RECORD: Sclater Philip Lutley. 1862. Report on the acquitsition of two living Paradisea papuana brought by A.R. Wallace. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1862 April 8: 123.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed (single key) by AEL Data 2012. RN1

[page] 123

April 8, 1862.

Dr. J. E. Gray, V.P., in the Chair.

The Secretary announced the acquisition by the Society for their Menagerie of a pair of living Paradise-birds (Paradisea papuana). Mr. A. R. Wallace (the well-known traveller and naturalist, who had been engaged these last eight years in exploring the more little-known islands of the Indian Archipelago) had for some time held a commission to obtain living Birds of Paradise for the Society. But though Mr. Wallace had visited in person the islands inhabited by several species of this magnificent group of birds, he had failed in his efforts to preserve the birds alive when captured, and had given up all hopes of being successful in his object. A short time before Christmas 1861, when in the interior of Sumatra, Mr. Wallace had received information of two specimens of the Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisea papuana) being alive in captivity at Singapore. Mr. Wallace immediately proceeded to that place, purchased the birds, which were then in the hands of a European merchant, and left by the following mail for England, arriving in safety in London with his valuable burden on the 1st of the month.

The two Paradise-birds had been lodged in the upper part of the Zoological Society's old museum, a room having been fitted up for their reception with a large cage of galvanized wire, 20 feet long by 11 in width. As they were both males, it had been found necessary to keep them apart, the sight of one another, or even of a Paradisebird's plume waved near them in the air, producing in them great excitement. The cage had been, therefore, divided by a screen which excluded the light, and the two birds placed in the separate compartments. The remarkable side-plumes which ornament the males of the true Paradiseæ when in full dress were as yet but partially developed in these specimens, hut in a few weeks, if the birds continue to thrive, would probably attain their full dimensions.

This document has been accessed 1586 times

Return to homepage

Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2012-. Wallace Online. (

File last updated 26 September, 2012