According to Giaom, there are laws regulating the ownership of every inch of ground on Muralug and the neighbouring possessions of the Kowraregas, and I am led to believe such is likewise the case at Cape York. In both, as in the Bathymetrical regions of the South Atlantic, the Testacea of the depths are generally smaller and less brightly coloured than those inhabiting the shallows. Among the Kowraregas, there are, according to Giaom, three principal people, Manu, Piaquai, and Baki, all old men, but among the Gudangs, a young man of twenty-five of the name of Tumagugo appeared to have the greatest influence, and next to him Paida, not more than six or eight years older. It seems curious to find at Cape York and the Prince of Wales Islands a recognised division and ownership of land, seeing that none of it by cultivation has been rendered fit for the permanent support of man. The explanation of this complete separation of the South-eastern marine fauna of Australia from that of the North-eastern or Indo-Pacific portion, may be explained by reference to the distribution of currents along the Australian shores. Lastly, an old man occasionally so disposes of his property that a favourite child may obtain a larger proportion than he could afterwards claim as his inheritance. The exact localities of not a few have to be determined; a precise record was kept of the place and circumstances under with each was found during the voyage of the Rattlesnake. Marriage does not affect the permanency of the right of a woman to any landed property which may have come into her possession. It will be seen that a great part of the Australian land-shells is as yet unfigured. The blubber is esteemed the most delicate part; but even the skin is eaten, although it requires much cooking in the oven. This oven is of simple construction--a number of stones, the size of the fist, are laid on the ground, and a fire is continued above them until they are sufficiently hot, the meat is then laid upon the bottom layer with some of the heated stones above it, a rim of tea-tree bark banked up with sand or earth is put up all round, with a quantity of bark, leaves, or grass on top, to retain the steam, and the process of baking goes on. The Acephala found living in the Littoral zone of the south-east Australian province were Cleidotherus chamoides, under rocks at low-water in Port Jackson; Mytilus erosus on the mud of zostera flats at Port Dalrymple, several species of Venus, Tapes, Cytherea in similar localities; Arca globata in the same habitat at Brisbane; Arca fuscata in reefs at Port Dalrymple; a new Tellina on mud at Port Phillip; another with Donax epidermia in sand at Broken Bay, and Clavagella australis on rocks at low-water, Port Jackson. Friendly reception at Darnley Island, and proceedings there. The flesh is cut through to the ribs in thin strips, each with its share of skin and blubber, then the tail is removed and sliced with a sharp shell as we would a round of beef. In Broken Bay species of Bankivia and Scalaria were collected, cast dead on the shore.
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Although on Murray and Darnley and other thickly peopled and fertile islands a considerable extent of land in small patches has been brought under cultivation, at the Prince of Wales Islands the cleared spots are few in number, and of small extent--nor does the latter group naturally produce either the coconut or bamboo, or is the culture of the banana attempted. In the north and north-east Australian province the living littoral Acephala are Solens of which two new species were taken at Port Essington, Anomia australis, Anatina olerina, and another, new, in the same locality; species of Mytilus, Meleagrina and Pinna, Ostrea and Pecten (pyxidatus) Lima fragilis and squamosa, Hippopus and Tridacna, the former detached on coral reefs, the latter embedded in the coral, Corbis fimbriatus in sand among coral reefs; species of Venus, Cytherea, Circe, and Tapes in mud, Artemis sculpta at Port Essington on sand, Lucinae on sand or reefs, Crassatella on mudflats at Port Curtis, where Cypricardia vellicata occupies the fissures of rocks with Carditae; several species of Cardium in mud or sand, including C. Other species, members of the same genera, are cast on shore dead.
This is the favourite mode of cooking turtle and dugong throughout Torres Strait, and on the east coast of the mainland I have seen similar fireplaces as far south as Sandy Cape. A great variety of yam-like tubers are cultivated in Torres Strait. Species of Pectunculus, Nucula, Pandora, Anatinella, Venus, Tellina (decussata and deltoidalis) and Mesodesma are thrown dead on the shores. unedo; Sanguinolaria rugosa at Dunk Island; species of Mesodesma in sand, and Mactrae and Tellinae in mud; a new Psammobia at Port Essington as also a new Pholas that bores into coral.
In Torres Strait such people are generally the owners of large canoes, and several wives; and in the northern islands, of groves of coconut-trees, yam grounds, and other wealth. In the lower zones, however, just as much as in the upper, the distinctions of province are maintained. Locality: Bellingen River, in the brushes (Macgillivray).
These so-called chiefs, are generally elderly men, who from prowess in war, force of character, or acknowledged sagacity, are allowed to take the lead in everything relating to the tribe. It is evident from the comparative paucity of undescribed species procured in the Littoral zone and the large proportion of new or doubtful forms among those taken by the dredge, that a rich harvest has yet to be reaped in the deeper regions of the southern seas.