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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 85



The tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) and devil's (Sarcophilue ursinus) chief habitat is on the coast, principally in the undisturbed portion south of Macquarie Harbour, where they find sufficient prey in kangaroo (Halmatarus bermettii) and wallaby (Halmatarus billardieri), only found in small numbers, picking up a living on the coarse grassed hummocks.

Tiger cats (Dasyurus maclatus) overrun the woods, and are the scavenger and most plucky animals of the forests, and unlike the cowardly snapping tiger, fight bravely to the last. The sleepy wombats (Phascolomys wombats) roam over the button grass plains, making their domiciles under the shade of the thickly thatched tussocks, or burrowing long underground tunnels at the edge of the forests, They are numerous in all parts, and often prove good friends to the provisionloss pioneer and miner. On one occasion, when my supplies were unavoidably delayed, myself and brother travelled over the Western Ranges, and subsisted entirely for five days on roast wombat; and many other cases may be instanced where life has been saved by the use of their flesh, which is not to be despised, and surpasses the insipid preserved meats and soups so commonly used in the

It is only within the last two years that many of the smaller animals of Tasmania found in the unpopulated regions have become known to the zoologist. Dr. Higgins, and Mr. Petterd, of Launceston, undertook the work of description, and solicited collections of specimens from every locality in the island, and in many instances received entirely new species. Being on the West Coast at the time, and always anxious to forward any scientific investigations, I collected all the varieties of kangaroo rats, antichians, and rats that came under my observation. Four of them proved to be new species to the island, and described by "Dr. Higgins, in a paper read before the Royal Society, as follows :—Red kangaroo rat (Potorous rufus), Antectinus moorei, Mus castaneus, and Mus pachyurus.