Lumholtz, Carl Sophus (1851-1922)

Field of activity
Scientist; Traveller; Naturalist; Ethnologist
NLA Persistent Identifier
https://nla.gov.au/nla.party-1464949

Biographies

Carl Sophus Lumholtz (1851-1922), scientist and traveller, was born on 23 April 1851 near Lillehammer, Norway, son of a Norwegian army officer. He was educated at Lillehammer Latin og Realskole but objected...

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

Carl Lumholtz was a Norwegian naturalist, ethnologist and explorer, who worked in South and north-eastern Australia from 1880 to 1884. He was sent to collect new mammal specimens for the zoological and zootomical museums of the University of Christiania, Norway. He was also interested in studying the customs and anthropology of the Aboriginal populations. Lumholtz enlisted the help of some Aboriginal hunters to collect specimens and in 1882 they told him of an unusual animal species that lived high up in the trees of the coastal mountains. These turned out to be what are now known as Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroos (). Lumholtz went on to discover three other previously unknown species of mammals and the Lumholtz National Park in Queensland was named in his honour.

Having just graduated with a Natural Science Degree, Carl Lumholtz set off for Australia. He arrived in South Australia first then eventually made his way up to Queensland. There he spent time living with aboriginal people and collecting new mammal species. On first hearing of a creature the natives called boongary Lumholtz said "According to the statement of the blacks, it was a kangaroo which lived in the highest trees on the summit of the Coast Mountains. It had a very long tail, and was as large as a medium-sized dog, climbed the trees in the same manner as the natives themselves, and was called boongary. I was sure that it could be none other than a tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus). Tree-kangaroos were known to exist in New Guinea, but none had yet been found on the Australian continent". It took Lumholtz and local hunter Nilgora three months to find the first of these animals which were in fact tree kangaroos. The Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo is the smallest of the two species found in Australia and is now endangered. His book , which was published in 1889, describes his Australian experiences.

After a successful exploration of Australia, Carl Lumholtz returned to Norway in 1884. By 1890 he was once again eager to study the culture and people of other primitive civilisations so set off on the first of six expeditions to northwest Mexico, including Sierra Madre. His last expedition took place in 1910 and he wrote several works relating to these Mexican travels. From 1913 to 1917 Lumholtz visited Borneo to explore the lands and people. His book , which describes his travels is available on-line from Project Gutenberg.

  • Career position - Arrived in South Australia on the
  • Career position - Carried out collections in Rockhampton, Queensland (seven months)
  • Career position - Exploration and collections through western Queensland (seven months)
  • Life event - Returned to Norway onboard the
  • Career position - - a book which details his Australian adventures - was published, London
  • Career position - Six expeditions to northern Mexico
  • Career position - Exploration of Borneo (multiple trips?)

View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science

Resources for Carl Sophus Lumholtz

Selected resources (3)

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  1. Lumholtz, Carl Sophus
    Published: The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre
    Series: Encyclopedia of Australian Science
  2. A Norwegian Naturalist in Australia
    Published: 1890
    Series: Argus, 14, Jan
  3. Lumholtz, Carl Sophus (1851-1922), scientist and traveller
    Gibbney, H. J.
    Published: Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1974
    Series: Australian Dictionary of Biography, 5, 109

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  1. EVENING JANUARY 29 THURSDAY
    The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) Wednesday 28 January 1981 p 133 Detailed Lists, Results, Guides
    ... Norwegian zoologist Carl Sophus Lumholtz, who iived with them a century ago. 9.20 NEWS; WEATHER 9.30 AND ... 1044 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 7.241)

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  2. THURSDAY, JANUARY 29 Channel 7
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Monday 26 January 1981 p 16 Detailed Lists, Results, Guides Illustrated
    ... tribute to famed Norwegian zoologist Carl Sophus Lumholtz, .who lived with them a century ago, before ... 1319 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6.145)

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  1. Russell River mystery
    Australian Broadcasting Commission. Natural History Unit
    [ Video : 1980 ]
    At State Library of QLD
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 51.954)

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