National Geographic : 1916 Dec
Photograph from Boston Photo News Co. TIHE LAUGHING JACKASS (SEE PAGE 505) run at the rate of 15 to 20 miles an hour, and break an ordinary fence by impact. The ostrich has been introduced into South Australia and the export of its plumes bids fair to assume considerable proportions. Stray ostriches are occa sionally met with. On a smooth stretch of desert road north of Port Augusta we had an opportunity to gauge their speed. It was a neck and neck race for 2 miles, with the motor cyclometer registering 30 miles an hour. TIlE ORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS The isolation of the Australian Conti nent, so clearly reflected in its fauna and flora, has left its stamp on the native race. Like the kangaroo and the tree fern, the aboriginal is a remnant of bygone days. Paleolithic man, whose primitive tools are eagerly sought in the caves and grav- els of Europe, was alive in Tasmania within the memory of people now living, and Neolithic man is roaming the deserts of Australia by hundreds. Though comparatively little is known of the aborigines and many tribes have never been studied, there is general agree ment that the "blackfellow" is on the lowest rung and perhaps at the very bot tom of the ladder of civilization. In the opinion of Andrew Lang, "they are in finitely beneath the status in culture of Paleolithic man of the mammoth and reindeer period," and their "manners and rites were far the most archaic of all with which we are acquainted." The Australian native* is unlike the *The term "native" is used in the American sense. In Australia the term is applied to native-born whites. The original inhabitants are "blackfellows" or aborigines.