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ALTEMUS' YOUNG PEOPLE'S LIBRARY
Rev. J. G. WOOD
ARRANGED FPO YOUNG READERS
WITH EIGHTY ILLUSTRATIONS
Copyright 18q7 by Henry Altemus
ALTHOUGH the number of works on Natural History
might deter any writer from venturing on so extensively
handled a subject, there is at present no work of a really
popular character in which accuracy of information and
systematic arrangement are united with brevity and sim-
plicity of treatment.
The present volume is but a brief digest of a large mass
of materials, derived either from personal experience, from
the most recent zoological writers, or from the kindness
of many friends, who are familiar with almost every por-
tion of the world, and to whom my best thanks are due.
I dismiss these pages with almost a feeling of regret,
that a task which has to me been a labor of love, has come
to an end. Indeed, the only drawback experienced dur-
ing its progress was its necessary brevity, which con-
strained me to omit many creatures, not only beautiful
and wonderful in form, but interesting in habits. I was
also compelled to describe many others so briefly as to
render the account little more than a formal announce-
ment of their name, country, and food. In compressing
the subject into a smaller compass I have concentrated
the language without excluding any necessary informa-
HEAD OF THE PREHISTORIC MAN (restored).
The above head is drawn on the basis of the skull found in 1857 at
Neanderthal, near Diisseldorf, in Germany, and supposed to be the
cranium of a prehistoric man. It is dolichocephalic and almost with-
out a brow.
THIS section includes the apes, baboons and monkeys.
The name Quadrumana is given to these animals because,
in addition to two hands like those of man, their feet are
also formed like hands, and are capable of grasping the
branches among which most monkeys pass their lives.
Apes are placed at the head because their instinct is su-
perior to that of the baboons and monkeys. Baboons are
usually sullen and ferocious when arrived at their full
growth, and monkeys are volatile and mischievous.
The first in order, as well as the largest of the apes, is
the enormous ape from Western Africa, the GORILLA.
The first writer to bring the Gorilla before the notice of
the public seems to be Mr. Bowdich, the African traveller;
for it is evidently of the Gorilla that he speaks under the
name of Ingheena. The natives of the Gaboon and its
vicinity use the name Gina when mentioning the Gorilla.
The tales told of the habits, the gigantic strength, and the
general appearance of the Ingheena, are precisely those
which are attributed to the Gorilla.
Such a deed as the capture of an adult Gorilla has never
been attempted, much less achieved, by the human in-
habitants of the same land. There are many reasons for
this circumstance. In the first place, the negroes, seeing
that the Gorilla is possessed of gigantic strength, conceive
that the animal must be inspirited by the soul of one of
their kings; for in the lower stages of man's progress he
does honor to physical force alone, and values his ruler in
proportion to his power, brutality and heartlessness.
The task of capturing a living and full-grown Gorilla is
well calculated to appall the heart of any man. The
strength, the activity and the cunning of the animal are so
great, that the uncivilized Africans may well be excused
for their dread of its powers.
The outline of the Gorilla's face is most brutal in char-
acter, and entirely destroys the slight resemblance to the
human countenance which the full form exhibits. As in
the chimpanzee, an ape which is placed in the same genus
with the Gorilla, the color of the hair is nearly black; but
in some lights, and during the life of the animal, it assumes
a lighter tinge of grayish brown, on account of the admix-
ture of variously colored hairs. On the top of the head,
and the side of the cheeks, it assumes a grizzly hue. The
length of the hair is not very great, considering the size of
the animal, and is not more than three inches in length.
As to the habits of the Gorilla, many conflicting tales
have been told. In order to settle the disputed questions,
Mr. Winwoode Reade undertook a journey to Africa,
where he remained for a considerable time. After careful
investigation he sums up the history of the animal as fol-
The ordinary cry of the Gorilla is of a plaintive char-
acter, but in rage it is a sharp, hoarse bark, not unlike the
roar of a tiger. The negroes' account of the ape's ferocity
scarcely bears out those afforded by Drs. Savage and Ford.
They deny that the Gorilla ever attacks man without
provocation. 'Leave Njina alone,' they say, 'and Njina
leave you alone.' But when the Gorilla, surprised while
feeding or asleep, is suddenly brought to bay, he goes
round in a kind of half-circle, keeping his eyes fixed on
the man, and uttering a complaining, uneasy cry. If the
hunter shoots at him, and the gun misses fire, or if the
ape is wounded, he will sometimes run away; sometimes,
GORILLAS AT tiOME.
however, he will charge, with his fierce look, his lowered
lip, his hair falling on his brow. He does not, however,
appear to be very agile, for the hunters frequently escape
His charge is made on all-fours; he seizes the offensive
object, and dragging it into his mouth, bites it. The story
of his crushing a musket-barrel between his teeth is gen-
eral, and a French officer told me that a gun was exhibited
at the French settlements in the Gaboon, twisted comee
unepapillote.' I heard a great deal about men being killed
by Gorillas, but wherever I went I found that the story
retreated to tradition. That a man might be killed by a
Gorilla I do not affect to doubt for a moment, but that a
man has not been killed by one within the memory of the
living I can most firmly assert.
