On This Day …

Thursday, 22nd September, 1831

Photo by Liahna Reyes

The early 1800s must have been such an exciting time in Australia — even if living might have been difficult in some areas. There was so much new territory to explore, new sights to see, new creatures to discover. What an adventure! I suppose if I had lived back then, I might have been an explorer – except that they probably would have told a woman to stay home and raise babies, etc.

But, I digress. In September 1831, George Fletcher Moore, a settler in Western Australia, was with an expedition led by fellow explorer Robert Dale. The team’s mission was to survey and cut a road in the southwest region of the state to where Moore’s land grant had been awarded.

Scanned image of Moore’s drawing of the numbat.

On this happy Thursday, he came across a numbat, although he didn’t know what he was looking at, at the time. After capturing one, he recorded his impressions. ‘From the length of its tongue, and other circumstances, we conjecture that it is an ant-eater—its colour yellowish, barred with black and white streaks across the hinder part of the back; its length about twelve inches.’ He illustrated his description with the first known drawing of the animal.

I wonder what it felt like to discover something new. If your name went down in history as the discoverer of something, what would you wish it to be?

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Published in: on 21st September, 2012 at 10:46 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That’s fascinating! My latest novel, unpublished as yet, is for young adults and is set in early Australian times with the main character being a young convict girl. I love early Australian history and there are so many parallels with early American history as well.

    • Yes, I love early Australian history, too. Nice to meet another Aussie history buff, Madeleine. 🙂

  2. I’d love to know how they came to be called numbats. With the variety of strange critters around, those settlers in the 1800s must have been astounded many times.

    • Now that’s something I did not think to look up – it is an intriguing name, isn’t it?


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