The numbers of the native Australians are steadily diminishing.
Yet while the Tasmanians are so distinctly separated in physique and customs from the Australians, the fauna and flora of Tasmania and Australia prove that at one time the two formed one continent, and it would take an enormous time for the formation of Bass Strait.
Four points are clear: (i) the Australians represent a distinct race; (2) they have no kinsfolk among the neighbouring races; (3) they have occupied the continent for a very long period; (4) it would seem that the Tasmanians must represent a still earlier occupation of Australia, perhaps before the Bass Strait existed.
Wallace is of the opinion that the Australians " are really of Caucasian type and are more nearly allied to ourselves than to the civilized Japanese or the brave and intelligent Zulus."
Dr Charles Pickering (1805-1878), who studied the Australians on the spot, writes: 1 In his Discoveries in Central Australia, E.