I once saw a man who had been wounded by a Gorilla.
It was a Mohaga hunter, who piloted me in the forests of
Ngumbi. His left hand was completely crippled, and the
marks of teeth were visible on the wrist. I asked him to
show me exactly how the Gorilla attacked him. I was to
be the hunter, he the Gorilla. I pretended to shoot at
him. He rushed towards me on all-fours, and seizing my
wrist with one of his hands, dragged it to his mouth, bit
it, and then made off. So, he said, the Njina had done to
him. It is by these simple tests that one can best arrive
at truth among the negroes. That which I can attest from
my own personal experience in my unsuccessful attempts
to shoot a Gorilla is as follows: I have seen the nests of
the Gorillas. I cannot say positively whether they are
used as beds, or only as lying-in couches. I have repeat-
edly seen the tracks of the Gorillas, and could tell by the
tracks that the Gorilla goes habitually on all-fours.
"I have never seen the tracks of so many as two Gorillas
in company. I have seen a young Gorilla and a young
chimpanzee in a domestic state. They were equally do-
cile. I have seen the dung of the Gorilla, which resembles
that of a man; ana I can say positively that the Gorilla
sometimes runs away from man, for I have been near
enough to hear one 'un away from me. I heard that
sometimes a family of Gorillas will ascend a tree and will
eat a certain fruit till they become gorged, like turkey-
buzzards. The old father remains seated at the foot of
the tree. If you can approach close enough to shoot him,
you may then kill the rest of the family at your ease.
The second story is the one so often told, not only of Go-
rillas but of all large monkeys-of women being run away
with. At a village on the right-hand bank of the Fernand
Vaz, the women are said to have been frequently chased
by Gorillas as they went to fill their calabashes at the
spring. A woman was brought to me who stated that she
herself had excited the passion of a Gorilla and had
hardly escaped him. In all this, however, there is noth-
ing wonderful. We know that monkeys are susceptible
animals. But when one hears of a woman being carried
off to the woods, and living among apes in a semi-domes-
ticated state, we are justified in thorough disbelief.
The CHIMPANZEE is a native of Western Africa. Large
bands congregate together and unite in repelling an in-
vader, which they do with such fury and courage that
even the elephant and lion are driven from their haunts
by their united efforts. They live principally on the
ground, and spend much of their time in caves and under
rocks. Their height is from four to five feet. They do
not reach this growth until ten years of age.
Several young Chimpanzees that have been captured
have shown themselves very docile and gentle.
. The ORANG-OUTAN inhabits Borneo and Sumatra. This
is the largest of all the apes, as it is said they have been
obtained above five feet in height. The strength of this
animal is tremendous. Its arms are of extraordinary
length, the hands reaching the ground when it stands
erect. This length of arm is admirably adapted for climb-
ing trees, on which it principally resides. The following
account is given of the Orangs of Borneo:
"The Orangs are dull and slothful, and on no occasion,
when pursuing them, did they move so fast as to preclude
my keeping pace with them easily enough through a
moderately clear forest; and even when obstructions be-
low (such as wading up to the neck) allowed them to get
away some distance, they were sure to stop and allow us
to come up. I never observed any attempt at defense;
ORANGS IN THEIR
L.aJ. V i V UOODS.
and the wood, which rattled about our ears, was broken
by their weight, and not thrown, as some persons repre-
sent. If pushed to extremity, however, they are formida-
ble; and one unfortunate man, who was trying to catch
one alive, lost two of his fingers, besides being severely
bitten on the face, while the animal finally beat off his
pursuers and escaped. When they wish to catch an adult
they cut down a circle of trees round the one on which he
is seated, and then fell that also, and close before he can
recover himself, and endeavor to bind him.
The rude hut which they build in the trees would be
more properly called a seat, or nest, for it has no roof or
cover of any sort. The facility with which they form this
seat is curious. I saw a wounded female weave the
branches together and seat herself in a minute. She
afterwards received our fire without moving, and expired
in her lofty abode, whence it cost us much trouble to dis-
The great difference between the kassar and the pappan
(as the natives name them) in size proves the distinction
of the two species; the kassar being a small slight animal,
by no means formidable in his appearance, with hands
and feet proportioned to the body, and they do not ap-
proach the gigantic extremities of the pappan either in
size or power; a moderately strong man would readily
overpower one, when he would not stand a chance with
I saw a young Orang. It had a very small and very
rotund body, to which were affixed very long and slender
limbs. Its face was like that of an old miser, thoroughly
wearied of life, and contemplating surrounding objects
with a calm but derisive pity.
