Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, & Technology
Back to the LHL Home Page | Back to the Exhibitions Home Page


Scientific Circumnavigations 1679 to 1859
  Captain Cook's First Voyage 1768-1771


Though his instructions from the Admiralty did include a search for the "great southern continent", he did not undertake the exhaustive search required for that mission until his second voyage. During this first voyage, Cook focused on the exploration of New Zealand and Australia. Cook surveyed the east coast of Australia and provided the world’s first complete map of the continent. He wrote that

"New Holland, or, as I have now called the eastern coast, New South Wales, is of a larger extent than any other country in the known world that does not bear the name of a continent."


"An animal found on the coast of
New Holland called Kanguroo"

from An Account of the Voyages
... in the Southern Hemisphere ... by Captain Cook.
London: Printed for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1773.


The naturalist John Gould later identified Cook’s species as Macropus Major, the Great Grey Kangaroo. Cook provided his own description:

"The head, neck, and shoulders, are very small in proportion to the other parts of the body; the tail is nearly as long as the body … the fore-legs are kept bent close to the breast, and seemed to be of use only for digging: the skin is covered with a short fur, of a dark mouse or grey colour excepting the head and ears, which bear a sight resemblance to those of a hare. This animal is called by the natives Kanguroo."


Cook: Page 8 of 16. The first voyage.
back   next  

introduction | dampier | anson | bougainville | cook's 1st | cook's 2nd | cook's 3rd
la perouse | freycinet | duperrey | d'urville | laplace | vaillant
kotzebue | darwin | wilkes | novara

View printed catalog in Adobe PDF format.
bibliography | order the catalog | order the images
credits | history of science | linda hall home

Copyright 2002 Linda Hall Library.