In Tonga, in the New Hebrides, and in the long chain of the Solomons and the Bismarck Archipelago there is much activity.
In 1767 Samuel Wallis worked through the central part of the Paumotus, and visited Tahiti and the Marianas, while his companion Philip Carteret discovered Pitcairn, and visited Santa Cruz, the Solomons and New Pomerania.
(For map, see Pacific Ocean.) A comparatively shallow sea surrounds the islands and indicates physical connexion with the Bismarck Archipelago and New Guinea, whereas directly east of the Solomons there 1 Some sentences from W.
The islands (by convention of 1899) are divided unequally between Great Britain and German y, the boundary running through Bougainville Strait, so that that island and Buka belong to Germany (being officially administered from Kaiser Wilhelm's Land), but the rest (South Solomons) are British.
The probable geological connexion with New Guinea would account for the Papuan character of the fauna of the Solomons, which form the eastern limit of certain Papuan types.
The existence of peculiar types in the Solomons, however, points to an early severance.
It thus comprises all the insular groups which extend almost continuously from the south-eastern extremity of Asia to more than half-way across the Pacific. Its chief divisions are Malaysia with the Philippines; Australia with Tasmania and New Zealand; Melanesia, that is, New Guinea, New Britain, New Ireland, Admiralty, the Solomons, New Hebrides, Santa Cruz, Fiji, Loyalties and New Caledonia; Micronesia, that is, the Ladrones, Pelew and Carolines, with the Marshal] and Gilbert groups; lastly, Polynesia, that is, Samoa, Tonga, Cook, Tahiti, the Marquesas, Ellice, Hawaii and all intervening clusters.