It possessed in a high degree the expressive mobile
character of the lips, which appeared to express its feel-
ings much in the same manner as do the ears of a horse.
When it was alarmed or astonished at any object it was
accustomed to shoot out both its lips, and to form its
mouth into a trumpet kind of shape. A snail would make
him produce this contortion of countenance.
The creature was very tame, and delighted in walking
about the garden leaning on the arm of its keeper, and if
any lady would venture to be its guide, it appeared
When young the Orang is very docile, and has been
taught to make its own bed, and to handle a cup and
saucer, or a spoon, with tolerable propriety. It not only
laid its own bedclothes smooth and comfortable, but ex-
hibited much ingenuity in stealing blankets from other
beds, which it added to its own. A young Orang evinced
extreme horror at the sight of a small tortoise, and, when
the reptile was placed in its den, stood aghast in a terri-
fied attitude, with its eyes intently fixed on the frightful
The AGILE GIBBON is a native of Sumatra. It derives
its name of Agile from the wonderful activity it displays
in launching itself through the air from branch to branch.
One of these creatures sprang with the greatest ease
through a distance of eighteen feet; and when apples or
nuts were thrown to her while in the air, she would catch
them without discontinuing her course. She kept up a
succession of springs, hardly touching the branches in her
progress, continually uttering a musical but almost deaf-
ening cry. She was very tame and gentle, and would
permit herself to be caressed. The height of the Gibbon
is about three feet, and the reach of the extended arms
about six feet. There are several species of Gibbon.
The KAHAU, a native of Borneo, derives its name from
the cry it utters, which is a repetition of the word
" Kahau." It is remarkable for the size and shape of its
nose, and while leaping it holds that organ with its paws,
apparently to guard it against the branches.
Its length, from the head to the tip of the tail, is a little
over four feet, and its general color is a sandy red, relieved
by yellow cheeks and a yellow stripe over the shoulders.
BABOONS are distinguished from the apes by their short
tails. The MANDRILL, the most conspicuous of the tribe,
is a native of Guinea and Western Africa, and is chiefly
remarkable for the vivid colors with which it is adorned.
Its checks are of a brilliant blue, its muzzle of a bright
scarlet, and a stripe of crimson runs along the center of
its nose. These colors are agreeably contrasted by the
purple hues of the hinder quarters. It lives in forests
filled with brushwood, from which it makes incursions
into the nearest villages, plundering them with impunity.
On this account it is much dreaded by the natives, who
feel themselves incapable of resisting its attacks. It is
excessively ferocious, and easily excited to anger.
The greenish-brown color of the hair of this and other
monkeys is caused by the alternate bands of yellow and
black, which exist on each hair. The brilliant colors re-
ferred to above belong to the skin, and fade away entirely
after death, becoming paler when the animal is not in
The AMERICAN MONKEYS are found exclusively in South
America, and are never seen north of Panama. Their
tails are invariably long, and, in some genera, prehensile.
The COAITA is one of the Spider Monkeys, so called
from their long, slender limbs, and their method of pro-
gressing among the branches. The tail seems to answer
the purpose of a fifth hand, as it is capable of being used
for every purpose to which the hand could be applied;
indeed, the Spider Monkeys are said to use this member
for hooking out objects where a hand could not be in-
serted. The tail is of use in climbing among the branches
of trees: they coil it round the boughs to lower or raise
themselves, and often will suspend themselves entirely by
it, and then by a more powerful impetus swing off to
some distant branch. The habits of all the Spider Mon-
keys are very similar. They are sensitive to cold, and
when chilly wrap their tails about them, so that this useful
organ answers the p1'-; -".'-'- of a boa as well as a hand.
They will also, when shot, fasten th-ir tails so Ii ij.ln, 11-
the branches th:;t tlhr~ remain suspended after .i-a:l The
great enigillh of tliir t.iil- enables them to walk in the erect
attitude better -;h j 1 most i-k!.:-: -. i:, ~:i.:i; i h-ycast
their tails upwards as high as the .-hi<.:'.l-d.l-. and then
bend them over so as to form a counterbalance against the
weight of the body, which is thrown very much forward
in that and most other monkeys. The genus is called
Ateles, or imperfect, because in most of the species the
thumb is wanting. The Coaita inhabits Surinam and
The HOWLING MONKEYS are larger and not so agile as
the Spider Monkeys, and are chiefly remarkable for the
peculiarity from which they derive their name. They
possess an enlargement in the throat, composed of several
valvular pouches, which apparatus renders their cry loud
and mournful. They howl in concert at the rising and
setting of the sun; one monkey begins the cry, which is
taken up by the rest, precisely as may be observed in
a colony of rooks. They are in great request among the
natives as articles of food, their slow habits rendering
them an easy prey.
