Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/272

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When we regard the fauna of Madagascar and of New Zealand we are struck by the great resemblance between them, from the points of view of their recent and ancient vertebrate fauna. These resemblances suggest the past existence of relations between these two lands now separated by a wide expanse of sea, and this agrees with geological observations.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from La Nature.


THE description of Selous, in Men and Women of the Time, as "explorer, naturalist, and sportsman," is suggestive of the manner in which his career has been developed and his fame has grown. Beginning his active life as a mere hunter of big game in the wilds of South Africa, and known at first only as a sportsman, he has become recognized as one of the leading, most intelligent, and most efficient explorers of his time, and is accepted as the most eminent authority respecting what relates to the large and important region of Mashonaland.

Frederick Courtenay Selous was born in London, the son of a father of Huguenot extraction and of a mother who, descended from the Bruces of Clackmannan, could count Robert Bruce among her ancestors, and was also related to Bruce, the Abyssinian traveler. He was taught at Bruce Castle, Tottenham, and then went to school at Rugby, where he distinguished himself by his activity, which was displayed in his high spirits and love of violent mischief and by his personal courage to such an extent that his schoolfellows wittily nicknamed him "Zealous."

Leaving Rugby when sixteen or seventeen years old, he spent two years in Switzerland and Germany, studying at Neufchâtel and Wiesbaden. His hardy activity seems to have been as marked in Germany as at Rugby, for it is recorded of him that he attracted some notice in the papers by jumping into the Rhine in winter after a wild duck which he had shot. He was not dressed for a swim, and, his great coat and top boots becoming filled with water, he had much difficulty in getting to shore with his game. His determination to achieve a career in South Africa by hunting and collecting specimens was apparently reached while he was still a youth, and at nineteen years of age he sailed from England, to land at Algoa Bay in 1871. Hunting was his object, as is substantially confessed in the title of his first book, A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa. The book won instant recognition as a story of