Continent of Curiosities: A Journey Through Australian Natural History
Collecting curiosities was a gentlemanly occupation for wealthy and educated 18th-century Europeans. Few creatures aroused more curiosity than those from Australia. But collections demand organisation, and classification itself reveals patterns to life that cannot be ignored. From a leisurely occupation, the science of biology was born. Cabinets de curiosites became national museums, with specimens from Australia playing an integral role in all kinds of biological debates. Australian museums now foster their own research and continue to provide major and sometimes unexpected perspectives to international scientific developments. Continent of Curiosities follows the thread of individual natural history stories through the scientists of one of Australia's oldest museums, Museum Victoria. Together, these stories weave a history of the development of biological science from an Australian perspective, with insights into the people and places that influence the way we see and understand the natural world around us.
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Aboriginal animals apes Asian Australia bacteria biogeographic biological birds brain Brazenor Burramys Cainozoic catchment century Clode collections common continents creatures Darwin developed dinosaurs discovery distribution Earth environmental European evidence evolution evolutionary expedition extinct fauna fire fossil record Frederick McCoy geological gorilla habitat Halford humans Huxley hypsilophodontids indigenous invertebrates kangaroo kilometres knowledge Lamarck land masses Leadbeater's Possum Leaellynasaura Lesser Bilby living species Lombok London Lyell Macquarie Island macropods Mahogany Glider Malay Archipelago mammals Mars marsupials Martian McCoy Melbourne Melbourne's meteorite million years ago modern Mountain Ash Mountain Ash forests Museum of Victoria Museum Victoria natural history natural selection naturalist optic tectum origin patterns plants Plate Portuguese pouch primates quote region reptiles River rocks scientific scientists similar Skink South southern specimens Spencer Sugar Glider suggests surface Sydney temperature terrestrial theory trees trigonia Trigoniidae University Press Wallaby Wallace Line Wallace's Yarra