The Ursine Howler is common in Brazil, where fifty
have been seen on one tree. They travel in files, an old
monkey taking the lead, and the others following in due
order. They feed principally on leaves and fruit; the
tail is prehensile.
The MARMOSET is a most interesting little creature. It
is very sensitive to cold, and when in America is usually
occupied in nestling among the materials for its bed,
which it heaps up in one corner, and out'of which it sel-
dom entirely emerges. It will eat almost any article of
food, but is fond of insects. It will also eat fruits. Its
fondness for insects has been carried so far, that it has been
known to pinch out the figures of beetles in entomological
work, and swallow them.
This little Monkey is also called the Ouistiti, from its
peculiar whistling cry when alarmed or provoked.
The LEMURS derive their name from their nocturnal
habits and their noiseless movements. The Ruffled Le-
mur is a native of Madagascar. It lives in the depths of
the forests, and only moves by night, the entire day being
spent in sleep. Its food consists of fruits, insects and
small birds, which latter it takes while they are sleeping.
This is the largest of the Lemurs, being rather larger than
The SLENDER LORIS is a native of India, Ceylon, etc.
Like the Lemur, it seldom moves by day, but prowls
about at night in search of food. No sooner does it spy a
sleeping bird than it slowly advances until within reach;
then putting forward its paw with a motion slow and im-
perceptible as the movement of the shadow on the dial, it
gradually places its fingers over the devoted bird; then,
with a movement swifter than the eye can follow, it seizes
its startled prey.
BATS: WING-HANDED ANIMALS.
WE now arrive at the BATS. The usual food of Bats is
insects, which they mostly capture on the wing, but some,
as the Vampires, suck blood from other animals, and a
few, as the Kalong, or Flying Fox, live upon fruits, and so
devastate the mango crops that the natives are forced to
cover them with bamboo baskets. Even the cocoa-nut is
not secure from their depredations.
The membrane of the Bat's wing is plentifully supplied
with nerves, and is extremely sensitive, almost appearing
to supply a sense independent of sight. Many Bats pos-
sess a similar membrane on the nose, which is possibly
used for the same purpose.
The object of the elongation of the finger-joints is to
give the animal the power of extending the wing mem-
brane or folding it at pleasure. The thumb-joint has no
part of the wing attached to it, but is left free, and is
armed with a hook at the extremity, by means of which it
is enabled to drag itself along in that singular vacillating
hobble which constitutes a Bat's walk.
There are five sub-families of Bats, according to Gray,
each tribe including many genera. The British Museum
alone possesses eighty genera.
The Vampire Bat is a native of South America, where
it is very common, and held in some dread. It lves on
the blood of animals, and sucks usually while its victim
sleeps. The extremities, where the -blood flows freely, as
the toe of a man, the ears of a horse, or the combs and
wattles of fowls, are its favorite spots. When it has selected
THE LONG-EARED BAT.
a subject on which it intends to feed, it watches until
the animal is fairly asleep. It then carefully fans its vic-
tim with its wings while it bites a little hole in the ear or
shoulder, and through this small aperture, into which a
pin's head would scarcely pass, it contrives to abstract suf-
ficient blood to make a very ample meal. The wound is
so small, and the Bat manages so adroitly, that the victim
does not discover that anything has happened until the
morning, when blood betrays the visit of the Vampire.
The wound made by the bat's teeth is no larger than
that made by a needle, and hardly penetrates the skin, so
that the blood must be extracted by suction. There have
been very different accounts of the Vampires from travel-
ers, some denying that they suck blood at all, and others
narrating circumstantially the injuries inflicted upon their
own persons. The cause for these discrepancies is due to
the constitution of the narrators, there being some persons
whom a Vampire will not touch, while others are con-
stantly victimized. The length of its body is six inches.
The LONG-EARED BAT is found in most parts of Europe.
It may be seen any warm evening flying about in search
of insects, and uttering its peculiar shrill cry. The ears
are about an inch and a half in length, and have a fold in
them reaching almost to the lips.
This Bat is very easily tamed, and will take flies and
other insects from the hand.
