with creepers. 
These creepers in places form a continuous sheet of bright green, 
falling in gracefully curved steps from the top of the slopes to 
the bottom, and almost entirely concealing their supports. Here 
and there tall Tree-ferns rear their heads amongst the tangled 
mass, and palms (two species of Kentia) form a conspicuous 
feature amongst the foliage. 

We were forced to anchor in the evening to await the turn 
of the tide. As it became dusk numbers of Fruit-Bats flew over- 
head, whilst in the beds of reeds a constant cry was kept up by 
the coots and water rails. On the tide turning we had to take 
spells of an hour each at the oars as our time was short, and by 
paddling on gently all night we reached before daylight a spot 
about 35 miles from the mouth of the river called " Viti." 

At Viti, a Mr. Storck and his wife live. Mr. Storck is a 

* Dana, " Geology of United States Expl. Exp.," p. 348. 

Y 2 



324 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

German, and was the assistant of Mr. Seemann during his 
investigation of the plants of Fiji. He was extremely hospitable. 
He had taken to growing sugar, as cotton had failed, and had a 
splendid crop, which he calculated to weigh 62 tons of cane to 
the acre. Mills were about to be erected, and there seemed 
every prospect of sugar paying well. There were already 
20 plantations of sugar on the Eewa Eiver. It was curious to 
see a man from the New Hebrides islands, so notorious for the 
murders of white men committed in them, acting as nurse to one 
of Mrs. Storck's children, and hushing the baby tenderly to sleep 
in his arms. He was one of the imported labourers, concerning 
whom so much has been written. 

About Viti there are abundance of large Fruit-Pigeons, of the 
pigeons with purple heads, identical with those of Tongatabu 
(Ptilinopus porphyraceas) ; also of the "Kula" (Domicella solitaria), 
and the " Kaka " (Platyccrcus splendens). The Kaka attacks the 
sugar-canes, and does considerable damage. There are some 
huge fig-trees at Viti, with the typical plank-like roots and com- 
pound steins. Here also grow one or two cocoanut-trees, which 
are rarities so far up the river, for at the inland villages along 
the river there are no cocoanut-trees, and a regular trade is 
carried on by the natives in bringing the nuts up the river from 
the coast, in canoes, to barter them with the inland people. 

The Black Eat and Norway Eat are abundant at Viti, and 
there is also a native Field Mouse, according to Mr. Storck, but I 
could not procure one in our short available time. I do not 
know whether a field-mouse is known from Fiji. A large fresh- 
water Prawn is common, and is caught for eating by the Fijian 
women, and in their baskets I saw also an Eel (Murcena). 

A red stratified sandstone, with a slight inclination of its 
strata, is exposed in section opposite Mr. Storck's house. It is 
said to contain no fossils. An exactly similar rock is exposed at 
various spots for several miles down the river. 

On the way down the river, the barge constantly grounded 
on shoals, our pilot, Joe, knowing nothing of the upper part of 
the river. We had to strip our clothes off constantly and jump 
overboard to shove the boat over the shallows, which at last stuck 
fast and had to remain in that condition till the tide came up 



FIJI ISLANDS. 325 

and turned again. Joe, the pilot, cautioned us about jumping 
over into the water, as he said there were sharks. A shark, 
about three feet long, is common as far up as Mr. Storck's plan- 
tation, and large sharks are believed to be common in the lower 
parts of the stream, and are mentioned in Jackson's Narrative, in 
the appendix to Capt. Erskine's " Islands of the Western Pacific," 
as often taking down natives in the neighbourhood of Ilewa. 
At Naclawa, however, Mr. Page bad never seen one, and I saw 
women there constantly standing up to their necks in the water, 
collecting freshwater clams (Unio), evidently without fear. 

The Shark of the Wai Levu is Carclmrias gangeticus, found 
also in the Tigris at Bagdad, 350 miles distant in a straight line 
from the sea, where it attains a length of 2 -J feet. It is common 
in large rivers in India. It breeds in fresh water in Yiti Levu, 
inhabiting a lake shut off from the sea by a cataract.* 

There are sharks inhabiting fresh water in other parts of the 
world, as in South America, in the Lake of Nicaragua ; f and in 
a freshwater lake in the Philippines there lives permanently a 
"Pay," a species of Saw-fish. A peculiar genus of Mugiiidce 
occurs in the Wai Levu, G-onostomyxus ("sa loa" Fijian). It has 
been described by Dr. Macdonald.J 

Joe, our pilot, was I suppose, about 35 years old. He had no 
notion of his age, but said, when asked by the interpreter in his 
own language (he knew no English at all), that he was five 
years old. When asked if he had eaten human flesh, he said 
" No "; that he had killed four men, but had never been allowed 
a taste by the chiefs. He evidently thought himself in this 
respect an injured man. He had had four wives. He suffered much 
from cold on the river in the early morning ; but, dressed up in a 
blanket suit by the Blue-jackets, who were very kind to him, 
managed to keep alive, and seemed to enjoy himself pretty well, 
especially at meal times. 

We passed a hill, opposite which the water of the river is 
supposed to have the effect of making the whiskers and beard 
grow, and the spot is resorted to by young Fijians, in order to 

* "Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist./' Ser. 4, Vol. IV., No. 79, July 1874, p. 36. 

+ Thos. Belt, " The Naturalist in Nicaragua," p. 45. 

% J. D. Macdonald, R.N., M.D., F.RS., " Proc. Zool. Soc." 1869, p. 38. 



326 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER 



j> 



force their hair. Joe said that he had been and bathed there 
when young. 

We passed numerous villages on the river side and landed at 
some to buy clubs, spears, kaava bowls, and other implements, 
and the river was lively with canoes laden with yams and cocoa- 
nuts. In most places the people crowded to the banks to stare 
at us, and the girls and boys shouted as we passed. On the 
upper part of the river I heard a call used which reminded me 
somewhat of a European mountaineer's jodel ; it sounded like 
" He, Hah, ho, ho, ho." Our guides to the top of the mountain in 
Matuku, used the same call when at the summit. Mountaineers 
in all parts of the world seem to have some such cry. The echo 
no doubt provokes it. 

One village, Navusa, some few miles above Naclawa, inte- 
rested me, as having its fortifications still perfect. It occupies 
an oblong rectangular area, two sides of which are protected by 
a natural water defence. On the other two a deep ditch is dug 
and the earth has been thrown up inwards to form a bank, on 
the summit of which is set a strong palisade, which is extended 
around the whole area. Three narrow openings, only wide 
enough to admit one man at a time, give means of access. The 
openings are guarded by a sort of stile, over which a slab with 
notches for the foot leads up on one side, a similar one leading 
down the other. 

The whole site of the village has been levelled and raised. 
Nearly all the houses rest upon raised platforms of earth, a foot 
or six inches in height ; the chief's house being especially 
elevated. Around all the houses were immense heaps of the 
shells of the fresh-water mussel (Unio), which is very common 
in the river. The site of an old village on Mr. Storck's estate 
was made up of beds of these mussel shells. We saw at Navusa 
canoe-building going on. For an adze, a broad chisel was used, 
fixed into what had been the handle of an old stone adze, just 
as the Admiralty Islanders fix blades of iron tub hoop into the 
old handles of their shell adzes. A chisel of hard wood was 
used for caulking, shaped just like our own caulking irons. 

Near Nadawa, on the road to Nakello, is the village of Tonga- 
drava, which has also been strongly fortified. It is of an oval 



FIJI ISLANDS. 



327 



form, with two deep broad ditches encircling it, a zone of fiat 
ground intervening between these. Narrow cross banks on 
opposite sides of the village lead across the ditches. Formerly 
all Fijian towns were fortified. Those in the Rewa district 
appear to have been remarkable for their strength,* especially a 
town called Tokotoko, where there was a perfect labyrinth of 
moats and ditches. 

The people of Nakello, a large village, about two miles from 
Nadawa, according to Jackson's Narrative, were peculiar amongst 
the Fijians for not eating human flesh; it being forbidden 
"tambu" with them. In the centre of Nakello are the 
tombs of two chiefs. They consist of two large tumuli of 
earth, adjoining one another, one being older than the other. 
The older tumulus is oval in form, about 20 yards in dia- 
meter at the base, with sloping sides, and about 10 feet in 
height. At the top is a flat circular space, which is en- 
closed by a wall formed of slabs of coral and coral rock, set 
on edge ; none of the slabs being very 
large. Another line of slabs sur- 
rounds the mound about halfway up, 
and here there is a sort of step on 
the side of the mound. "Within the 
upper circle of stones are some slabs 
of Tree-fern stem set on end like the stones. The more recent 
mound has no circles of stones, and is oblong in form. 

Our object in visiting Nakello was to be present at a grand 
dancing performance, which happens in each district only once 
a year, and which we were lucky enough to arrive just at the 
right time to see. The dance takes place on the occasion of 
the collection of the contributions made to the Wesleyan Mis- 
sionary Society, by the natives. Such dancing performances 
used always to be held when the annual tribute was paid over 
to the chiefs, and dancing on their collection days has been 
encouraged by the missionaries. The policy of the Wesleyan 
Society pursued in Fiji is very different from that maintained by 
the missionaries in Tonga, where dancing is suppressed. 




SECTION OF TUMULCS AT NAKELLO. 

1 Lower circle of stones ; 2 upper circle 
3 Tree-fern stems. 



* Capt. Erskine's " Islands of Western Pacific." App. A, p. 459. 



328 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

The village was full of visitors, and everyone was dressed in 
his best. The Dancing Green in front of the chief's house was 
cleared, and a white tappa flag was stuck up in the centre. We 
called on the chief, and found him sitting on his mat in a fine 
large house, about 40 feet long by 20 broad, 10 feet in height to 
the slope of the roof, and 25 feet to the ridge pole. The house 
was built of a wooden frame, the rafters and beams being secured 
with plaited cocoanut fibre or sennet. The walls are of reed, 
the roof a thatch of grass. The sleeping place at one end was 
on slightly raised ground, six inches above the rest of the floor, 
and was divided off by a curtain of tappa suspended from a cord 
stretched across. The floor was merely the earth covered with 
mats. This description will suit any Fijian house except as to 
dimensions. 

The chief sat on his mat near the middle of the house, whilst 
four or five servants and a visitor sat at the far end. The chiefs 
small boy was being polished up by his nurse for the festivities, 
and another woman was making girdles of jasmine twigs for 
the chiefs little daughter, holding one end of the garlands 
between her toes, as she twined the twigs into the sennet with 
her fingers at the other. 

When the small boy was handed from one nurse to another, 
each nurse, after handing him, went through the usual ceremony 
of respect to a chief, sat still a moment and clapped her hands 
four times reverently, and did the same after handing the boy to 
his father. The clapping was not done so as to make a noise, 
the palms of the hands were merely brought together quietly 
four times. The women looked reverently on the floor whilst 
doing it, as if saying a prayer. It was not at all done as an act 
of ostentation — indeed the women's backs might be turned to the 
company at the time — but appeared much more like a ceremony 
of private devotion. The posture of the hands whilst clapped 
together is the same as that of Europeans and Japanese and so 
many races, during prayer. 

The chief dressed his son's head himself. The head dress- 
ing consisted in shaving off all the boy's wool, except a vertical 
ridge which was left intact at the back, and looked some- 
what like the crest of a Greek helmet, and in smearing the 



FIJI ISLANDS. 329 

whole of the shaved part with a thick coating of a bright 
vermilion red. 

We drank kaava and tasted Fijian puddings, which are 
glutinous semi-fluid masses, made of taro and cocoanut, and 
flavoured with molasses. The puddings are kept done up in a 
bag of banana leaf, and are very nasty, though specially prepared 
as a luxury on this occasion. The chief showed us two clubs, 
family heirlooms, which had killed a large number of illustrious 
enemies ; but since, as he told us, they are always kept very 
carefully oiled, just as we oil our cricket bats, there was no hair 
or remains of blood or brains about them. 

It was past noon before the people began to assemble in 
considerable numbers, and seat themselves on the banks and 
rising ground, commanding a view of the dancing-place. The 
dancing was begun by the body of young men which I had 
before seen practising the same dance for this grand occasion 
at Bureta, in Ovalau. 

There were about 80 men in this company. A party stood 
together in the centre and kept up a sort of chant, one of their 
number beating time with two sticks upon a small bar of light 
wood, which was held by the hands of another. The remainder 
danced round to the chorus in a ring, but every now and then, 
changes between members of the ring and chorus took place. 
One of the chants I took down as " Raihi val sal sate a durum." 
The last sound was uttered with a peculiar lingering humming 
sound. The words chanted, usually have no meaning, corre- 
sponding to our fal la la, and similar sounds. 

The chant was commenced always as a solo, the chorus 
joining in after the first few notes. Combined with the music, 
with excellent effect at various stages of the dance, was the 
loud clapping of hands, which was done in most perfect time, 
the claps of all the dancers and chorus sounding as one. Two 
kinds of claps were used, one with the hands hollowed, and the 
other with them flat. The two sounds thus produced served 
further to diversify the effect, and there was also added a loud 
shrill cry used in some of the figures just before their conclusion, 
and uttered by one performer only, and which came in very 
well. 



330 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

The dancing consisted in most varied motions of the head, 
arms, body, and legs, the same motions exactly being gone 
through by every member of the circle in most perfect time. 
At one time the head and shoulders were bent forward, and the 
hands swung clapping together, at the same time as short side 
steps were made, carrying the performers round in the circle. 
Then a half-squatting position was suddenly assumed and the 
head was thrown first on to one shoulder, then the other. Then 
the performers would move on again, and stretch their arms out 
with a fixed gaze, as if shooting with the bow. The motions 
were none of them very quick, and none very fantastic. 

The men wore fringes of various kinds, hanging from round 
their waists, mostly a combination of the yellow and red Panda- 
nus leaf strips and the black fibrous girdles of the fungus 
(Rhizomorpha). Most of them had also fringes of Rhizomnrpha 
just below the knee, often with beads strung upon them. All 
had their bodies well covered with cocoanut oil, and their hair 
trimmed with great care. 

Bv the time the first dance was over, there was a dense 
concourse of spectators round the .Green. The missionary 
arrived, a table was set out under a tree opposite the chiefs 
house, and three native teachers, two of them Tongan men, sat 
behind it to receive the money. The inhabitants of the various 
villages and smaller districts now advanced in separate troops, 
walking up in single file to the table and throwing down, each 
man or woman, their contributions upon it, with as loud a rattle 

as possible. 

As each contribution fell, the three teachers and some of the 
members of a further large body of teachers from the college, 
who were squatting close by, shouted " Vinaka, vinaka " (slowly), 
" Vinaka, vinaka, vinaka" (quickly), which means "good, good," 
or "hear, hear." Many bystanders joined in the applause. 
The money consisted of all sorts of silver coins, and a very few 
copper ones, and over £100 must have been collected in coin. 

The people of the various villages, and the districts subject 
to the chiefs of these, prepare dances for this yearly occasion for 
many months, and they vie with one another in the splendour 
and perfection of the performance. As each band came up and 



FIJI ISLANDS. 331 

made its contribution, a part or the whole of it at once proceeded 
to perform the prepared dance, and when this was over another 
party approached the table, and so on. 

The people as they filed up to the table formed a wonderful 
spectacle. The girls were most of them without coverings to 
their breasts, but the upper parts of their bodies were literally 
running with cocoanut oil, and glistened in the sun. The men 
and boys were painted in all imaginable ways, with three 
colours, red, black, and blue. There were Wesleyans with face 
and body all red, others with them all blackened soot black, others 
with one half the face red, the other black. Some had the face 
red and the body black, and vice versd. Some were spotted all 
over with red and black. Some had black spectacles painted 
round the eyes. Some had a black forehead and red chin. 
Some were blue spotted, or striped on the face with blue, and 
so on to infinite variety. How amused would John Wesley have 
been if he could have seen his Fijian followers in such guise ! 

For many of the dances the men were most elaborately 
dressed. They were covered with festoons of the finest gauzy 
white tappa, or cuticle of the shoot cf the cocoanut tree. These 
hung in long folds from the backs of their heads, and were 
wrapped round their bodies as far as up to the armpits and 
hung from the waist down to the knees in such quantity as to 
stick out almost in crinoline fashion. Eound the men's heads 
were turbans, or high cylindrical tubes or mitres of white tappa, 
whilst hanging on their breasts were pearl oyster shells set 
in whales' teeth, the most valuable ornament which a Fijian 
possesses, and which he is forbidden by the chiefs to sell. 

Some of the men had remarkable head-dresses. One of 
them for instance had, sticking out from the front of his head, 
and secured in his hair, a pair of light thin twigs of wood, which 
were a yard in length. They were slightly bent over in front of 
his face, and at their extremities were fastened plumes of red 
feathers. The whole was elaborately decorated. As he danced, 
the red plumes swayed and shook at each jerk of his head with 
great effect. 

The most interesting dances were a Club Dance and a Fan 
Dance, in each of which a large body of full-grown fighting men, 



332 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

some of them with grey beards, performed. In all the dances, 
except the first one already described, the chorus sat on the 
ground at a corner of the Green, and usually contained a 
number of small girls and boys, and used in addition to the 
wooden drum, a number of long bamboo joints open at the 
upper end, which, when held vertically and struck on the 
ground, give out a peculiar booming note. 

In each of the dances there was a leader, who gave the word 
of command for the changes in the figures, and his part was 
especially prominent in the Club Dance, In this dance all the 
attitudes of advance, retreat, and the striking of the blow, were 
gone through with various manoeuvres, such as the forming of 
single file and of column. Clubs are carefully decorated when 
used for dancing; some clubs indeed seem to be kept for dancing 
with, and to correspond to our Court swords in being merely 
decorative. There are flat spaces near the heads of the curved 
clubs, which on festive occasions are freshly smeared with red, 
blue, or white paint. Coloured strips of Screw-pine leaf are 
often wound round the clubs, and some clubs are decked with 
beads strung on Bhizomorpha fibres. Thackombau's son's club 
was, as I have said, freshly painted blue near the top. Thackom- 
bau on State occasions had a decorated club carried before him, 
just as at home the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, and even the Presi- 
dent of the Eoyal Society. No doubt at some future time, when 
fire-arms have been superseded, rudimentary guns, richly orna- 
mented, will be carried in state before distinguished personages. 

In the Fan Dance, all the dancers were provided with a fan 
of tappa stretched on a wooden frame. They divided themselves 
into two parties, which formed into single file in the same line 
with one another, but with a considerable interval between the 
two parties. The two bands took up the chant and danced 
alternately, answering each other as it were. The fans were 
waved in various attitudes, and at the end of each movement 
thrown suddenly up over the head (still held in the hands), a 
wild war-cry, uttered by the whole line simultaneously, accom- 
panying the movement. The war-cry was of a single prolonged 
high-pitched note, and sounded intensely savage. 

In another dance, performed by a large body of men, about 



FIJI ISLANDS. 333 

120 I think, the dancers formed a sort of rectangular group, 
arranging themselves in eight rows, the leader being in the centre 
of the front row. Once or twice the leader came forward to the 
chorus, and addressed a few words in a dramatic manner partly 
to them, exhorting them to do their duty well, partly to the 
spectators. 

A club dance by boys was one of the performances. In one 
figure of this the boys, standing in a line with their bodies bent 
forwards, jerked their hips with a most astonishing facility, first 
to one side and then to the other. The motion, especially in 
cases where the boys had a large quantity of tappa projecting 
behind as a sort of bustle, was most ludicrous, and the audience, 
instead of crying the oft repeated "Vinaka, vinaka," fairly 
shouted with laughter. 

A band of women of the district, headed by the Queen of 
Eewa and her daughter, who were both dressed in bright blue 
striped prints, marched slowly forwards across the Green to 
deposit their offerings, singing a chant, descriptive of various 
incidents from the New Testament, the descriptive part being 
a solo, whilst the whole band joined in a constantly repeated 
chorus containing the words Allelujah, Amen. This song was 
in lieu of a dance. 

The principal interest of the performances, however, lay in 
the obvious fact that here were to be observed the germs of the 
drama, of vocal and instrumental music, and of poetry, in almost 
their most primitive condition in development. In these Fijian 
dances they are all still intimately connected together, and are 
seen to arise directly out of one another, having not as yet 
reached the stage of separation. 

The dance is evidently first invented by the savage, then 
rhythmical vocal sounds are used by the dancers to accompany 
it, and simple instruments of percussion are employed to keep 
time. As the dance becomes gradually more varied and complex, 
the accompanyists are separated as an orchestra, the actual per- 
formers joining less and less in the vocal part until, as here, they 
merely utter a single loud cry or note occasionally during the 

dance. 

The instrumental music of the orchestra remains long sub- 



334 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



» 



ordinate to the vocal and very simple, being represented at Fiji, 
as described, by the single small wooden drums and the bamboos. 
The orchestra, continuing its performance in short intervals in 
the dancing, and commencing somewhat before the first figures, 
in order to allow the dancers to be ready to take up the measure, 
as was the case at Nakello, comes at length to perform solos ; and 
hence the origin of music apart from dancing. The gradual com- 
plication of the music and improvement and multiplication of 
instruments follows, until vocal and instrumental music change 
places in importance and become also at length separated from 

one another. 

The dances being descriptive of victorious battles and such 
exploits, the chants, at first mere musical sounds and war-cries, 
become short descriptions of the fight, or praises of the warriors, 
and hence the origin of poetry. I could get no explanation of the 
meaning of the chants used at Nakello ; as far as I could gather, 
they were without meaning, mere convenient sounds ; but Fijian 
songs do exist, for Joe, our pilot, sang part of one one day and 
explained that it related to the superiority of the Mbau men to 
the Eewa men. 

The origin of the drama is clearly seen in the stepping 
forward of the leader of the dance, as described, and dramatic 
enunciation by him of a short speech. A further step was to 
be seen in one of the other dances, when the leader, before his 
troop came on to the ground, rushed forward brandishing two 
spears in his hands, and gave a short harangue descriptive of 
what he was going to do. 

The separation of the dancers in the Fan Dance into two 
parties, performing alternately and responsively, is also interest- 
ing and brought the Greek chorus and drama into one's 
thoughts. It was of course not necessary to have recourse to 
Fiji in order to trace the origin of dancing, music, and the 
drama. This has been done fully long ago. But nowhere, I 
believe, is the primitive combination of these arts so forcibly 
brought before the view, as a matter of present-day occurrence, 
as in this group of islands. 

The most extraordinary feature in the Nakello performance 
was the extreme order and decorum of this concourse of three or 



FIJI ISLANDS. 335 

four thousand people. It seemed astounding, whilst looking on 
at these blue, red, and black-painted Fijians nourishing their 
clubs and shouting their war-cries, to reflect that this was a 
Wesleyan Missionary meeting. The representative of the power 
which has tamed these savages was a little missionary, with 
battered white tall hat and coat out at elbows, who stood beside 
us and who took no prominent part in the ceremonies, but yet 
had full sway over the whole, no dance having been prepared 
without his previous sanction. 

There could be no doubt as to the amount of good which 
had been done to these people, and it is sincerely to be hoped 
that the Wesleyan Missionaries will be left unmolested to con- 
tinue the work in which they have been so successful, and which 
they have begun and carried out often at the risk, in some 
instances with the loss, of their lives. 

The men and children attending the meeting vied with one 
another in getting money to contribute, and were ready to sell 
anything they had almost for what we would give them. One 
boy pestered us to buy an old hen, and followed us about with 
the bird. Others sold us clubs and ornaments. The great wish 
was to have several pieces of silver to make a rattle on the table, 
and two sixpences w T ere worth much more than a shilling, two 
shillings more than half-a-crown. Immediately the ceremony 
was over everything went up in value, and a good many articles 
pressed on us before, were not now to be had at any price. 

Amongst the crowd was an Albino Boy. He was perfectly 
white, his skin having a peculiar look, almost as if covered with 
a white powder, in places. His eyes appeared as if the iris were 
of a pale-grey colour. He hid his eyes either from the light or 
because of shyness. His parents said he could see perfectly. 
I could not examine him closely as he roared at the prospect. 
Albinos seem unusually common amongst Melanesians, and are 
constantly mentioned by travellers. Hence these savages, 
when first seeing Whites, no doubt often took them for a 
race of Albinos. I saw several hunch-backed dwarfs amongst 
the crowd. 

We sailed from the Wai Levu, or Eewa Eiver, to Kandavu, 
stopping at a small island on the way, to buy a pig and some 



336 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

fowls. A voyage in an open boat has many discomforts, espe- 
cially when the boat is crowded. The managing to sleep six 
together in the confined space of the stern-sheets of a ship's 
barge, was a difficult matter, especially as the available surface 
was rendered extremely irregular by the various articles neces- 
sarily stowed upon it, such as provision boxes and beer cases. 
We all slept with our shooting-boots on, to ensure mutual 
respect, as we lay packed like herrings in a barrel. On the 
whole the trip was pleasant enough, and the inconveniences 
as nothing compared with the interest of a visit to such places 
as Mbau and Viti Levu. 

One feature of interest in the Fijis, which I have forgotten to 
mention, arises from the importation of labour. At Levuka are 
to be seen men from the New Hebrides and Solomon Islanders. 
Further, the curious straight-haired most characteristically 
featured Tokelau race, or Union Islanders, mostly girls: also 
Tongans and Samoans and a few Negroes from the United 
States. Eepresentatives from almost all Polynesia, assemble 
here and may be studied by the Anthropologist. 

Nothing surprised me more than the great power of the 
chiefs in Fiji, and the absolute subserviency of the lower classes 
to them. The reality of the various grades of rank amongst such 
savages, and the abject condition of the slaves, were facts which 
I had not previously realized. 

Facial expression is far less marked in the Fijians than the 
Tongans. Amongst the lower classes there is a remarkable 
want of expression ; there is also, as far as I saw, entire absence 
of gesticulation during conversation. The methods of affirma- 
tion and beckoning are the same as in Tonga ; the throwing up 
of the head in affirmation is common to many races, being used 
by the New Zealanders, Abyssinians, and Tagals of Luzon* The 
forehead muscles are little used, at least by the ordinary people. 
Amongst the families of the chiefs there is much Tongan blood. 
Thackombau wrinkled his forehead constantly during his con- 
versation with our party, and one of the mountaineers, prisoners 
whom I saw at Livoni in Ovalau, knit his brows frequently 
when I was asking him about his eating human flesh. 

* C. Darwin, " The Expressions of the Emotions," p. 275. 



FIJI ISLANDS. 337 

Our interpreter, an Englishman, who had married a Fijian 
woman, and who knew the people well, told me that old women 
sometimes clap the hands twice in expressing astonishment. 
This habit of expression is evidently derived from the clapping 
of hands in expressing respect to a chief, and is interesting as 
showing how peculiar means of expression may thus be of 
entirely artificial origin. The clapping of hands is used as a 
ceremony of respect to superiors in Japan, as at the funeral of 
Okubo, the minister lately assassinated in Yedo, at which " all 
present saluted the deceased with three claps of the hands."* 

The interpreter further said that the mountaineers in express- 
ing astonishment, shake backward and forwards transversely 
once or twice, the right hand held hanging back foremost from 
the half-extended arm ; a similar gesture is stated by Darwin to 
be used by Northern Australian natives, to express negation. 

A short click made with the tongue and repeated several 
times, is also used by the mountaineers to express astonishment, 
and also to express pain, as on striking the foot against a stone, 
or even by a man when hit by a bullet, louder exclamation 
being repressed through bravery. The same sound is used by us 
in pain, but more often to express disappointment, as on saying 
" what a pity ! " 

The audience at Nakello, when they shouted with laughter, 
produced a general sound exactly like that proceeding from a 
European audience. No doubt the sound of laughter is one of 
the very earliest and oldest of human cries. It is certainly an 
astonishing sound, and one that it is very difficult to listen to and 
analyze without prejudice and a remote feeling of sympathy. 
The best way to study it that I know, is to seize on opportunities 
when one is being constantly interrupted, say at one's club, in 
reading a serious book, by shouts of laughter from a party of 
strangers ; one can then note the curious variety of spasmodic 
sounds produced, and marvel that men in the midst of rational 
conversation should be compelled by necessity to break off 
suddenly their use of language, and find relief and enjoyment in 
the utterance of perfectly inarticulate and animal howls, like 
those of the " Long-armed Gibbon." 

* The Japan Mail, June 6, 1878, p. 306. 



338 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 



It is a curious fact that the cries of the Gibbon are uttered 
in a similar manner in a series, on slight provocation. When 
one lately in the Zoological Gardens, Regent's Park, was 
in the proper mood, a very slight snatch of a whistle from 
the keeper would set the animal off into the utterance of a 
regular peal of howls, which appeared to follow one another 
spasmodically. 

Cicatrization of the skin is practised by the Fijians, but the 
scars produced are not so much raised as are those of the men of 
Api in the New Hebrides. I saw a series of circles thus marked 
on one chief's arm ; he said they were done with a fire stick, and 
on the occasion of the death of a relation, or out of respect on 
the death of a chief. In the women, scars are sometimes made 
to enhance beauty. Young boys when troublesome, are some- 
times caught by the old men, and have their flesh gashed in 
various places to make them sore, and keep them quiet for a 
time. The little finger is commonly absent on the right hand, 
having been cut off as a ceremony. 

With regard to Fijian weapons, the annexed 
figure represents a well-known wooden weapon, 
which consists of a slender handle about a foot 
in length, and a heavy rounded knob cut out of the 
same piece ; the knob is in fact the base of the tree 
stem, from which the weapon is made. The weapon 
is one of the commonest of those brought to Europe 
from Fiji, and exhibited in museums. It is not a 
club, as it is usually called and labelled, but a 
missile weapon, which is thrown with great force 
with the hand, revolving rapidly in the air as it 
flies, and striking a very formidable blow, often in 
the face. Settlers in Fiji told me it was the only 
native weapon which they feared when fighting with 
Fijians. The native name of the weapon is " Ula," 
The head of the ula is usually beset with a circle of 
large oval knobs, as shown in the figure. These knobs are 
the stumps of the lateral roots of the tree, from which the 
weapon is cut. When the ula is carved out of solid wood, a 
circle of knobs is often cut round the head of it, in imitation of 




FIJIAN DLA. 



FIJI ISLANDS. 339 

those derived in the original weapon from the lateral root 
stumps. Some ulas have perfectly smooth heads. 

With regard to Cannibalism, I gather many of the following 
details from our interpreter : When visitors of distinction paid a 
great chief a visit, he was expected to provide human flesh for 
their entertainment. If there were no prisoners, a man whose 
special office it was to obtain such food for the chief, went in 
search and often killed some girl or woman he met with alone, 
belonging to a village not far off. 

Young woman was considered to be the best eating; 
Europeans were not thought so good to eat as natives, no 
doubt because of their very mixed diet, and much greater 
consumption of animal food. The bodies were prepared with 
care for cooking, and were usually baked in the well-known 
oven in the ground. A special vegetable, a species of Solanum 
(*S. anthrojpophagorum), was eaten with the baked flesh, 
just as was the case in New Zealand. The vegetable was 
eaten with human flesh as a suitable condiment, not as an 
antidote. There is no reason to suppose that ill effects fol- 
lowed the eating of human flesh any more than from the 
consumption of any other kind of flesh. The sturdy health of 
the grey -haired Thackombau is sufficient evidence against such 
a supposition. 

The flesh was eaten cold as well as hot, and the cold cooked 
flesh was often sent as a present to a distance by one chief to 
another. A four-pronged fork of wood was used in eating- 
human flesh, and was held more or less sacred, but it was also 
used for eating other food occasionally. 

The New Zealanders were, however, probably the most pro- 
fusely cannibal race that has existed. As many as 1,000 New 
Zealand prisoners have been slaughtered at one time after a 
successful battle, that their bodies might be put into the ovens. 

In 1828, the captain of an English merchant ship, named 
Stewart, made an agreement with a tribe of Maoris under a 
renowned chief, Te Eauparaha, to convey a war party to a 
distant village on the coast, for the remuneration of a cargo of 
New Zealand flax. The warriors were landed at night, exter- 
minated the village, and brought off the bodies of the slain to 

z 2 



340 



A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER/' 



the ship, where they cooked them in the ship's coppers ; the 
captain nevertheless duly received his cargo.* 

In 1832 or 1833, a large party of Maoris was landed by 
another English merchant vessel on the Chatham Islands, small 
outliers of New Zealand. The islands were inhabited by a 
weaker race, " Maoriori," 1,500 in number. The Maoris simply 
ate their way through the islands, killing the Maorioris as they 
required them for food, and making the victims dig the ovens 
they were to be cooked in, and collect wood for the purpose.! 
Their object in going to the island was to feed upon the in- 
habitants, a Maori who had visited the islands, when engaged as 
a seaman on a European vessel, having reported the islanders as 
plump and well fed. 

