New Guinea Bat

Three hundred year old pen and ink drawing of a "strange and large" bat.
Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington, D.C.

In 1699, accompanied by a shipboard artist, William Dampier conducted the first scientific investigation of the plants and animals of Australia (then known as New Holland). From there he and his crew sailed to New Guinea, where Dampier had his artist draw this bat with a four-foot wingspan and gamey smell. For more about William Dampier's travels, visit our featured story The Pirate Who Collected Plants.