When the Long-eared Bat is suspended by its hinder
claws, it assumes a most singular aspect. The beautiful
long ears are tucked under its wings, which envelop great
part of its body. The tragus, or pointed membrane visi-
ble inside the ear, is then exposed, and appears to be the
actual ear itself, giving the creature a totally different cast
THE former sections have been characterized by the
number and properties of the hands. In this section the
hands have been modified into feet. At the head of the
quadrupeds, or four-footed animals, are placed the car-
nivora, or flesh-eaters, and at the head of the carnivora,
the Felide, or cat kind are placed, as being the most per-
fect and beautiful in that section. The. Felidae all take
their prey by creeping as near as they can without obser-
vation, and then springing upon their victim, which sel-
dom succeeds in making its escape, as the powerful claws
and teeth of its enemy usually dash it insensible to the
ground. The jaws of the Felide are powerful, and their
teeth long and sharp. Their claws are necessarily very
long, curved and sharp, and to prevent them from being
injured by coming into contact with the ground they are
retracted, when not in use, into a sheath, which guards
them and keeps them sharp. There are five claws on the
fore-feet, and four on the hinder feet. The tongue is very
rough, as may be proved by feeling the tongue of a cat.
This roughness is occasioned by innumerable little hooks
which cover the tongue, point backwards, and are used
for the purpose of licking the flesh off the bones of their
prey. The bristles of the mouth or whiskers are each
connected with a large nerve, and are useful in indicating
an obstacle when the animal prowls by night. Their eyes
are adapted for nocturnal vision by the dilating power of
the pupil, which expands so as to take in every ray of
The LION stands at the head of the wild beasts. His
noble and dignified bearing, the terrific power compressed
into his comparatively small frame, and the deep majesty
of his voice, have gained for him the name of king of
beasts." The Lion inhabits Africa and certain parts of
Arabia and Persia, and some parts of India. It varies in
appearance according to the locality, but there is little
doubt that there is but one species.
The roar of the Lion is one of its chief peculiarities; the
best description of it is in Gordon Cumming's Adventures:
"One of the most striking things connected with the
Lion is his voice, which is extremely grand and peculiarly
striking. It consists, at times, of a low, deep moaning,
repeated five or six times, ending in faintly-audible sighs;
at other times he startles the forest with loud, deep-toned,
solemn roars, repeated five or six times in quick succession,
each increasing in loudness to the third or fourth, when
his voice dies away in five or six low, muffled sounds, very
much resembling distant thunder. At times a troop may
be heard roaring in concert, one assuming the lead, and
two, three, or four more regularly taking up their parts,
like persons singing a catch."
The opinion that Lions will not touch a dead animal is
erroneous, as they were frequently shot by Gordon Cum-
ming while devouring gnoos, etc., that had fallen by his
rifle. Lions who have once tasted human flesh are most
to be dreaded, as they will even venture to spring in
among a company of men and seize their victim. They
are called Man-eaters.
The Lioness is much smaller than the Lion, and is desti-
tute of the mane which is so great an ornament to her
mate. As a rule she is more fierce and active than the
male, especially before she has had cubs, or while she is
suckling them. She has usually from two to four cubs at
a time. They are beautiful, playful little things, and are
slightly striped. They have no mane until about two
years old. While her cubs are small the Lioness knows
no fear, and will attack a company of men, or a herd of
oxen, if they come too near her den. The cubs are re-
markably heavy for their age.
The Lion when young is easily tamed, and shows an
attachment to its keeper. Those who have visited men-
ageries will know what influence man may obtain over
this powerful creature.
There is one remarkable difference in the characters of
the feline and canine tribes. If a man is overcome by a
wolf or dog, the animal mangles its foe until life is extinct.
A dog killing a rat is a good instance of this trait of char-
LIOw AwN LTONm&.
acter. But if a lion or any other feline animal vanquishes
a man it contents itself with the victory for some time
without making any attempt to injure him, unless he tries
to escape, in which case he is again dashed to the earth,
and probably bitten as a warning. A cats treats a mouse
as a lion treats a man.
This propensity in the Lion has been the cause of saving
many lives, the men having been able either to destroy
their foe by cautiously getting out a weapon, or by lying
still until they were succored.
At the extremity of the Lion's tail there is a small hook
or claw, which has been represented as the means by which
the animal lashes itself into fury, using it as a spur. This
is impossible, as the claw or prickle is very small, not fixed
to the bone as the claws of the feet are, but merely attached
to the skin, and falls off if roughly handled. It is not
present in all lions.