Whilst the New Zealanders considered the palms of the 




FIJIAN DOUBLE CANOE. 



(From a photograph.) 

hands and the breast as the best eating,:} the Fijians especially 
preferred the flesh of the arm above the elbow, and that of the 

* W. T. L. Travers, E.K.S., "The Life and Times of Te Kuaparaah." 
Trans. New Zealand Inst. Vol. V, 1872, p. 78. 

t H. H. Travers, " On the Chatham Islands," Ibid. Vol. I, 1860, p. 176. 

X E. Dieffenbach, "Travels in New Zealand," Vol. II. p. 129. London, 
J Murray, 1843. 



FIJI ISLANDS. 3^1 

thigh.* Not more than five-and-twenty years ago, White resi- 
dents are said to have joined the natives in their cannibal feasts 
at Ovalau, Fiji.t 

Whilst we were at Fiji, the burning question with the 
settlers was whether the group was to be annexed by Great 
Britain or not. The planters and all the store-keepers were 
eagerly hoping for the annexation, and many had staked their 
fortunes on the event. The missionaries, on the other hand, 
were praying in the best interests of the natives, as they viewed 
them, that the place might remain as it was. The result is well- 
known ; the Fijis are now British. Thackombau and his suite 
were taken to Sydney for a trip in a man-of-war, and they 
returned bringing the measles with them, by which about one- 
third of the native population was at once swept off. 

* C. Wilkes, " Narrative of U.S. Exploring Expedition," Vol. V, 
p. 101. New York, 1856. 

t J. D'Ewes, "China, Australia, and the Pacific Islands," p. 151. 
London, 1857. 




342 



CHAPTER XIV. 

NEW HEBRIDES. CAPE YORK. TORRES STRAITS. 

A pi Island, New Hebrides. Fringing Reefs. Proofs of Elevation. Coral 
Living Detached. Natives of Api, their Ornaments and Weapons. 
Condition of Returned Labourers. Expression of the Emotions. 
Eaine Island. Its Geological Structure. Its Vegetation. Nesting 
of Wideawakes. Gannets and Frigate Birds. Dead Turtles. 
Somerset, Cape York. Nests of White Ants. Combination of Indian 
and Australian Features in the Vegetation. Various Birds. Habits 
of the Rifle Bird. Birds Fertilizing Plants. Camp of the Blacks. 
Habits of these Natives. Curious mode of Smoking. Food of the 
Blacks. They Cannot Count Higher than Three. Absolute Nudity 
of the Men. Coral Flats. Collection of Savage Weapons at Cape 
York. Wednesday Island, Torres Straits. Structure of Coral Flats. 
Giant Clam. Native Graves. Booby Island. A Halting Place for 
Birds during Migration. Many Land Birds on an Almost Bare 
Rock. 

Api Island, New Hebrides, August 18th, 1814. — We left 

Kandavu on August 11th, and made a week's run before 
the trade wind to the island of Api, in the New Hebrides, 
having on board the ship some labourers, natives of that island, 
who had worked out their time in Fiji, and were to be returned 
to their home. 

We were off the east coast of Api, on August 18th, having 
passed several small adjacent islets, " Three-hill " island amongst 
them, all volcanic. Api lies south of Ambrym and Malicolo, and 
between these islands and Efate or Sandwich Island. It is in 
about the same latitude as the northern part of the Fiji group. 
The island is upwards of 20 miles long and its highest peak is 
about 1,500 feet above sea-level. 

The island rises in steep slopes from the sea with here and 
there only a stretch of flat shore land. It consists of a series of 
peaks and steep-sided valleys and ridges. The whole is entirely 
covered with the densest possible vegetation, excepting on very 



API ISLAND. 343 

small spots, with difficulty discerned with a glass, where plots are 
cleared by the natives for cultivation. 

The ship steamed close in to the island, opposite a spot where 
a valley terminated towards the sea with a widened mouth, 
evidently containing a river. There was a stretch of flat land 
at the bottom of the valley on which were conspicuous amongst 
the other foliage some cocoanut palms and another species of 
palm. As we came near natives appeared on the shore, some 
hiding in the bushes, others running along at full speed, whilst 
some shouted a loud " hoa." One man stood on the shore and 
waved a green branch with untiring perseverance. 

These natives were said to be hostile and dangerous, and 
therefore the first party, the " Captain's," which landed, was 
armed, but the returned labourers acted as an introduction and 
made matters smooth ; still, as all the natives were armed, 
either with bows and poisoned arrows, clubs, or trade muskets, 
and as the inhabitants of these islands are noted for treachery, 
no one was allowed to leave the beach, and our stay lasted for 
only a few hours. Thus we saw very little of this island, which 
had certainly never been landed upon before by any scientific 
man or naval officer. 

The shore is made up of a banked-up beach, composed of small 
fragments of volcanic rock and volcanic sand, mingled with a 
large proportion of coral fragments, and is fringed by a narrow 
shore platform of coral, which, in the place where I examined 
it, was not much more than 100 yards wide. The New Hebrides 
have no barrier reefs but only narrow fringing reefs. The cause 
of this, Dana concludes to be the fact that volcanic action has, in 
this group of islands, been very recent. There are still several 
active volcanoes in the group, and one was said by our returned 
labourers to exist in Api. (The word Api means in Malay, 
" lire "). Submarine ejections of carbonic acid and the falling of 
fine dust might render the growing of reef corals round an active 
volcanic island nearly impossible. 

The Api shore reef is remarkable for its extreme flatness. 
Almost everywhere the living corals embedded in it are growing 
only laterally, the upper surfaces being dead from want of suffi- 
cient depth of water. In some small specimens of a massive 



344 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Porites the consequent flattening of the top and expansion of 
the lateral dimensions was most excellently shown in pieces 
convenient for museum purposes. 

The Corals, which were few in number of species, were finer 
grown towards the outer verge of the reef, as is always the case 
on shore platforms, the very opposite condition to that which 
holds in case of barrier reefs. In some places were deep holes 
in the coral platform, reminding one of glacier crevasses on 
a small scale, evidently arising from the loose nature of the 
sloping beach on which the coral structure here rests. On the 
reef rest weathered remains of a more ancient shore platform 
which are honey-combed and wave-worn. The rock composing 
them is, however, undoubtedly in situ, and proves elevation of 
the islands to the extent of five feet or so. Similar fragments 
of raised reef were found by Mr. Murray at a short distance up 
the bed of the stream already mentioned. A massive porites was 
one of the corals on the reef. Some specimens of this species 
were unattached, though living, being in the form of rounded 
masses, entirely covered with living polyps, and I suppose from 
time to time rolled over by the waves. They reminded me of 
the similarly detached rounded masses formed by some Lichens 
(Lecanora esculenta), which are rolled about over the land by the 
winds as are these coral colonies by the waves. 

On the reefs were comparatively few free living animals, but 
here I saw for the first time one of the huge Synaptas, which are 
abundant amongst the East Indian Islands and at the Philippines. 
The animal was a yard long and two inches in diameter, and 
looked like an ugly brown and black snake. The instant I 
touched one I knew what it was, for I felt the anchor-shaped 
hooks in its skin cling to my hand. 

One animal on the reefs I could not understand the nature 
of. About six white tentacles, each nearly six inches in length, 
and of a uniform thickness of not more than -^th of an inch, 
were expanded on the reef in a radiate manner. On irritation 
they were slowly but entirely retracted. I could not succeed in 
digging the owner of them out of the reef rock. I have never 
seen this animal elsewhere. 

Above the shore the first land plant met with is the ubi- 



API ISLAND. 



345 




quitous tropical Littoral plant (Ipo?ncea pes caprce). It is always 
the first plant above the high-water mark in these tropical 
shores. Above a skirting of this commenced a thick growth of 
largish trees, a species of Barringtonia, a Fig, and the common 
Pandanns of the Pacific Islands occupying the shore margin. 
A few paces inside the wood it was gloomy, from the thickness 
of the growth of trees and creepers overhead. The same climb- 
ing Aroids grew here as at Fiji, and a Dracmna was common, and 
also a beautiful climbing Asclepiad (Hoya) with white waxy 
flowers, and one or two ferns. I could not penetrate the wood 
far enough to get any adequate idea of the 
nature of the vegetation. Five birds were 
shot in Api, Artamus melaleucus (a Shrike), 
a Swallow (Hirundo Tahitica), a Swift, a 
Fruit Pigeon, and the Kingfisher {Halcyon 
julice). I saw no sea birds. 

The Api men wore as clothing nothing 
but a narrow bandage of dirty European 
fabric of various kinds. They are a small 
race, few, I should say, being above five feet 
in height. Their limbs, and especially their 
legs, are small and badly shaped. They are 
much darker in colour than Fijians ; they 
seemed quiet enough. Several amongst those 
we saw were returned labourers, and were at 
once known by their having fastened to their 
waist cloth the key of the chest which every 
labourer brings back with him, containing 
the fruits of his toil. The labourers thus 
retain the property for which they have 
worked even in Api. Two men joined me 
on the reef. One had been in Queensland, 
the other in Fiji. Both spoke a good deal of 
English ; and one said he was willing to go 
to Fiji again. 

Nearly all the men wore a small trian- 
gular ornament, cut out of one of the septa 
of the pearly Nautilus shell, and threaded by the syphon hole in 




CHARM CCT OCT OF THE 
SEPTUM OF A NAUTILUS 
SHELL, AND EARRING MADE 
OF TORTOISESHELL, AND A 
PIG'S TAIL. API ISLAND. 



346 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

it, tied round their necks. Many had broad flat tortoiseshell 
bracelets, and nearly all earrings made of narrow strips of tor- 
toiseshell moulded into a flat spiral, from which hung sometimes, 
as ornaments, the tips of pigs' tails. 

The bows used by the natives are made of hard wood. The 
arrows are without feathers, but notched for the string, and 
made of reeds with heavy wood ends, and tips of human 
bone. The tips are all covered with poison, which is in the 
shape of a black incrustation. The arrows have an elaborate 
and artistic coloured decoration in the binding round the part 
where the bone tips are inserted. The men were unwilling to 
part with these arrows, which they prize highly. They carry 
them rolled up in an oblong strip of plantain leaf, and showed 
by signs that they considered the poison deadly, and were much 
in awe of it. 

The men have all of them cicatrization on their bodies, 
usually representing a human face, and placed sometimes on the 
shoulder, but more often upon the breast, and sometimes on 
both breasts. They understood the value of the usual trade 
articles very well. Knives, tobacco, and pipes were what they 
wanted most, but they were not eager at all to trade, and few 
weapons or ornaments were obtained from them. The tortoise- 
shell bracelets they would not part with at any price. It was 
very trying to leave a totally unknown island like Api after two 
hours only spent on the shore. 

I had an opportunity of watching the expressions of the Api 
men on board during the voyage. During their whole stay they 
had a peculiar dejected look, and, like the lower order of Fijians, 
a marked want of expression in conversing with one another. 
In laughing they were affected and childlike, or girlish, hiding 
their faces with their hands. The hands in doino; this were half- 
clasped, the face turned away on one side, and the clasped hands 
held over the shoulder in front of the face, just as in the case of 
a shy child. Often the thumb was held in the mouth, the hand 
half-hiding the face in laughter. I heard no loud laughter, but 
a steady look at one of the men nearly always called forth a grin, 
which expression was used invariably to show consciousness of 
being gazed at. The forehead muscles were little used. When 



KAINE ISLAND. 347 

the men were talking amongst themselves their faces showed 
little expression. When a little excited they ran their voices up 
into a sort of affected falsetto. 

Amongst the men on shore I noticed a shrugging of one 
shoulder, the head being leant over towards the same side, 
constantly used to express disinclination to accept proffered 
barter, and a pouting of the lip, the under lip being much thrown 
up, was used at the same time, or alone, to express the same 
meaning. To signify " Farewell," the hand was held up, palm 
outwards, and with the fingers extended. 

Rainc island, August 31st, 1814. — The ship passed Eaine 
Island on the afternoon of August 30th, and anchoring about 
five miles off, under the lee of a reef, returned and landed a 
party on the island next day. A very full account of Eaine 
Island is given by Jukes.* The island is at the entrance of the 
most usually employed passage through the Great Barrier Eeef of 
North Eastern Australia. It is about three-quarters of a mile 
long, and composed of calcareous sand rock, closely similar to 
that of Bermuda, excepting that it is remarkably evenly bedded. 

The strata dip towards the shores with a slight inclination. 
I measured the dip on the north-east side of the island, near 
the beacon, and found it 7°. I cannot say whether it is uniform 
all round the island. Towards the centre the strata seemed to 
be horizontal. Jukes observed a similar dipping of the strata in 
Heron Island,! but does not mention it as occurring at Eaine 
Island. This condition would arise from the island being formed 
as a single low sand dune, in which consolidation subsequently 
took place ; though why a series of smaller dunes and ridges 
should not here have been formed, and hence a rock like that of 
Bermuda, with contorted strata, have arisen, I do not see : per- 
haps from the constancy of the direction of the winds, or from the 
smallness of area, or the absence of adequately binding plants. 

The shore of Eaine Island was of glistening white calcareous 
sand, made up of fragments of shells, corals, and Foraminifera, 
Immediately above the beach line, where grass commenced and 
with it the breeding-place of the terns, the colour of the sand 

* " The Voyage of the 'Fly,'" Vol. I, pp. 126 and 338. 

t Ibid., p. 7. 



348 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

became redder, and consolidated crusts were here common 
upon its surface, as at Bermuda. The sand rock is mostly 
redder than the beach sand from which it is formed. Perhaps 
this is due to the loss of a certain quantity of lime, and con- 
sequent greater proportion of iron ; or perhaps to the action of 

the birds' dung. 

On the island I found eleven flowering plants ; I believe 
there are no more. Two of these are grasses. The grass covers 
tracts bordering the shores, where no other plant grows, and it 
is here that the terns breed. I could find no moss, fern, or lichen 
on the island, so that here from the action of drought and ex- 
treme heat, the conditions are just the opposite of what they are 
in an Antarctic island, such as Possession Island, where Crypto- 
gams only grow. Some Fungi, and low algae possibly, on the 
birds' dung, and perhaps some parasitic fungi on the plants, 
were probably the only Cryptogams in the island. There were 
even no seaweeds to be seen cast up on the beach. 

There were no vestiges remaining of gardens made on the 
island in 1844, by the crew of the " Ply/' and planted with cocoa- 
nuts, pumpkins, and other plants ; all has been overwhelmed by 
the drift sand. I found what I hope may prove a favourable 
spot, and planted pumpkin, tomato, capsicum, water melon, and 
Cape gooseberry seeds. I think the latter plant very likely 
indeed to grow. There is very good black vegetable soil in 
places on the island. 

The most striking feature at Ptaine Island is formed by the 
birds. They are in such numbers as to darken the air beneath 
as they fly overhead, and the noise of their various mingled 
screams is very trying to the ears at first, but not so painful as 
that of a penguin rookery. Eleven species of birds were seen on 
the island. A heron, seen only at a distance, the cosmopolitan 
" Turnstone," and a small Gull {Larus Novce Hollandice) appeared 
to be casual visitors to the island, as they were not nesting 
there ; the Turnstones being seen in flocks on the shore. 

The birds breeding on the island were as follows : — A Land- 
rail (Ralhis pectoralis), a widely spread species, occurring com- 
monly in Australia, Central Polynesia, the Moluccas, and the 
Philippines. These birds were tame, and were knocked down 



RAINE ISLAND. 349 

with sticks and caught by the hand. They had full-fledged 
young running about. 

A Tern {Sterna fuliginosa), a widely spread species, the 
well-known " Wideawake " of Ascension Island, was exceedingly 
abundant. The stretches of flat ground above the shore line 
covered with grass were absolutely full of the brown fledged 
young of this bird. Eggs were already very scarce. A Noddy 
(Anous stoliclus), the same bird as that at St. Paul's Eocks and 
Inaccesible Island, so far off in the Atlantic, makes here a rude 
nest of twigs and grass amongst the low bushes, but often nests 
also on the ground. There were plenty of eggs of this bird, it 
being not so advanced in breeding as the tern. 

Two species of Gannets, Sulci leucogaster and Sula cyanops, 
were nesting on the ground, and especially on a plot of ground 
quite flat and bare of vegetation ; probably the site of the 
dwellings of the men employed in 1844 in putting up the beacon 
on Eaine Island. Sula leucogaster, the Booby of St. Paul's Eocks, 
makes a slight nest of green twigs and grass on the ground. 
Sula cyanops makes a circular hole in the earth, about 1^ inches 
deep. This species is nearly white, with the naked parts about 
the head of a dull blue, and with a bright yellow iris, which 
gives the bird a ferocious look as it ruffles its feathers and 
croaks at an intruder. It would almost seem as if the cause of 
the colouring of the eye might be the savage appearance which it 
gives the bird, which may thus be protected from attack. A 
third smaller species of Gannet (Sula piscatrix) has red feet, 
which distinguish it at once from the other two. I saw one or 
two of its nests made in the bushes, like those of the noddies, 
raised six inches from the ground. 

There remain to be mentioned the " Frigate Birds " (Tachy- 
petes minor). Their nests were nearly all confined to a small 
area near the cleared patch already referred to. They are like 
those of Sula piscatrix, raised on the bushes, and are compact 
platform-like masses of twigs and grass matted together with 
dung, about eight inches in diameter. There were no eggs of the 
birds in the nests, but mostly far advanced young, which were 
covered with frills of a rusty coloured down. The old birds 
soared overhead, and could only be obtained by being shot; 



350 A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER." 

whereas the gannets were easily knocked over on the nests 
with sticks. It is curious to see the Frigate birds, the nesting- 
place of which is usually on high cliffs, as at Fernando Norhona, 
here, through the entire security of the locality, nesting on the 
ground. The main body of the Frigate birds remained during 
our stay soaring high up in the air, with their eagle-like flight, 
far above the cloud of other birds beneath. 

On the island were lying about the shells of numerous 
turtles which had died there. In one place there was quite a 
heap of these at a spot where there was a sort of miniature 
gully, bounded by a perpendicular wall of rock about two feet in 
height. It appeared as if the turtles had crawled up from the 
sea-shore to spawn, and being stopped by this small cliff, had 
been unable to turn round or go backwards, and had died there. 
A Locust (Acridium) was very common amongst the grass on the 
island, and a large Earwig (Forftcula) under the stones. 

Cape York, Australia, Sept. 1st to Sept. 8th, 18*4. — The 

" Challenger " reached Somerset, Cape York, the northernmost 
point of Australia, on the evening of September 1st. The coast 
leading up from the south towards Somerset, presents a succes- 
sion of sandy bays, which looked glaring and hot as we passed 
them in the distance. Behind these sands the country rises in 
a succession of low hills, and is covered with a thick vegetation. 
Somerset lies in a narrow channel, formed between the small 
island of Albany and the mainland. The island, and also parts 
of the mainland bordering the sea, at the entrance to the channel 
from the south, are bare of trees, excepting " Screw pines," and 
covered only with a grass, in the dry season withered into hay. 

These open grass-covered spaces are rendered most remark- 
able objects, because they are covered in all directions with the 
nests of Termites (White ants). These nests are great conical 
structures of a brick red colour, often as much as ten feet in 
height. Standing up all over the open country, they give the 
scene almost the appearance of a pottery district in miniature, 
beset with kiln chimneys. 

The tide runs in a regular race through the channel between 
Albany Island and Somerset, and we drifted rapidly with it to 
an anchorage opposite the small bay in which Somerset lies, 



CAPE YORK. 351 

On the one hand is a small strip of Mangrove swamp ; in the 
centre, a long beach of sand ; on the other hand, the commence- 
ment of a range of low cliffs. 

Behind the shore of the Bay the land rises steeply, and is 
covered with wood, except where cleared around two conspicuous 
sets of wooden buildings, the one the residence of the magistrate, 
the other the barracks of the water police. 

Three other wooden houses, one on the beach used as a store, 
the other two nearly in ruins, and only temporarily inhabited, 
make up with these the whole settlement of Somerset. There 
were only five or six permanent White residents. At the time 
of our visit there were in the place besides, others belonging to 
a small Mission Steamer intended for New Guinea, and also the 
skippers of two vessels employed in the pearl shell trade. 

The country is wooded in every direction, but with con- 
stantly recurring open patches covered with scattered acacias, 
gum trees, and Proteacese with grass only growing beneath. In 
the dense woods, with their tall forest trees and tangled masses 
of creepers, one might for a moment imagine oneself back in 
Fiji or Api, but the characteristic opens, with scattered Eucalypti, 
remind one at once that one is in Australia. The principal 
features of Australian and Indian vegetation, are, as it were, 
dovetailed into one another. 

In the woods, the tree trunks are covered with climbing 
aroids, and often with orchids. Two palms, an Areca with a 
tall slender stem not thicker than a man's wrist, but fifty feet 
high, and a most beautiful Caryota, strong evidence of Indian 
affinities in the flora, are abundant. The Cocoanut Palm, as is 
well known, is not found anywhere growing naturally in 
Australia, though it is abundant in islands not far from Cape 
York. At Cape York some trees had been planted, but they 
appear not to thrive. One of these, already more than eight years 
old, at which age it ought to have been bearing fruit, had as 
yet a trunk only a few feet in height. A Eattan Palm, trailing 
everywhere between the underwood, is a terrible opponent, as 
one tries to creep through the forest in search of birds. 

The number and variety of birds at Cape York is astonishing. 
Two species of Ptilotis (P. crysotis and P. filigera) , different from 



352 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

those at Fiji, but closely resembling them, suck the honey from, 
or search for insects on, the scarlet blossoms of the same Ery- 
thrina tree as that at Fiji. With these are to be seen a Myzo- 
mela, and the gorgeous little brush-tongued Parroquet (TricJio- 
glossus swainsonii), which flies screaming about in small flocks, 
and gathers so much honey from the flowers, that the honey 
fairly pours out of the bird's beak when it falls shot to the 
ground. Amongst the same flowers is to be seen also a true 
Honey-bird (Nectar inia frenata), with brilliant metallic blue 

tints on its throat. 

The common white-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) is 
here wary and difficult to get near, though not so much so as in 
the frequented parts of Victoria. The great black Cockatoo 
(Microglossum alerrimum) is to be found at Cape York, but I 
did not manage to see one. The Pheasant Cuckoo (Centropus 
phasianus) rises occasionally from the long grass in the opens, 
and though of the cuckoo tribe, has exactly the appearance of a 
pheasant when on the wing. 

On one of my excursions I shot a large brown Owl (Ninox 
boobook), which was sitting at daybreak in the fork of a large 
tree, and which my native guide espied at once, though I had 
passed it. The great prize at Cape York is however the Eifle- 
bird (Ptilorhis Alberti) one of the Birds of Paradise. The bird 
is of a velvety black, except on the top of the head and breast, 
where the feathers are brightly iridescent with a golden and 
green lustre. In the tail also are two iridescent feathers. 
The bird lives in the woods, where the trees and undergrowth 
are twined with creepers. It does not frequent the higher forest 
trees much, but the tops of the shorter sapling-like growths and 
masses of creepers binding these together. 

The call of the bird consists of three loud shrill short 
whistling notes, followed by a similar but much lower pitched 
note. The third of the first three whistles is somewhat louder 
and shorter than the two preceding. This is the full call of the 
bird, sometimes only two notes are uttered before the low note, 
and sometimes only a single whistle. 

The call is most striking and peculiar, and guided by it, one 
steals gradually through the wood, treading cautiously upon the 



CAPE YORK. 353 

dead leaves, and tries to creep within shot of the birds. The 
call is uttered usually only at intervals of several minutes ; it is 
very easily imitated by whistling, and thus a call may often be 
elicited, and the bird's whereabouts discovered. 

The bird is extremely shy, and the snapping of a dead twig 
is sufficient to scare it, and it requires great patience and per- 
severance to shoot one. It several times happened to me that I 
got within fifteen or twenty yards of a Eifie-bird, and stood 
gazing into the thick tangled mass of creepers overhead, where 
I knew that the bird was, without being able to get a glimpse 
of it, until at last it darted out without my catching sight of it. 

The bird takes short rapid nights from one part of the bush 
to another, the rounding of the front of the wings giving it a 
peculiar appearance when on the wing. The Blacks pointed out 
the red fruit of the Areca palm as the food of the bird, and I 
found abundance of the seeds of this palm in the stomach of a 
bird which I shot. The one bird which I shot was hopping 
about up and down amongst a thick piece of bush, much in the 
way of a wren or warbler. The male in full plumage is indeed 
a splendid object ; the female and the young birds of both sexes 
are of a dull brown colour, as is the case with all the Birds of 
Paradise. 

When walking in the woods in search of birds, a slight 
rustling in the fallen leaves attracts one's attention, and the 
Black guide becomes greatly excited. It is a pair of the " Mound- 
birds " (Megapodus tumulus), which are disturbed and are seen 
running off like barn-door fowls, and when thus luckily hit 
upon are easily shot. Several "Brush Turkeys" (Talegalla 
Lathami), were shot during our stay at Somerset, and the huge 
mounds thrown up by them were common objects at the borders 
of the scrubs, but the season was not far enough advanced for 
them to have commenced laying eggs. 

A brilliant Bee-eater {Merops ornatus) was common at Cape 
York, and to be seen seated, as is the wont of Bee-eaters, on 
some dead branch, and darting thence from time to time after 
its prey. A little Ground Pigeon (Geopelia), not much bigger 
than a sparrow, was also abundant. 

A species of Swallow-shrike (Artamus leucopyyialis) was 

A A 



354 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

very common, sitting in small flocks in rows on wires stretched 
for drying clothes near one of the houses, just as swallows sit on 
telegraph wires in England. The birds made excursions after 
flies, flying just like swallows, and returned to their perching 
place. Those which I shot all had their feathers at the bases 
of their bills clogged with pollen from the flowers, in which no 
doubt they had been searching for insects ; like some humming- 
birds, they must act as fertilizers, carrying pollen from one flower 
to another. 

In all my excursions I was accompanied by Blacks. An 
encampment of natives lay at about half a mile from the shore ; 
the camp was a small one, and composed of the remnants of 
three tribes. There were 21 natives in this camp when I visited 
it early one morning in search of a guide, before daybreak, 
before the Blacks were awake. Of these 21, about six were adult 
males, one of whom was employed at the water police station 
during the day time ; there were four boys of from ten to four- 
teen years, two young girls, two old women, two middle-aged 
women, and the remainder were young women. 

One of the old women was the mother of Longway, who 
acted as my guide, and who had a son about ten years old. The 
Blacks were mostly of the Gudang tribe, a vocabulary of the 
language of which is given in the Appendix to MacGillivray's 
" Voyage of the ' Eattlesnake.' "* The natives were in a lower con- 
dition than I had expected. Their camp consisted of an irregu- 
larly oval space concealed in the bushes, at some distance off 
one of the paths through the forest. In the centre were low 
heaps of wood ashes with fire-sticks smouldering on them. All 
around was a shallow groove or depression, caused partly by the 
constant lying and sitting of the Blacks in it, partly by the 
gradual accumulation of ashes inside, and the casting of 
these and other refuse immediately outside it. On the outer 
side of this groove or form, were stuck up at an angle, large 
leaves of a Fan Palm here and there so as form a shelter, and 
under the shelter of these the Blacks huddled together at night 
to sleep. 

A camp of this shape with a slight mound inside, and a 
* For a further account of Cape York, see Jukes, " Voyage of the ' Fly.' ' 



CAPE YORK. 



355 



bank outside, formed involuntarily by primitive man, may have 
given the first idea of the mound, the ditch, and rampart. The 
large amount of wood-ashes accumulated in such a camp, 
accounts for their occurrence in such large quantities in kitchen - 
middens, where camping must have been in the same style. A 
good many shells brought from the shore lay here and there 
about the camp. 

There were besides in the neighbourhood remains of shelters 
of the common Australian form, long huts made of bushy 
branches set at an angle to meet one another above, and 
partially covered with palm-leaves and grass ; these the Blacks 
used occasionally. 

In the daytime the young women and the men were usually 
away searching for food, but two miserable old women, reduced 
nearly to skeletons, but 
with protuberant sto- 
machs, with sores on 
their bodies and no cloth- 
ing but a narrow bit of 
dirty mat, were always 
to be seen sitting huddled 
up in the camp. These 
hags looked up at a visitor 
with an apparently mean- 
ingless stare, but only to 
see if any tobacco or bis- 
cuit were going to be 
given them ; they exhi- 
bited no curiosity, but only scratched themselves now and then 
with a pointed stick. 

The younger women had all of them a piece of some European 
stuff round their loins. Some of the men had tattered shirts, but 
one, who acted as my guide, was invariably absolutely without 
clothing, as was his son, who always accompanied him. The 
only property to be seen about the camp were a few baskets of 
plaited grass, in the making of which the old women were some- 
times engaged and which were used by the gins for collecting 
food in. Two large Cymbium shells, with the core smashed out, 

A A 2 




OLD WOMAN, CAPE YORK. 

(From a rough sketch by Lieut. A. Channer, K.N.) 



356 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

had been used also to hold food or water, but were replaced for 
the latter purpose now by square gin bottles, of which there 
were plenty lying about the camp, brought from the settlement. 

The most prized possession of these Blacks is, however, the 
bamboo pipe, of which there were several in the camp. The 
bamboos are procured by barter from the Murray islanders, who 
visit Cape York from time to time, and the tobacco is smoked in 
them by the blacks in nearly the same curious manner as that 
in vogue amongst the Dalrymple Islanders. No doubt the 
Australians have learnt to smoke from the Murray Islanders.* 

The tobacco-pipe is a large joint of bamboo, as much as two 
feet in length and three inches in diameter. There is a small 
round hole on the side at one end and a larger hole in the 
extremity of the other end. A small cone of green leaf is inserted 
into the smaller round hole and filled with tobacco, which is 




BAMBOO TOBACCO-PIPE USED BY THE NATIVES OF CAPE YORK. 

lighted at the top as usual. A man, or oftener a woman, then 
opening her mouth wide covers the cone and lighted tobacco 
with it and applies her lips to the bamboo all round it, having 
the leaf cone and burning tobacco thus entirely within her 
mouth. She then blows and forces the smoke into the cavity 
of the bamboo, keeping her hand over the hole at the other end 
and closing the aperture as soon as the bamboo is full. 

The leaf cone is then withdrawn and the pipe handed to the 
smoker, who, putting his hand over the bottom hole to keep in 
the smoke, sucks at the hole in which the leaf was inserted, and 
uses his hand as a valve meanwhile to allow the requisite air to 
enter at the other end. The pipe being empty the leaf is re- 
placed and the process repeated. The smoke is thus inhaled 
quite cold. The pipes are ornamented by the Blacks with rude 
drawings. 

* J. Beete. Jukes. " Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.S. 
' Fly,'" Vol. I, p. 65. Loudon, Boone, 1847. 



CAPE YORK. 357 

The bamboo pipes of Dairy mple Island are described as 
having bowls made of smaller bamboo tubes instead of the leaf 
cone. There are many such in museums. Possibly the leal' is 
only a makeshift. The Dalrymple Islanders, however, sucked the 
bamboo full of smoke from the large hole at the end instead of 
Wowing. 

It is remarkable that the Southern Papuans should have 
invented this peculiar method of smoking for themselves, since 
there can be little doubt that they derived the idea of smoking 
from the Malays, probably through the Northern and Western 
Papuans. There seems no doubt that the habit of smoking, as 
well as the tobacco plant, were first introduced into Java by the 
Portuguese * and the habit and plant no doubt spread thence to 
New Guinea. The Papuans at Humboldt Bay smoke their 
tobacco in the form of cigarettes. 

No other property than that mentioned was to be seen about 
the camp of the Gudangs, but on our asking for them, Longway 
produced some small spears and a throwing stick, which were 
hidden in the bush close by ; and a second lot of spears was 
produced afterwards from a similar hiding-place. The Blacks 
keep what property they have thus hidden away, just as a dog 
hides his bone, and not in the camp ; hence it is impossible to 
find out what they really have. I saw no knife or tomahawk. 
No doubt the practice of thus hidiDg things away from the camp 
has arisen from constant fear of surprise from hostile tribes. 

The Blacks feed on shell fish and on snails (a very large 
Helix), and on snakes and grubs and such things, which are 
hunted for by the women. The women go out into the woods 
in a gang every day for the purpose of collecting food, and also 
dig wild yam roots with a pointed stick hardened in the fire. 
They have not got the perforated stone to weight their digging- 
stick, and are thus behind the Bushmen of the Cape in this 
matter. A staple article of food with these Blacks is afforded 
by the large seeds of a Climbing Bean {Entada scandens), and 
their only stone implements are a round flat-topped stone and 
another long conical one, suitable to be grasped in the hands. 
This is used as a pestle with which to pound these beans on the 
* A. de Candolle, " Geographie Botanique," T. II, p. 850. 



