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Peripatus papuensis


AT the end of last June I received from Mr. A. E. Pratt, the well-known naturalist, a number of fine specimens of Peripatus which he and his son, Mr. F. B. Pratt, had found in New Guinea on their recent expedition to that island. This is the first time Peripatus has been found in New Guinea. It was found by Dr. Willey in New Britain in 1897, and by Mr. Muir and Mr. Kershaw in Ceram last year (see NATURE, July 1, 1909, p. 17, and Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science, liii., 1909, P. 737). The New Guinea specimens were found in January, February, and March at Sarayu, at an elevation of 3500 feet in the Central Arfak Mountains. Mr. Pratt, in describing his discovery, writes as follows:— “After my son found the first specimen amongst the roots of the grass, we at once showed it to the natives, offering them a large knife (which is most valuable to them) for every specimen. Quite sixty of the natives were searching for the above months, and you have the results; so evidently they are not common in the part we were in. The curious thing is that, although we searched for weeks, we never found another specimen. The natives told me they found them at the roots of grass, under stones, and at the damp roots of clumps of bamboo.”

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SEDGWICK, A. Peripatus papuensis. Nature 83, 369–370 (1910).

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