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6.6 What scientific discoveries were made?

Throughout the Endeavour voyage, the botanist Joseph Banks led a group of scientists on a mission to collect and record the animals and plants they saw. At Endeavour River they had time to collect lots of Australian plants and animals, including a kangaroo. Banks, and naturalist Daniel Solander, collected the specimens. Artist Sydney Parkinson then drew them and painted them to record the colours. In total they collected and documented 30,300 plants representing 3607 species, 1400 of which were then unknown to European science. Sydney Parkinson was also the first European to sketch a kangaroo.

1. Find out the meaning of the word botanist. Why does your group think it would be important for the Cook voyage to include a botanist and other people with particular knowledge and skills?

Knowing Plants

Knowing plants is a three-part activity that will help you explore some of the Australian plants Banks and Solander collected. It includes both Indigenous and European knowledge of them.

Australia’s First Peoples have a much older knowledge of these plants than Europeans. It comes from living on this continent for more than 65,000 years. But in 1770 there was little contact between the Endeavour’s botanists and Indigenous people, so they missed many opportunities to learn this knowledge.

2. Explore the three sections of Knowing plants then list at least one example of something you enjoyed learning about in each one.

Kamay Gooragam Waalumbaal Birri
3. Look at Sydney Parkinson’s sketch of a kangaroo and then compare it to a photograph of a kangaroo. How like the photograph do you think Parkinson’s sketch is?
<p>The first European drawing of a kangaroo, made by Sydney Parkinson at Endeavour River</p>

The Natural History Museum, London

<p>The first European drawing of a kangaroo, made by Sydney Parkinson at Endeavour River</p>

4. Your group now has to present part 6 of the ‘Cook claims Australia’ story to the rest of the class. Choose what you think are the most important things you have found out and then work out a creative way of presenting that information.

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