Sir Joseph Banks was the botanist with Captain James Cook
during the voyage of the Endeavour and the official discovery of Australia by
England. He later became president of the Royal Society in London and presided
over the scientific efforts of his age. Preserved animals, plants and fishes all
found their way to London fuelling the thirst for knowledge of exotic places. A
preserved platypus was condemned as a fake for many years. Hidden among this
huge archive were the preserved corpses of some amazing creatures believed to be
faked or extinct until recently.
formulated his theory of evolution he was noting how creatures like finches had
adapted in various ways to take advantage of ecological niches. Koalas were
thought to be an evolutionary dead end. In the last decade there have been signs
of shocking variations to normal koala habits and biology. Scientists initially
suspected that Phascolarctos cinereus phatarsus and Phascolarctos cinereus
sanguinus are recent genetic variations from standard koala stock.
transcripts suggest that both of these forms were alive, if uncommon, at the
time of the arrival of the first fleet in 1788. The Europeans brought disease in
forms never known on this continent and while the human diseases were destroying
much of the local populations of aborigines, animal-borne disease may have wiped
out all but a few of the populations of rarer Koala. They might never have
continues with regard to the possibility of skins or preserved animals being
destroyed by unknown persons during the period of Sir Joseph Banks' presidency.
Mention was made of strong links between English and Australian
Freemasons. The Australian scientific community has seen the waters further
muddied by reports that some local tourist operators have known of the existence
of these rarities for years and may have conspired with individuals from
government to keep them a secret rather than risk a drop in local visitors when
the dangers became known.