The two [Mertz and Ninnis] had joined the Expedition together in London, and had been associated longer and in a more intimate manner than any other members of the Expedition. Before heading off, he recorded in his diary that he “boiled all the rest of [the] dog meat”. Before heading off, he recorded in his diary that he “boiled all the rest of [the] dog meat”. Mawson and Mertz were forced to use a makeshift tent, and eat their huskies, whose protein-rich meat and toxic vitamin A-laden organs were steadily poisoning them.

Douglas was educated at Rooty Hill and at Fort Street Model School in Sydney. During the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911–1914, Douglas Mawson and two companions, Belgrave Ninnis and Xavier Mertz, undertook an ill-fated mapping journey. Douglas Mawson an Australian by adoption was offered a place on Scott's Terra Nova expedition but turned it down to lead the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911 - 1914 sailing on the Aurora. Mawson and Ninnis did not know what to make of the noises, but they frightened Mertz, whose long experience of snowfields taught him that warmer air had made the ground ahead of them unstable. Ninnis died when he fell into a deep crevasse in the ice, taking most of the food with him. At … Mertz did succumb, leaving Mawson to cover the final stretch alone. Mawson and Mertz realising they were in trouble decided to head back to base. Ninnis died when he fell down a crevasse, together with the sledge carrying most of their food supplies, and later Mertz became ill and died. The family moved to Rooty Hill, near Sydney, in 1884. Then, at 2 o’clock on the morning of 8 January, he died. Mawson and Mertz decide to return to the hut as directly as possible. 15 Dec: Mertz and Mawson eat dog meat for the first time.

But soon they ran out of food. In 1969, Cleland and Southcott proposed that Mertz died of vitamin A toxicity and Mawson suffered from the effects of hypervitaminosis A because, with little food left, they were forced to eat their surviving dogs, including the liver. This hypothesis was supported by Shearman in 1978. Sir Douglas Mawson (1882-1958), geologist and explorer, was born on 5 May 1882 at Shipley, Yorkshire, England, second son of Robert Ellis Mawson, a cloth merchant from a farming background, and his wife Margaret Ann, née Moore, from the Isle of Man. Douglas Mawson arriving back too late for his ship the SY Aurora, during his 1911 to 1913 Australasian Antarctic Expedition With no dog food, the pair would soon be forced to man-haul the sledges. Though less prestigious, this was a wide ranging scientific and exploratory expedition to previously unknown and unvisited regions of the Antarctic continent. In 1912, he set out on an ill-fated sledging expedition with Belgrave Ninnis and Xavier Mertz. Far Eastern party departed Cape Denison 10 November 1912; farthest point 14 December 1912; returned 8 February 1912; distance travelled about 960km.