• > 



58 A NATUEALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 



flat stone. Both stones are merely selected, and not shaped in 
any way. 

These Blacks seem never to have had any stone tomahawks, 
and their spear-heads are of bone. They seem not to hunt the 
Wallabies or climb after the Opossums, as do the more southern 
Blacks, but to live almost entirely on creeping things and roots, 
and on fish, which they spear with four-pronged spears. Staff- 
Surgeon Crosbie of the " Challenger " saw Longway and his boy 
smashing up logs of drift-wood and pulling out Teredos and eat- 
ing them one by one as they reached them. 

I tested Longway and also several of the Blacks together at 
the camp, by putting groups of objects, such as cartridges, before 
them, but could not get them to count in their language above 
three — piama, labaima, damma.* They used the word nurraf 
also, apparently for all higher numbers. It was curious to 
see their procedure when I put a heap of five or six objects 
before them. They separated them into groups of two, or two 
and one, and pointing to the heaps successively said, " labaima, 
labaima, piama," " two," " two," " one." Though another of my 
guides had been long with the Whites he had little idea of count- 
ing. After he had picked up two dozen birds for me and seen 
them packed away, I asked him how many there were in the 
tin : he said Six. I wish I had paid more attention to the 
language of these Gudangs. ISTo doubt amongst such people 
language changes with remarkable rapidity ; especially as here, 
where tribes are mixed, and some of the words at least seem 
to have changed since MacGillivray's time. 

The Blacks are wonderfully forgetful, and seem never to carry 
an idea long in their heads. One day when Longway was out 
with me he kept constantly repeating to himself " two shilling/' 
a sum I had promised him if I shot a Bifle-bird, and he constantly 
reminded me of it, evidently with his thoughts full of the idea. 
After the day was over, and we were near home, he suddenly 
left me and disappeared, having been taken with a sudden desire 
to smoke his bamboo, and gone by a short cut to the camp. 

* MacGillivray, "Gudang Dialect." He gives "epiamana elabaiu 
ilama." 

t = uuora ? MacGillivray. 



CAPE YORK. 359 

When I found him there he seemed astonished and to lur. 
forgotten about his day's pay altogether. 

The Blacks spend what little money they get in biscuit at 
the store. And they know that for a florin they ought to get 
more biscuit than for a shilling, but that is all. Food is their 
greatest desire. Their use of English is most amusing, espe- 
cially that of the word " fellow." * This feller gin, this feller 
gin, this feller boy," said Longway, when I asked whether some 
young Blacks crouched by the fire were boys or girls. They 
apply the term also to all kinds of inanimate objects. There 
are several graves of Blacks near Somerset. I asked Longway 
what became of the Black fellows when they died ; he said " fly- 
away," and said " they became White men." 

About 35 miles from Somerset is a tribe of fierce and more 
powerful Blacks, of which the Gudangs are in great terror. 
When I wanted some plants which were a little way up a tree, 
Longway was not at all inclined to climb, but let a sailor who 
was with me do it. Longway's boy said he could not climb. 

As I have said, Longway was always completely naked. He 
not only had no clothing of any description, but no ornament of 
any kind whatsoever, and he was not even tattooed. Further, he 
never carried, when he walked with me, any kind of weapon, 
not even a stick. His boy, who was always with him, was in 
the same absolutely natural condition. It was some time before 
I got quite accustomed to Longway's absolute nakedness, but 
after I had been about with him for a bit, the thing seemed 
quite familiar and natural, and I noticed it no more. 

On one of our excursions, Longway begged me to shoot him 
some parroquets to eat. I shot half a dozen at a shot. I should 
not have clone so if I had known the result. Longway insisted 
on stopping and eating them there and then. I was obliged to 
wait. Longway and his boy lighted a fire of grass and sticks, 
tore a couple of clutches of feathers off each of the birds and 
threw them on the fire for the rest of the feathers to singe partly 
off. Before they were well warm through, they pulled the birds 
out and tore them to pieces, and ate them all bleeding, devour- 
ing a good deal of the entrails. 

On one occasion, when I wished to start very early on a shoot- 



360 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

ing expedition, in order to come upon the birds about daybreak, 
which is always the best time for finding them in the tropics, 
I went to the camp of the Blacks to fetch Longway, just as 
it was beginning to dawn. The Blacks were not by any means 
so easily roused as I had expected ; I found them all asleep, and 
had to shout at them, but then they all started up scared, as if 
expecting an attack. I had great difficulty in persuading Long- 
way to go with me at that early hour, and he complained of the 
cold for some hours. I think the Blacks usually lie in camp 
till the sun has been up some little time, and the air has been 
warmed. 

With regard to expression, I noticed that the Gudangs used 
the same gesture of refusal or dissent as the Api men, namely, 
the shrugging of one shoulder, with the head bent over to the 
same side. Their facial expressions were, as far as I saw them, 
normal, I mean like those of Europeans. 

Altogether, these Blacks are, I suppose, nearly as low as any 
savages. They have no clothes (some have bits of European 
ones now) no canoes, no hatchets, no boomerangs, no chiefs. 
Their graves, described in the " Voyage of the 'Fly,'" are remark- 
able in their form. They are long low mounds of sand, with a 
wooden post set up at each of the corners. There is far more 
trouble taken with them than would be expected. 

The beach at Somerset is composed of siliceous sand. One 
becomes so accustomed when amongst coral islands, to see the 
beaches made up of calcareous sand, that it appears quite a 
novel feature when one meets again with siliceous sand, to 
which only we are accustomed in Europe. The sandy beach 
slopes down, to end abruptly on a nearly horizontal mud flat, 
bare at low water, which is mainly calcareous, and in fact a 
shore platform reef, but with few living corals on it. At low 
water, during spring tides, blocks of dead massive corals, such 
as Astrceiclm are seen to compose the verge of these mud flats, 
and it is from the detritus of these that the mud is formed. 
Amongst these blocks are but few living corals, a species of 
Euphyllia, small Astrccas, and cup or mushroom-shaped 
Turbinarias. 

There is a considerable variety of species of seaweeds on the 



WEDNESDAY ISLAND. 361 

flats. There are also several forms of Sea-Grasses : a species of 
Halophila, the large hairy Enhalus, and a Thalassia u r r<>w all 
together, and spread in abundance over the mud, which is matted 
with their roots in many places. 

The channel between Somerset and Albany Island is shallow, 
being nowhere more than 14 fathoms in depth. The dredge 
here brought up a rare species of Trigonia, and the " Lancelet " 
Amphioxus lanceolatus, which seems to have an extremely wide 
range in distribution. The fauna on the whole was very like 
that of Port Jackson. 

Cape York is a sort of emporium of savage weapons and 
ornaments. Pearl shell-gathering vessels (Pearl shellers as they 
are called) come to Somerset with crews which they have picked 
up at all the islands in the neighbourhood, from New Guinea, 
and from all over the Pacific, and they bring weapons and orna- 
ments from all these places with them. Moreover, the Murray 
Islanders visit the port in their canoes, and bring bows and 
arrows, drums, and such things for barter. 

The water police stationed at Somerset deal in these curiosi- 
ties, buying them up and selling them to passengers in the 
passing steamers, or to other visitors. Hence all kinds of savage 
weapons have found their way into English collections, with the 
label "Cape York," and the Northern Australians have got credit 
for having learnt the use of the bow-and-arrow. I believe that 
no Australian natives use the bow at all. 

Weapons from very remote places find their way to Cape 
York, and thus no doubt the first specimens of Admiralty Island 
javelins reached English museums. Accurate determination of 
locality is of course essential to the interest of savage weapons. 
Staff-Surgeon Maclean, of the " Challenger," had a large New 
Guinea drum of the Crocodile form thrust upon his acceptance, 
as a fee for visiting a patient on board one of the ' Pearl 
shellers " ; he gave it to me. 

Wednesday Island, Torres Straits, Sept. 8th, 1814.— We left 
Cape York on September 8th, and made for the Prince of Wales 
Passage through Torres Straits. I landed at Wednesday Island 
a distant outlier of Cape York, which, with Hammond Island, is 
passed close by in the track through the passage. The island is 



362 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGEE 



» 



about two miles long, it is made up of quartz porphyry, forming 
hill masses, a couple of hundred feet or so in height, with sandy 
flats at their bases. 

In places, the hill slopes come right down to the sea, 
forming small headlands, and here the beach is composed of 
boulders with small stretches of quartz sand derived from the 
rocks between them. Along a wider bay to the north, the 
whole beach is made up of calcareous sand and broken and 
dead shells. A shore platform reef extends all along this side 
of the island; in some places it is made up of consolidated 
coral rock, full of large masses of dead corals cemented together 
with coral mud, or seen projecting here and there between 
muddy pools of water. 

In other places the coral rock passes gradually into regular 
mud flats. There were very few living corals indeed about the 
shore platform ; it required careful searching to find them. I 
found only the species of Uuphyllia, which was at Somerset, and 
a small Astrcea, One large mass of Astrcea thrown up by the 
waves and embedded in the mud, had a small patch on one 
side of it still alive, the rest was quite dead. 

Though stony corals were so scarce, soft Alcyonarians were 
in great abundance. The rock was full everywhere of the Giant 
Clam (Tridacna), the largest bivalve shell which has ever existed, 
a familar adornment of fountains and oyster-shops in England- 
This mollusk lives sunk in a cavity of its own in the rock, with 
only its brilliant blue or green mantle fringes showing and 
betraying its retreat. These protruded mantle lobes have the 
appearance of huge expanded elongate sea anemones, and at 
first sicdit one takes them for such. The shells must be quarried 
out of the rock with a hammer and chisel if they are wanted. 

The main peculiarity of these coral flats, as at Somerset, is 
their extreme muddiness and the small quantity of life about 
them. A Sargassum grows abundantly on the rock masses, with 
several other algas. No doubt the decomposition of these and 
the soft Alcyonarians is that which renders the coral mud so 
dark and slimy. The occurrence of beaches of calcareous and 
siliceous sand close together, both rising from the same coral 
Hat, is an interesting fact, as showing how easily beds of such 



BOOBY ISLAND. 363 

very different materials may become associated or superposed. 
A large Chania shell is very abundant, cemented to the hard 
porphyry rocks, and recalled to one's mind forcibly the extinct 
Hippurites. 

The hills of the island are covered with a scrub, nowhere 
very dense or high, whilst there are small mangrove swamps at 
the edge of the mud flats. The low sandy tracts are open, 
covered with scattered gum trees with long grass growing 
beneath them, just as at Cape York. The long grass and 
bushes were parched and dry, and burnt rapidly when we fired 
them. On the shore were an Oyster-catcher, a small Plover, and 
a Sandpiper, in flocks. The few Land-birds seen, were Cape York 
species, the common Bee-eater, little Ground Dove, Artamus, 
White Cockatoo, and a Brush Turkey. 

Close to the shore were two native graves, and the remains 
of shelters made of branches, and of fires. The island is often 
visited by the natives of the Straits when on their voyages, but 
not permanently inhabited. There were two graves placed side 
by side, consisting of oblong mounds of sand, each with six 
wooden posts placed regularly at the corners and middles of the 
longer sides. The posts had many of them large shells placed 
on their tops as decorations ; the mounds were decorated with 
ribs of Dugongs, placed regularly along their sides and arching 
over them, whilst Dugong skulls, all without the tusks, and large 
shells adorned their summits. 

In dredging in shallow water off Wednesday Island, a mon- 
ster Starfish was obtained, apparently a species of Oreaster ; it 
measured 1 ft. 9 ins. from tip to tip of its arms, and 5 inches in 
the height of its central disc. 

Booby Island, Torres Straits, Sept. 9th, 1874. — On the fol- 
lowing day I landed on Booby Island, which acts as a sign-post 
to ships entering the Prince of Wales Passage from the Arafura 
Sea, on the other side of Torres Straits. The island is of the 
same coarse quartz and felspar rock as Wednesday Island ; it is 
only about two-thirds of a mile in circumference, and 30 to 40 
feet in height. The greater part of the rock is white with the 
dung of sea birds, the Booby and the "Wideawake," which 
frequent it in vast numbers. The birds were, however, not 



364 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

breeding here at the time of our visit : one egg of the tern only 
was found. These birds were hence shy, and left the rock on the 
approach of the boat, and remained flying round it until our 
departure. 

Most astonishing is the number and variety of land-birds, 
which is to be found on this small island. It is so small that, 
when the boat party had landed and had spread over it, it 
became dangerous to shoot in almost any direction, for fear of 
hitting some one. Yet here I shot seven species of land-birds, 
and saw three others. 

Most of the birds of Cape York are constantly migrating, 
and the resident official at Somerset told me that the constant 
change from month to month of the birds seen about his place 
was most astonishing. The Torres Straits Islands serve as 
resting places for the birds crossing from New Guinea ; Booby 
Island is evidently thus used, and the number of its land-birds 
is thus to be accounted for. 

This island corresponds thus in this respect with such an island 
as Heligoland in Europe, which is a well-known halting-place of 
birds of passage, and at certain seasons swarms with land-birds, 
resting on their journey, so that ornithologists visit it to procure 
the rarest of birds. Heligoland also, like Booby Island, is almost 
devoid of trees, and the birds have to pitch there in the potato- 
fields. Upwards of 300 species of land-birds rest on the island, 
which is a point in the direct lines of migratory flight.* 

A small cleft runs up into Booby Island, and nearly across it, 
and, affording shade and shelter, allows of the growth of a small 
thicket of shrubs of a species of fig. Besides these shrubs the 
island has little vegetation, except scanty grass, and about half- 
a-dozen species of herbs. Amongst the branches of the figs, 
lives a most beautiful Fruit-Pigeon (Ptilinopus superbus), with 
head of a brilliant purple, the body green, and shoulders red. A 
Painted Quail {Turnix melanonotus), was found amongst the 
grass. The other birds which I saw or shot were a Land-rail, a 

* J. F. Naumann, " Ueber den Vogelzug mit besonderer Hinsicht 
auf Helgoland," s. 18. Ehea, Leipzig, 1846. 

H. Seebohm, " Supplementary Notes on the Ornithology of Heligoland," 
Ibid. 1877, p. 156. 



BOOBY ISLAND. 365 

Mound-bird {Megapodius tumulus), a Bee-eater (Merops ornatus), 
a Zosterops (Z. luteus), very like Z. flaviceps of Fiji, a Pachy- 
cephalia, a Kingfisher [Halcyon sancta), and a thrush-like bird, 
of which I saw only one specimen. 

The Pigeon seems to be a permanent resident in the island. 
The Megapodius astonished me most ; I did not know that the 
bird possessed powers of flight sufficient to take it to such an 
island; it must have been migrating. The fact no doubt 
explains the occurrence of species of Megapodius in various 
Pacific Islands. The quails are present at some times in Booby 
Island in enormous numbers'. On August 13th, 1841, the 
officers of the " Beagle " shot on it 145 quails, 18 pigeons, 12 
rails of two species, and three pigeons.* 

The Dove and the Bail were here for the first time procured 
by Mr. Bynoe, and named by Gould from Booby Island speci- 
mens. It is the last place in the world, as viewed from the sea, 
with clouds of Boobies hovering over it, from which one would 
expect two new land-birds to hail. Our officers laughed at the 
notion of there being Quails or anything to shoot upon it. The 
officer of the " Beagle " found a native grave on the island. 
There are several caves on the island, in one of which a store 
of provisions is kept for shipwrecked seamen. The caves are 
now several feet above high water-mark, and possibly they point 
to a slight elevation of the island. 

* " Discoveries in Australia. Also An Account of Capt. Owen Stanley's 
Visits to the Islands of the Araf nra Sea," Vol. II, p. 329. By J. Lort Stokes, 
Commander, R.N. London, Boone, 29, New Bond Street, 1846. 




366 



CHAPTER XV. 

ABU. KE. BAKDA AMBOWA TEENATE. 

Appearance of the Aru Islands. Trees Transplanted by the Waves. 
Masses of Drift Wood. Malay Language. Ballasting a Guide. 
Managemeut of Clothes during Rain. Back Country Natives. Great 
Height of the Trees. Nests of the Metallic Starling. Parrots and 
Cockatoos. Bird Winged Butterflies. Shooting Birds of Paradise at 
Wanumbai. Deposit of Lime in Streams. Boat Crews from the Ke 
* Islands. Fungus Skin Disease. Ke Island Dancing. Houses at Ke 
Dulan. Leaf Arrows. Bird caught in a Spider's Web. Ascent of 
the Volcano of Banda. Algae Growing in the Hot Steam Jets. 
Numerous Insects at the Summit. Alteration in Sea Level, Marked 
on Living Corals. Nutmeg Plantations. Transportation of Seeds by 
Fruit-Pigeons. Saluting at Amboina. Danger to the Eyes in Diving 
for Corals. Raised Reefs. Myrmecodia and Hydnophytum. Moluc- 
can Deer. Ternate Island. Chinese and their Graves. Sale of Birds 
of Paradise. Ascent of the Volcano. The Mountain Vegetation. The 
Terminal Cone. View from the Summit. 

The Aru Islands, September 16th to September 23rd, 1814. — 

On our way to the Aru Islands we crossed the Arafura Sea, 
which lies to the west of New Guinea. The sea is extremely 
shallow, being only from 30 to 50 fathoms in depth. After a 
voyage of six days, from Torres Straits, we sighted the southern 
part of the Aru Islands, so familiar to naturalists from Mr. 
Wallace's account of them, in his " Malay Archipelago," and so 
full of interest to us as the home of Birds of Paradise. 

We sailed along the western coast of the islands. The 
southern portions are not covered with forest, but appeared in 
the distance as open grassy downs, and immediately further 
north similar open country occurs frequently, amongst the 
forest in patches. The grass, though it appears like turf in 
the distance, is probably tall and reed like. A line of cliffs 
of no great height forms the coast line. The low cliffs are 



THE ARU ISLANDS. 307 

broken at intervals and there the coast is wooded and shows 
a white sandy beach. 

The cliffs appear as if formed of a stratified ferruginous red 
rock. Here and there on the rocks were conspicuous white 
patches on the cliffs, the nesting-places of Boobies, of which 
large flocks were seen flying to roost as evening came on. 

Masses of closely-packed tree-stems with dense foliage 
masses above, appeared lining the shore where it was flat. 
There were no cocoanut palms to be seen amongst them. 
After coasting during the whole night, Dobbo, the port of the 
islands, was reached in the morning. Dobbo lies on the small 
island of Wamma, which is separated opposite the town by a 
narrow channel from the large island of Wokan. 

The striking feature in the vegetation of Wamma, as viewed 
by one who has just been amongst the Pacific Islands, is the 
very small proportion of palms showing amongst the general 
mass of foliage. There are only two small clumps of cocoanut 
trees near the town. The leafy masses rising above the wdrite 
beach might almost be taken to be made up of elm trees, the 
tree tops being rounded in the same manner. The whole has 
a dull blueish tint. 

As we neared Dobbo, turning up the passages between the 
two islands, we passed large quantities of leaves, fruits, and 
flowers, and branches of trees floated off from the shores, and 
now drifting about mingled with a floating seaweed (Sargassum). 
Off the Ke Islands we met with similar drifts of land vegetation 
and also amongst the Moluccas ; and I was astonished at the 
large quantities of fresh vegetable matter thus seen floating on 
the sea. 

The sea birds, especially terns, habitually resort to the float- 
ing logs as resting places, and it is curious to see them in the 
distance, appearing as if standing on the surface of the water, 
the logs themselves being often invisible. Not only are large 
quantities of fruits capable of germinating thus transported from 
island to island* but entire living plants, even trees, are washed 
from island to island and transplanted by the waves. 

* Mr. Darwin has recorded the experiments which lie made in con- 
juncture with Mr. Berkeley to determine the period of time during which 



368 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

On the shores of Little Ke Island I found on the beach, 
above the ordinary reach of the waves, a large mass of the 
pseudo-bulbs of an epiphytic orchid with its roots complete. 
It was partly buried at the foot of a tree and seemed quite 
lively. It had evidently been washed up in a storm. At 
Malanipa Island, off the coast of Mindonao Philippines, I found 
a young Sago Palm, which was just beginning to form a stem, 
washed up just above the ordinary beach line, and firmly rooted, 
though in an inclined position, and growing vigorously. Several 
authors have described the large quantities of floating vegetable 
matter to be met with in the Malay Archipelago and neighbour- 
hood. Chamisso remarked on the quantity of floating seeds off 
Java, and the casting up of Barringtonia, Aleurites triloba, and 
Nipa Palm seeds on the shores in germinating condition.* 

These large drifts from the forests have a further interest, in 
that they let drop their remains to the bottom of the deep sea, 
thereby not only serving as food to the deep-sea animals, but 
leaving their husks to be preserved as fossils in deep-sea 
deposits. I shall refer to this latter point in considering deep- 
sea questions in the sequel. 

We anchored off the town of Dobbo, not in the least altered 
in the few years since Wallace's visit, with its line of Macassar 
trading vessels drawn up on the beach ; its " prau " builders at 
work, and a crowd assembled to gaze at us. We were visited by 
Malay notables in their finest dresses of coloured silks, and by 
Dutch half-caste missionaries who came in tail coats and tall 
hats. 

The sun was excessively powerful at Aru, and I felt the 
glare on the white sandy beach more severely than anywhere 
else during the voyage. In wading in search of seaweeds on the 
coral shore platform, I positively found the water much warmer 
than was pleasant to my legs. The water was very shallow, 
only half way up my knees, and was heated by the reflections 
from the white bottom. 

various seeds will resist the action of sea- water, in the " Origin of Species," 
6th Ed., 1876, pp. 324, 325. 

* Chamisso, " Bemerkungen auf einer Entdeckungs-Reise, 1815-1818," 
p. 366-401. Weimar, 1821. 



THE AEU ISLANDS. 3G9 

We encountered the Malay language for the first time at 
Dobbo, and since no one there, except the missionaries, who 
spoke Dutch, understood any European language, it was fortu- 
nate that our navigating officer, Staff-Commander Tizard, had 
learnt the language when engaged in surveying in the China 
Seas and on the coast of Borneo. He arranged for guides and 
started us with a small stock of the language. 

It is the easiest in the world to pick up a little of. There is 
no grammar, and anyone who has got a Malay dictionary can 
talk Malay. " I go," " I shall go," " I went," are aU expressed by 
the same word in Malay, and one is irritated on discovering how 
thoroughly satisfactory such a simple arrangement is, to reflect 
on the endless complications of verbs and their inflexions in so 
many other languages and on the time which one has wasted 
over them. 

I made several excursions on shore with one or more guides. 
One whom I generally took with me was a very active fellow, 
and I soon found him too quick for me in the close hot forest. 
I have always found it a bad plan to let native guides suppose 
that one is easily tired and unable to keep up with them, so I 
adopted an expedient with the man which has served me in 
good stead on other occasions, and which can be recommended 
to naturalists. Soon after I got on shore I examined a large 
stone with care and interest, turning it over once or twice, and 
then gave it him to carry, and when he had this ballast in addi- 
tion to my vasculum, I found that I could keep on pretty good 
terms with him. In the evening, when we reached the boat, I 
conveyed the stone on board the ship with due solemnity and 
threw it overboard. 

I was amused at the manner in which my guides met a heavy 

storm of rain. They had of course no umbrellas, but did not 

wish to get their clothes, which consisted merely of two cloths, 

one worn round the shoulders and the other round the loins, 

wet. They simply stripped naked, rolled their clothes up tight 

inside a large Pandanus leaf, and so walked along with me till 

the rain was over, when they shook themselves dry and put their 

clothes on again. Meanwhile my clothes were wet through and 

had to dry on me. 

B B 



370 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



»? 



A very large species of Screw-pine (Pandanus), with a fruit 
as big as a man's head, is common along the shore. It is a com- 
mon East Indian littoral plant. The stem, though large, is soft 
and succulent, and hence with a small axe one can enjoy all the 
pleasure of felling a large tree without any fatigue. The deep 
cut made by a single blow is most gratifying to one's feelings of 
power, and having cut down one tree to obtain a specimen of the 
fruit, I found myself felling two or three others wantonly. 

On the Island of Wokan, not far from the anchorage, Sago 
palms abound in the swamps. Several parties of natives from 
the back country were living near the shore, having come from a 
distance in their boats, to prepare a store of sago to take home 
with them. 

They lived in small low-roofed houses made of poles and 
reeds, and raised on posts about two feet above the swampy 
ground. These temporary houses were so low that the natives 




HOUSE OF BACK-COUNTRY NATIVES. WOKAN ISLAND. 

could only squat or lie in them. The men were darker than the 
inhabitants of Wokan in the neighbourhood, and looked to me 
more Papuan in appearance. They were armed with finely- 
made spears with iron blade-like points, six or eight inches long, 
and ornamented worked wooden handles. They would not part 
with these at any price. 

They resented my looking into their house, no doubt because 
the women were there. The women seemed extremely shy, and 



THE ARU ISLANDS. 371 

huddled together out of the way, and the same was the case at 
Wanumbai. The men had wrist ornaments, closely similar in 
make to those common in New Guinea, at Humboldt Bay, and 
at the Admiralty Islands. These are broad band-shaped wristlets 
made of plaited fibres (of Pandanus ?), yellow and black worked 
into a pattern. 

These bracelets of the Aru Islanders were ornamented with 
European shirt buttons in lieu of the small ground-down shells 
(Neritina) used at New Guinea and in the Admiralty Islands for 
the same purpose. The buttons came, no doubt, from the Chinese 
traders, and probably the natives thought they were intended 
for this purpose, as they look not so very much unlike the shells. 
The men had a number of leaf buckets full of sago, ready pre- 
pared, and we saw their rude kneading-trough and strainers of 
palm fibre, in a swamp close by. 

The trees are excessively high and large in the Aru forests. To 
a botanical collector, with no time to spare, such a forest is a hope- 
less problem. Only the few low-growing plants can be gathered, 
and the orchids and ferns that hang on the stems low down, 
especially along the coast. A few palms can be cut down. The 
flowers and fruits of the trees, the main features of the vege- 
tation, and those most likely to prove of especial interest, are far 
out of reach. 

The trees cannot be cut down. It would take a day at least 
to fell one. The only hope is to lie on one's back and look for 
blossoms or fruit with a binocular glass, and then try and shoot 
a branch down. Very often, however, the trees are far too high 
for that, and then the matter must be given up altogether. 

Growing on some of the high trees in Wokan Island, I saw 
most enormous Stag's-horn ferns (Platy cerium). I certainly 
imagined they must be at least eight feet in the height of the 
fronds. I could not reach any but very small specimens. 

A species of Fig, a wide-spreading tree with large leaves, 
seemed to me remarkable, because the fruit was borne only on 
the pendent aerial roots. A tree of another species of fig- 
amused me, because its pendent roots had wound spirally around 
the parent stem of the tree itself, and had nearly choked it. It 
eeemed just that a fig, so accustomed to choking other trees, 

bb2 



372 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



n 



should thus once in a while choke itself ; but no doubt the tree 
suffered little, the roots taking fully the place of the strangled 
trunk. 

The Eattans are a serious obstacle in excursions in the 
forests. The tendrils of these trailing and climbing palms are 
beset with rows of recurved hooks, which as they are drawn 
across one's flesh, in a dash made to get a shot at a bird, 
cut into it as readily as knives, but with a more unpleasant 
wound. 

An immense tree, with a tall stem free from branches, until 
at a great height it spread out into a wide and evenly shaped 
crown, was full of the nests of the Metallic Starling {Calornis 
metallicct), a very beautiful small starling with dark plumage, 
which displays a brilliant purple metallic glance all over its 
surface. The birds breed thus gregariously. There must have 
been three or four hundred nests in the tree ; every available 
branch was full of them. The birds were busy flying to and fro, 
and were quite safe, for the tree was so high that they were out 
of shot of my gun at least, which was not a choke bore. 

On one of my excursions in the forest I met with a flock 
of brilliant plumaged Parrots. They were apparently feeding in 
company with a flock of White Cockatoos. I managed to stalk 
one of the parrots, and shot it. The cockatoos set up the most 
angry harsh screaming, and evidently made common cause with 
the parrots. They sat and screamed at me on a tree close by, as 
angrily as if one of their own flock had been shot, and flew over 
my head high up out of reach of the gun, looking down at the 
dead bird and still screaming. 

Once, as I was making my way through thick undergrowth 
in a swampy place, my guide touched my arm and pointed and 
said " Casiiari." I was too late to see the big bird, but I saw the 
tracks of its feet in the mud ; and now, for the first time, 
realized the fact that the Cassowary, a large Struthious bird, can 
inhabit a dense forest. I had always coupled Struthious birds 
in my mind with open downs or plains, or at all events with 
brushwood and occasional trees. I had also not before under- 
stood that " Cassowary " was the Malay name of the bird. 

I searched for Land Planarians without success. There can 



THE ARU ISLANDS. 373 

however, be no doubt that they exist in Am, since they occur in 
Australia, Ternate, and the Philippines. 

The splendid large Bird-winged Butterfly, with brilliant green 
and velvety black wings (Omithqptera poseidon) was common 
in the woods, but flew high and was difficult to catch. I shot 
one or two with dust shot, without their being utterly damaged. 
I once, however, was lucky enough to find a flock of about a 
dozen males, fluttering round and mobbing a single female. 
They were then hovering slowly, quite close to the ground, and 
were easily caught. 

The female had thus a large body of gaudy admirers from 
which to make her choice. Interesting results might possibly 
be derived from a series of experiments, in which, in the case of 
brightly coloured and decorated butterflies, the colours should 
be rubbed off the wings of a few amongst a number of males, or 
painted over of a black or brown colour. It might be tested 
whether the females would always prefer the brightly coloured 
ones. Dark coloured butterflies might possibly have the wings 
of the male touched up with a little colour. 

Similar experiments might be made with more chance of 
success in the case of gaudy birds, the feathers of the cock being 
dyed dark, or enhanced in colouring in the case of a little deco- 
rated male. The hen might be kept in a cage between two males, 
and it might be noted to which she gave the preference, and then, 
whether an alteration in the colours of the plumage caused a 
change in her inclination. If the artificial increase of colouring 
succeeded as an experiment, then experiments might be made to 
learn what colours, or mixture of colours, is most attractive in 
various cases.* 

A party visited Wanumbai, Mr. Wallace's old hunting- 
ground, in the ship's steam-pinnace. We steamed across a sort 
of lagoon, shut in by the islands, passing on the way a large Sea 

* Mr. Tegetmeier stained some pigeons with magenta at Mr. Darwin's 
request, but the birds were not much noticed by the others. Mr. Darwin 
cites the case of the pied peacock, and that of the silver pheasant which 
had its plumage spoiled, and which was then rejected by the hens. No 
systematic experiments, however, seem to have been made on this subject 
though they could easily be carried out in the case of birds. C. Darwin, 
" The Descent of Man," Vol. II, pp. 118, 120, London, Murray, 1871. 



374 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



>' 



Snake on the top of the water, and made our way up the remark- 
able canal-like channel, for the formation of which Mr. Wallace 
found it difficult to account. The people of Wanumbai were 
very much scared at the appearance of the pinnace, full of men 
with guns, but we had taken some Malays from Dobbo with 
us to act as pilots, and introduce us, and they jumped on shore 
and addressed the people of Wanumbai (" Orang Wanumbai, 
Ye men of Wanumbai/') and soon made matters right. They 
told them that we had only come to shoot " dead birds " {Burong 
mate), the trade term by which the Birds of Paradise are known. 

On the margin of the narrow sea channel, was a compound 
house, an oblong building raised on numerous posts above the 
ground. Inside it had a central passage, leading from the door 
to the back wall, and on either side of this it was divided into 
small pens by low T irregularly made partitions. Each of these 
pens held a family, and the women huddled together to hide 
themselves in the corners of them, just as did those in Wokau 
Island. 

We purchased bows and arrows from the natives. The 
arrows are very like New Guinea arrows in the various forms of 
their points, but are all provided with a notch and feathers, the 
latter being often bright parrots' feathers. Some have a blade- 
like point of bamboo, and a man who was watching a native 
plantation, to keep wild animals off from it, told me he used 
these for shooting pigs. Some are tipped with Cassowary bone, 
some are many-pronged, and these are used for shooting birds, 
and are not exclusively fish arrows, as is often supposed. 

Besides these, there are the arrows with a large blunt knob 
at the end, used for stunning the large Birds of Paradise, with- 
out spoiling their skins, as described by Wallace. Pointed 
arrows are however used more frequently for this purpose, as 
Mr. Wallace relates, because the birds are so strong as to escape 
being stunned, and the points are more certain weapons. It is 
curious that closely similar knobbed arrows are used in South 
America by certain tribes, to kill Trogons and other fine 
pluniaged birds. One man brought for sale a large Bird of 
Paradise, dried in the usual manner for sale, but he wanted the 
lull price for it asked by the Chinese dealers at Dobbo. 