The TIGER is a magnificent animal, found only in Asia,
Hindostan being the part most infested by it. In size it is
almost equal to the Lion, its height being nearly four feet,
and its length rather more than eight feet. It has no mane,
but is decorated with black stripes, upon a ground of red-
dish-yellow fur, which becomes almost white on the under
parts of the body. The chase of the Tiger is a favorite
sport in India. The hunters assemble, mounted on ele-
phants trained to the sport, and carry with them a supply
of loaded rifles in their carriages mounted on the elephants'
backs. Thus armed, they proceed to the spot where a
tiger has been seen. The animal is usually found hidden
in the long grass or jungle, which is frequently eight or
more feet in height, and when roused it endeavors to creep
away under the grass. The movement of the leaves betrays
him, and he is checked by a rifle-ball aimed at him through
the jungle. Finding that he cannot escape without being
seen, he turns round and springs at the nearest elephant,
endeavoring to clamber up it and attack the party. This
AlTi t3t~3t~3t3 ~~~- /
is the dangerous part of the proceedings, as many ele-
phants will turn round and run away, despite the efforts
of their drivers to make them face the Tiger. Should the
elephant stand firm a well-directed ball checks the tiger
in his spring, and he then endeavors again to escape, but
a volley of rifle-balls from the backs of the other elephants,
who by this time have come up, lays the savage animal
prostrate, and in a very short time his skin decorates the
successful marksman's carriage.
Tigers are usually taken in pitfalls at the bottom ot
which is planted a bamboo stake, the top of which is
sharpened into a point. The animal falls on the point,
and is impaled. Tigers can be tamed as easily as the
lion; but great caution must be used with all wild ani-
mals, as in a moment of irritation their savage nature
breaks out, and the consequences have more than once
The coloring of the tiger is a good instance of the man-
ner in which animals are protected by the similarity of
their external appearance to the particular locality in
which they reside. The stripes on the tiger's skin so
exactly resemble the long jungle-grass among which it
lives that it is impossible for unpracticed eyes to discern
the animal at all, even when the body is exposed.
The LEOPARD is an inhabitant of Africa, India and the
Indian Islands. A black variety inhabits Java, and is not
uncommon there. Its height is about two feet. This and
the following Felidte are accustomed to live much on trees,
and are on that account called Tree-tigers by the natives.
Nothing can be more beautiful than the elegant and active
manner in which the Leopards sport among the branches
of the trees: at one time they will bound from branch to
branch with such rapidity that the eye can scarcely follow
them; then, as if tired, they will suddenly stretch them-
selves along a branch, so as to be hardly distinguishable
from the bark, but start up again on the slightest provoca-
' .1 M.
tion, and again resume their graceful antics. It is easily
tamed, and expresses great fondness for its keeper, and
will play with him like a cat.
It is fond of some scents, especially preferring lavender
water, by means of which predilection it has been taught
to perform several tricks.
The Leopard and Panther are considered as the same
The JAGUAR inhabits America. It is larger and more
powerful than the leopard, which it resembles in color,
but has a black streak across the chest, and a black spot
in the center of the rosettes. It is fond of climbing trees,
and finds little difficulty in ascending, even when the
trunk is smooth and destitute of branches. It chases
monkeys successfully, and is said to watch for turtles on
the beach, and to scoop out their flesh by turning them on
their backs and inserting its paws between the shells.
Nor does it confine its attention to the turtles themselves,
for it watches them lay their eggs and then scoops them
out of the sand with its claws. It makes havoc among
the sheepfolds, and is said to depart so far from the usual
habits of the Felide as to enter the water after fish, and to
capture them in the shallows by striking them out of the
water with a blow of its paw. The domestic cat has been
seen to act in the same manner.
When it captures one of the larger animals it destroys
it by leaping upon its back and twisting the head of its
prey round until the neck is dislocated.
The PUMA is found throughout South America and a
great part of North America. It is known in Spanish
American countries as the American lion, and in the
United States as the catamount or wild-cat, and vulgarly
as "painter" (a corruption of "panther"). The adult
male is about five feet long, has a thick fur, brown above
and grayish-white beneath, with the ears and tail nearly
black, and sometimes partially striped along the sides. It
climbs trees and usually lies along the branches, where
its uniform dusky fur renders it so like the bark that it
can scarcely be distinguished from the branch. It lives
chiefly upon deer, and has a shrill scream; is cowardly,
and does not voluntarily attack man, but makes a desper-
ate resistance to the hunter. It is easily tamed, and be-
comes quite docile.
The OCELOT, one of the Tiger-cats, is a native of Mexico
and Peru. Its height is about eighteen inches, and its
length about three feet. It is a beautiful animal, and
easily tamed. When in a wild state it lives principally
on monkeys, which it takes by stratagem.
The domestic CAT was formerly supposed to be the same
animal as the Wild Cat, but it is now proved to be a dis-
tinct species, and the difference is seen at once by the
form of the tail. That of the domestic Cat is long and
taper, while that of the wild cat is bushy and short.
The Cat is known to us as a persevering mouse-hunter.
So strong is the passion for hunting in the breast of the
Cat that she has been known to chase hares.
This instinctive desire of hunting seems to.be implanted
in cats at a very early age. I have seen kittens, but just
able to see, bristle up at the touch of a mouse, and growl
in a terrific manner if disturbed.
The Cat displays great affection for her kittens, and her
pride when they first run about is amusing.
