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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 334 pages of information about An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 2.

[* The kangaroo, and some other animals in New South Wales, were remarkable for being domesticated as soon as taken.]

This circumstance seemed to indicate, that with kind treatment the Wombat might soon be rendered extremely docile, and probably affectionate; but let his tutor beware of giving him provocation, at least if he should be full grown.

Besides Furneaux’s Islands, the Wombat inhabits, as has been seen, the mountains to the westward of Port Jackson.  In both these places its habitation is under ground, being admirably formed for burrowing, but to what depth it descends does not seem to be ascertained.  According to the account given of it by the natives, the wombat of the mountains is never seen during the day, but lives retired in his hole, feeding only in the night; but that of the islands is seen to feed in all parts of the day.  His food is not yet well known; but it seems probable that he varies it, according to the situation in which he may be placed.  The stomachs of such as Mr. Bass examined were distended with the coarse wiry grass, and he, as well as others, had seen the animal scratching among the dry ricks of sea-weed thrown up upon the shores, but could never discover what it was in search of.  Now the inhabitant of the mountains can have no recourse to the sea-shore for his food, nor can he find there any wiry grass of the islands, but must live upon the food that circumstances present to him.

The annexed representation of this new and curious addition to the animals of New South Wales was taken from a living subject, which was a female, and had the characteristic mark which classed it with the opossum tribe, the pouch or bag for its young.

Cape Barren Island, besides the kangaroo and wombat, is inhabited by the porcupine ant-eater; a rat with webbed feet; paroquets, and small birds unknown at Port Jackson, some few of which were of beautiful plumage.  Black snakes with the venomous fangs were numerous upon the edges of the brush.  The rocks toward the sea were covered with fur-seals of great beauty.  This species of seal seemed to approach nearest to that named by naturalists the Falkland Island Seal.

’In point of animated life nature seems (says Mr. Bass) to have acted so oddly with this and the neighbouring islands, that if their rich stores were thoroughly ransacked, I doubt not but the departments of natural history would be enlarged by more new and valuable specimens than they ever before acquired from any land of many times their extent.’

CHAPTER XV

The Norfolk proceeds on her voyage
The Swan Isles; why so named
Waterhouse Isle
Discover Port Dalrymple
Account of the country within it
Natural productions
Animals
Sagacity and numbers of the black swan
Inhabitants; inferior to those of the continent
Range of the thermometer
Pass Table Cape
Circular head
Three Hummock Island
Albatross Island
Hunter’s Isles
Proceed to the southward and westward

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