THE ARU ISLANDS. 



375 



I procured two guides, a boy and a man, and promised them 
a florin for every Bird of Paradise that I shot. I had previously 




HEAD OF A SOUTH AMERICAN BIRD ABROH', 
IN THE CHRISTY COLLECTION. 



HEAD OF AN ARROW USED FOR SHOOTING BIRDS 
OF PARADISE IN THE ARC ISLANDS. 



been in pursuit of the birds at Wokan, but they were not so 
common there, and I believe that the native guides did not exert 
themselves to show us the birds, as they no doubt regard them 
more or less as property, and a source of wealth. 

My first acquaintance with the great Bird of Paradise (Para- 
disea apocla) was at Wokan. I was making my way through 
the forest with a guide in the very early morning, when a flock 
of birds flew by in the misty light, passing right over my head. 
They flew like a flock of Jackdaws somewhat, and I was disgusted 
to realize, when too late, that they were a flock of the very birds 
I was in search of. I did not fire for fear of disturbing the 
woods. I heard them cry soon after " wauk, wauk/' but could 
not come up with them. 

At Wanumbai with my guides, I first encountered a number 
of Fruit-Bats, which were on the wing in the early morning, and 



376 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

I killed one with a young one hanging at its breast. We soon 
heard the cry of the great Bird of Paradise, " wauk, wauk." I 
crept up within shot with my guides several times, but as usual, 
though they saw the bird plainly amongst the foliage, I could 
not make it out in time, though I saw the leaves rustle. I did 
not want to fire without making sure. The guides in view of 
the florin, were as excited as I was, and kept seizing my arm 
and pointing, " burong mate, burong mate," but away went the 
bird without showing itself to me. 

The birds seemed to keep constantly on the move in the 
trees, hopping from branch to branch, and were very quick and 
silent in their flight away to a fresh spot. Several times I saw 
the birds amongst the branches of trees, so high that it was use- 
less to shoot at them, and my cartridges, specially prepared with 
nearly four drachms of powder, had no effect. • 

The birds seemed to be as often single as in companies, and 
were evidently on the feed in the early morning. At last a hen 
bird flew up off the ground close to me, with a small lizard in 
her beak, and pitched on a dead branch to eat it, and I shot her. 
But what of course I wished, was a male in full plumage. This 
however was not to be obtained. It is remarkable what a very 
large proportion of young males and females of the great Bird of 
Paradise there seem to be, to the comparatively small number 
of males in full dress. Not one of these latter was shot. I 
believe I saw one at the top of a high tree, but am not certain. 
Probably the old males are warier, being often hunted, and keep 
out of the way. They require four or five years to develop full 
dress.* 

At the breeding season, when the natives kill most of them, 
they assemble, and are easily obtained. 

The cry " wauk," is not so far removed from such cries as those 
of the Eook and others of the Corvidcv, to which the Paradise 

* It is improbable that P. apoda, loses its breeding plumage as soon as 
the breeding season is over. P. minor, as has been observed in the case of 
specimens kept in confinement in the Regent's Park Gardens, certainly 
loses its plumes only at the moulting season, like other richly ornamented 
birds. P. apoda moults, according to Wallace, in January or February, and 
is in full plumage in May. At all events there must have remained birds 
with plumes in September. 



THE ARU ISLANDS. 377 

birds are allied. The voices of birds need however no more 
necessarily be a test of the pedigrees of the birds themselves, 
than need language be a test of true race connection amongst 
mankind. 

Many birds imitate one another's cries, and the Hon. Dailies 
Harrington,* long ago showed by experiment, that nestlings 
learn their song from their parents, and even their call note, and 
if taken away very early from the nest, learn the song of any 
other bird with which they are associated, and then do not acquire 
that proper to their own species, even if opportunity be afforded. 

If nestling birds were brought up apart from other birds, 
they would no more sing, than would men similarly reared have 
any idea of talking to one another. 

Under these circumstances the birds would utter only what 
Barrington terms their chirp, a cry for food, which, peculiar to 
each species, is uttered by all young birds, but which is entirely 
lost as the bird reaches maturity. Untaught men would be as 
speechless as apes, far less able to communicate with one 
another than deaf mutes who watch the communications of 
others. It is a pity that it is impossible, on humanitarian 
grounds, to repeat now the experiment of King Psammetichus. 
It would be interesting to watch the result. 

In the case of the other smaller species of Paradise Bird 
found in the Aru Islands, the King-bird (Cicinnurus regius) the 
males in full plumage seemed as common as the simple brown 
young males and females. The natives knew these latter well, 
as forms of the brilliant red bird, though so vastly different, and 
several times pointed them out to me, as " Gobi, gobi," their 
name for the " King-bird." 

The King-birds were even more abundant at Wanumbai than 
the larger species. The males, when settled in the trees, con- 
stantly uttered a cry which is very like that of the Wryneck 
or Cuckoo's Mate. I saw most of them in the lower trees of 
the forest, at about 30 feet from the ground. One shot by 

* " Experiments and Observations on the Singing of Birds," by the Hon. 
Daines Barrington. Phil. Trans. Yol. LXIII. 1773, p. 249.^ A. B. 
Wallace, " Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection," p. 220. 
London, Macmillan, 1875. 



378 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Mr. Abbott, engineer of the " Challenger," when we were together 
in Wokan, hovered and hopped for some time about a mass of 
creepers hanging from a large tree, apparently searching for 
insects. As it hovered, it showed its bright scarlet back like a 

flash of fire. 

Usually, the bird sitting on the twigs and seen from below 

shows none of its beauty. 

The birds seem very tame, but like the Kifle-bird, and the 
Great Bird of Paradise, are usually in constant motion. One 
full-plumage bird sat on a twig, about four feet from the ground, 
and looked at me for a while at not more than three yards 
distance, and then darted away, more out of natural impulse, I 
imagine, than fear. 

I shot five of the birds in one day. One of them had the 
wonderful spiral green tail feathers, only just growing out. The 
bright lapis-lazuli blue colour of the bird's legs and feet when 
fresh, greatly enhances its beauty. Luckily the skin of the 
Paradise Birds is tough, and I found the King-bird easy to skin. 
The short red feathers encroach on the base of the bill, on its 
upper surface in an unusual manner, the tip of the bill only 
being free, and this gives the head a curious appearance. 

The coral rock of Wokan Island is exposed in section, on the 
shore not far from Dobbo, in a cliff about 11 feet in height. 
The strata are inclined towards the sea at an angle of about 20°. 
Inland, the surface is marked by a series of ridges of small 
elevation, and from the presence of numerous bivalve shells, 
seems to have been raised above sea level. 

There is a fresh-water stream not far from Wanumbai, which 
flows over the coral rock, overhung by dense vegetation. In the 
bed of the stream, a constant deposit of carbonate of lime is 
taking place, and the bed is partitioned into a series of pools, 
separated by ridges and projections of stalactite-like substance, 
which lines also the pools themselves. Similar deposits in 
tropical streams have been observed elsewhere, as in Eoaring 
River, Jamaica.* 

It was elicited by Captain Tizard, from the Malays at Dobbo, 

* Sir H. T. de la Beche, F.B.S. " The Geological Observer," p. 13, 
2nd Ed. London, Longman, 1853. 



THE KE ISLANDS. 379 

that a deer abounds in the northernmost of the Am Islands • no 
doubt it is of the same species as the deer of Amboina (fiusa 
moluccensis) : I was shown the horns. It must have been intro- 
duced either by the Malays or Dutch. 

The Chinese dealers in Manchester and Birmingham goods 
and arrack at Dobbo, used cajuput oil as a preservative for their 
Birds of Paradise skins, to keep off ants and other insects. 

Books referring to the Am Islands. " Discoveries in Australia," also "Ad 
Account of Capt. Owen Stanley's Visit to the Islands of the Araf ura Sea," by 
J. Lort. Stokes, Commander, R.N., Vol. II., p. 333. London, Boone, 1846. 

" Voyage of the Dutch Brig ' Dourga.' " Trans, by W. Earle. Madden 
& Co., London, 1840. 

A. R. Wallace, F.R.S., &c, " The Malay Archipelago." 

The Ke Islands, September 24tli and 25th, 1874. We Crossed 

over from the Am Islands to the Ke Islands, taking a day on 
the passage and dredging and sounding between the two groups, 
finding a depth of 300 fathoms. Whilst we were off the coast 
of Great Ke Island several boats full of natives put ' off to the 
ship. The boats were described by Wallace. They are shaped 
like whale boats and are fastened together with rattans. 

The crews used paddles with long blades pointed at the 
ends and cross handles. They paddled in time with a chanted 
cadence identical with one used by the Fijians in their dances, 
"e ai o turn turn." At intervals the sound rose loud from the 
approaching boats as it was taken up in chorus. 

The chant was accompanied by a drum with a tense mem- 
brane, on which two sounds were made by striking it slightly 
with the tips of the fingers or more violently with the palm of 
the hand, the sound reminding one that one was getting, in one's 
travels, nearer towards India. 

The men, a boat-load of whom came on board, were like the 
Am Islanders, but mostly, I thought, stronger built. They wore 
their hair long and loose, and had no ornaments. Most of them 
wore only an apron of cloth. All of them were in the most 
horrible state of skin disease, their skins being in a rough scurfy 
condition in many cases all over the body. I have not seen 
elsewhere such bad cases of vegetable itch. The disease is due 
to a parasitic fungus and closely allied to or identical with 



380 A NATUEALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Pityriasis versicolor. Dr. Crosbie, Staff-Surgeon of the " Chal- 
lenger," made a careful microscopical examination of it. The 
disease is widely spread in Melanesia and Polynesia.* 

The men kept constantly scratching themselves violently, 
and life can be hardly worth having in Great Ke Island. Yet 
the disease is one easilv cured. After all, the natives are no 
worse off than were Cambridge under-graduates in the middle 
of the seventeenth century, and they used to be nearly 
physicked to death into the bargain, absolutely in vain.f 

The men begged for all kinds of things, and especially spirits 
and tobacco. One of the boats had well-made pottery, nicely 
ornamented with patterns in red, for barter. The men, as did 
also the Malays at Dobbo, used a slight click with the tongue, 
accompanied by a very slow shaking of the head, to express 
astonishment. 

We anchored off Little Ke Island. Several boats came off 
paddling to a different but very similar chant. The men being 
ship-builders by profession, were delighted with the ship, and 
ran all over it and climbed into the rigging. 

A dance was got up on the quarter-deck. The drum was 
beaten by two performers and a song accompanied it, but there 
was no clapping of hands, as in Fiji. The whole mode of danc- 
ing was absolutely different, and the attitudes of the dancer were 
sufficient alone to have told one that one was amongst Malays 
and not Melanesians or Polynesians. 

The dance, in which only two or three performers danced at 
a time, consisted of a very slowly executed series of poses of the 
body and limbs. There was no exact keeping of time to the 
accompaniment nor unison of action between the dancers. The 
hands and arms during the action were slowly moved from 
behind to the front, the palms being held forwards and the 
thumbs stretched straight out from them. 

In another dance a motion, as of pulling at a rope, was used. 
The chant to one dance was the words " uela a uela." There 

* See Tilbury Fox, M.D., " On the Tokelau Ringworm and its Fungus." 
The "Lancet," 1874. p. 304. 

t John Strypes' " Letters to his Mother, Scholse Academical," p. 293. 
Christopher "Wordsworth, Cambridge, 1872. 



THE KE ISLANDS. 



381 



was also a dance of two performers with pieces of sticks, to 
represent a combat with swords. The whole was closely like 
the dancing of the Lutaos which we saw later at Zamboangan in 
the Philippine Islands, but not so elaborate. 

The ship moved to an anchorage off the small town of Ke 
Dulan. The houses were all raised on posts, except the Mahom- 
medan Mosque, which building shows a curious development of 
the high-peaked Malay roof into a sort of half tower, half spire, 
representing no doubt an equivalent of the dome. Under the 
caves of the houses baskets were hung up for 
the fowls to nest in. 

Some boys were playing near the village, 
and, as a toy, they had a very ingeniously 
made model of a spring gun, or rather spring 
bow, a trap by which a large arrow is shot 
into a wild pig, on its setting loose a catch. 

Our guide, a boy, wearing a turban, placed his 

hand on his turban and said, " Mahommed," and 

explained to Captain Tizard that the small 

boys at play, whose heads were bare, were not 

such as he, but heathen. He was evidently 

very proud of his religion. 

The Ke Islanders, besides arrows like those 

of the Aru Islanders, use others which are 

peculiar. They are light thin narrow strips cut 

out of the long leaves of what I believe is a 

species of Canna. The strips are so cut that 

the stiff midrib of the leaf forms the shaft of 

the arrow, and portions of the wings of the leaf 

are left on at the base of the arrow to act as 

feathers. The point is simply sharpened with 

the knife. 

These leaf arrows when dry are hard and 

stiff. They are very easily made by a few 

strokes of the knife, and a large bundle of them 

is carried by the archer. They are shot away 

at a bird in the bush without the trouble being taken to find 

them again, as in the case of other arrows. They are so small 



ARROW CUT OUT OF A 
CANNA LEAF. 



382 A NATURALIST OX THE " CHALLENGER." 

and light that they make very little show in their flight, and no 
noise ; and I saw a youth shoot at least a dozen of them, at a 
large Nutmeg Pigeon, without the bird's doing more than move 
its head, and start a little as they flew by almost touching it. 

These Nutmeg Pigeons {Carpopliaga concinna) are very large 
heavy birds. Some of those shot weighed 2 lbs. I shot two at 
one shot as they sat on a branch on a high tree right over 
my head. They fell one on each side of me with a very 
heavy thud, and I believe would have stunned me had they 
not luckily just missed my head. I had never considered this 
danger before. 

Mr. Darwin in his Journal* refers to Epeira clavipes, as said 
by Sloane to make webs so strong as to catch birds. At Little 
Ke Island Yon Willemoes Suhm actually found a strong and 
healthy " Glossy Starling " (Calornis metallica) caught fast in a 
yellow spider's web, and he took the bird out alive and brought 
it on board the ship to be preserved. 

The Banda Group, September 2 9th to October 2nd, 18*74. 

Prom the Ke Islands the ship proceeded to the Banda Group, 
famed for its nutmegs. On the voyage, which consumed three 
days, a small island named Bird Island was passed, from which 
at one spot smoke was issuing from amongst rocks covered with 
a white incrustation. The smoke was evidently a volcanic 
fumerole. 

Banda Island was reached on September 29th. The ship 
anchored in a harbour, shut in by three surrounding islands. 
On one of these was the town, the old fort built by the Portu- 
guese, and the residences of the Dutch Officials. Another 
island is the small active volcano of the group called Gunong 
Api (mountain fire) ; the Malay equivalent of the word volcano. 
On the third island (Great Banda) are the principal nutmeg 
plantations. I accompanied a party which ascended the vol- 
cano, which is 1,910 feet in altitude only. It appears to be 
very seldom climbed, either by Dutch residents or natives. 
The mountain is a steep simple cone. The ascent was made on 
the east side. The cone is covered with bushes up to within about 
700 or 800 feet of the summit, and with the help of these climb- 

* " Journal of Researches," p. 36. 



THE BAXDA GROUP. ;;,S:; 

ing is easy though arduous. Above the limit of the hushes there 
are steep slopes of loose stones, wearying to climb and constantly 
falling. Above these, again, the surface of the cone is hard, the 
fine ashes and lava fragments of which it is composed, bein^ 
cemented together so as to form a hard crust. This is roughened 
by the projection of fragments, but still smooth enough to require 
some care in the placing of the feet to men wearing boots. The 
Malay guides with naked feet stood with ease upon it anywhere. 

The inclination of the slope is about 33° ; and to a man who 
easily becomes giddy no doubt would be rather formidable in 
descent. An American traveller, who had probably never been 
up any other mountain before he ascended the Banda Volcano, 
has written a most appalling account of the danger which he 
encountered in descending. To a man with an ordinarily good 
head there are no difficulties in the ascent or descent. 

At the summit the fragments of basaltic rock were under- 
going slow decomposition under the action of heated vapours 
issuing in all directions from amongst them, and were softened 
and turned white, like chalk. Any of these fragments when 
broken showed part of their mass still black and unaltered, 
and the remainder white ; the decomposition not having reached 
as yet through the whole. 

Jets of hot steam issued in many places from fissures. Around 
the mouths of these were growing gelatinous masses formed 
by lowly organized algae closely similar in appearance to those 
found growing around the mouths of hot springs in the Azores.* 
Here, however, there was no water issuing, the only moisture 
being supplied by the condensation of the steam. There was 
no accumulation of water, but drops of moisture hung on the 
sides of the fissures. 

In some places the gelatinous algse, and a white mineral 
incrustation, formed alternate layers coating the mouths of the 
fissures. The steam on issuing within the fissure had a tem- 
perature of 250° F. ; and where the crust of algas was flourishing 
the thermometer showed 140° F. The steam had a strongly 
acid and sulphurous smell. 

On the summit of the mountain, where the ground is cool, a 

* See page 36. 



384 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER 



)> 



Fern, a Sedge, and a Melastomaceous Plant grow. Besides these, 
I found another flowering plant, growing in a crack in the midst 
of a strongly snlphureons smoke which issued constantly from it. 
The thermometer when laid on the surface of the ground where 
this plant was growing showed a temperature of 100° Y. ; and at 
a depth of one and a half feet below it the soil about the fissure 
had a temperature of 220° F. 

At the summit of the mountain were numerous flying insects 
of various kinds, although there was nothing for them to feed 
upon, and large numbers of them lay dead in the cracks, killed 
by the poisonous volcanic vapours. So numerous were they 
that the Swallows had come up to the top of the mountain 
to feed on them. 

I noticed similarly large numbers of insects at the summit 
of the volcano of Ternate, at an altitude of more than 5,000 feet. 
Insects are commonly to be seen being carried along before the 
wind in successive efforts of flight. No doubt they are blown 
up to the tops of these mountains, having towards the summits 
no vegetation to hold on to. The winds pressing against the 
mountains form currents up their slopes; and in the case of 
volcanos, which are heated at the summits, no doubt there is 
a constant upward draught towards their tops, caused by the 
ascending column of hot air. 

I dwell on the accumulation of insects at the tops of these 
mountains, because when blown off into the free air from these 
great elevations by heavy winds, as no doubt they often are, the 
insects are likely to fly and drift before the wind to very long 
distances, and thus be aided in colonizing far-off islands. 

I found the skull of an Opossum (the Woolly Phalanger, 
Cuscus) on the mountain. The animal is common in the Banda 
Group. It occurs also in the Moluccas and elsewhere. Its 
occurrence on the Banda Islands seems most easily accounted 
for on the supposition that it escaped from confinement, having 
been brought to the islands at some time by Malay voyagers. 
Malays seem fond of keeping wild animals in confinement. 
or taming them. There were several such pet animals about the 
houses at Dobbo, at the time of our visit. 

At the base of the Banda Volcano, on the shores of the 



AMBOIXA. 385 

island, a belt of living corals composed of a considerable 
variety of species is easily accessible at low tide. Of these 
corals the largest bulk is composed of massive Astrceids, of 
which about ten different forms were collected. A massive 
Forties is also very abundant. 

One species of "Brain Coral," and an Astrcea, form hu^e 
masses, often as much as five feet in diameter, which have 
their bases attached to the bare basaltic rock of the shore. 
The tops of all of these coral masses are dead and flat and some- 
what decayed : but on these dead tops fresh growth is now taking 
place, showing that slight oscillations in the level of the shore of 
a foot at least have taken place recently. The tops of the corals 
have been certainly killed by being left exposed above water. 

Such slight oscillations are to be expected at the base of an 
active volcano. The present re-growth is due to the corals 
being now again submerged. The fact that these corals are 
to be seen growing on the bare rock itself, and not on cUbris 
of older corals, shows that the coral growth is very recent. 

The Brain Coral grows in convex, mostly hemispherical, 
masses ; the Astrcea more in the form of vertically standing 
cylindrical masses, or masses which may be described as made 
up of a number of cylinders fused together. The masses of the 
Astrcea are usually higher than those of the Mceandrina by about 
a foot, because they are able to grow in shallower water, and 
they thus range also higher up on the beach. 

Many of the masses of this Astrcea in the shallower water 
are left dry at each low-tide, and appear to suffer no more in 
consequence than do the common Sea-anemones of our English 
coasts, which are so closely allied to them. T have not seen 
any other species of coral thus growing where it is exposed at 
low tide. The " Brain Coral " apparently cannot survive ex- 
posure, and hence the tops of its masses have been killed during 
the change of depth of the water at about a foot below the height 
at which those of the Astrcea have perished. 

The common Mushroom Coral, so often to be seen as a chim- 
ney ornament in England (Fungia sp.), is most extraordinarily 
abundant on the shore, at a depth of one or two feet at low 
water, and with it an allied larger, similarly free-growing coral 

c c 



386 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

{Herpetolitha Umax). The Mushroom corals cover the bottom in 
places in such large quantities, that a cart-load of them might be 
picked up in a very short time ; I have nowhere seen them so 
common. 

I visited one of the Nutmeg Plantations in Great Banda. 
The nutmeg is the kernel of a fruit very like a peach in appear- 
ance and which makes an excellent sweetmeat when preserved 
in sugar. The owner of the plantation, a very wealthy Malay 
native of Banda, told me that about one male tree to every 
fifty females was planted on the estate ; he had a superstition 
that if a nutmeg seed was planted with its flatter side upper- 
most, it would be more likely to produce a male seedling. 

Formerly, before the Dutch Government renounced its mono- 
poly of the growth of nutmegs in the Moluccas, the trees were 
strictly and most jealously confined to the Island of Great 
Banda. The utmost care was taken that no seeds fit for ger- 
mination should be carried away from the island, for fear of 
rival plantations being formed elsewhere ; seeds were, however, 
often smuggled out. 

The Government destroyed the Nutmeg trees on all the 
other islands of the group. It was, however, found necessary to 
send a Commission every year to uproot the young nutmeg 
trees sown on these islands by the Fruit-Pigeons, called Nut- 
crackers by the Dutch residents {Garpophaga concinna). 

The various Fruit-Pigeons must have played a most im- 
portant part in the dissemination of plants, and especially trees, 
over the wide region inhabited by them. Sir Charles Lyell,* 
referring to the transportation of seeds by the agency of birds, 
noted especially this transportation effected by pigeons, and 
quotes Captain Cook's Voyages to the effect that at Tanna 
" Mr. Foster shot a pigeon," (obviously a Garpophaga), in whose 
craw was a wild nutmeg. t 

At the Admiralty Islands very large numbers of a Fruit- 
Pigeon (CarpopJiaga rhodinolosma), were shot by the officers of 
the "Challenger/' Their crops were full of fruits of various 
kinds, all of winch I had failed to find, or reach in the growing 

* " Principles of Geology," 10th Edition, Vol. II, p. 69. 

t " Cook's Second Voyage," Vol. II, p. 69. London, Strachan, 1777. 



AMBOINA. 387 

condition in my botanical expeditions. Amongst these fruits 
were abundance of wild nutmegs, and wild coffee-berries ; many 
of the fruits were entirely uninjured, and the seeds quite fit for 
germination. 

No doubt, when frightened or wounded by accident, the 
pigeons eject the whole fruits, and they habitually eject the hard 
kernels, as I saw quantities of them lying about under the trees 
on a small island at the Admiralty Islands, on which the birds 
roost in vast numbers. 

As soon as ever a few littoral trees, such as Barringtonia and 
Calophyllwn inophyllum, have established themselves by means 
of their drifting seeds on a freshly dry coral islet, the Fruit- 
Pigeons alight in the branches in their flight from place to place, 
and drop the seeds of all kinds of other trees with succulent fruits. 
I have seen the pigeons thus resting on two or three small littoral 
trees, which as yet form almost the only vegetation of Observatory 
Island, a very small islet in Nares Bay, Admiralty Islands. 

Hearing the sound of music in the native district of the 
town of Banda one evening, I made my way towards a house 
from which it came, in the hopes of seeing a Malay dance. 
Instead of this I found Malays indeed dancing, but to my dis- 
appointment, they were dancing the European waltz. 

I saw a Mahommedan's dancing-party in one of the houses ; 
the performers were of course all men. The room in which 
they danced was widely open to the street, and lighted up. 
About twenty men dressed in their best sat on mats placed 
against the wall round the room, the host occupying a place at 
one end ; two members of the party rose at a time and danced. 
The movements were very slow, and frequently the two dancers 
led one another by the hand and presenting themselves to 
different sides of the assembly in turn, bowed with great cere- 
mony ; the whole reminded me somewhat of a quadrille. 

Amboina, October 5th to 10th, 1814.— On the ship anchoring 
at Amboina, it was found necessary that a salute should be fired. 
The " Challenger " being, as a surveying ship, provided with very 
few guns, was usually excused this ceremony, but it was thought 
by the Dutch authorities that the natives would not properly 
understand the arrival of a foreign man-of-war, without the usual 

cc2 



388 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

honour being paid to the Dutch flag ; so two small Armstrong 
breech-loaders were let off alternately through the bow ports. 

The old Dutch saluting guns on the fort seemed to return 
the unpleasant noisy compliment with some difficulty, and one 
of them leapt off the parapet into the ditch, in the excitement of 
unwonted exercise. It is to be hoped, that before long the 
intolerable nuisance of saluting will be done away with ; it is 
most astonishing that civilized persons can be so much the 
slaves of habit, as to make a painful noise of this kind when 
necessity does not require it ; everyone concerned dislikes the 
noise, and there is a great waste of material. 

The custom, however, shows signs of dying out, for it has 
reached already to some extent a rudimentary condition. In 
large war- vessels, the actual fighting guns are considered too big 
to be played with in this manner, and a special saluting battery 
of small old pattern guns, useless for any other purpose, is kept 
mounted on the forecastle for the sole sake of making this 
hideous noise. 

I have read of a case in which in a small out-of-the-way 
European colony, the governor had to send on board a foreign 
man-of-war which had arrived in his port to beg for powder to 
return the customary salute. We may, however, congratulate 
ourselves that matters might be worse ; there are some unfor- 
tunate races, the members of which have to spend their money 
in powder and let it off, on all occasions of petty private 
domestic rejoicing. 

The coral banks, though abundant, were not so easily acces- 
sible at Amboina as at Bancla, being in deeper water, and 
specimens of most of the species could only be procured by deep 
wading and diving. After diving for corals in a depth of about 
ten to twelve feet, I found my eyes very sore for some hours 
afterwards. I believe that this soreness was most probably 
produced by the stinging organs of the corals ; all corals are 
provided with urticating organs. The stinging produced by the 
Hydroid corals of the genus Millepora was long ago noted by 
Darwin and others.* In the West Indies the coral is sometimes 
called sea-ginger. 

* " Journal of Kesearches," p. 464. 



AMBOINA. 389 

In the case of most Anthozoan corals, the stinging organs are 
not powerful enough to make themselves felt through the skin of 
the hands, but I have often felt my hands tingle after having been 
employed in collecting corals, other than Millepora, on the reefs. 

In diving, the face and open eyes are brought close to the 
corals at the moment that these are grasped and irritated, and it 
seems possible that the eyes might become seriously inflamed 
' and injured by the action on them of the nettle-cells. I mention 
the circumstance as a warning to collectors ; where Mille- 
porids are present, great care should certainly be exercised. 

On the shore of the harbour of Amboina, coral reef rock occurs 
raised many hundred feet above sea level, forming a steep hill- 
slope. At the summit of the ridges so formed the rock stands 
out here and there, weathered into fantastic pinnacles, with sur- 
faces honeycombed by the action of rain, just as at Bermuda.* 

Some of the smaller trees growing on these ridges are 
covered with the curious epiphytes, Myrmecodia armata and 
Hydnopliytiim formicaum ; these are plants belonging to the 
natural order Cinclwnacece. Both plants are associated in their 
growth with certain species of ants ; as soon as the young 
plants develop a stem, the ants gnaw at the base of this and 
the irritation produced causes the stem to swell ; the ants con- 
tinuing to irritate and excavate the swelling, it assumes a 
globular form, and may become larger than a man's head. 

The globular mass contains within a labyrinth of chambers 
and passages, which are occupied by the ants as their nest. The 
walls of these chambers and the whole mass of the inflated 
stem, retain their vitality and thrive, continuing to increase in 
size with growth. From the surface of the rounded mass are 
given off small twigs, bearing the leaves and flowers. 

It appears that this curious gall-like tumour on the stem 
has become a normal condition of the plants, which cannot 
thrive without the ants. In Myrmecodia armata the globular 
mass is covered with spine-like excrescences. The trees I 
referred to at Amboina, had these curious spine-covered masses 
perched in every fork, and with them also the smooth surfaced 
masses of a species of Hydnophytwm,. 

* See pages 21, 78, and 83. 



o 



90 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 



Numerous dealers brought trays of the shells for which 
Amboina is famous to the ship, but the prices asked are so high, 
that it would probably pay to bring some of the shells back 
again from Europe to Amboina for sale to passing visitors. 
Cassowaries' eggs were also offered for sale, and large quantities 
of Deers'-horns {Rasa molaccensis). 

The Deer are very abundant in Amboina. I accompanied a 
party which went in pursuit of them. We had a letter to a 
native head-man in one of the villages on the shores of the inlet 
in which the harbour lies. The head-man treated us hospit- 
ably, and collected about a dozen beaters. The Deer were 
lying down concealed on a plain of some extent close to the shore, 
covered with tall grass in some places up to our middles, and 
skirted by bushes. 

We saw a Stag and two Hinds make off out of range, as 
we made our way along the edge of the tall grass. The men 
beat the bushes at the edges of the grass, and at last drove a 
Hind out of one clump to the guns, and it was shot. The 
numerous tracks in the grass showed that plenty of deer must 
come there to feed. 

Ternate Island, October 14th to 11th, 18*4. — The island of 
•Ternate is an active volcanic cone rising direct out of the sea to 
a height, according to " Challenger " observations, of 5,600 feet. 
My small aneroid indicated the height as somewhat less, but 
was no doubt in error. The island, which belongs to the Dutch, 
lies almost exactly on the equator. Separated from it by a nar- 
row strait is the somewhat similar cone of Tidore. The lower 
slopes are planted with nutmegs, cloves, pepper, cocoa trees, 
and a profusion of fruits. 

The mountain is unquiet, and there were said to occur on an 
average three or four earthquakes every week ; I had great 
hopes that I should have an opportunity of feeling one, but was 
disappointed. The Dutch keep up a Government staff at the 
island, very much to the benefit and happiness of the people, 
but I believe at a considerable financial loss. 

The Governor or Resident of the island at the time of the 
visit of the " Challenger," was an accomplished naturalist, S. C. 
J. W. van Musschenbroek ; he received the Expedition with the 



TERXATK. 391 

greatest kindness and hospitality, and even got up a ball on 
the shortest notice. The musicians were Malays, who were 
indefatigable, but knew only one tune. 

The Resident presented a fine collection of Snakes and Corals 
to the Expedition, and gave the greatest assistance and informa- 
tion on all natural-history matters. There are a large number 
of Chinese in the population of the island, and the Captain China, 
or head of the Chinese under the Dutch, according to their 
well-known method of Government in East Indian Colonies, was 
one of the notables present at the ball. 

The Chinese have been for hundreds of years in the island, 
and I was astonished to learn that some of them have, in the 
course of generations, entirely lost the knowledge of their own 
language, and now speak only Malay. I was told that it was 
even possible that the Captain China himself might be in this 
condition. I had thought this quite impossible in so strongly 
conservative a people, and indeed had not realized the fact that 
numerous generations of Chinese are born, die, and are buried in 
these islands under Dutch rule. 

At Amboina, the large and costly tombs of the Chinese form 
a feature in the landscape on the hill-sides * and there is a large 
Chinese graveyard at Ternate, with many tombs of great age. 
I had fancied that all dead Chinese were carried to China to be 
buried, at all events if rich. The English seem to be the only 
civilized migratory people who never lose their language. 

Instances of such loss by all other European races are to be 
found in the United States. 

Malay collectors are sent every year to New Guinea from 
Ternate, to collect Birds of Paradise and other Birds, and a 
regular trade with New Guinea is carried on from this port. 
The Malay collectors are some of them extremely expert in pre- 
paring and preserving bird-skins. They mount them with a small 
stick stuck into the tow stuffing, and protruding at the tail The 
skin is handled by the stick, and thus the bird's feathers are 
prevented from being injured. 

* Similarly at Timor, the costly Chinese tombs at which island are 
figured in Perou and Leseur's " Voyage," published 1807. 



