Wild Life in Australia The Life-Story of a Squirrel Adventures in the Great Forests Heroes of Pioneering


    IN re-publishing, with considerable additions, the series of natural history articles which originally appeared in the Victorian Naturalist and the Emu, the author of “Wild Life in Australia” has assuredly been well advised; for within this unassuming little volume is to be found a valuable store of information concerning the animals and plants of various districts in Australia. The province of Victoria, the Riverina district of New South Wales, the islands of Bass Strait, Queensland, and Western Australia are in turn discussed; and in each case, the treatment of the subject is full of interest, although the amount of space devoted to each district is by no means large. The most important observations in the book are those relating to the life-history of the duckbill or platypus. Many of our readers will recall that in 1901 Mr. G. Metcalfe, at a meeting of the Zoological Society, denied that the platypus lays eggs. Mr. le Souëf, on the other hand, definitely states that at the end of October the creature lays one or two eggs, which are of elongated form and furnished with a leathery shell. The egg is believed to be soon hatched, and the newly-hatched young is naked, and about one inch in length. A nest and kroken eggshell were, according to the author, forwarded to Dr. P. L. Sclater. The point in dispute may now be regarded as settled. Mr. le Souëf adds that the platypus is, a good climber, and that when on land it folds inwards the portion of the web projecting beyond the toes, so that the latter may be enabled to obtain a grip of the surface.

    Wild Life in Australia.

    By W. H. D. le Souëf. Pp. xv + 439; illustrated. (Christchurch: Whit-combe and Tombs, Ltd.) Price 7s. 6d. net.

    The Life-Story of a Squirrel.

    By T. C. Bridges. Pp. vii + 230; illustrated. (London: A. and C. Black, 1907.) Price 6s.

    Adventures in the Great Forests.

    By H. W. G. Hyrst. Pp. 330; illustrated. (London: Seeley and Co., Ltd., 1908.) Price 5s.

    Heroes of Pioneering.

    By E. Sanderson. Pp. 352; illustrated. (London: Seeley and Co., Ltd., 1908) Price 5s.

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