Cats are very fond of aromatic plants. My own cat has
just been discovered in the act of eating the green tops of
a musk-plant that was standing in the window. Valerian
appears to be the great attraction for cats, and where it is
planted cats will come in numbers, roll over it, and scratch
up the plant until there is not a vestige of it left.
There are several varieties of the domestic cat, among
which the Angora Cats, with their beautiful long fur, and
the Manx Cats, which have no tails, are the most con-
The LYNXES are remarkable for the pencil of hairs which
tufts their sharply pointed ears. The Canada Lynx is re-
markable for its gait. Its method of progression is by
bounds from all four feet at once, with the back arched.
It feeds principally on hares, as it lacks courage to attack
the larger quadrupeds. Its length is about three feet.
The Indians sometimes eat its flesh, which is white and
firm, and not unlike that of the hare. Its skin forms an
article of commerce.
The CHETAH, or HUNTING LEOPARD, as it is sometimes
called, is one of the most elegant and graceful animals
known. It is a native both of Africa and India, but it is
only in the latter country that it is used for hunting game.
The metlad of employing it is as follows: The Chetah is
usually b ndfolded and placed upon a cart, and taken as
near as possible to the place where deer are feeding. When
close enough, the hunter takes the band from its eyes and
directs its head towards the game. Directly the Chetah
sees the deer it creeps off the cart and Tnakes towards
them as rapidly and silently as it can, carefully availing
itself of the cover of a bush or stone, precisely as a cat does
when stealing after a bird. When it has succeeded in ap-
proaching the unsuspecting herd, it makes two or three
tremendous springs and fastens on the back of one unfor-
tunate deer brings it to the ground, and waits until its
keeper comes up, who induces it to leave its prey by a
ladlefull of blood, which he takes care to have ready. The
Chetah is then hooded and led back to his cart. It is so
easily tamable and so gentle that it is frequently led for
sale about the streets by a string.
It is larger than the leopard, and differs from it in the
length of its paws, its inability to climb trees, and the
crispness of its fur. It is therefore placed in a different
genus from the leopard.
HYENAS are remarkable for their predatory, ferocious
and cowardly habits. There are several Hyenas, the
striped, the spotted and the villose, but as the habits of all
are very similar only one will be mentioned. The hyenias,
although very repulsive in appearance, are yet very use-
ful, as they prowl in search of dead animals, and will de-
vour them even when putrid, so that they act the same
part among beasts that the vultures do among birds, and
are equally uninviting in aspect. They not infrequently
dig up recently-interred corpses. Their jaws and teeth
are exceedingly powerful, as they can crush the thigh-
bone of an ox with little effort, and so great is the strain
upon the bones by the exertions of these muscles that the
vertebrae of the neck become anchylosed, that is, become
united together, and the animal has a perpetual stiff neck
in consequence. The skull, too, is very strong, and fur-
nished with heavy ridges for the support of the muscles
which move the jaw.
Its hinder parts are very small, and give it a strange
shambling appearance when walking. It is easily tamed,
and even domesticated.
The striped Hyena is found in many parts of Asia and
Africa, where it is both a benefit and a pest, for when dead
animals fail it the flocks and herds are ravaged, and even
man does not always escape.
The CIVETS are active little animals, averaging about
two feet in length. The whole group is celebrated for the
perfume which is secreted in a glandular pouch near the
tail, and is of some importance in commerce.
The Civet is only found in North Africa, especially in
Abyssinia, where it takes up its abode on uncultivated
and barren hills. It feeds upon birds and the smaller
quadrupeds, which it takes by surprise.
The ICHNEUMONS, or MANGOUSTS, well deserve their name
of Creepers, for with their long bodies and snouts, their
short limbs and slender tails, they insinuate themselves
into every crevice in their way in search of their expected
food. Few animals are more useful than the Ichneumons.
Snakes, lizards, crocodiles' eggs, or even young crocodiles
themselves, form their principal food, and their activity is
so great that, when these sources fail, they are able to se-
cure birds, and even seize upon the swift and wary lizards,
which, when alarmed, dart off like streaks of green light
glancing through the bushes.
E NORTHERN LYNX.
The Egyptian Ichneumon, or Pharaoh's Rat, as it is
sometimes called, is a native of North Africa, and is often
domesticated for the purpose of destroying the various
snakes and other reptile annoyances which are such a
pest in the houses of hot countries. Its length without the
tail is about eighteen inches.
The DOG FAMILY includes Dogs, Wolves, Jackals and
Foxes. The first of the Dogs is the Kolsun or Dhale,
which inhabits Bombay and Nepaul. It hunts in packs.
as most of the dogs do even in a wild state, and has been
known to destroy tigers and chetahs. The NEWFOUND-
LAND Dog is a magnificent creature, and was originally
brought from Newfoundland. It is often confounded with
the Labrador Dog, a larger and more powerful animal.