392 A NATURALIST ON THE ''CHALLENGER.' 

There are several Mahommedan dealers in bird-skins in the 
town of Ternate. A Papuan Bird of Paradise (Paradisea 
Papuana), well skinned, cost about eight shillings, and I gave 
fourteen shillings for a well-skinned Eed Bird of Paradise 
(P. rubra). Skins of various Paradise Birds, prepared flat, and 
dried in the old native style, were common and cheap enough. 
Amongst these skins were a large quantity of what I believe was 
the very rare Black and Scarlet-coloured Parrot (D. pequetti). 
These birds could hardly have been killed and thus prepared 
for sale, as ornaments, like the batch they were amongst ; but 
they were unfortunately of no good as natural-history specimens 
in their mangled condition. 

As I wished to ascend the Peak of Ternate in search of 
plants, the Eesident provided four Malay guides for the purpose. 
I started with Lieutenant Balfour. We passed a night at the 
house of one of the Government officials, who kindly offered us 
hospitality, at an altitude of about 1,000 feet. Leaving the house 
at 4.30 A.M. on the following morning, we commenced the climb 
through a field of sugar-cane. The path led nearly straight up 
the cone all the way, and was excessively steep, and the ground 
was very slippery from a heavy fall of rain the night before. 

It was pitch-dark for the first hour, and we slipped and fell 
constantly. At an altitude of about 2,000 feet above sea level, the 
last cleared and cultivated land, a rice-field, was passed. On the 
border of the field grew several of the Saguir palms (Arenga 
saccharifera), which are abundant in the gardens at sea level. 
An intoxicating drink is made from the juice of this palm, and 
like many other palms it yields sugar. 

Above the rice-fields, woods were entered at about daylight, 
and these extend up to an altitude of about 4,150 feet. Jack- 
fruit and a Wild Plantain were observed to grow up to a height 
of about 2,600 feet. In the woods was a small hut, used by men 
who come up to hunt the deer, which are abundant on the 
mountains. On a tree close to the hut was cut the name of 
Miklucho Maclay, the well-known explorer of New Guinea. 

Prom the verge of the woods, at 4,150 feet altitude, for about 
750 feet further ascent, a dense growth of tall reeds was tra- 
versed. At this height (4,800 feet above sea level), a ridge was 



TERXATE. 393 

reached from which a descent of about 100 feet was made into 
an outer ancient crater, corresponding to the Canadas of the 
Peak of Teneriffe. 

There are two such outer ancient craters at the summit of 
the Peak of Ternate, and the ridges forming the old borders of 
these craters and the outer portions of the bottoms of the craters 
themselves are traversed in succession on the way to the ter- 
minal modern cone of eruption which stands in the inner of the 
two. 

The outer and oldest of the craters is a wild-looking place, 
inhabited by numerous wild pigs and deer. It is covered with 
a growth of bushes and a small tree fern, and four other species 
of ferns,* and with these grows a Club-moss (Zycopodium), and 
a Whortleberry ( Vaccinium). The shrubs were apparently of 
only two species, and the flora seemed a very poor one in number 
of species. 

The second ridge, marking the summit of the inner extinct 
crater, is about 50 feet higher than the outer one. Within this 
inner crater there is scarcely any vegetation, a few scattered 
blades of grass only. Here was met with a large mass of lava, 
evidently recently ejected from the active crater, and hurled to 
this distance. The mass had a smooth reddened surface, and 
was deeply split all over by cracks formed evidently by con- 
traction on cooling. 

The terminal cone itself is entirely devoid of vegetation. 
The cavity of the inner extinct crater from which it rises is 
filled up, except at its margin, by the results of later eruptions. 
Hence the base of the terminal cone lies about 60 feet above the 
level of the margin of this crater, and is approached by a gentle 
ascent. 

The cone itself rises steeply and suddenly, with a slope of 
30°, and is about 350 feet in height. The guides had hesitated 
somewhat when we ascended the slope leading out of the first 
extinct crater, and had done their best to persuade us not to go any 
farther, telling us it that was dangerous to proceed. They lagged 

* Gleichenia dichotomy Pteris incisa, Polypodium phlebiscopum. 
J. G. Baker, F.E.S., "On the Polynesian Ferns of the 'Challenger' 
Expedition." Journ. of Linn. Soc, Bot., Vol. XII. p. 104. 



394 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

behind as we approached the terminal cone, and as soon as we began 
to climb it, turned round and ran back as fast as they could go. 

We were told afterwards that they have strong superstitious 
fears concerning the volcano, and believe that if anyone climbs 
the terminal cone, a terrible eruption and earthquake are certain 
to ensue. It appeared as if there might be some real risk in the 
ascent. The cone is not composed of ashes, but of masses of 
basaltic lava of various sizes; all of these on the surface 
appeared freshly fractured and split, as if quite recently thrown 
out of the crater, and broken up on cooling. 

At the summit, a slope of 30°, exactly the same as that of 
the outside of the cone, the natural slope no doubt of the lava 
fragments, leads down into the crater, from a sharp ridge, along 
which we walked. A dense smoke rose from the interior of the 
crater, and hid its form and extent entirely from view. 

The wind was easterly (E. by 1ST.), and drove the smoke 
away from the side of the crater on which we were. The smoke 
is excessively suffocating, and a sudden shift in the wind might 
be fatal to anyone who was a short way down within the crater, 
or even at some places on its margin. It would not be easy to 
get down it in some places, at all events in a hurry. It was 
only possible to descend about 20 yards into the crater, and 
even then the vapours inhaled were very trying. Steam and 
acid vapours issued from cracks everywhere, decomposing the 
lava amongst which they passed. In most of the cracks were 
small quantities of sulphur. 

From the margin of the crater overlooking the town of 
Ternate there was a magnificent view, embracing the island of 
Halmaliera (Gilolo), which lay spread as a map beneath us, and 
the peak of Tidore, and many far-distant islands. Our guides 
rejoined us when we came down to the outer crater. 

For the benefit of any future explorers of the Peak, which is 
very seldom ascended, I give the time required for the ascent. 
We left the house at 1,000 feet altitude at 4.30 A.M., reached the 
margin of the outer crater at 8.30 a.m., and the summit at 
9.30 A.M. The temperature of the air at an altitude of 4,800 
feet was 71° F. at 8.30 A.M. At the summit of the mountain it 
was 68°-5 F. at 9.30 a.m. 



.395 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. 

Zaniboanga, Mindonao Island. Paddy Fields and Buffaloes. The Lutaos 
and their Pile-Dwellings. Pile-Dwellings on Dry Land. The Ground 
Floor, a Late Addition to the First Story. Wide Distribution of 
Pile-Dwellings. Their Possible Origin. Dances Performed by the 
Lutaos. Bamboo Jew's Harp. Lutao Canoe and Weapons. Search 
for Birgus Latro. Birds' Eggs hatched in the Sea Sand. Alcyonarian 
Corals. Basilan Island. Cart-wheels cut from Living Planks. 
Galeopithecus and Flying Lizard. Cebu Island. Mode of Dredging 
up Euplectella. Mactan Island, Eaised Reef. Large Cerianthus. 
Trachytic Volcano at Camiguin Island. Temperature at which 
Plants can Grow in Hot Mineral Water. Manila-Hemp Planta- 
tions. Manila. Shirt Worn over Trousers. Clothes Original lv 
Ornamental only. Half-hatched Ducks' Eggs Eaten. Cock Fighting. 
Sale of Indulgences. 

Philippine Islands, October 24th to November 12th, 1814, 
January nth to February 5th, 1815. — The ship arrived on October 
24th, 1874, at the town of Zaniboanga, which lies at the ex- 
tremity of a long promontory projecting from the west side of 
the large island of Mindanao, the southernmost of the Philippine 
group. A small area at the tip of this promontory belongs to 
Spain ; a wide tract behind it belonging to Portugal ; whilst the 
entire island of Mindonao is about half of it Portuguese, and 
half Spanish. The ship paid a second visit to Zaniboanga on 
the return journey southwards, from January 29th to February 
5th, 1875. 

On landing at Zamboanga I was immediately reminded that we 
were nearing India, and scenes in Ceylon were recalled at once 
to my memory. Swampy paddy fields stretched everywhere 
round the town with plenty of snipe in them, and the domestic 
buffaloes Jay about wallowing in mud pools and throwing water 
over their backs with their scoop-like ears. In one pool, several 
native women were bathing in company with the buffaloes. 



396 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

Especially interesting in the Philippines are the various 
stages in development and modification of pile-dwellings. All 
the native buildings are pile-dwellings or modifications of them, 
and some of the better houses, built under European influence, 
are evidently copied directly from the same models. 

Pile-dwellings are first invented as an expedient for raising 
houses in the water for protection ; but when the race which for 
generations has thus dwelt surrounded by water takes to living 
on dry land, actuated somewhat no doubt by sanitary consider- 
ations, it follows the ancient pattern of architecture with slavish 
exactness, and only by gradually introduced modifications of that 
plan, arrives at last at a house supported directly on the grouDd. 

At Zamboanga and at the neighbouring island of Basilan, 
which we also visited, are settlements of a considerable number 
of a race called by the Spanish " Moros " {i.e., Mahommedans), 
who keep themselves strictly apart from the Bisayan and other 
Malay races, amongst which they here dwell. The Moros at 
Basilan still build their pile-dwellings out in the sea, so that 
they can only be approached by boats. At Zamboanga, however, 
where the Moros seem somewhat more tamed by Spanish influ- 
ence, they have so far come on shore with their houses, that 
these are built in a row along the beach, and at low tide are not 
entirely surrounded with water, whilst the shore can always be 
reached from them by means of a plank. The main inhabitants 
of the Philippines, in the course of successive generations, have 
taken their houses altogether on shore, except where here and 
there there are houses in swampy ground, which form a sort of 
gradation between the two conditions. 

The Moros or " Lutaos " are said to have settled in Minclonao 
in the seventeenth century, and to have considered themselves 
until quite recently, as subjects of the Sultan of Ternate* They 
are a fierce and warlike race, pirates by profession at all events 
not lono- a^o at Basilan and Mindonao, and still so at the Sulu 
Islands. They seem but half subjected to the Spanish rule.f The 

* Dr. Th. Waitz, " Anthropologic der Naturvolker," 5 te Th. l tes Hft. 
Die Malaien, Leipzig, 1865, s. 56. 

t Since the above was written, the Sulu Islanders have during this 
year, 1878, submitted to Spanish rule on receipt of a sum of money. • An 



THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. 



397 



men are short and broad-shouldered, with powerful chests and 
thick-set bodies, and extremely active. Their features are of 
the Malay type, but peculiar. Their eyes are remarkably bright 
Their colour is light yellowish brown. They have often a slight 
beard and moustache. They wear bright-coloured shirts and 
rather tight-fitting trousers, buttoned close round the leg at the 
ankle. The Moro women are short and small, and delicate- 
limbed, most of them very handsome when young ; many of 
them are very light-coloured in complexion ; their eyes, like the 
men's, being extremely bright. They are fond of bright yellows 
and reds in their dress, and are very fully clad. The men are armed 
with circular shields and spears, and also used formerly at least 
suits of armour made of plates of buffalo horn, linked together 
with wire, which are very rare objects in Ethnological Museums. 
At Basilan Island, at Port Isabella, the Moros houses are 




PILE-DWELLINGS OF LUTA03 AT ZAMBOANGA. 



constructed on piles in a small lagoon-like offset of the channel 
between this island and the small outlying island of Malamaui. 
The houses are entirely isolated by the water. They stand 
together, and a wide rickety platform connects many of them 
with one another.* At Zamboanga, the Moros houses are also 
agreement has been signed at Manila, between the Sultan of Sulu and the 
Spanish Government. 

* For an Account of the inhabitants of the Sulu Islands, the same race 



398 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

built in a group. The main house in each case is usually sup- 
ported on three rows of piles ; but various additions and out- 
buildings are supported on irregularly added piles. There is 
always a platform before the entrance, and sometimes one for 
canoes behind. It was odd to see a horse left tied by his Moro 
owner to the door-post, standing up to his belly in the water, 
through the rising of the tide. 

The houses of the other native inhabitants throughout the 
towns of Zamboanga and Ilo Ilo are mostly of closely similar pat- 
tern. They stand in like manner on piles, though on dry ground, 
and have a platform usually at one end. This is reached by a 
short steep ladder, with widely separated and irregular rounds, 
up which the house-dogs, from practice, run as nimbly and 
easily as the children and their mothers. The platforms are 
now used for drying clothes upon, and such purposes. 

The first process of modification of the pile-dwelling gone 
on shore, is the putting up of a fence of palm leaves in the 
lower part of the spaces between the piles supporting the house. 
A pen is thus formed in which pigs or other animals are kept. 
Then well-made mats or reed walls are put up, entirely enclosing 
the space between the piles, with a regular door for entrance, 
and the place becomes a convenient store-house. As a further 
stage, boards are nailed between the piles, and a secure chamber 
is obtained. 

A further step again, is the adoption of stone pillars for the 
wooden piles. Wooden houses thus supported on stone repre- 
sentatives of piles, may often be seen with an iron railing, pass- 
ing from pillar to pillar beneath, and in this way forming an 
enclosure. From stone pillars the step is easy to arches, sup- 
ported on pillars of masonry as a substructure, and some houses 
of business, although their upper structures have ceased to be 
wooden, and are built of more solid materials, are still to be 
seen amongst the rest, supported thus on the descendants of piles. 

In the last stage the arches are discarded, and continuous 
walls of masonry substituted as a support to the wooden super- 

as the Moros, with descriptions and figures of their houses, see Wilkes' 
" Narrative of the U.S. Exploring Expedition," Vol. V, Ch. IX. New 
York, 1856. 



THE PHILIPHNE ISLANDS. ;;99 

structure. Even then the ground-floor is often still used only 
as a store-house or piggery, "but in many cases is regularly 
occupied. 

Thus in these houses, what would seem almost an impos- 
sibility is nevertheless the fact. The ground-floor is an addition 
to the first story, which latter is older than it, and preceded it. 
The verandah is the representative of the platform originally 
intended for the inhabitants to land on from canoes. 

I watched the building of one house, which when finished 
looked perfectly two-storied, the lower part being neatly boarded 
in, and provided with a door and windows. Nevertheless, in 
the construction of the house, the history of its development 
was exactly recapitulated, just as is the case familiarly in 
natural history. The roof and first story were built first 
complete upon the piles, and the lower structure added in 
afterwards. 

I could not help being struck by the remarkable resem- 
blances of many of these Malay houses to Swiss chalets. In the 
chalet the basement enclosed with stone walls is usually only a 
cattle-stall, the first story is the dwelling-house, and as in the 
Malay building, is constructed of wood. It seems possible that 
the chalet is the ancient lake-dwelling gone on shore, like the 
Malay pile-dwelling, and that the substructure of masonry 
represents the piles which formerly supported the inhabited 
portion of the house. There are similar balconies in the chalets 
representing possibly the platforms. A good deal of the carving 
of balconies, and some of the staircases, in the better constructed 
wooden houses in Ilo Ilo, reminded me very much of that of 
the same structures in chalets, though the resemblance in this 
case is accidental. 

The most interesting feature about pile-dwellings seems to be 
their very wide geographical extension. Eepresentatives of 
almost all races of man seem to have arrived at the same 
expedient, apparently not by any means a simple one, indepen- 
dently of one another. There are the well-known Pfhalbauten 
of Switzerland, in South America the similar houses of the 
Cuajiro Indians, on the Gulf of Maracaibo. In North America 
the Haidahs on the north-west coast construct similar habi- 



400 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

tations. Commander Cameron lately observed similar dwellings 
in Lake Mohrya, in Central Africa.* In New Zealand, the 
Lake Pas, which were mostly used as store-houses, are known 
from the Eev. Eichard Taylor's description^ In this case, piles 
were driven into the bottom of the lake, and the interstices 
filled in with stones and mud, so as to form a platform. 

There are the well-known New Guinea pile-dwellings, such 
as seen by us at Humboldt Bay, and there are also the pile- 
dwellings of all the Malay races. The Gilbert Islanders con- 
struct also houses raised on piles, and a number of these natives 
from the island of Arorai, who were taken to Tahiti, to serve as 
labourers on cotton estates, have put up houses of this kind for 
themselves in the latter islands, amongst the very different 
dwellings of the Tahitians themselves. 

It seems probable that the idea of a pile dwelling has in 
many cases arisen from the escape of natives from enemies by 
getting into a canoe or raft, and putting off from shore into a 
lake or the sea, out of harm's way. If the attacked had to stay 
on such a raft or canoe for some time, they would anchor it in 
shallow water with one or more poles, as the Fijians do with 
their canoes on rivers, and hence might easily be derived the 
idea of a platform supported on piles. 

The officers of a Spanish man-of-war in the port of Zam- 
boanga at the time of our visit, hospitably gave us an enter- 
tainment on shore, and got the Moros to dance for our amuse- 
ment. Two men danced with spears and shields, in imitation of 
a combat, in which the utmost rage was simulated on both sides ; 
the teeth were clenched and exposed, the head jerked forward, 
and the eyes starting as they advanced to the attack. The dance 
of the women was like that described as performed by the 
Ke Islanders. The body was kept nearly rigid, and turned round 
slowly or moved a short distance from side to side by motion 
of the feet alone. The feet were kept close together, and side by 
side, and moved parallel to one another with a shuffling motion. 

* S. L. Cameron, Coram. K.N.," Across Africa," Vol. II., p. 65. London, 
1872. 

t Rev. Eichard Taylor, F.L.S., "On the New Zealand Lake Pas." 
Trans. N. Zealand Inst., Vol. V, 1872, p. 101. 



THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. 



401 




The principal display in the dancing consisted in the very 
slow and gradual movement of the arms, wrists, and hands. 
One arm was maintained directed forwards and 
somewhat upwards, the other at about the same 
angle downwards, and the position of the two 
was at intervals gradually reversed; the hands 
were turned slowly round upon the wrists, and 
often the dancing consisted for some interval 
merely in the graceful pose of the body, and tins 
movement of the hands. 

The main point in the dancing seemed to 
be that all the motions should follow and pass 
one into the other with perfect gradation in 
time, and without any jerk or quickening. The 
thumbs were always maintained extended at 
right angles to the palms of the hands, as at 
the Ke Islands. 

A young boy danced a somewhat similar 
dance to that of the girls. During his perform- 
ance, he at one time put forward one leg and 
curved the sole of his foot so that only the toe 
and heel touched the floor, and turned round 
with the foot in that position. At another time 
he shuffled along slowly with the heel of one 
foot in the hollow of the other. 

I obtained from a Moro boy a Jew's-harp 
made of bamboo, on which he was playing. 
The instrument is most ingeniously cut out of 
a single splinter of bamboo, the vibrating tongue 
being extremely delicately shaped ; the tongue 
is cleverly weighted by means of a knob of the 
wood left projecting on its back. The instru- 
ment produces a tone indistinguishable from 
that of a metal Jew's-harp ; it is quite unlike 
Melanesian bamboo Jew's-harps in its form. 

A sharp tide runs in the channel between 
Zamboanga and the Island of Santa Cruz Major, 
which lies just opposite the town. In the tide-way, whilst 

D D 



MORO JEWS-HARP, CUT 
OCT OF A SINGLE PIECE 
OF BAMBOO. 



402 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

the water was running in either direction, a most unusual abun- 
dance and variety of surface-living oceanic animals and larvse of 
shore forms, was obtained with the towing net ; amongst these 
were Tornaria, and larvae of Bi'pnncvlids and Chiroclota. The 
place would be a most convenient and productive one to a 
working zoologist. 

The Brachiopod Lingula is so abundant in shallow water close 
to the town, that two boys gathered more than a hundred 
specimens at a single low tide at the request of Von Willemoes 
Suhm. Unfortunately the much prized " mariske " did not reach 
the " Challenger." The boy with his bottle full was met by a rival 
collector, who completed a bargain forthwith. There are rival 
collectors even at Zamboanga, and we suspected, I do not know 
whether rightly or not, that it was a natural-history collector 
from the United States who was in the neighbourhood at the 
time, who had thus been lucky enough to become possessed of 
our expected treasure. 

A King Crab (Limidus rotundicaudatus), is not uncommon 
near Zamboanga, it is called " cancreio." Yon Suhm thought 
that he had obtained a series of young larvae of Limidus amongst 
the surface animals collected by the net, but he subsequently 
came to the conclusion that he had been mistaken. At low 
tide, by wading and turning over stones, enormous Planarians of 
the genus Thysanozoon, are to be found in plenty; they are 
of a dark purple colour, and measure, some of them, as much as 
five inches in length, and two inches in breadth. 

I accompanied Von Willemoes Suhm on a visit to the 
Island of Santa Cruz Major. We sailed over in a Moro canoe 
managed by two of these natives ; the boat was armed with a 
large number of bamboo spears, simple light bamboos cut off 
slanting at one end so as to form a sharp cutting point like 
that of a quill tooth-pick in shape. A bamboo so cut is 
extremely sharp, and the spears must be formidable weapons, 
especially against a thinly clad adversary. Two or three dozens 
of these spears were placed on rests on either gunwale of the 
boat, and there were besides two round shields of a kind of 
basket-work in the boat. 

Our object in visiting Santa Cruz Major Island was to search 



THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. 40;; 

for the great Cocoanut-eating Crab (Birgus /"fro); it is called 
"Tatos" at Zamboanga, and survives in Santa Cruz Major 
because there are no Pigs in the island. Wild Pigs destroy not 
only these Crabs, but dig up Shore-crabs (Ocypoda), and Land- 
crabs from their holes. In Ceylon, near Trincomali, the wild 
swine come down every night to the beach to dig up Crabs, and 
I have seen a large tract of sandy beach which has been 
ploughed up by them in the search. The " tatos " is searched 
for and eaten as a delicacy in Zamboanga, 

We landed close to a Moro house built out into the sea, so 
as to be surrounded at high water. The inhabitants were lolling 
about in the shade, and though we offered them good pay they 
would not go a quarter of a mile to look for " tatos " for us. At 
last a boy consented to go as guide ; instead of searching for 
the Crabs under the Cocoanut trees, as I had expected, we were 
shown as the haunts of the animals hollows at the roots of 
mangrove and other trees in swampy ground, amongst the holes 
of ordinary Land Crabs, but we could not find the tatos. 

Von Suhm was anxious to investigate the development of 
the Birgus from the egg. An intelligent native at Zamboanga, 
who collected for us, said that the female Crab carries about large 
masses of eggs with it in the month of May, and retains them 
so attached until the young are developed, just like the parent; 
he said the Crabs went down to the sea occasionally to drink. 

A Mound Bird (Mecfa/poditcs), is common in the island. The 
calcareous sand amongst the bushes close to the seashore, was 
scratched and turned over in many places by these birds in 
burying their eggs. Our guide dug out half-a-dozen eggs, 
closely like hens' eggs in appearance, from one of these places. 
The eggs were buried in the clean sand, at a depth of 3J 
or 4 feet, and w T ith no mound over them, or vegetable rub- 
bish of any kind. The eggs are thus hatched by the simple 
warmth of the sand received from the sun and retained during 
the night, just in the same manner as turtles' eggs are hatched, 
indeed, turtles' e^s mi^ht have been found in the same hole. 
It was mid-day, and the surface sand was hot, far hotter than 
the sand below, where the eggs lay, which felt as well as the 
eggs distinctly cool to the touch. I had always supposed that 

D D 2 



404 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

these birds and their allies hatched their eggs by means of the 
heat derived from decayed vegetable matter. 

We shot a small Cuckoo, with a beautiful greenish golden 
metallic lustre on its feathers (Centrococcyx viridis), in the 
bushes. On the shore were inclosures built by the Moros as 
fish traps, to retain fish as the tide receded. In the shallow 
water contained in these traps were a large number of Medusce 
all lying on the tops of their umbrellas, with their tentacles 
directed upwards in full glare of the sun. They looked thus 
posed like a lot of Sea- Anemones, and I took them for such at 
first. They appeared perfectly lively, and from time to time 
contracted their umbrellas ; It appeared almost as if they had 
assumed their position voluntarily, and were waiting for food in 
the same manner as Actinias. 

Alcyonarians (social Polyps, distinguished by having eight 
tentacles), are extraordinarily abundant about the beach of Santa 
Cruz Major. The reef rocks are covered with the soft spongy 
forms of Alcyonarians ; they form extensive beds, which are 
soft and boggy to tread on in wading. Amongst these grows a 
stony coral, which is likewise Alcyonarian, as I found to my 
astonishment on examining its minute structure. It forms 
thick erect plate-like masses which are of a chocolate colour 
when living. The coral is remarkable because its hard cal- 
careous skeleton is of a bright blue colour instead of white, as 
usually the case. The coral is hence named Heliopora ccerulea. 
It is, as far as is known, the only surviving representative of a 
large number of extinct forms of Palaeozoic age, which are 
familiar in the fossil condition. It is nearly allied to the well- 
known Eed Coral of commerce.* 

Again, another interesting Alcyonarian is abundant, together 
with those just described, namely, the red Organ-Coral [Tubipora 
musica). There were cartloads of this coral, dead and dried, 
lying on the beach, which was entirely composed of various 
coral dibris. The " Organ- Coral " was not to be found living in 
shallow water on the reefs, but living specimens were dredged 
from a depth of ten fathoms. 

* H. N. Moseley, " On the Structure and Relations of the Alcyonarian 
Heliopora Ccerulea, &c." Phil. Trans. R Soc, Vol, 166, Pt. 1. 



THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. 40 



.» 



Basilan Island, Feb. 4th and 5th, 18?5. — The ship went for a 
night to Port Isabella in Basilan Island, lying west of Zam- 
boanga, to coal at the Spanish Government stores there. The 
houses of the Moros at this place have already been referred to ; 
the town was mostly in process of construction by families of 
Bisayans moved from Zamboanga, and much of it was being 
built on causeways and made ground constructed with coral 
rock on tidal mud flats ; some families newly arrived were 
camped on the sites of the houses they were building. 

Separated from Basilan Island by a narrow strait is the 
very small island of Malamaui. This island is mostly covered 
by a dense forest of lofty trees, many of which have the curious 
vertically projecting plank-like roots which are so fully de- 
scribed by Mr. Wallace in " Tropical Nature."* The natives 
cut solid wheels for their Buffalo carts directly out of these 
natural living planks ; and the large circular window-like holes 
left in the roots at the bases of the trees are curious features in 
the forest. 

I was constantly put on the alert by the rustling of what 
sounded like some large animal amongst the dead leaves, and 
expected every minute to get a shot at a deer, but at last found 
that the animal disturbing the silence of the forest was a huge 
Lizard (I believe Hydrosaums marmoratus), which bolted up 
the trees when approached and sat in a fork. The forest was 
full of these reptiles. 

I wished much to see the well-known aberrant flying In- 
sectivorous mammal, Gcdeopithecus Philipi^nsis, which, like a 
Flying Squirrel, has membranes of skin stretched between its legs 
and out on to its tail ; so that, supported on this as by a parachute, 
it skims through the air in its leaps from tree to tree with a partial 
flight. I had no interpreter, but found a Bisayan native who 
knew Spanish. I knew what " to-morrow morning early " was 
in Spanish, and also what " I want to go and shoot Galeopi- 
thecus " was in Malay. And to my great amusement I com- 
bined these two so widely different languages in a sentence 
with perfect success, " Manana por la manana saia mau purgi 

* A. E. Wallace, "Tropical Nature and other Essays," p. 31. London, 
Macmillan, 1878. 



406 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

passam kaguan." The man appeared accordingly next morning 
at daybreak and I went with him and shot the animal. 

The guide led me through the forest to some clearings belong- 
in^ to Moros here living inland. Their houses were raised on 
poles at least twelve feet above the ground. We went to one 
where the wife of the owner, a very handsome young woman, 
was sitting on the ladder with her child in her arms. Some 
few trees were standing isolated, not having been as yet felled 
in the clearing. On one of these, after much search, a Kaguan 
(Galeopithecus) was seen hanging to the shady side of the tall 
trunk. It was an object very easily seen, much more so than 
I had expected. It moved up the tree with a shambling jerky 
gait, hitching itself up apparently by a series of short springs. 
It did not seem disposed to take a flying leap, so I shot it. 
It was a female with a young one clinging to the breast. It 
was in a tree at least 40 yards distant from any other, and must 
have flown that length to reach it. I understood from my guide 
that numbers of the animals were caught when trees were cut 
down in clearing. They are especially abundant at the island 
of Bojol, north of Mindonao, and their skins were sold at Cebu, 
which lies near, at four dollars a dozen. 

Close by on some lower trees were several Flying Lizards 
(Draco volans), which similarly have a flying membrane, but in 
their case supported on extensions of the ribs. I saw the little 
lizards spring several times from tree to tree and branch to 
branch; but they pass through the air so quickly that the 
extension of their parachute is hardly noticed during the flight. 
We had several of them alive on board the ship for a day or 
two, where they flew from one leg of the table to another. It 
was curious to see two animals so widely different in structure, 
yet provided with so similar means of flight, thus occurring 
together in the same grove and even on the same tree. 

At Malanipa Island, a very small island, not far from Zam- 
boanga, natives had felled a good many large trees to make 
canoes. The suitable trees are usually at some distance from the 
water. A straight broad road is cut through the smaller wood 
direct from the large tree to the sea-shore; and the smaller 
trees are felled so as to fall across the road. On their prostrate 



THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. 



407 



trunks the canoe is hauled to the shore. The open avenues 
were extremely useful in affording an easy road into the forest 
for collecting purposes. 

Cebu Island, January 18th to 24th, 1815. — The ship Mas 

anchored for some days in the harbour of the town of Celai, in 
the island of the same name. The special interest of this place 
lay in its being the locality from which the well-known delicately 
beautiful silicious sponge, called Venus's Flower Basket {Ewplec- 
tella aspp.rgillum), was first obtained. The sponge is dredged up 
from a depth of about 100 fathoms in the channel between Cebu 
and the small island of Mactan. 

The fishermen use, to procure the sponge, a light framework, 
made of split bamboo, with two long straight strips, about eight 
feet in length, forming its front, and meeting at a wide angle to 




MACHINE USED AT CEBU TO DREDGE UP EUPLECTELLA ASPERGILLUS!. 

form a point which is dragged first in using the machine. The 
long straight strips have fish-hooks bound to them at intervals 
all along their length, the points of the hooks being directed 
towards the anole of the machine. 

The whole is very ingeniously strengthened by well-planned 
cross pieces, and is weighted with stones. It is dragged on the 
bottom by means of a light Manila hemp cord, not more than 
Jth of an inch in diameter of section, which is attached to the 
angle. A stone attached to a stick is fastened just in front of 
the angle to keep the point down on the bottom. The hooks 
creeping over the bottom and sweeping an area nearly 14 feet 
wide, catch in the upright sponges and drag their bases out from 
the mud. These sponges, once so rare and expensive, were a 



408 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

drug in the market at the time of our visit to Cebu. They were 
brought off to the ship in washing-baskets full, and sold at two 
shillings a dozen. 

Mactan Island consists of an old coral reef raised a few feet 
(eight or ten at most) above the present sea level. At one part 
of the island, where a convent stands, a low cliff fringes the shore, 
being the edge of an upper stratum of the upheaved reef, of 
which the island is composed. This raised reef is here pre- 
served, but has over the portion of the island, immediately 
fronting Cebu, been removed by denudation, with the exception 
of a few isolated pillar-like blocks, which remain, and which are 
conspicuous from the anchorage. These show that the whole 
island was once of the same height as the distant cliff. 

Opposite the town of Cebu, the island of Mactan is bordered 
by a wide belt of denuded coral flat, partly covered at high tide. 
The surface is scooped out into irregular basins and sharp 
projecting pinnacles, and covered in all directions with mud, 
resulting from the denudation. Very few living corals are to be 
found on these flats, but the flats are fringed at their seaward 
margin by small beds of living corals. 

These muddy expanses are the haunt of numerous shore 
birds. In the pools a large Sea- Anemone, of the genus Cerianthus, 
expands its tentacles in the full blaze of the sun. Cerianthus is a 
form which uses its "thread cells," which in all its widely varying 
allies are apparently only employed as offensive stinging organs, 
to construct a dwelling. The cells are shed out in enormous 
abundance, and with their protruded filaments matted together, 
form a tough leathery tube with a smooth and glistening inner 
surface, which is buried upright in the mud. 

Within this tube the Anemone lives, expanding its tentacles 
at the mouth of the tube, on a level with the surface of the mud. 
It has the power of moving itself with extreme rapidity down 
its tube, and disappears like a flash when alarmed. The species 
at Mactan Island is very large. The tube measures one foot four 
inches in length, and is very thick and heavy, though made up 
almost entirely of thread cells. The animal itself is six inches 
in length. 

This species of Cerianthus lives in shallow water in the full 



THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. 409 

heat and glare of the sun, yet another species, Cerianthust bathy- 
metricus* differing from it in hardly any particular, except that 
it is of much smaller size, inhabits the deep sea at a depth of 
three miles, in almost absolute or entire darkness, at a tempera- 
ture near freezing point, and where the water is at a pressure of 
roughly, three tons to the square inch. 

