Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/37

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
27
SEMON'S RESEARCHES IN AUSTRALIA.

yet been touched by this Promethean spark and quickened to a nobler life. All the faculties that contribute to their success as hunters have attained a wonderful degree of perfection, such as

PSM V52 D037 Papuan designs burned on gourds.png
Papuan Designs burned on Gourds.

uncommonly keen powers of observation, unerring sense of locality, tenacious memory, and a most marvelous ability of drawing correct conclusions from the faintest signs and vestiges of wild animals as to their present abode and condition. The precision with which they hurl spears, clubs, and other rude weapons is as remarkable as their cunning in circumventing the alertest and wiliest game. Although ignorant of the use of bows and arrows, they have devised an excellent and exceedingly original substitute for them in the boomerang, a missile whose peculiar form and functions would seem to imply considerable knowledge of the science of projectiles