Walrus being shot during one of Captain Cook's three Pacific voyages, 1770s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by E Scott after J Webber, 'the figures by J Heath' from the 'Complete History of Captain Cook's First, Second and Third Voyages' (1784). Sailors shoot walruses from a boat, while others haul a carcas into another boat in the background. Captain James Cook (1728-1779), the famed navigator and hydrographer transformed the West's knowledge of the Pacific region. In his first voyage in the 'Endeavour' (1768-1771), he observed the transit of Venus (1769) and sought out the fifth continent - Australia. The second and third voyages in the 'Adventure' (1772-1775) and 'Resolution' (1776-1779), explored the Pacific further, and sought a northern sea pasage between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.