Camiguin Island, January 26th, 1815. — Camiguin Island lies 

about 80 miles to the eastward of Cebu Island. "In July 1871 
a volcanic eruption of two months' duration took place in the 
island, and threw up a hill two-thirds of a mile long, and 450 
feet in height, destroying the surrounding vegetation and village 
of Catarman."t A visit was paid to the island in order to see 
this volcano. 

The volcano, a dome-shaped mass standing on the sea-shore, 
was still red and glowing in cracks at the summit, and smoke 
was ascending from it. There appeared to be no crater, and 
Mr. Buchanan, with whom I landed, drew my attention to the 
fact that the lava of which it was composed was entirely tra- 
chytic. It recalled in form at once, some of the smaller trachytic 
domes of the Puy de Dome district, in the Auvergne, concerning 
the mode of formation of which there has been much doubt. 

The mass in this case appeared never to have had any crater. 
It rose with steep walls directly from the soil formerly covered 
with vegetation, which it had destroyed. It appeared as if the 
trachytic lava had issued from a central cavity, and boiled over 
as it were, till it set into the form of the dome. 

The ground around the crater was still almost bare of vege- 
tation, but some plants were beginning to colonize the denuded 
soil, strongly impregnated as it was with various volcanic 
chemical products. Three species of ferns, as first colonists, grew 
as isolated plants here and there : and along the courses of two 
small streams fed by hot springs, issuing from the base of the 
volcano, where the poisoned ground was constantly washed, 

* H. N. Moseley, "On New Forms of Actiniaria dredged in the Deep 
Sea." Trans. Linn. Soc, 2nd Ser,, Vol. L. p- 302. 

t " Information received from Francis G.Gray of H.M.S. 'Nassau,' 
Navigating Lieut." Hydrographic Notice, No. 8, 1872, Eyre and Spottis- 
woode. 



410 A NATUKALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

a good deal of vegetation was to be found, amongst which were 
several sedges and grasses, and a rush. 

About the mouths of cavities from which hot gases were 
slowly being exhaled, a moss was found growing in great abun- 
dance, with several lowly organised Cryptogams ; the whole 
being confined to the spot occupied by these fumeroles and 
forming green patches in the midst of the surrounding entirely 
bare rock. 

The hot streams were full of green algse, and as these streams, 
being very small, became cooler and cooler from their source 
downwards, I was able to determine the temperature at which 
the algse commenced to flourish. 

At the source of one of these streams, as it issued from 
beneath the volcano, the water had a temperature of 145 0, 2 F., 
and was thus too hot to be borne by the hand. Here there were 
no algse at all growing in the water. There were, however, small 
green patches on stones projecting out of the bed of the stream 
into the air, and also along the margins of the stream where they 
were not bathed by the hot water itself, but only soaked up the 
moisture and received the spray occasionally. 

At a distance of a few yards lower down, in a little side-pool 
fed by the stream, abundance of algse were growing, but the pool 
had a temperature of only 101 o, 5 F., though the stream which 
fed it constantly was at 122° F. 

Lower down again, algse were growing in the middle of the 
stream, in water at 113°' 5 F., and this seems thus to be the limit 
of temperature at which the particular algse gathered, will 
flourish in water impregnated with a certain amount of salts in 
solution. No doubt the amount of salts present has a limiting 
effect as well as the temperature. 

Oscillator ice, have been observed growing in water, at a much 
higher temperature, even 178° to 185° F.* The fact is interest- 
ing, as showing that green algse of some considerable complexity 
may have commenced life on the earth in its early history, before 
the water on its surface had anywhere cooled down to a tem- 
perature sufficient to be borne by the human hand, and which 

* See W. T. Thiselton Dyer, F.L.S., &c, "Proc. Linn. Soc, Bot." 
Vol. XIV. p. 327. Also pp. 36 and 383 of present work. 






THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. 41 1 

may have been strongly impregnated with various volcanic 
gases and salts. 

The upper slopes of the mountains of Camiguin Island were 
thickly wooded. The lower slopes were cleared and planted 
with Manila hemp. A Manila hemp plantation is not at all 
pleasant or easy to traverse. The large trees, a species of 
Banana (Musa texiilis) from the stems of which the fibres known 
as Manila hemp are obtained by maceration, are planted closely 
together. The plantations are full of fallen stems, which block 
the way, and are in a half decayed condition, nasty pasty masses 
which it is very unpleasant to handle and climb over, or crawl 
beneath. 

The ship stopped three days at the town of Ilo Ilo, the 
head-quarters of the manufacture of a sort of fine muslin, made 
out of the fibre of pine-apples, and which is known as " pifia." 
This fabric is highly prized by the native Malay and miscella- 
neous half-caste beauties, but apparently does not find much 
favour in Europe, because of its always having a dusky tint. A 
similar fabric is woven in some parts of India. 

Manila, November 5th to 12th, 1814, January 11th to 14th, 1815. 

— As we entered the Bay of Manila, there greeted us the cow- 
like moan of an American-built steamer, so different from the 
English whistle, and I felt at once that we had, as it were, 
turned the corner of the world in our long voyage. 

The dress of the Bisayan and Tagalese and half-caste 
men is very ludicrous. They wear an ordinary shirt without 
tucking the flaps in. The flaps hang over their trousers, 
reminding one of the Australian Black's description of a 
clergyman, as "white fellow belong Sunday, wear shirt over 
trousers." Men who are well to do wear elaborately em- 
broidered and very transparent shirts of piiia.* The shirt is the 
article of dress on which the wearer prides himself most, and 
especially is he gratified by the beauty of its front. 

The dress of the children at Ilo Ilo and Zamboanga was 
interesting. It was evidently put on them in many cases by the 

* The men similarly in Nicaragua wear their shirts over their trousers. 
See Thos. Belt, F.L.S., " The Naturalist in Nicaragua," p. 63. London, 
John Murray, 1874. 



412 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

parents as an ornament or exhibition of wealth, not in the least 
from any sense of decency. All dress has no doubt been primi- 
tively ornamental in origin, and has subsequently come to sub- 
serve the functions of increase of warmth or gratification of 
sense of decency. 

A savage begins by painting or tatooing himself for ornament. 
Then he adopts a moveable appendage, which he hangs on his 
body, and on which he puts the ornamentation which he 
formerly marked more or less indelibly on his skin. In this 
way he is able to gratify his taste for change. No doubt the 
stripes and patterns on savage dress represent often what were 
once patterns tatooed on the body. 

It is a curious fact that the transverse breast stripes and 
lateral longitudinal leg stripes worn in some European dresses of 
ceremony, though quite different in the history of their origin, 
being, I believe, hypertrophied button-holes and selvages, are 
exactly similarly disposed to those which the Australian Black 
paints on his body when he prepares for a Corroboree. 

I saw many of the native children in the Philippines playing 
in the streets, wearing gaudy shirts, which did not reach lower 
down than six inches or so below their armpits, and practically 
were nothing more than broad red or blue necklaces. 

The Manila natives indulge in a most extraordinary luxury, 
consisting of ducks' eggs which are brooded until the young are 
just beginning to be fledged, and are then boiled. It is a 
sickening sight to see these embryo ducklings swallowed at the 
roadside stalls, which are common at every street corner, piled 
high with half-hatched eggs and taking the place of our oyster 
stalls. 

The great business of life in the Philippines, of the men of 
all the various tame Malay races, the half-castes, and Chinese, is 
certainly the sport of cock-fighting. The cock-pits in every town 
are a source of revenue to the Spanish Government. Everyone 
entering them pays sixpence, and the right of collecting tolls is 
sub-let by auction, usually to speculative Chinese. Sundays 
and the numerous Eestas and Saints'-days are devoted to cock- 
fighting. 

The galleries are crowded, and the excitement is immense. 



THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. 41;; 

It would be hard to say whether the Chinese coolies, who mux- 
be seen closely packed aloft, with their legs overhanging the 
arena, are the more eager spectators, or the darker skinned 
Malays. The money bet is thrown in a heap at the feet of the 
judge, in the dust of the arena. There is plenty of gold amongst 
it, and unless a certain amount is staked, the particular fight 
arranged is not proceeded with. There are loud shouts of offers 
on one colour or another, the black cock against the red, the 
brown against the white, and so on. 

The spurs used for fighting are quite different from those 
formerly used in England, which were conical, and fastened to 
the natural spurs of the cock, or to the bases of these pared 




COCK-SPUR USED IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS FOR FIGHTING COCKS. 

down. The Philippine spurs are curved blades, like those of 
penknives, and are fastened by a steel loop over the hind toe of 
the cock, and secured by means of two prongs, which embrace 
the base of the natural spur.* Hence the bird deals Iris blow at 
the end of a longer lever. A single blow often lays the opponent 
dead. The spur blades are kept carefully covered with leather 
sheaths and as sharp as razors. If a cock runs away, as is some- 
times the case, he is counted beaten. I was told that some of 
the cocks survive three or four years, and kill twenty or thirty 
opponents. 

When not actually fighting their cocks, on the few days 
intervening between the festivals, the natives train the birds and 
teach them to fight, squatting opposite one another, and holding 
the birds by the tails, and allowing them to strike at each other 

* Similar spurs are used in Nicaragua. Thos. Belt, " The Naturalist 
in Nicaragua," p. 42. London, John Murray, 1874. 



414 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



w 



without doing injury. The Chinese shopkeepers usually keep a 
pet cock tied by a string to a peg on the path outside the door, 
and slip out and have a friendly set-to with a neighbour's cock, 
in the intervals between the arrivals of customers. 

Papal indulgences for sins, and even crimes, are still sold in 
the Philippines, by the Government, at its offices all over the 
country, at the same counters with tobacco, brandy, and lottery 
tickets, and other articles of which the Government retains the 
monopoly. The perpetual right to sell indulgences in Spain and 
its colonies, was granted to the Spanish Crown by the Pope in 
1750. In 1844-45 the Government received from this source of 
revenue upwards of £58,000.* 

* For the roost valuable and exhaustive account of the Philippine 
Island, see F. Jagor, " Eeisen in den Philippinen." Berlin, Wiedmann, 
J 873. For account of Sale of Indulgences, see s. 108. 




415 



CHAPTER XVII. 
CHIXA. NEW GUINEA. 

Hong Kong. Pigeon English. Chinese Method of writing compared 
with European Methods. Development of Chinese and Japanese 
Books from Eolls. Plants colonizing a Pagoda. Sights of Canton. 
Chinese and English Examinations, and their subjects compared. 
The Honam Monastery. Chinese Floral Decorations. A Chinese 
Dinner. Dragons' Bones and Teeth. Origin of Mythical Animals. 
Chinese Account of the Dragon. The last Dragon seen in England. 
Use of Unicorn's Horn as Medicine in Europe. Chinese and English 
Medicine compared. Chinese Accounts of the Pigmies and of 
Monkeys. English Mythical Animals. The Sea Serpent. Owls 
living with Ground Squirrel in China. Off the Talaur Islands. 
Driftwood off the Ambernoh Paver, New Guinea. Animals In- 
habiting it. Humboldt Bay. Signal Fires of the Natives. Barter- 
ing at Night. Numbers of Canoes. Belative Prices of Native Pro- 
perty. Attempts at Thieving. Modes of Expression. Mode of 
Threatening Death by Signs. Armed Boat Robbed. Villages of 
Pile-Dwellings. 

Hong Kong, November 11th, 1814, to January 6th, 1875. — The 

ship was no sooner anchored at Hong Kong, than miserable- 
looking Chinese came off in small boats, and began dredging 
round it for refuse of all kinds, carefully washing an old cabbage 
stalk or beef bone, and preserving it for food. Such boats, 
usually worked by a single old man, were at work about the 
ship during nearly the entire time of our stay in the port, a 
constant evidence of the desperate nature of the struggle for 
existence amongst the inhabitants of the country. 

We soon began to learn * Pigeon English." It is not by any 
means an easy language to learn, that is to really learn it. A 
newcomer often mauls his speech in a childish fashion, putting 
" ey " at the end of every word, and believes he is a master of 
the language. But such is not the case, Pigeon English, is a 
very definite language, as more than one book written on the 



416 A NATURALIST OX THE "CHALLENGER." 

language has shown, and unless one knows the accepted terms 
for things in it, one may be entirely at a loss to make oneself 
understood by the Chinese. 

For example, I wanted to visit a Chinese theatre in Hong- 
Kong. I tried the chair coolies with all kinds of explanations 
and equivalents of " theatre " without success. At last I stopped 
and got an old resident to explain. He simply said " singsong 
walkey," and off went the coolies to the theatre at once. As is 
well known, many of the words in Pigeon English are Portuguese 
of ancient date, comparatively few are Chinese, though the 
grammatical construction is all more or less Chinese. 

The ordinary visitor using the strange words derived from 
Portuguese usually imagines that he is employing a Chinese 
word ; but if he asks a Chinaman who can understand him well 
he will in return tell him to his astonishment that the word is 
English. The Chinaman using Portuguese thinks he is talking 
English, and the Englishman using the same thinks he is speaking 
Chinese. 

It is not only the uninstructed who misapprehend the 
words of the " Business English." I have often been amused in 
looking at a specimen of a book full of engravings of various 
Eastern deities, which is exposed amongst the manuscript trea- 
sures in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and labelled in Pigeon 
English " Pictures of various Josses." Joss is a Chinese corrup- 
tion of the Portuguese " Deos " (" God "). Most persons suppose 
it is a sort of Chinese equivalent of the word Idol. 

People going from China to Japan usually try to force 
Pigeon English into the heads of the Japanese. The Japanese 
language and its construction is of course utterly different from 
the Chinese. Hence, Pigeon English is probably more difficult 
for a Japanese to understand than English itself, and the lan- 
guage is really not current in Japan. 

I found my servant, on arrival at Japan, attempting to make 
the washerman understand a series of instructions, in what he 
rather prided himself as good Pigeon English, though it bore 
little resemblance to the real article. The Japanese could not 
understand a word, but he at once comprehended a few words of 
plain English from me. 



CHINA. 417 

The marked feature which renders Chinese and Japanese 
towns and interiors different from all others, and strikingly 
peculiar, is due to the vertical method of writing employed. 
All the flags, all the sign-posts, posters, and shop-signs, and all 
the tents decorating the walls of the interiors, all the streaks of 
bright colour in the various views, are drawn out into length 
vertically, to accommodate the characters, instead of horizon- 
tally, as with us. 

We are apt to regard the Chinese method of writing as 
utterly different from our own, because the characters express 
ideas and not sounds ; but in the use of the Arabic numerals in 
all European languages, there is an exact parallel to the Chinese 
method. The numerals 1, 2, 3, represent ideas of numbers, and 
though a Frenchman, German, and Englishman alike understand 
them when written, when reading them aloud they use different 
sounds as equivalents, and would not understand one another 
unless specially instructed. 

So it is exactly in the case of Chinese characters, only the 
system is extended to all ideas, and not confined to numerals. 
Even in having been derived originally from graphic represen- 
tations of the numbers themselves, some at least of our numerals, 
and all the Eoman numerals, correspond with Chinese characters. 

Though English words are expressed by series of letters strictly 
representing sounds, yet, nevertheless, when the resulting words 
are taken as a whole, they are read very differently by the little 
educated in the various dialects. So much so, that a book read 
aloud in broad Scotch, would be little understood by an uneducated 
Englishman at least. Just in the same manner, educated China- 
men, speaking only different dialects, can each read a Chinese 
book to themselves, with perfect understanding ; but neither can 
comprehend it if it be read aloud to him by the other. 

A Chinese book is very interesting in its construction. The 
back of the book has its edges cut, instead of the front as with 
us, and the front is left doubled in the condition in which we 
leave the backs of books. The numbering of the pages and the 
title of the Chinese book are placed on the front edge of each 
leaf, where the paper is doubled, so that half of each character is 
upon one side of the edge, and half on the other ; and the folded 

E E 



418 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLEXG ER." 

edge has to be straightened out if the entire characters are 
required to be seen. 

All the leaves in a Chinese book are double, and only one 
side of the paper is printed on. The back surface of the paper 
is blank and wasted. The idea of cutting the pages and print- 
ing on both sides of the paper seems never to have been attained. 
Sometimes Japanese picture books, drawing books, and song 
books, have drawings or printed pictures on both sides of the 
paper ; but even then, the pages are not cut, so that the two 
sides of each leaf should follow one another consecutively. 

Such a book is merely a folded roll. After the folded pages 
on one side have been looked at, the book must be reversed and 
opened afresh at what before acted as the back, and thus the 
opposite sides of the folds are brought into view. If the pages 
only followed one another in the requisite order, there is no 
reason why such a folded book should not be at once stitched 
at the back, and have the leaves cut. The book would thus be 
rendered far more handy ; but the idea seems never to have 
struck the Japanese. 

The folded form of book described, seems to represent a first 
stage in improvement from the more ancient roll. Japanese 
paintings and manuscripts are extremely common, executed 
upon long rolls which are terribly tedious to unroll and roll 
up again. The folded picture books, such as described, may 
be pulled out into long strips, on which the pages or drawings 
follow in regular order, just as on an ordinary roll. Similarly, 
if ordinary printed Japanese and Chinese books were un- 
stitched, the double leaves might be unfolded, and, if pasted 
on to a long strip, would follow one another consecutively on 
the roll. 

It seems thus highly probable that the idea of the Chinese and 
Japanese book arose as an improvement on the roll ; and that 
this is the reason why the leaves are all double, and the paper 
printed only on one side. The ordinary paper used in printing- 
is possibly too thin to allow of both sides being printed on ; but 
there is plenty of thicker paper available in both countries. 
Even when very thick paper is used in the folding Japanese 
books, often one side only of the paper is made use of. I have 



CHINA. 419 

never seen an example with the front edges cut, even although I 
possess several folded books made of extremely stout cardboard. 
The accompanying diagram will serve to illustrate the develop- 
ment of the book from the roll. 



DIAGKAM SHOWING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHINESE FOLDED BOOK OCT OF THE KOLL. 

Nearly all Chinese and Japanese books are block books, 
printed from wooden blocks, each of which contains four pages, 
a pair of pages on each side. All the letters having to be 
carved out on every wooden block, it is as cheap or cheaper 
to fill a page with illustrations as to fill it with characters. 
Hence, no doubt, the profusion of illustration, especially in 
Japanese books. 

I paid the usual visit to Canton from Hong Kong. On the 
passage of the river the tall pagoda of Whampoa is passed. 
Pagodas, as is well known, are erected as sanitary precautions 
for the benefit of the cities near which they are built. They 
represent sharp peaked mountains, and are intended to preserve 
the balance of exhalations of the several elements, according to 
the laws of the mysterious science of Fung Shui, and thus avert 
pestilence and other ills. 

The pagoda interested me, because on every one of the series 
of balconies or ledges encircling it at successive heights, a large 
variety of plants had established themselves and were flourish- 
ing, in some instances bushes of considerable size. The pagoda 
stands isolated, and the seeds of all these plants must have 
been carried up by birds or by the wind. I was told that the 
Chinese considered it lucky that plants should thus settle on 
the building. 

The strangest sight in Canton is certainly the water-clock, 

E E 2 



420 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

where a constant attendant watches the sinking of the index 
attached to the float, as the water slowly rnns out ; and when 
an hour is reached, hangs out a board with the hour written 
upon it on the city wall, and sounds the time on a gong. 

The small houses on the ferry-boats on the Canton Eiver, which 
are the homes of the families which get their living by means of 
them, are decorated all over inside with prints from illustrated 
European newspapers, many of them of considerable antiquity. 
It was amusing to find oneself confronted with " the Funeral of 
the Late Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington." Pedlars and 
dealers of all kinds ply their trade in the boat-towns in small 
boats, with which they traverse the lanes and alleys of water. 
From one of these pedlars I bought some jewellery, used by the 
boat population, in which pieces of Kingfishers' feathers are set 
in a gilt backing, so as to imitate, in appearance, very closely, 
fine blue enamel. The play of colours on the feathers thus 
mounted is extremely effective, and the jewellery is very 
pretty. 

One of the places ordinarily visited in Canton by tourists 
is commonly called the Temple of Horrors. Here the future 
punishments of the wicked are set forth in a series of groups 
of modelled figures, representing all horrible tortures conceivable 
in process of execution. In one of these a man is about to be 
pounded by demons upon an anvil, but is rescued by the 
Goddess of Mercy (Quan Yin), who, standing on a hill-side 
at some distance, is represented as letting down a cushion at 
the end of a string, so that the cushion is interposed between 
the body of the condemned sinner and the descending mallet. 
This struck me as a very quaint way of indicating merciful 
interposition by the Goddess. At this temple some women 
engaged in some act of religious devotion were pouring liba- 
tions of some kind of spirit at the foot of one of the pillars. 

At the bookshops close by the water-clock, a bookseller, from 
whom I had bought some books, presented me with an old wood 
block as a specimen at my request, and refused payment for it. 
Yet the Chinese are commonly accused of being universally 
grasping, in their dealing. 

The Government competitive examination buildings are 



CHINA. 421 

astonishing for the large area which they cover, and the vast 
accommodation which they afford. It is singular that a similar 
institution should just now be in course of construction at a 
vast cost in Oxford. The Chinese examination halls cannot but 
recall to an English University man the close analogy which 
exists between Chinese methods of mental training and learned 
thought, and those in vogue at home. As in our own Univer- 
sities the main energies of the learned have been devoted to the 
reiterated translation into English and study of the mouldy and 
worm-eaten lore of a by-gone age ; so in China successive genera- 
tions of students have for centuries devoted their lives to the 
acquisition of the antiquated philosophy of their remote ancestors, 
for the purposes of display in competitive examination. The 
reformation of the English Universities proceeds but slowly, 
and notwithstanding the hopeful movements now in progress in 
that direction, a period of very many years must necessarily 
elapse before all branches of knowledge shall be equally and 
adequately represented in them. 

Like the examination halls, the great monastery at Honam 
was full of interest from its close resemblances to similar 
European institutions. We listened awhile to the evening- 
service, intoned and chanted by the monks in their priestly 
vestments, a gong and a kind of wooden bell giving out a very 
sharp and short note when struck were used as an accompani- 
ment. We were next shown the refectory ; here was a small 
pulpit for the reading of pious books by one of the monks 
whilst the others are at dinner, just, for example, as at Tintern 
Abbey. Close by was the flower-garden of the monastery, 
where bright flowers were carefully grown, to be used to 
decorate the holy shrines. The principal flowers in blossom 
were very fine large red and yellow Cockscombs (Amaranthus) 
of which the gardener of the monastery was very proud and 
which displayed pyramidal masses of blossom three or four 
feet in height. Not far from the garden is a fish-pond and 
near by a small cremation house, where the bodies of monks 
who die at the monastery are burnt. The whole institution is 
more or less in decay ; the monks do not act up to the rules of 
their order. 



422 A NATURALIST OX THE " CHALLENGER." 

Chinese are especially tasteful in arranging flower decora- 
tions. At a Chinese dinner at which I was present, and which 
Avas most hospitably arranged for us by Mr. E. Eowitt, one of the 
Hong Kong merchants, the entire walls of the room in which 
the entertainment took place were covered with most beautiful 
flowers set in tasteful patterns in a backing of moss. 

The dining-table was closely packed with dishes of most 
varied kinds, tastefully ornamented and arranged. There were 
absolutely no bare spaces, a display of profusion being evidently 
intended. I was astonished to find as a condiment in the 
sauce of some stewed pigeons, specimens of the well-known but 
curious Cordyceps sinensis. This is a fungus which attacks 
and kills the caterpillars of certain moths ; the fungus pene- 
trates the tissues of the living larva, and after the larva has 
buried itself in the ground in order to assume the pupa state, 
the fungus throws out above ground a long stem from the dead 
body of the larva. 

The dried dead caterpillar, with the fungus outgrowth at- 
tached, is one of the many Chinese delicacies which seem so 
strange to us, nearly all of which are prized, because, in addition 
to their gastronomic qualities, they are credited with exercising 
certain invigorating medicinal effects. The caterpillars are sold 
tied up in small bundles, and the article is called " the summer 
grass of the winter worm." 

It is the fashion to decry Chinese delicacies as especially 
nasty, and the well-known eggs, which are pickled and buried 
for years before being eaten, are always cited as instances of 
especially disgusting food ; but after all this is more a matter of 
education and prejudice on the part of the foreign observer, than 
any real difference of habit in the Chinaman. Englishmen are 
apt to forget that their countrymen habitually prefer to eat game 
and cheese in a state of decomposition, and the latter often 
when swarming with maggots, and in a condition such that it 
would possibly sicken a Chinaman to look at it. Nearly all races 
fancy some form of food in a state of decomposition, and no 
doubt regard that particular food when in that condition as 
we do cheese, as simply " ripe." 

Some of the popular prejudices with regard to Chinese cus- 



CHINA. 423 

toms are hardly to be comprehended. When I was a child, the 
one fact I learnt about Chinamen was that they wore pigtails, 
and I was led to regard that as an extraordinary and peculiar 
form of hairdressing ; yet the very same fashion had only very 
shortly gone out of general use amongst Englishmen ; a rudiment 
of the English pigtail still exists on our court dresses, and foot- 
men of Eoyal state carriages, wear a shortened pigtail still, on 
certain occasions at least. 

The women present at Chinese banquets, such as that de- 
scribed, sit behind the chairs of the men, and receive no share of 
the luxuries, but are supplied with dried melon seeds, in the 
cracking and extraction of the kernels of which they occupy 
their time. 

Whilst at Canton, I visited the shop of a Wholesale Chinese 
Chemist and Druggist, in order to try and select specimens of 
Dragons' bones which are a highly-prized specific for certain 
diseases in Chinese Medicine. The wholesale dealer, whose 
warehouse was very large and full of Chinese medicines in bulk, 
had no " Dragons' bones and teeth " in stock, but I bought a 
few specimens from retail druggists who sell them by weight. 

The " Dragons' teeth and bones " consist of the fossil teeth 
and bones of various extinct Mammalia of tertiary age, such as 
those of Rhinoceros trichorhinus, a Mastodon, an Elephant, a 
Horse, two species of a Hippotherium, two of a species of Stag, 
and the teeth of a large Carnivorous animal.* 

The drug is imported into Japan, and I saw samples exposed 
in a collection of Materia Meclica at the Kioto Exhibition. 

The chief interest in the " Dragons' bones and teeth," seems 
to me to be that they explain the origin of the Dragon itself, 
and very possibly of other mythical animals. All mythical 
animals have a strong foundation in fact and a developmental 
history. In most instances, no doubt, the mythical animal is 
derived from a traveller's description, or a description passed on 

* For a description of a collection of these objects, by Prof. Owen, 
see "Quart. Journal of Geological Sec," 1870, p. 417. 

See also D. Hanbury, " On Chinese Materia Medica," p. 40. London, 
1862. 

Swinhoe refers to a collection of Dragons' bones in " Chinese Zoology," 

Proc. Zool. Soc, 1870, p. 428. 



424 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 

from mouth to mouth. From this eventually an artist has 
drawn a picture of the wonderful animal, and this has become 
the stereotyped representation of the beast, and has been 
handed down with successive embellishments. 

The story of the Argus no doubt arose from a description of 
the Argus pheasant or peacock. The Dugong (not the Manattee) 
was long ago shown bv Sir Emerson Tennant to have given rise 
to the story of the Mermaid. No doubt the original Mermaid 
was a black beauty, and only became white-skinned as the 
story travelled westwards. 

The Unicorn is the Ehinoceros, sketched thus from report ; 
but the Narwhal's tusk having come to hand as the Unicorn's 
horn, it was placed on the forehead of the animal, in the draw- 
ings, and the beast still wears it in our Eoyal Arms* There is 
the germ of truth in the case of the Narwhal's tusk, that the 
tusk grows without a fellow on the animal's head ; no doubt it 
was this fact that led to the blunder. Marco Polo was astonished 
to find how different the real Unicorn was from the pictures of it 
he had been accustomed to see. 

The Japanese dealers in carved ivories at Kioto, who speak a 
few words of English, draw attention to " netskis " cut out of 
Narwhal ivory, as made from " Unicorn." I suppose this is a 
survival of an old European term for the tusk, derived from the 
Portuguese. 

The Dragon, however, seems to have had a different mode of 
origin, and to have sprung from the finding together in a fossil 
deposit of the bones of various animals, and the inference, that 
because they were found together they belonged to one animal. 
An attempt at reconstruction produced the Dragon, and this 
accounts for the animal possessing stags' horns and carnivorous 
teeth, and containing in its structure a little of everything. 

My friend, Mr. C. V. Creagh, of Hong Kong, kindly trans- 

* " The Book of Ser. Marco. Polo," Vol. II, p. 273. Col. H. Yule, 
C.B. Loudon, Murray, 1875. 

The last attempt to resuscitate the heraldic Unicorn, and prove its 
actual existence as such, was made in 1852, by Baron J. W. von Miiller, 
" Das Einhorn vom geschichtlichen und naturwissenschaftlichen Stand- 
punkte betrachtet." Stuttgart, 1852. 



CHINA. 425 

lated for me an account of the Dragons' bones and teeth given 
in a well known Chinese work, " The Botanical and Medical 
Works of Li She Chan," sometimes called " Li Poon Woo," 
Vol. XLIII. I give the account here because it is amusing in 
many ways as a sample of a Chinese medical work, and seems 
to bear out the above conjecture as to the origin of the Dragon, 
or origin of part of the animal's structure at least. 

Translation. " Dragon's bones come from the southern part 
of Shansi, and are found on the mountains. Dr. To Wang 
King, says that if they are genuine they will adhere to the 
tongue. He informs us that the bones are cast off by the 
Dragon. Dr. So Tsung says, that in the autumn a certain fish 
changes itself into a Dragon, and leaves its original bones, which 
are of five different colours, and are used by men as medicine. 
In Shanshi is the Dragon-gate, through which when the fish leaps 
it becomes a Dragon. 

" Dr. Kai Tsung Shik says, that it is well known that the 
Dragon is invisible to man. If this were the case, how could 
we see his bones ? I myself have seen a whole skeleton, head, 
horns and all, in a dilapidated mountain, and have no doubt 
they come from a dead animal, and have not been cast off by 
the Dragon. 

" Li She Chan, remarks : I believe the above remarks to be 
inaccurate. In the Tso Chiine (a history written in the time of 
Confucius) an official named Wan Lung Shee used to eat spiced 
Dragons' flesh. A book named Shut Yu Kee (The Eecord of 
Curiosities) says that King Wo of Hon Kwok (the old name of 
China) made soup of a Dragon, which fell into the palace during 
a heavy rain. He invited all the high officials to partake of the 
soup. The author of the Pok Mut Chee, says that Cheung Wo 
got Dragon's flesh, which he steeped in vinegar, and thereby gave 
to the latter five different colours. As the animal is seen and 
used in this way, I have no doubt that the bones are those of a 
dead Dragon, and have not been cast off. 

" This medicine is sweet and is not poison. Dr. A. Koon 
certainly says that it is a little poisonous. Care must be taken 
not to let it come in contact with fish or iron. It cures heart- 
ache, stomach-ache, drives away ghosts, cures colds and dysen- 



426 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

tery, cures fainting in children, irregularities of the digestive 
organs, heart or stomach, paralysis, nocturnal alarm, &c, and 
increases the general health." 

In the Chinese Kepository* is a further quotation from Li 
She Chan concerning Dragon's bones, as follows : " The bones 
are found on banks of rivers and in caves of the earth, places 
where the Dragon died, and can be collected at any time. The 
bones are found in many places in Szechuen and Shanse, where 
those of the back and brain are highly prized, being variegated 
with different streaks on a white ground. The best are known 
by the tongue slipping lightly over them. The teeth are of 
little firmness, the horns hard and strong, but if these are taken 
from damp places, or by women, they are worthless."! 

