Discovery of koalas, 1803

Discovery of koalas, 1803

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Discovery of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus). 19th-century illustration based on the 1803 painting by John Lewin, part of the first description of koalas to reach Joseph Banks in England. Koalas were only discovered in June-September 1803, with the type specimens collected at 'Hat Hill' (Mount Kembla) in the Illawarra district of New South Wales, south of Sydney. The biologists of Cook's voyages had not observed it. This print derives directly from the 1803 original. Artwork from a volume of 'Dictionnaire pittoresque d'histoire naturelle et des phenomenes de la nature' (Paris, 1833-1839) edited by Felix E. Guerin-Meneville.

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