from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- A channel between Tasmania and southeast Australia connecting the Indian Ocean with the Tasman Sea. Its discovery in 1798 by the British explorer George Bass (died c. 1812) proved that Tasmania was not part of the Australian continent.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The discovery that Bass Strait divided Australia from Tasmania was probably in Pinkerton's mind; he mentions it in his text (quoting Flinders), though his map does not indicate the Strait's existence.
Two small species of Tasmanian rodent the long-tailed mouse and the broad-toothed rat survived on none of the Bass Strait islands.
It has already been explained (Chapter 11) that Le Geographe, commanded by the commodore of the French expedition, separated from Le Naturaliste at the eastern entrance to Bass Strait on March 7th and
Flinders enquired about a large island said to lie in the western entrance to Bass Strait (that is, King Island), but Baudin said he had not seen it, and seemed to doubt whether it existed.
Hope listed these species on a chart, cross-indexed against twenty-five Bass Strait islands, with the islands ranked in order of decreasing size.
He handed to Baudin a copy of his little book on Bass Strait and its accompanying chart, related the story of the loss of John Thistle and his boat's crew, and listened to an account which his host gave of a supposed loss of one of his own boats with a number of men on the east coast of Van Diemen's Land.
Among the four large carnivores, only the spotted-tailed quoll had kept a foothold maybe on any Bass Strait islands.