It is possible that other mythical animals besides the Dragon 
may be, like it, partly of fossil origin, as were, without doubt, 
numerous races of Giants, which sprung from the discovery of 
Mammoth bones. Fossil bones from caves, under the name of 
Dragons' bones, were long used as medicine in Europe. A live 
Dragon was discovered in Sussex in 16144 

It is not so long since all kinds of nastiness, such as pow- 
dered Mummy and album grsecum were regularly used in English 
medicine, as now by Chinese doctors. Sir Thomas Browne, in 
his "Pseudoxia Epidemica/' published in 1646, although he 
explodes many false notions in vogue at his day, as to the 
Unicorn, yet gravely discusses the power, as antidotes to poisons, 

* The Chinese Eepository, Canton, 1832-1838, p. 253. Extract from 
" Pun Tsaou Kang Muh." 

t For accounts of Chinese Medicine, see M. P. Dabry de Thiersant, " La 
Medecine chez les Chinois." Also same author, and Dr. Leon Soubeiran, " La 
Matiere Medicale chez les Chinois," also " Etudes sur la Matiere Medicale 
des Chinois." Acad, de Medicine, Paris, July 16, 1873. 

t "True and Wonderful, a Discourse relating to a strange and mon- 
strous Serpent or Dragon lately discovered and yet living, to the great 
annoyance and divers slaughters both of men and cattell by his strong and 
violent poison. In Sussex, two miles from Horsham, in a wood called 
St. Leonard's Forest, and thirtie miles from London, this present month 
of August, 1614." Printed at London, by John Trundle. In this book a 
picture of the Dragon is given. It is in the form of a large lizard 
with protruded barbed tongue and rudimentary wings. The dead victims 
.ne strewed in front. The Dragon was nine feet in length. Its principal 
haunt was at a place called Faygate. • 



CHINA. 427 

of Unicorns', Elks', and Deers' horns, and their effect on epilepsy 
when taken as medicine.* 

In 1593, a committee of Doctors of Medicine of Augsburg, 
after a careful examination of a specimen of the very rare drug, 
the Unicorn's horn (Narwhal's tusk in this instance) in order to 
confirm their conclusion that the horn was real Monoceros horn 
and not a forgery, gave an infusion of some of it to a dog 
poisoned with arsenic, and on the recovery of the animal were 
thoroughly convinced of the authenticity of the specimen. Their 
report, duly signed, commences, " Quin etiam visum est nobis, 
ad experientiam, rerum magistram tanquam KpiT^piov descen- 
dere."| In the work in which this experiment is recorded, 
follows an account of another, in which a dram of nux vomica 
was rendered harmless to a dog, by the action of 12 grains 
of the precious horn, whilst an exactly similar dog died in half 
an hour, from the same dose without the antidote. 

My friend, Dr. J. F. Payne, has pointed out to me, that Uni- 
corn's horn, and the skull of a man who has died by a violent 
death, appear as medicines in the Official Pharmacopoeia of the 
College of Physicians of London, of 1678. Unicorn's horn, 
human fat and human skulls, dogs' dung, toads, vipers and 
worms, are retained in the same Pharmacopoeia for 1724. A 
Committee revised the Pharmacopoeia in 1742. They still 
retained in the list, centipedes, vipers, and lizards. The use of 
grated human skull as medicine, by unihstructed persons, sur- 
vived in England as late as 1858 at least. j 

The idea that PJiinoceros horn acted as an antidote to 
poisons, was ancient in India. No doubt hence arose the belief 
that the Narwhal ivory, supposed to be that of the Unicorn, 
which beast was in reality the PJiinoceros, had the same proper- 
ties. The story no doubt travelled together with that of the 
animal. Drinking-cups, elaborately carved out of PJiinoceros 
horn, were used in the East, and were supposed to detect or 

* Sir T. Browne's Works, edited by Wilkin, Vol. II, p. 503. London, 

Pickering, 1836. . . 

f « Museum Wormianum sen Historia Rerum Rariorum, pp.280----. 

Olao Worm, Med. Doct. Amstelodami, 1655. 

X Rev. T. F. Thiselton Dyer, " English Folk Lore. London, 18/8. 



428 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 



>> 



neutralize poisons poured into them. The forms of these cups 
have been largely copied by the Chinese, in ivory-white porcelain. 

Ehinoceros horn is still used in Chinese medicine, and is to 
be seen hanging up, together with Antelopes' and other horns, 
in every druggist's shop in Canton. 

Chinese medical prescriptions are excessively long, contain- 
ing a vast number of ingredients, most of them inactive. It is 
only lately that English prescriptions have been shortened, and 
they still sometimes contain a good deal which is superfluous. A 
certain air of mystery is still preserved about them. Herbalists 
still practise upon the uneducated in London, in a style in some 
respects not very different from that of the Chinese physician. 

A large variety of most amusing mythical animals are 
figured in Chinese works on natural history. Many of them 
are familiar and classical, such as the Cyclops : and the Pigmies, 
who are described as going about arm-in-arm for mutual protec- 
tion, for fear the birds should mistake them for worms and 
eat them. The story is evidently identical with that of Homer, 
where the Pigmies are described fighting with the Cranes, on 
the shores of Oceanos. In Japanese pictures of the Pigmies, 
the "little men" (sho jin) are represented as walking arm-in- 
arm on the sea-shore, with the cranes hovering over them ready 
for the attack. The measured height of the Pigmies is usually 
given in classical accounts, just as in the Chinese. 




"The Small Men's Country is to the eastward of Tai Tong. The inhabitants are nine 

inches high." 

I give a, facsimile of a figure of the Pigmies, and translation 
f the Chinese explanation of it, taken from the " Shan Hoi King," 
or Mountain and Ocean Kecord ; a very ancient work, parts of 
which were kindly translated for me by Mr. C. V. Creagh. The 



o 



CHINA. 



429 



book is in the preface referred by one commentator to even so 
early a date as 2205 B.C. 

Many of the figures and descriptions in this book are 
curiously like those which occur in European Natural-History 
Works of about 250 years ago. 




Of/' --"<. 



HEN 1EUNG KINGDOM. 



"The inhabitants of this country have long lips, hairy and dark bodies. They laugh if 
they see a man laughing, and when they laugh their lips turn over and conceal 
their eyes." 

Some of the strange men figured are evidently monkeys. As 
for example the men of the Hen Yeung Kingdom, figured and 
described in the Shan Hoi King. The Chinese figure is given 
in facsimile. It seems to represent an Ape of the genus Ehino- 
pithecus, and might well be Rhinopithecus Boxellance, lately 
discovered by the Abbe David in Eastern Thibet, and figured 
by A. Milne-Edwards. The prominent nose in this species 
turned up at the tip just as shown in the Chinese wood-cut. 
The wide but unscientific distinction, commonly drawn between 
men and the higher monkeys, is an error of high civilization and 



430 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

comparatively recent. Less civilized races make no such dis- 
tinction. To the Dyack, the great ape of Borneo, is simply 
the Man of the Woods, " Orang Utan." 

The belief in various mythical animals in England is still 
very strong. We are probably not far in advance of the Chinese 
in this matter. So strong is the belief, that several of the 
animals in question could not be mentioned here without pre- 
judice. The Sea Serpent, however, is always open to criticism. 
This wonderful animal has hardly ever been seen alike by any 
two sets of observers. It is nearly always easy to a naturalist 
to understand the stories told. Sometimes it is a pair of whales 
that is seen ; sometimes, as when the animal was seen off the 
Scotch coast, and figured in the " Illustrated London News," 
a long mass of floating seaweed deceives the distant observer ; 
sometimes the Serpent has large eyes and a crest behind the 
head, then it is a Eibbon Fish* (Gymnetrus). 

I myself am one of the few professed naturalists who have 
seen the Serpent. It was on a voyage to Rotterdam from the 
Thames. An old gentleman suddenly started up, shouting, 
" There's the Sea Serpent ! " gesticulating with his umbrella. 
All the passengers crowded to the ship's side and gazed with 
astonishment at a black line, undulating with astonishing 
rapidity along the water at some distance. It was a flock of 
Cormorants, which was flying in line behind the waves, and 
which was viewed in the intervals between them with a sort 
of thaumoscopic effect. 

The extremely untrustworthy nature of the descriptions sent 
home is a constant feature in the natural history of the Sea 
Serpent. Not long ago he was seen near Singapore (evidently 
a very large Cuttle fish on this occasion). He was described as 
with large eyes, spotted with brown, and without arms or legs, 
but with a very long tail, and was yet said to be like a frog. 

Ordinary sailors know nothing about whales or fish, and 
easily imagine they see wonders. Often, of course, the Sea 
Serpent stories are entirely without foundation in fact, and 

* As first, I believe, pointed out by Mr. J. M. Jones, F.L.S., in " An 
Account of a Eibbon Fish, 16 ft. 7 ins. in length, obtained at Bermuda." 
Proc. Zool. Soc. 1860. p. 187. 



CHINA. 



4:U 



sometimes apparently ships from which the)' emanate are laden 
with rum. 

Amongst the rough figures in the Shan Hoi Sing, the small 
book, from which the illustrations already given are taken, is 
one of a rat-like animal and a bird which lives in the same hole 
with it. The description of the figures at the margin runs: 
" The Bird and the Eat live together in the same hole. They 
come from the mountain of the tailed rats and birds in AVai 
Une where they may still be seen." 




THE BIKD AND THE KAT LIVING TOGETHE& IN THE SAME HOLE. 

Professor Legge has pointed out to me a reference in " The 
Chinese Classics " to the mountain called the Neauou-shoo-tung- 
heile, or that of the Bird and the Bat in the same hole ; and to a 
note of his on the subject.* The name of the mountain in " The 
Classics " certainly dates back as far as 2300 B.C. 

No doubt the Bat is the Ground Squirrel (Spwmophttus 
mongolicus), and the bird must be an Owl, which is associated 
with it, just as is the small Ground Owl, Speotyto cunicularia of 
America with the Prairie Dog, and also the Ground Squirrel of 
California, in the holes of which, as familiarly known, it lives. 

The genus Speotyto, is, however, peculiar, as far as is known, 
to America and the West Indies ; and the fact that an Owl lives 
in the holes of the Asiatic Ground Squirrel is not known to 
naturalists. Mr. B. Bowdler Sharpe, however, tells me that a 
small owl, Carine plumipes, exists in Northern China, which 
lives in holes in the ground. Bossibly this bird has developed 

* Rev. James Legge, D.D., &c. "The Chinese Classics," Vol. III., 
Pt. III. p. 140. London, Triibner, 1865. 



432 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

the same curious habit of association with a Eodent as the 
American Ground Owl. If so, the fact is very remarkable.* 

Meangis Islands, February lOtli, lS^S. — The ship left Hong 
Kong on January 6th, 1875, and after visiting various ports in 
the Philippine Group as already noted, lay on February 10th 
between the Meangis and Tulur or Talaur Islands, south of the 
Philippines. The ship was nearest to the Island of Kakarutan, 
of the Meangis Group. The large hilly island of the Talaur 
Group, Karekelang, was seen in the distance, covered with 
forest, but with numerous patches of cultivation. 

A canoe, sharp at both ends and without outriggers, of the 
Ke Island build, manned by 22 men and boys, came off to the 
ship. The men wore turbans, like the Lutaos of Zamboanga, 
and were many of them apparently of the same race, but 
appeared to be a mongrel lot, and were very dirty-looking. 
They did not, as far as we could ascertain, understand either 
Malay, Spanish, or Dutch, but asked for tobacco. They brought 
mats and very pretty blue and red Lories alive for sale. The 
birds were secured to sticks by means of rings made of cocoa- 
nut shell as at Amboina. The men did not chant or use drums 
as they paddled. They had the Dutch flag flying. 

Drift Wood from the Ambernoli River, New Guinea, February 
22nd, 1815. — On February 22nd, at noon, the ship was about 
70 miles north-east of Point D'Urville, New Guinea, where the 
great Ambernoh Eiver, the largest river in New Guinea, runs 
into the sea.j This river probably rises in the Charles Lewis 
Mountains, on the opposite side of New Guinea ; these moun- 
tains reach up to the great altitude of 16,700 feet. So large is 
this river, that even at this great distance from its mouth, we 
found the sea blocked with the Drift Wood brought down by it. 

We passed through long lines of Drift Wood disposed in curves 
at right angles to the direction in which lay the river's mouth. 

* An account of Chinese Zoology is given in the " Preussischer 
Expedition nach Ostasien" Zoologie, Bd. I. s. 169, "Ueber die Thierkunde 
der Chinesen und unsere Kenntniss Chinesischer Thiere." 

t The mouth of the river which is lined with Casuarina-trees, was 
passed by Rosenberg on his way to Humboldt Bay in 1862. " Nat. Tydsch. 
voor Neder. Indie." Deel. XXIV. p. 334. Batavia, 1862. 



NEW GUINEA. 433 

The ship's screw had to be constantly stopped for fear it should 
be fouled by the wood. The logs had evidently not been very 
long in the water, being covered only by a few young Barnacles 
(Balanus) and Hydroids. Amongst the logs were many whole 
uprooted trees. I saw one of these which was two feet in dia- 
meter of its stem. 

The majority of the pieces were of small wood, branches and 
small stems. The bark was often floating separately. The mid- 
ribs of the leaves of some pinnate-leaved palm were abundant 
and also the stems of a large cane grass, like that so abundant 
on the shores of the great river (Wai Levu) in Fiji (Saccharum). 
One of these cane stems was 14 feet in length, and from 1J to 
2 inches in diameter. 

Various fruits of trees and other fragments were abundant, 
usually floating confined in the midst of the small aggregations 
into which the floating timber was almost everywhere gathered. 
Amongst them were the usual littoral seeds, those of two species 
of Pandanus, and of the Puzzle-seed (Heritiera littoralis), fruits 
of a Barringtonia and of Ipomoea pes caprce. 

But besides these fruits of littoral plants, there were seeds of 
40 or 50 species of more inland plants, Very small seeds were 
as abundant as large ones, the surface scum being full of them, 
so that they could be scooped up in quantities with a fine net. 
With the seeds occurred one or two flowers, or parts of them. 

I observed an entire absence of leaves, excepting those of the 
Palm, on the midribs of which some of the pinnae were still 
present. The leaves evidently drop first to the bottom, whilst 
vegetable drift is floating from a shore. Thus, as the cUbris 
sinks in the sea-water a deposit abounding in leaves, but with 
few fruits and little or no wood, will be formed near shore, whilst 
the wood and fruits will sink to the bottom farther off land. 

Much of the wood was floating suspended vertically in the 
water, and most curiously, logs and short branch pieces thus 
floating, often occurred in separate groups, apart from the horizon- 
tally floating timber. The sunken ends of the wood were not 
weighted by any attached masses of soil or other load of any 
kind. Possibly the water penetrates certain kinds of wood more 
easily in one direction with regard to its growth than the other. 

F F 



434 A NATURALIST ON THE ''CHALLENGER." 

Hence one end becomes water-logged before the other ; I could 
arrive at no other explanation of the circumstance. 

It is evident that a wide area of the sea off the mouth of the 
Ambernoh Eiver is thus constantlv covered with drift-wood, for 
the floating wood is inhabited by various animals, which seem to 
belong to it as it were. The fruits and wood were covered with 
the eggs of a Gasteropod Mollusk, and with a Hydroid, and the 
interstices were filled with Eadiolarians washed into them and 
gathered in masses, just as Diatoms in the Antarctic seas are 
gathered together in the honeycombed ice. Two species of Crabs 
inhabit the logs in abundance, and a small Dendrocoele Planarian 
swarms all over the drift matter and on the living crabs also. 
A Lepas was common on the logs. 

Enormous quantities of small fish swarmed under the drift- 
wood, and troops of Dolphins (Coryphcenci) and small Sharks 
(Car char ias), three or four feet long, were seen feeding on them, 
dashing in amongst the logs, splashing the water, and showing 
above the surface, as they darted on their prey. The older wood 
was bored by a Pholas. 

A large flock of the very widely spread bird, the Phalarope 
(Phalorapus hyperboreus) was seen Hying over the drift-wood. 
The birds no doubt follow the timber out from shore, and roost 
on it. In England we consider this bird as one of our visitors 
from the far north. It seems strange to meet with it at New 
Guinea. It was previously known from the Aru Islands. Some 
specimens shot had small surface Crustacea in their stomachs. 

The various smaller animals no doubt congregate about the 
drift-wood because it seems so act as a sort of sieve or screen, 
and to concentrate amongst it the surface animals on which they 
feed. 

The Charles Lewis Mountains seem to be one of the most 
promising fields in the world yet remaining unexplored by the 
naturalist. They no doubt contain an Alpine flora which might 
prove allied to that of New Zealand, since the great mountain of 
Kini Ballu in Borneo has southern forms of plants at its top ; 
probably there will be found on these high mountains also allies 
of the New Zealand Parrots of the genus Nestor, one species of 
which (Nestor notabile) is Alpine in its range. There is & Nestor 



NEW GUINEA. 435 

in Norfolk Island, and the genus .Dasi/ptihis of New Guinea 
is allied to Nestor. 

" Talok Lintju " or Humboldt Bay, February 23rd and 24th, 

1815.— We sighted the New Guinea Coast as a dark purple line 
along the horizon, with its upper margin hidden in banks of 
mist, at about mid-day. On February 23rd, as we approached 
nearer, in the afternoon, the misty clouds lifted somewhat, and 
the sharp peak, the highest point of the Cyclops Mountains, 
6,200 feet in height, lying just to the north of our destination, 
Humboldt Bay, showed out isolated and clear above the bank of 
cloud which concealed all the lower parts of the range. 

The opening into Humboldt Bay, between Cape Caillie on 
the north-west, and Cape Boupland on the south-east, both 
precipitous and rocky, became gradually well defined. The 
coast appeared far nearer to us than it was, and its distance 
was judged at six miles when it in reality was at least 25 
miles. 

Between 5 and 6 o'clock, the mist lifted almost entirely 
from the Cyclops Mountains, and they were seen to consist of a 
series of irregular peaks and sinuous sharp ridges culminating 
in the one simple terminal peak, which had been seen before 
above the clouds. The mountain is thickly wooded to the very 
apex, as could plainly be seen with a telescope. The lines of 
trees which showed out against the sky along the outline of 
the mountain and its ridges showed few or no Palms. 

The whole coast outside the Bay is steep and rocky, without 
any sandy beaches, and is thickly wooded with a dark clothing 
of vegetation with lighter green patches here and there, formed 
by the cultivated inclosures of the natives, or spaces which have 
at some time been under cultivation by them. 

It was dark when we entered the Bay, steaming slowly to an 
anchorage. A light flashed from the Cape Caille shore, glim- 
mered and flashed again, then another flashed, then another, and 
soon a dozen or more lights close together were flashing and 
moving to and fro. These signal fires were answered from the 
south side of the Bay, and from another spot higher up on the 
same side, and we heard the peculiar holloa of warning, " hoa, 
hoa," coming over the water from many voices, and sounding 

ff2 



436 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

exactly like the shouts with which the savages at Api in the 
Xew Hebrides greeted the ship. 

The masses of lights glimmered from the very water level, as 
could be seen from the mode of reflection of the flashes in the 
water. The villages of pile-dwellings of Ungrau and Tobaddi 
were giving the alarm and were being answered by the people 
of Wawah on the other side of the Bay. We could see the 
bright lights moving about, and waving to and fro as they were 
carried by the excited natives along the platforms of the pile- 
built villages, and could catch a glimpse of the shadows of the 
natives' bodies as they passed between us and the light. 

Just as the anchor was let go in 15 fathoms, a light appeared 
on the water close to the ship, and a canoe was evidently 
reconnoitring us, but the natives were shy and wary, and the 
light disappeared again for some time. Then it was again seen 
close at hand, being waved up and down ; and a native stand- 
ing up delivered a volley of his language. 

Lights were placed at the gangways and were waved as a 
token of friendship, and all sorts of encouragemeDts were used, 
but the canoe kept at a distance, paddling to and fro. The only 
word we caught was " sigor," "sigor!" The canoes had two 
paddlers, one at either end, apparently boys, and a full-grown 
savage on the small platform in the centre. 

The savage on the platform had his huge mop-like head of 
hair set off by a radiant halo of feathers stuck into it, and decked 
with a broad fillet of scarlet Hibiscus flowers, placed under the 
edge of the mop, above his forehead. As he blew up his smoul- 
dering fire-stick into a blaze, his dark face glowing in the light 
and set off by the scarlet blossoms, formed a most striking, but 
at the same time most savage spectacle. 

The canoe at last dropped under the stern, the natives shout- 
ing still " sigor " " sigor!" I leaned over the stern boat, and threw 
down a gaudy handkerchief. It was at once fished out of the 
water with a four-pronged fish-spear, and examined by the glow 
of the fire-stick, and then another canoe which was approaching, 
and which contained four natives, was shouted to in the most 
excited language, expressive evidently of satisfaction. 

Sigor being supposed to mean " tobacco," a cigar was let 



NEW GUINEA. 437 

down with a line and immediately taken and lighted, and more 
were shouted for, and two cocoanuts neatly husked and tied 
together with a part of the husk left attached for the purpose, 
as in the many islands visited by us, were fastened to the line, to 
be drawn up in exchange. 

Then by cries of " sigor !" which acted as a loadstone, the 
canoes were drawn up opposite the gangway, and every attempt 
was made from the bottom of the ladder to invite the natives 
on board, but without success ; nor would they approach near 
enough to receive presents from the hand, evidently fearing a 
trap, but they took a number of cigars, receiving them two at a 
time, stuck between the prongs of a long fish-spear. The placing 
of the cigars between the jagged points of the spear was rather 
trying work, for the ship was rolling somewhat, and the spear 
was thus prodded to and fro. 

Another gaudy handkerchief being given to the boat which 
had received one already, it was passed over to the other boat 
at once, either according to some agreement as to division of 
spoil or because perhaps the occupant of the boat was a chief. 
The use of ships' biscuit was not understood. One native made 
signs that he wanted a gun, by pretending to load his bow from 
some implement picked up from the bottom of his canoe to 
represent a powder flask, then ramming down in pantomime, 
drawing the bow as if shooting, and saying "boom." 

The natives seemed frightened to some little extent by a 
" blue light," and shoved off a bit, shouting something as it was lit. 
At last they left for the shore, using a word very like " to-morrow." 
At one time they commenced a sort of song in their canoe, as 
they lay off the ship hesitating to approach. 

The canoes hung about the ship nearly all night, and in the 
morning the ship was surrounded by them, and a brisk barter 
commenced at daylight. At about 7.30 the ship was moved 
nearer to the north-west shore of the bay, and to the dwellings 
of the natives. The canoes paddled alongside, and formed a 
wide trailing line as they accompanied the ship. 

There were then 67 canoes in all present, and this was the 
greatest number that was seen. Some few of them contained 
live natives, some four, some three, some only two. In 50 



438 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

canoes on one side of the vessel there were 148 natives, or 
abont an average of three to a canoe. In all, therefore, there 
must have been 200 natives. 

From time to time the shout which was heard the night 
before was raised. When heard close by, it is found to com- 
mence with a short quick " Wah Wah oh 5h oh." Some few 
natives had perforated Conch shells, both a Triton, and a large 
conical Strombus perforated at the apex of the spire, not on the 
side of one of the upper whorls, as in the case of the Triton. 
These shells they blew, making a booming sound which mingled 
with the shouts. 

The natives evidently prize these trumpet-shells highly, and 
would not part with them, perhaps from the same motives that 
prevent them parting with their flutes, as described by the 
officers of the " Etna."* 

Many of the natives made a sign of drinking, and pointed to 
a part of the Bay where water was to be procured, evidently 
thinking that the ship required water. This shows that they 
are more or less accustomed to ships watering here, and the 
fact that the utmost endeavours failed to induce any of the 
natives to come on board the ship, and their extreme caution in 
their first approach, seemed to show that they must have been 
frightened or maltreated in some way by recent visitors to the 
Bay. When the Dutch vessel of war, " Etna," came into the 
harbour in 1858, the natives clambered on board before the 
cable was out. 

As soon as the ship anchored again, the natives crowded 
round the ship, and barter recommenced most briskly, being 
carried on through the main deck ports, the natives passing up 
their weapons and ornaments stuck between the points of 
their four-pronged spears, and receiving the price in the same 
manner. 

The constant cry of the natives was "sigor sigor," often re- 
peated (sigor sigor, slowly, sigor sigor sig5r, quickly). " Sigor " 
was found to mean iron ; this and " soth," which means more, 
were the only words of the language gathered. Iron tub-hoop, 
broken into six or eight-inch lengths, was the commonest article 
* "Neu Guinea und seine Bewohner." Otto Finsch, S. 144. 



NEW GUINEA. 439 

of barter, but most prized were small trade hatchets, for which 
the natives parted with anything they had. 

The iron, wherewith to replace the stone blades of* their own 
hatchets, and the miserable ready-made trade hatchets, are to 
them the most valuable property possible, since they lessen the 
toil of clearing the rough land for cultivation, and of canoe and 
house building, which with the stone implements alone to work 
with, must be arduous indeed. 

Hence the natives cared hardly for anything except iron ; 
bright handkerchiefs or Turkey red stuff were seldom taken in 
exchange, and then for very little value. Beads however were 
prized. Of their own property, the natives valued most their 
stone hatchets. Very probably they obtain the stone for 
making them "by barter from a distance, since the rock at 
Humboldt's Bay is a limestone, and the hatchets are made of 
jade or greenstone, or of a slate. The labour involved in grind- 
ing down a jade hatchet-head to the smooth symmetrical sur- 
faces which these native implements show, must be immense. 

Next in value to the stone implements were the breastplate- 
like ornaments, each of which has as its components, eight or 
more pairs of Wild Boars' tusks, besides quantities of native 
beads, of small ground-down Nerita shells. These treasures 
required a trade hatchet at least to purchase them. All other 
articles, necklaces, armlets, tortoiseshell ear-rings, combs, paddles, 
daggers of Cassowary bone and such things, could be bought for 
plain hoop-iron, as could also bows and arrows in any quantity, 
and even the wig-like ornaments of Cassowary feathers, which 
the men wear over their brows, to eke out their mop-like heads 
of hair. 

The natives often attempted, and often succeeded in with- 
drawing an arrow or two from a bundle purchased, just as it 
was being handed on board. They understood the laws of 
barter thoroughly, and stuck to bargains. They attempted once 
or twice to keep the articles given beforehand in payment with- 
out return, but often returned pieces of hoop-iron and other 
things which had been handed down for inspection and exami- 
nation, as to whether they were worth the article required for 
them or no. One or two of these natives tried to fish things out 



440 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 



through the lower deck-scuttles from the cabins with their 
arrows, but were detected and frustrated in their design. 




NATIVES OF THE VILLAGE OF TOBADDI, HUMBOLDT BAT. 

N.B. — The arrow shown is too short, and should be as long as the bow. 

Many of the men wore a pair of Wild Boar's tusks fastened 
together in the form of a crescent, and passed through a hole in 
the septum of the nose, so that the two tusks projected up over 
their dark cheeks as far as their eyes. Most of the men had 
short pointed beards, apparently cut to that shape ; the old ones 
had whiskers. One old man who was bald, wore a complete 
but small wig. None of the men were tattooed, but they had 
large cicatrized marks on the outer sides of the upper arms, and 
smaller ones on the shoulders. 

The fungoid skin disease was common here as at the Aru 
and Ke Islands, but only on the adults ; the boys and many of 
the younger men were free of it. 

The men attracted attention to barter by the cries of " urh, 
urh ! " to express astonishment they struck the top of the 



NEW GUINEA. 441 

outer sides of their thighs with their extended palms. Refusal 
of barter or negation was combined with an expression of 
disgust, or rather the two ideas are not apparently separated ; 
the refusal was expressed by an extreme pouting of the lips, 
accompanied by an expiratory sniff from the nostrils. 

The forehead muscles were very little used in expression, 
though they were slighly knitted in astonishment. In laughing, 
the corners of the mouth were excessively drawn back, so that 
four or five deep folds were formed round the angles of the 
mouth, the head was lolled back, the mouth opened wide, and 
the whole of the upper teeth uncovered ; the whole expression 
was most ape-like. 

I started with a party in a fully armed boat with the intent 
of landing. As we approached the shore, a native warrior 
approached, standing as usual on the platform of a small canoe 
paddled by two boys sitting in the bow and stern ; the man 
held up a yam and made signs that he wished to barter ; we 
halted and made signs of refusal ; he then took up one of his 
arrows, and holding the point to his neck just above the collar 
bone, made signs of forcing it into his body, and then throwing 
back his arms and head, and turning up his eyes, pretended to 
fall backwards by a series of jerks, in imitation of death ; then 
he caught hold of the yam again and proffered it a second time, 
and on renewed refusal, went through the imaginary killing 
process again. 

We began to move toward shore, when the man ran to the end 
of the canoe nearest the boat, and fitting an arrow against the 
string of his bow, drew the bow with his full strength and 
pointed the arrow full at me ; I was standing up at the time 
with a loaded double-barrelled gun in the stern of the boat. 

As he drew the bow he contorted his face into the most 
hideous expression of rage, with his teeth clenched and exposed, 
and eyes starting. This expression was evidently assumed to 
terrify us as an habitual part of the fight, and not because the 
man was in reality in a rage. In Chinese and Japanese battle- 
scenes, or hunting-scenes in which attacks upon large animals 
are depicted, the faces of the combatants are usually represented 
as horribly contorted with rage. No doubt the grimace is 



442 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

assumed as a menace amongst savages on just the same principle 
as that on which an animal shows its teeth. The native shifted 
his aim sometimes on to Von Willemoes Suhm, and sometimes 
on to Mr. Buchanan, who was nearest to him. 

We were in a dilemma ; the man evidently did not under- 
stand the use of fire-arms, for the whole boat's-crew was fully 
armed, and we in the stern were all provided with guns. He 
evidently thought that we were unarmed because we had no 
bows and arrows ; he might have let slip an arrow five feet long 
into any one of us in an instant. 

We of course would not shoot the man in cold blood ; if we 
had fired over his head, he would certainly have let fly one 
arrow at least, and he was within six yards of the boat. The 
boys who paddled him were exuberantly delighted at the prowess 
and success of their warrior. 

The canoe was pushed up to the stern of our boat, and the 
man caught hold of our gunwale. Another canoe joined in to 
share in the spoil, and closed in at the stern also. The two 
warriors seized a large tin vasculum of mine from the seat, and 
immediately began struggling between themselves for it, and 
taking advantage of the struggle we pulled back to the ship. 

The vasculum contained some trade knives and* three bottles 
of soda-water. I expect no savages were ever so thoroughly 
scared and puzzled as these when they came to open the bottles 
in the bosoms of their families in their pile-dwellings. 

The same man who stopped us had also stopped a boat en- 
gaged in surveying, just before in the same manner, and it had 
also returned to the ship. 

All kinds of suggestions were made on our return as to what 
ought to have been done ; we ought to have hit the natives over 
the knuckles with the stretchers, or run the canoe down, or 
fired over the natives' heads ; but there cannot be the least doubt 
that in that case some one would have been wounded at least, 
and one native at least shot. 

I cannot understand how it occurred that this native knew 
nothing of fire-arms, since the Humboldt has often been visited 
by the Dutch, and many of the natives understood their nature ; 
one man, as has been said, having plainly asked for a gun on our 



NEW GUINEA. 443 

first arrival. Possibly the man had come from a distant part of 
the Bay either lately or some years before, or had only heard of 
fire-arms and was a sceptic, or knowing that a gun would kill 
birds, had thought that special magic, and not comprehended 
that it would also kill men. 

A small party landed with Captain Thomson from the steam 
pinnace for a short time, and Mr. Murray, led by some natives, 
shot a few birds. These natives were friendly enough, but when 
Captain Thomson approached one of the platform villages, the 
women turned out with bows and arrows, and warned the boat 
away, using the same signs of death as the man who discom- 
forted us. 

A stay of some little time is evidently necessary in order 
that the natives should become on good terms with visitors in a 
strange ship, and possibly the natives had been maltreated by 
the crew of some vessel since the "Etna's " long visit in 1858 ; 
no doubt also the natives forget a great deal in the lapse of 
sixteen years. 

As time could not be spared to wait and conciliate the 
natives, and violent measures were of course out of the question, 
landing was reluctantly given up, and the ship sailed for the 
Admiralty Islands in the evening of February 24th. 

The bows of the Humboldt Bay natives are cut out of solid 
palm-wood and have a very hard pull. They taper to a fine 
point at either end, and in stringing and unstringing them a 
loop at the end of the string is slipped on and off this point and 
rests in the extended bow on a boss raised with wicker-work, at 
some distance from the bow-tip. 

The bows are strung quickly by their lower ends being 
placed between the supports of the canoe outriggers as a ful- 
crum. If an attempt be made to string a bow, by resting one 
end on the ground, the tapering end snaps off directly pressure 
is applied. 

The bowstring is a thick flat band of rattan, and the arrows, 
like all New Guinea arrows, have no notch, but are flat at the 
ends, and are also without feather. The natives have never 
learnt the improvement of the notch and feather. The men of 
Api Island, New Hebrides, have most carefully worked notches 



444 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



» 



to their arrows, but still no feather. The Aru Islanders have 
both notch and feather.* 

The Humboldt Bay arrows further are excessively long, far 
too long for the bows, being five feet in length, so that not more 
than half of their length can be drawn. They are rather small 
spears thrown by a clumsy bow for short distances than arrows. 
They go with immense force for a certain distance, but only fly 
straight for ten or a dozen yards, wobbling and turning over 
after that length of flight. 

