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Bunyip Skeletal Remains from 1847

Bunyip Skeletal Remains from 1847

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Sydney Morning Herald 1847 (Feb 9)
Sydney Morning Herald 1847 (Feb 9)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on May 11, 2010
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07/05/2013

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The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Tuesday 9 February 1847, page 3National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12897214
ORIGINAL
THE
APOCRYPHALANIMAL
OFTHE
INTERIOR
OFNEW
SOUTHWALES.
the
GBNTLEMBN,-I
needscarcelyobserve
to
youthat
this
colony
is
distinguished
by
the
most
grotesque
vari.itions
ofthe
customarypheno-
mena
ofnature;birds
withoutwings
scour
,
our
plains,
and
marsupialquadrupeds,
withclaws
on
theirfore
pawsand
talons
on
their
hind
legs,likebird?,
hop
on
their
tails
;
themoleslayeggsandhaveducks'
bills
;
wo
hnvebirdswithbrooms
intheir
mouths
in
place
of
tongues
;
fishfor
which
it
is
utteilyimpossible
tofind
a
place
in
theexistingsystems
ofsci-entific
men;and
salt
growing
in
perfection
on
i
thebushesof
our
forests.
Until
lately,
itwas
supposed
thatnearly
all
our
quadrupeds
bo-
j
longed,
or
were
intimatelyrelated
totheglircsof
Linnwus
;
butwhilst
it
was
generally
I
known
tintatleaBt
two-thirdsof
theAus-tralian
quadrupeds
made
their
way
by
spring-inginthe
air,it
hasbeenbut
lately
that
rumoura
havereached
us
of
a
huge
animalof
the/«ne
orderdisportingin
clumsygambols,and
inhabitingthewatersof(holake«
and
rivers
ofthe
interior.
These
rumours
have,
however,begun
to
assume
a
more
ccttiín
form,andinasmuch
ns
during
myrecentttip
on
thebanksoftheLachlanand
Murrumbidgee,
and
through
the
Murray
district,
many
detailsin
reference
tothis
apocryphalanimal
weie
given
tome,
I
will,
with
your
permission,lay
before
yourrenderssuch
particulars
as
I
havebeenenabled
to
collect.
The
Muirumbidgce
blacks
assert
that
a
large
animal,
"
biijas
him
bullock,"existsin
thelakes
of
t'-at
district;
theydescribe
it
as
having
a
headandlongneck
like
an
emu,
with
a
thick
mane
of
hnir
fromthetop
ofthe
head
to
thoshoulders
;
four-legged,withthree
toes
on
each
foot,
which
is
webbed
;
and
having
a
tail
like
a
horse.
They
call
it
theKalenpai,whilst
by
theWatta
|
Watta
tribe
(who
similarly
describe
it)itis
calledKyenprate
;
by
theYabalaYabala
tribe
on
thoEdwardRiver,
itis
known
ns
theTunatbah
;
whilst,
the
BurrulaBurrula
tribecall
it
Dongtts.
Ihavebeeninformed'thattheblacks
on
theGreat
CorangamiteLake,
in
thePortland
district,
describe
a
similaranimal,whichthey
call
the
Bunyip
;
andIhaveheardvarious
accounts
fromwhite
men
(shepherdsandothers)who
profess
to
have
seen
thoanimal
at
its
gambols
in
the
water.
Butthefollowingincidenthasbeenproductiveof
so
tangible
a
resultthat,
howeverImayhavedoubtedtheexaggeratednarratives
of
some
of
my
informants,I
cannot
butconcludethat
some
large
animal,withwhich
wcare
yet
un-
acquainted,
reallyexistsin
the
districtsI
havonamed.Mr.Fletcher,whoresided
on
theLower
Murrumbidgee,
was
told
by
a
tribo
of
blacks,
that
wasa
that
theyhad
some
timepreviously
killed
a
Kalenpai,
on
thebanksof
a
lake
near
theMur-rumbidgee.
It
must
beobservedthst
the
blackshave
a
greatdreadoftheanimal,andavoidbathing
or
fishingin
the
waters
wherethey
assert
thnt
it
exists.
They
assuredMr.Fletcher
that
theremainsofthe
creature
wouldbefound
in
thespotwheretheyhad
killed
it
;
and,althoughdoubtfulofthe
fact,
that
gentle-
man
proceeded
to
theplaceminutelydescribed
by
the
blacks,
andtherefound
n
large
portionofthe
skull
of
some
animal,
««.Weh,to
all
appoaranco,
had
not
beendead
forany
greatlength
of
timo.No
traces
ofany
more
bones
or
otherremainscouldbodiscovered,but
enough
was
found
to
provetheexistencoofthe
supposed
fabulousKalenpai.
Every
black
to
whom(hoskull
was
afterwardsshownagreedthat
it
belonged
to
thedreaded
monster
oftholakes
;
and
in
order
to
give
your
readers
asac-
curate
n
notion
ns
is
inmy
pnwerof
nil
that
can
bogatheredfromMr.Fletcher'sdiscovery,
Iwill
request
theirattentiontithe
followingrudosketchesofthe
skull,
which
was
after-
wardstaken
by
Mr.Fletcher
to
Melbourne,
andwhere
it
will
doubtlesslyreceivethe
mostcareful
examinationfromthose
skil-
ful
comparativeanatomists,Dr.Hobsor"^dMr.Greoves.*
Figure1.-Side
view
of
theupperhalfofthe
skull.
Length
fromA
to
Baboutnine
|
inches
;
but,
fromthoendofthesnout,about
two
or
threeinchesapparentlyhavebeenbroken
off.
There
areno
incisors
on
the
por-tion
ofthe
jaw
whichremains,butthreestronggrinders
are
plaocd
on
each
side,
resemblingthoseofthe
ox,
andnearly
as
large.
Theblacks
assert
that
it
has
enormous
tusks
;
but
they
aro
wanting
intheofthe

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