As the anchor was being got up, when the ship's screw was 
beginning to turn, two natives, who happened to be close to it 
in a canoe, drew their bows hastily on it as if it were some 
monster about to attack them from under water. 

In the Humboldt Bay stone choppers, the stone blade is 
mounted in the end of a long wooden socket piece which is 
fitted into a round hole at the end of the club-like handle. The 
socket piece can thus be turned round so that the blade can be 
set to be used like that of either an axe or an adze. 

The handle and socket piece form nearly a right angle with 
one another, and the socket piece is so long that the whole seems 
a most clumsy arrangement, and it is most difficult to strike a 
blow with it with any precision. 

The shorter the socket piece the easier it is to direct the 
blade with certainty in a blow. In Polynesia generally the stone 
blades are thus fixed close up to the ends of the handles, but in 
New Guinea this curious long-legged angular handle is in vogue. 
It is difficult to understand the reason, unless these natives 
began with a chisel and mallet ; and having got so far in im- 
provement as to join them together, have not yet discovered 
the advantage to be gained by shortening up the socket piece. 

A curious stone implement, similarly mounted to the chopper, 
was common in most of the Humboldt Bay canoes. It seems to 
be a kind of hammer. The stone head is cylindrical in form 
tapering to fit the socket at one end, and hollowed slightly on 
the striking face. The exact use of the implement is uncertain. 

* For the distribution and various forms of bows and arrows, see Gen. 
Lane Fox, F.R.S., &c, " On Primitive Warfare." Journ. of United Service 
Inst, 186 7-9. 



NEW GUINEA. 



445 



The awkwardness of its method of mounting is at once felt on 
trying to drive a nail with it. 




STONE BLADED CHOPPER AND STONE HEADED HAMMER IN USE AT HUMBOLDT BAT, ALSO A LARGER 
VIEW OF THE STONE HAMMER-HEAD REMOVED FROM ITS SOCKET. 

The ethnographical details of the people of Humboldt Bay 
are, thanks to the investigations of the Dutch commission of 
the ship " Etna," better known than those of most savages. I 
extract the following account of the houses from Einsch's com- 
piled account of New Guinea. It is derived from the 'Etna' 1 

Expedition : 

The houses rest on piles which rise three feet above the surface 
of the water, and are connected with one another by bridges. The 
walls of each house are not higher than three feet, but the 






446 



A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER. 



roof rises as high as 40 feet, is six to eight-sided, and rests on 
the central pile of the building, which either stands directly 
in the sea bottom, or is built of several trees fastened together. 



| 




< 

pa 

E- 


- 
O 

s 

a 



p 

< 
s 
o 



H 

< 



Walls and roof are made of bamboos and palm-leaves, and 
the interior is separated by partition walls made of palm- 



NEW GUINEA. 



44' 



leaves into separate chambers for the men and women and 
unmarried. 

Each house has a fire-place and two small doors, which 
latter form the only entrance for the light and means of exit for 
the smoke. The houses are in two rows in each village, with 
the worst houses at the ends of the rows. 

The temples, which are placed in the middle, are mostly 




TEMPLE AT TOBADDI. 



octagonal, and reach to a height of 60 or 70 feet. Some 
temples have two roofs, one over the other. There are figures 
of men, fish, lizards, and other animals at the apex of the roofs, 
and similar figures at each of the eight angles. 

For accounts of Humboldt Bay, see "Dumont DTJrville Voy. de 
TAstrolabe.'" Paris, 1830. "Voy. au Pole Sud." Paris, 1841. 

" Neu Guinea und seine Bewohner." Otto Finsch. Bremen, Ed. Miiller, 
1865, s. 132. 

"Nieuw Guinea Ethnogr. en Natuururkundig onderzoocht in 1858 
door een Nederl. Ind. Comniissie." Bijdragen tot de Taal Land en 
Volkenkunde van Nederlandisch Indie. Amsterdam, F. Miiller, 1862, 
5th Deel. From this work the three figures given above are copied. 

For " Von Eosenberg's Account of the Visit," see Nat. Tydsch voor. 
Neder. Indie. Deel XXIV. Batavia, H.M. van Dorp, 1862, p. 333, et seq. 



448 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE ADMIKALTY ISLANDS. 

History of Visits to the Island. Eagerness of the Natives for Iron. Trade 
Gear. Trading with the Natives. Geological Structure of the 
Islands. Orchids and Ferns overhanging the Sea. Fern resembling 
a Liverwort. Difficulties iu Collecting Words of their Language 
from the Natives. Their Methods of Counting. Curious Mode of 
Expressing Negation. Physical Characteristics of the Natives. 
Hairiness of Races Compared. Possible Signification of Moles. 
Clothes, Hair Dressing and Ornaments of the Natives. Tattooing 
and Painting. Betel-Chewing and Food. Houses, Temples, and 
Canoes of the Natives. Their Implements and Weapons. Artistic 
Skill of the Natives. Their Musical Instruments, Dancing and 
Singing. Their Polygamy. Fortification of their Villages. Wooden 
Gods. Skulls and Hair in their Temples. Their Religion. Dis- 
position of the Natives. Their Fear of Goats and Toys. Population 
of the Islands. Domestic Animals, Birds and other Animals at the 
Islands. Habits of Gar-Fish. 

The Admiralty Islands, March 3rd to lOth, 18*5. — The Ad- 
miralty Islands were sighted on the afternoon of March 3rd. 
As we sailed along the north coast of the main island, a Sword- 
fish was seen showing its fins above water. It moved rapidly 
with a darting motion but sinuous course. It was apparently 
about five feet long. The fins showed above water, very dif- 
ferently from those of any other fish. The broad dorsal fin 
projected from the water in front, and the upper sickle-shaped 
half of the tail fin projected at an interval behind, and seemed 
as the fish moved to be chasing the fin in front. The fish was 
seen to leap out of the water several times. It was probably a 
species of Istiophorus. 

The Admiralty Islands are a group, consisting of one large 
island and numerous small ones. The group lies between 
latitudes 1° 58' S. and 3° 10' S, and longitudes 146° E. and 



THE ADMIRALTY ISLANDS. 449 

148° 6' E. between 100 and 200 miles south of the equator. 
It is distant from New Hanover 130 miles, and from the nearest 
point of New Guinea about 150 miles. 




APPEARANCE OF ISTIOFHORUS WHEN SWIMMING NEAR THE SURFACE OF THE WATER. 

The large island of the group which is oblong in form, has an 
area of about 550 square miles, being thus about twice as large 
as the Isle of Man. It is mostly low, but contains mountain 
masses rising to a height of 1,600 feet. Our examination of the 
group was confined to the extreme north-western portion of the 
northern coast, and the small outlying islets in the immediate 
vicinity. 

The Admiralty Islands were discovered by Captain Philip 
Carteret, of H.M. sloop " Swallow," on September 14th, 1767. 
Captain Carteret lay off small outlying islands to the south of 
the group. 12 or 14 canoes came off, and the natives at once 
attacked him by throwing their lances into the midst of his 
crew. He had to fire on them, and although he made efforts to 
conciliate them these were entirely unsuccessful. From a state- 
ment made by Dentrecasteaux it appears that shortly before 1790 
the islands were visited by a frigate commanded by Captain 
Morelle. 

In 1791 the " Eecherche " and "Esperance" sailed from 
France, under the command of Dentrecasteaux, to search for 
the missing " La Perouse," the " Eecherche " having on board of 
her as one of the naturalists, M. Labillardiere. 

In the previous year, 1790, the English frigate " Syrius " was 
wrecked on Norfolk Island, and a Dutch vessel which conveyed 
her commander, Commodore Hunter, to Batavia, passed by the 
Admiralty Islands. Whilst she was in sight of the shore, canoes 
full of natives put off towards the ship, and showed a desire to 

G G 



450 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

communicate, and being indistinctly seen in the distance, their 
white shell ornaments showing against their dark skins were 
taken for white facings on French naval uniforms, and their 
reddened bark cloths for European fabrics, and Hunter was 
persuaded that here were relics of the unfortunate " La Perouse." 

Dentrecasteaux received information at the Cape of Good 
Hope, by a special despatch vessel sent for the purpose from the 
Isle of France, of what Commodore Hunter had seen, and he in 
consequence visited the Admiralty Islands with his two ships, 
arriving off the islands in July, 1792. He visited the outlying 
islands of Jesus Maria and La Vandola lying to the eastward, 
and then coasted along the northern shore of the main island to 
the same spot as that visited by the " Challenger." He com- 
municated with the natives by bartering with them from his 
ships and from boats, but seeing no trace of any European relics 
amongst them, he concluded that Commodore Hunter had been 
mistaken in the manner already described, and set sail without 
effecting a landing. Two separate accounts were published of 
Dentrecasteaux's cruise, one by himself, edited by Mr. Eossel, 
the other by M. Labillardiere. Both contain very interesting 
information concerning the Admiralty Islanders, the account by 
Labillardiere being most complete in this respect, and accom- 
panied by large plates of natives and weapons, and a view of 
Dentrecasteaux Island. 

In 1843 the islands were visited by the American clipper 
"Margaret Oakley," Captain Morrell. The crew of this ship 
landed at many points on the coast of the main island, which 
according to Jacobs's account is called " Marso " by the natives. 

They also visited many of the small outlying islands. Jacobs's 
account* is full of interesting details, but evidently not entirely 
trustworthy. It will be referred to in the sequel. There is no 
account extant of the landing of any other Europeans on the 
Admiralty Islands before the visit of the " Challenger." The 
well-known explorer Miklucho Maclay has paid a lengthened 
visit to the islands since our departure. 

As the ship approached the anchorage canoes came off 

* " Scenes, Incidents and Adventures in the Pacific Ocean," &c., pp. 164 
to 182. By T. J. Jacobs. New York, Harper & Bros., 1844. 



THE ADMIRALTY ISLANDS. 451 

through openings in the reef to the vessel, though a stiff 
breeze was blowing, and the natives were evidently in great 
excitement and eager to reach the ship. Paddles were waved 
to show friendship, and various articles of barter exhibited to 
tempt us. The constant cry was " laban, laban ! " which sounded 
to us at first like " tabac tabac," but which we afterwards found 
out to be, like the Humboldt Bay " sigor," the word for iron. 
Iron was the wealth they coveted. 

Having seen the ship securely anchored, the chief ordered 
all the canoes away, and we were left alone till the morning. 
In the morning trade went on briskly, the canoes crowding 
round the ship, and the natives handing their weapons and 
ornaments through the main deck ports. The barter we gave 
in exchange principally was ordinary hoop iron broken up into 
pieces about six inches in length; but we also disposed of a 
great quantity of so-called " trade gear." 

Trade gear is regularly manufactured for Polynesian trading, 
and sold by merchants in Sydney and elsewhere, We had 
bought a stock of about £300 worth for the ship's use. It 
consisted of a cask of small axes, worthless articles, with soft 
iron blades, butchers' knives of all sizes, some of them with the 
blade 12 or 14 inches in length ; cotton cloth, Turkey red and 
navy blue, beads, and other similar articles. 

'The islanders had possibly traded with Europeans before our 
visit within tolerably recent time* They brought off their 
tortoiseshell ready done up in bundles, and they knew the 
relative value of various qualities. The chief had a large 
European axe, which I believe was not procured from the 
ship, and many natives had hoop iron adzes. Nevertheless 
they must have had very little experience indeed, otherwise 
they would not have taken old German newspapers freely as 
trade as they did at the first, thinking them to be fine cloth, 
until rain had fallen. They soon took to making trade goods, 

* There were specimens of Admiralty Island lances and gourds in Gen. 
Lane Fox's Collection, and in the Christy and British Museum Collections, 
procured before the " Challenger " visit. These have probably been ob- 
tained from Cape York, and no doubt were taken there by tortoiseshell and 
pearl-shell traders who had visited the Admiralty Group. 
1 G G2 



452 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

shell hatchets, and models of canoes, to sell to ns, which were 
as badly made as the trade gear which we gave in exchange. 
They understand the rules of barter well, and, as in Labillar- 
diere's time, seemed anxious to pay their debts. They pretended, 
with many expressive grimaces, to be unable to bend pieces of 
tortoiseshell which they offered for sale, and of the thickness 
(i.e., fine quality) of which they wish to impress the purchaser. 
They often thus pretended to try ineffectually to bend very thin 
pieces indeed, and fully entered into the joke when we did the 
same with thin bits of hoop iron. They always required to see 
the hoop-iron tested by bending before accepting it. They must 
trade with one another regularly. They made signs that the ore 
of manganese which they use came in canoes from a distance 
eastwards. The native canoes are so seaworthy, and the natives 
so enterprising and fearless in going to sea, that possibly articles 
may pass by barter from island to island here over wide distances, 
even to New Hanover and New Britain. 

The natives took all the hoop-iron from us which they could 
get, evidently receiving more than they could use, no doubt 
intending it for future barter. My colleague, the late E. von W. 
Suhm, believed that the natives on Wild Island recognized the 
native name of Humboldt Bay (Talok Lintju), and pointed in 
the direction of New Guinea, having knowledge of the place. 
Hence he thought that they visited the place to trade. I think, 
however, that he must have been mistaken. The Admiralty 
Islanders could never make a stand against a race armed with 
bows ; they would be cut off at once ; and had they once seen 
bows and arrows they would surely have adopted them. (The 
Australians have not done so at Cape York, though the Murray 
Islanders come to trade there and bring bows and arrows with 
them, but then they are far lower in intellect, and have the 
throwing stick.) Many other circumstances concur against the 
above hypothesis. 

The Islanders were anxious to trade with us to the very 
last, and followed the ship as she left the anchorage, with that 
intent. They were in a highly excited state, especially at first, 
and a man from whom I bought the first obsidian -headed spears 
I procured, fairly trembled with excitement as I handed him two 



THE ADMIRALTY ISLANDS. 453 

pieces of tub-hoop. The natives have no metals of their own, 
excepting the ore of manganese, with which they blacken their 
bodies. This ore they call " laban," and they have adopted the 
same term for iron. They appear unable to work iron at all, 
since they refused any pieces not of a form immediately appli- 
cable to use. They preferred a small piece of hoop iron to a 
conical mass of iron weighing several pounds. 

The natives are quieter than the Humboldt Bay men. There 
was comparatively little noise when their canoes were alongside. 
There was no combined shouting. The natives are rapacious 
and greedy, and very jealous of one another. The chief showed 
all these traits in the highest degree. They were ready enough 
to thieve, but not so constantly on the look-out for plunder, as 
the Humboldt Bay Papuans. 

The men showed no great astonishment at matches or a 
burning-glass, apparently understanding the latter, and motion- 
ing that the operator should wait until the sun came from 
behind a cloud. Looking-glasses were not at all understood. 
They were tried in all positions, as ornaments on the head 
and breast, for example. The men seemed to see no advantage 
in seeing their faces in them. In Labillardiere's time they broke 
them to look for the picture, or man inside. Tobacco and pipes 
were not understood. Biscuit was eagerly taken and eaten. 
Great wonder was expressed at the whiteness of our legs and 
chests by the natives, and the women at Dentrecasteaux Island 
crowded with great curiosity and astonishment to look at a white 
arm or chest. The natives, no doubt, thought our hands and 
faces only painted white, and took our negroes on board for men 
who had not got the paint on. 

I am convinced that both the Humboldt Bay and Admiralty 
Island natives believed that we bought their weapons in order 
to use them as such. They frequently, when offering spears, 
and bows, showed by signs how well they would kill. No 
doubt they think the Whites are a race which cannot make 
bows and arrows for themselves. 

The ship was anchored in " Nares Anchorage," which is 
sheltered by a line of outlying reefs running parallel with 
the shore, and by numerous small islands. On the line of 



454 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

reefs are two larger islands named Wild Island and Dentre- 
casteaux Island, the latter being nearer to the anchorage. 
These were the only two islands seen by ns to be inhabited. 

The land surface in the vicinity of Nares Bay, consists of a 
series of low irregular ridges rising one above another, with 
wide flat expanses at the heads of bays on the coast, which are 
scarcely or not at all raised above sea-level, and thus are in a 
swampy condition. The mountains appear, from their form, to 
be volcanic ; and it is probable that the obsidian used by the 
natives for their spear-heads is procured in them. A trachytic 
lava was found to compose one of the outlying islands ; and a 
similar rock was observed on the mainland where it commenced 
to rise. A platform of coral-sand rock forms the coast-line of 
the main island in many places ; and a similar rock is the only 
component of most of the small outlying islands. 

From the position of the Admiralty Islands with regard to 
the equator, their climate is necessarily an extremely damp one. 
A great deal of exceedingly heavy rain fell during the stay of 
the " Challenger." Rain fell on five days of the seven, during 
which we were at Nares Anchorage, the total fall being 1-66 
inch. The temperature of the air ranged between 86° and 
75° F., the mean of maximum and minimum observations 
being about 80° F. ; and the air was loaded with moisture. 
Dense clouds of watery vapour hung about the forest-clad 
ranges, keeping the mountains most frequently concealed ; 
and in the evenings clouds of mist hung about the lower 
land, looking like smoke rising from between the densely- 
packed trees. In a bay some miles to the eastward of the 
anchorage of the " Challenger," the mouth of a small river, 
apparently the outlet of the drainage of the mountains on this 
side, was found, and also a very small brook; but running 
water was not elsewhere observed, and the rain probably drains 
to a large extent into the swamps. 

The main island, as viewed from seawards, is seen to be 
densely wooded everywhere. Along the summits of the ridges 
Cocoa-nut Palms show out against the sky, accompanied by 
Areca Palms, as can be made out on a nearer view. The 
general dark-green mass of vegetation on the hill-sides is fes- 






THE ADMIRALTY ISLANDS. 455 

tooned with creepers, and the smaller outlying islands dotted 
about in front of the main island, are all thickly wooded. The 
inhabited ones are distinguished at once by the large number of 
cocoanut trees growing upon them and forming the main 
feature of their vegetation. 

I landed twice upon the main land. The trees where the 
shore is not swampy overhang the sea with immense horizontal 
branches. The bases of many of the trunks of these trees are 
constantly washed by the waves ; but they nevertheless have 
large woody Fungi growing upon them, sometimes attached so 
low down that they are frequently immersed in salt water. 
The overhanging branches are loaded with a thick growth of 
epiphytes ; and I had to wade up to my middle in the sea in 
order to collect specimens of orchids and ferns which hung often 
only a couple of feet above the water. 

In other places the shore is swampy, and is either covered 
with Mangroves, or with a dense growth of high trees with tall 
straight trunks, so closely set that it was very sensibly dark 
beneath them. In such a grove near Pigeon Island, a small 
outlier near the anchorage, whilst the ground beneath is bare 
and muddy, and beset with the bare roots of the trees, the 
trunks of the trees and fallen logs are covered with a most 
luxuriant growth of feathery mosses and Jungermaninas. 

On one of these tree trunks I found a very curious and rare 
Fern, known before only from Samoa and New Caledonia 
(Trichomanes peltatum). The fronds of the fern are circular 
in form, and, connected by a slender rhizome adhere in rows to 
the bark. They are pressed absolutely flat against the bark, 
so as to look like an adherent crust, and have all the appearance 
of a Riccia or some such Liverwort, for which indeed I took them, 
as I gathered specimens by shaving off the bark. A species of 
Adders-tongue Fern (Ophioglossum pendulum), unlike our humble 
little English form, otows in abundance, attached to tree stems 
with long pendulous fronds as much as a yard in length. 

Most of my time during our stay was consumed in the 
collection of plants, since the Botany of the Admiralty Group 
was entirely unknown. Several of the ferns when examined at 
Kew, proved, as was to be expected in such a locality, of new 



456 A NATUEALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER 



» 



species. Amongst the plants was a new Tree-fern; and one 
Orchid formed a new section of the genus Dendrobium. 

All my spare time was devoted to studying the habits and 
language of the natives. I several times visited Wild Island, 
and roamed about with a native guide. The guides always 
went armed. The natives were much frightened and astonished 
at first at the sound of a gun. One of my guides, when I was 
shooting birds, stopped his ears at first, and bent down trem- 
bling every time that I fired. The natives were, however, not 
much scared by our firing our ship s guns and rockets at night, 
but came off next day to the ship to trade as if nothing had 
happened. 

I obtained about 55 words and the numerals of the islands, 
and have published the results elsewhere in a paper, a large part 
of which is here reprinted, reference to which will be found at 
the end of this chapter. The difficulty of obtaining correct 
vocabularies from savages, of whose language the investigator 
is entirely ignorant, is well known, and has been commented on 
by many writers on anthropology and philology. I was well 
aware of these difficulties, and I used great caution, and believe 
that the words which I obtained are mostly correct. 

I met with the following special difficulties with the 
Admiralty Islanders in obtaining words from them. The 
natives seemed always ready enough to give the names of 
particular birds which had been shot, as of two kinds of Pigeons 
and a Parrot, or of a Cuscus, Hermit-crab, or any such object 
which they considered was strange and novel to the inquirer, 
and one for which, as they thought, he wished to learn a name ; 
but immediately they were asked for the word for the nose, or 
arm, or any such object common to the inquirer and themselves, 
they seemed to grow puzzled and suspicious, and to wonder 
why one could want to know the name of a thing for which one 
must have a name already. Some men were suspicious from 
the first, and refused sullenly to give any words at all, and 
prevented others from giving any. Some would give one or 
two only, and then refuse further information, whilst I came 
across two who gave me at least ten words each, quickly one 
after another, but then, like the rest, failed me. 



TILE ADMIRALTY ISLANDS. 457 

I got a few natives together round some dead birds which I 
had shot, and gathered small stones and set them to count. 
The numerals are interesting, because those for 8 and 9 are 
expressed as 10 minus 2, and 10 minus 1.* In the process of 
learning the art of counting, a term for the numeral 10 has been 
reached by the natives, before 8 and 9 have been named. This 
method of forming the numerals 8 and 9 is known amongst 
other distant races, such as the Ainos, and some North American 
races, but apparently does not occur amongst either Polynesians 
or other Melanesians. It is, however, found in the language 
of one Micronesian island, Yap in the Caroline Group. 

In counting objects, the natives clap their hands, held with 
the fingers pointed forwards and closed side by side, once when 
ten is reached, twice when twenty is pronounced, thrice for 
thirty, and so on. Up to 10 counting is done on the fingers, 
and after that, 10, 11, &c, are reckoned on the toes. 

The idea of counting on the feet as well as the hands still 
survives in Great Britain. An Irish car-driver in Co. Mayo, a 
few winters ago, used the expression to me, " as many times as 
I could count on my fingers and toes " for a score. The use of 
the toes in counting is apt to seem extraordinary to civilized 
Europeans, who constantly wear boots and shoes, and sit on chairs. 
The majority of mankind who squat on the floor or ground, and 
have their toes generally exposed, and from their posture near 
to their hands, naturally pass to the toes in counting, after 
having- exhausted the hands. 

To express affirmation, the natives jerk the head up, as at 
Fiji. Negation is expressed by a most extraordinary and 
peculiar method. The nose is struck on its side by the 
extended forefinger of the right hand, the motion being as if 
the tip of the nose were to be cut or knocked off. This sign 

* Admiralty Island Numerals. 1, Sip. 2, Huap. 3, Taro. 4, Vavu. 5, 
Lima. 6, Wono. 7, Hetarop. 8, AndaHuap. 9, Anda Sip. 10, Sangop. Jacobs, 
I.e., p. 172, gives, See. Maruer, Tollo. Ear. Leme. Ouno. Andru-tollo. Andru- 
ruer. Andru-see. Songule. Thus, according to him, the numeral for 7 is 
formed in the same manner as that for 8 and 9. His numerals are no 
doubt from a different part of the Admiralty Group, and the method of 
spelling adopted by him is very different. They still correspond closely 
with those obtained by me. 



458 A NATUKALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER." 

was invariably used to express refusal of proffered barter, or 
that a native had not got some article asked for. It is capable 
of various modifications. The quick decided negative is given 
by a smart quick stroke on the nose. In the doubtful, hesitat- 
ing negative, the finger dwells on its way, and is rubbed slowly 
across the nose. 

The men average about 5 feet 5 inches in height, and the 
women about 5 feet 1. They contrast at once with the Papuans 
of Humboldt Bay, in being far thinner and lankier. Three 
men who were weighed, averaged only nine stone (137 lbs.) in 
weight. I saw but one native that was at all fleshy, although 
such were not uncommon at Humboldt Bay. Food is perhaps 
not so abundant here as on the New Guinea coast, and the 
natives have not, like the Papuans, the advantage of bows and 
arrows to kill game with. 

The usual colour of the natives is a black-brown, often very 
dark, and darker than that of the Papuans of Humboldt Bay. 
The young girls and young boys appear much lighter as a rule 
than the adults. Some one or two of the young women were 
of a quite light yellowish-brown, as was also one young man, 
who came from a distance to the ship to trade. No doubt there 
is a mixture of blood, and the light coloured natives observed, 
belonged to the light coloured race described by Jacobs as 
inhabiting the eastern part of the main island and as constantly 
made war upon by the dominant black race.* 

The hair of the head, which is worn long only by the younger 
adult males, formed in them a dense mop, projecting in all direc- 
tions 6 to 8 inches from the head. It appeared less luxuriant in 
growth than that of the Papuans of Humboldt Bay. The hair is 
crisp, glossy, and extremely elastic, and every hair rolls itself up 
into a spiral of small diameter. 

In general appearance thus it is fine curly, like that of 
Fijians. On comparing it with a very small sample of hair 
of the natives of Humboldt Bay taken from several native 
combs, the Papuan hair proves to be somewhat coarser, but 
in other respects the two hairs are closely alike, the diameters 
of the spirals of the curls being the same. Some hair from a 

* Jacobs, I.e., p. 17fi. 



THE ADMIRALTY ISLANDS. 459 

native of Api, New Hebrides, is of about the same coarseness 
as the Admiralty Island hair, but the curls are of much smaller 
diameter. The hair of the Api Islanders seems to be remarkable 
for the fineness of its curls. In Tongan hair the curls are of far 
larger diameter than those of the Papuan or Admiralty Island 
hair. 

The fineness of the curl of the hair in various Polynesian 
and Papuan races which I have seen, seems to be pretty con- 
stant in each race and characteristic. It might be estimated by 
measuring the diameter of the circles formed by the separate 
spirally twisted hairs, and taking the average of several measure- 
ments. No doubt a certain curve of the hair follicles corresponds 
with and produces the curl in the hairs, as in the case of the 
hair follicles of the negro as discovered by Mr. Stewart.* But 
the amount of curve will be peculiar to each race. The hair of 
both head and body of the Admiralty Islanders is naturally 
black, that of the head being of a glossy black. 

The hair of the men's bodies was not at all abundant, nor by 
any means so plentiful as it is often seen to be on the bodies of 
Europeans, the hairiness of whom is apt to be underrated. I 
lately saw in a travelling show an abnormally hairy Englishman. 
His back and chest were covered with a thick growth of coarse 
black hair, as thick as that of a gorilla. Unlike most ab- 
normally hairy examples of the human race, the hair was not 
continued over the whole body, but ceased at certain lines on 
his arms. 

The continuous covering ceased abruptly at these lines, but 
beyond them were scattered small isolated hairy patches, which 
formed a sort of gradation to the ordinary bare skin beyond. 
These small patches, the tailing off of the hairy covering, were 
regular hairy moles, such as occur so frequently on various parts 
of the body in Europeans. It would seem therefore not im- 
probable that such moles are in reality small patches of the 
original coating of long hair of the ancestral man, a small spot of 
the skin, returning by atavism to its ancestral condition. 

Each organ and each histological tissue in animals and plants 

* Charles Stewart, F.L.S., "Note on the Scalp of a Negro." Micro- 
scopical Journal, 1873, p. 54. 



460 A NATURALIST ON THE "CHALLENGER 



>> 



has its own special developmental history. May not many 
morbid growths and pathological changes in the tissues of higher 
animals and plants be regarded as instances of reversion in the 
particular tissues to a condition which was normal in their 
earlier history ? In these the growth of the cells is, as in the 
embryo, more rapid and less closely restrained by polarity, so 
that the resulting masses are mostly without definite form. 

Eyebrows were generally absent in the Admiralty Islanders, 
very probably shaved off; the natives made signs when offered 
razors, that they used obsidian knives for shaving. 

I did not notice that the natives seen at Nares Anchorage 
had excessively large front teeth. This fact was observed by 
Miklucho Maclay. Figures are given by him of the teeth. 

The septum of the nose in all the adults is perforated, and 
the lower margin of the perforation usually dragged down by 
the suspension of ornaments, so that in a profile view of the 
face the large aperture in the septum is looked through by the 

observer. 

Some of the natives, as at Humboldt Bay, have most remark- 
ably long Jewish noses. About 1 in every 15 or 20 has such a 
nose. I at first imagined that this form of nose was produced 
to some extent by long action of excessively heavy nose orna- 
ments, but I saw one youth of only 16 or 17 with such a nose 
very fully developed, and I saw more than one woman with a 
well-marked arched nose with dependent tip, and the women 
appear to wear no nose ornaments. 

The lobes of the ears of all the men were enlarged, being 
slit and dragged down into long loops by the weight of suspended 

ornaments. 

The women wear as their only clothes two bunches of grass, 
one in front, the other behind. The men wear as their only 
dress, excepting a white cowry shell, occasionally a narrow strip 
of bark cloth about five feet long and six or eight inches in 
breadth, which is almost white when new and clean. The cloth 
is in the form of a long natural sac, open at both ends, being 
evidently loosened from the cut limb of the tree from which it 
is made by beating, and then drawn off entire. This cloth is 
sometimes reddened by being rubbed with a red earth used by 



THE ADMIRALTY ISLANDS. 461 

the natives for smearing their bodies. No better native cloth 
was seen ; and the natives apparently do not know the method 
of fusing the fibrous matter from several pieces of bark together, 
so as to form tappa, like that of Fiji or Tonga. 

The hair in the women, young and old, is cut short all over 
the head, and worn thus simply, without decoration of any kind. 
In the boys, the hair is short, I believe cut short, as in the 
women. Only the young men of apparently from 18 to 30, or 
so, wear the hair long and combed out into a mop or bush. In 
the older men the hair is always short. There are probably 
religious ceremonies connected with the cutting of the hair, for 
the very large quantities of bunches of fresh-looking hair sus- 
pended in the temples are probably not all at least, if any, taken 
from the dead. 

The mop of hair in the young men, possibly the warriors 
(though numbers of adults, still in full vigour, had their hair 
short), is carefully combed out, often reddened, and greased. A 
triangular comb is worn in it, also cocks' feathers which are 
bound together in plumes and fastened on to the ends of short 
sticks of wood worn as hair pins. Plumes of the Mcobar 
pigeon, or the Night Heron, are also thus worn. 

It must be remembered that Pacific Island native ornaments 
are all made to show on a dark skin. White shell or tusk orna- 
ments look exceedingly well against the dark skins of natives, 
although when removed and handled by Whites, they show to 
little advantage. The young girls amongst the Admiralty 
Islanders sometimes have a necklace or two on, but they never 
are decorated to the extent to which the men are. The old 
women have no ornaments. I saw one girl only with a necklace 
of the beads procured from the ship. Another girl had one of 
small unshaped lumps of wood, worn apparently rather as a 
charm than an ornament. 

Amongst the lower races of savages, decoration follows the 
law which is almost universal amongst other animals. It is the 
male which is profusely ornamented, whilst the female is deprived 
of decoration. This condition is almost entirely reversed by 
civilisation, and the grade of advancement of a race may, to 
some extent, be measured by the amount of expense which the 



462 A NATURALIST ON THE " CHALLENGER." 

men are willing to incur in decorating their wives. The males 
in highly civilised communities revert to the savage condition of 
profuse decoration only as warriors or officials, and on State 
occasions. 

Amongst the Admiralty Islanders, the decoration is almost 
entirely confined to the men, and these seem averse to part with 
any of their finery to the women. 

The men wear armlets of Trochus niloticus shell, like those of 
Fiji, the Carolines, and elsewhere. They wear often seven or 
eight on each arm. The rings are neatly engraved with lines 
forming lozenge-shaped patterns, and form very effective orna- 
ments indeed. 

Circular plates, ground out of Tridacna gigas shell, are also 
worn, either as breastplates or on the front of the head. The 
discs are faced with plates of thin tortoiseshell, perforated with 
very elaborated patterns. 

Long style-like ornaments of Tridacna shell are worn de- 
pendent from the nose. They are closely like those which, in 
the Solomon Islands, are worn stuck transversely through the 
septum nasi, but are here always worn dependent by a loop of 
twine. Ear and nose ornaments are also made of the teeth of 
the Cuscus of the islands, and crocodiles' teeth. The ears and 
nose septa are always perforated. Pieces of rolled-up leaf are 
worn sometimes in the ear (perhaps those of betel pepper). 

Necklaces of native beads of