Both these dogs are trained by their native masters to
draw sledges and little carriages, and on that account are
highly esteemed. The Newfoundland is well known as a
faithful guardian of its master's property. It is fond of
the water, and will fetch out any article that its master in-
dicates and lay it at his feet. Many instances are known
of this noble animal saving the lives of people that have
fallen into the water, and must have perished but for its
It is one of the largest of the dogs, standing nearly
twenty-six inches in height.
The BLOODHOUND, of which there are several varieties,
inhabits Cuba, Africa and England. They are all en-
dowed with a wonderfully acute sense of smell, and can
trace a man or animal with almost unerring certainty.
The Cuban Bloodhound was employed by the Spaniards
to hunt down the natives while endeavoring to escape
from their invasions.
The FOXHOUND and BEAGLE are not very dissimilar in
form or in habits. They both follow game by the scent,
and are used in hunting. The Foxhound, as its name
implies, is used for hunting the fox, and enters into the
sport with great eagerness. Its height is about twenty-two
The BEAGLE is used principally for hare-hunting. It is
much smaller than the Foxhound, and not nearly so swift,
but its scent is so perfect that it follows every track of the
flying hare, unravels all her windings, and seldom fails to
secure her at last. Sportsmen usually prefer the smallest
beagles obtainable. The most valuable pack of these dogs
known used to be carried to and from the field in a pair
of panniers slung across a horse's back. It is a common
custom in the military schools, and at the universities, to
follow the beagle on foot. There is a society near London
who thus hunt on foot. As too much time would be lost
in looking for a living hare, a dead rabbit is trailed along
the ground, and as its fur has been rubbed with aniseed,
the dogs can follow it easily.
The POINTER is used by sportsmen to point out the spot
where the game lies. It ranges the fields until it scents
the hare or partridge lying close on the ground. It then
remains still, as if carved in stone, every limb fixed, and
the tail pointing straight behind it. In this attitude it
remains until the gun is discharged, reloaded, and the
sportsman has reached the place where the bird sprang.
The MASTIFF is distinguished by the shortness of the
nose and the breadth of the head. This group includes
the mastiff, the bull-dog and the absurd little pug-dog.
The breadth of their heads is caused by the large muscles
which move the jaw.
The Mastiff is generally employed as a house-dog, as
its powerful frame and deep voice are well fitted to scare
away marauders or to repel them if they approach too
near. It is the most sagacious of the whole group, and
exhibits more attachment to its master than the others.
The BULL-DOG is proverbial for courage and endurance,
but its social qualities are by no means pleasing. Al-
though it has some attachment for its master, yet it is not
always safe even for him to disturb it. This dog was ex-
tensively used in the cruel sport of bull-baiting, a recrea-
tion now extinct. When opposed to the bull the dog
would fly at its nose, and there hang in spite of all the
infuriated animal's struggles.
The TERRIERS never grow to any considerable size.
There are several breeds, the English and Scotch being
the most conspicuous. These dogs are principally used
for destroying rats or other vermin, and are so courageous
that they do not hesitate to unearth the fox or the badger.
Otters are also hunted by them, but prove by no means
an easy prey. Terriers are extremely attached to their
masters, and are capable of learning many tricks.
The SHEPHERD'S DOG is a rough, shaggy animal, with
sharp-pointed ears and nose. It is an invaluable assist-
ant, never suffering the sheep to stray, and when two flocks
have mixed it will separate its own charge with the great-
est certainty. It understands every look and gesture of
its master, and drives the flock to any place which he
The GREYHOUND is the swiftest of all dogs, and is prin-
cipally used in the pursuit of the hare. It has but little
delicacy of scent, and hunts almost entirely by sight. The
hare endeavors to baffle it by making sharp turns, which
the dog cannot do on account of its superior size, and has
therefore to take a circuit, during which the hare makes
off in another direction. The hare also has the property
of stopping almost instantaneously when at full speed. It
puts this manoeuvre into force when it is nearing its favor-
ite hiding-place. It induces the dog to spring upon it,
and then suddenly checks itself. The dog is carried twenty
feet by its own momentum, and the hare springs to her
place of refuge.
WOLF.-The Wolf looks much like a large, shaggy dog,
and it has been thought by many that the first dogs
sprung from Wolves. When taken young the Wolf may
be tamed, and it shows as much love for its master as the
dog does. The Wolf is very swift, and hunts deer and
other animals in pairs. It is sly and stealthy, and often
prowls about lonely farms to catch stray sheep, calves,
pigs or fowls, but is also cowardly, and is easily frightened
off by the barking of a dog or the sound of a gun. But
when pressed by hunger it becomes dangerous, and will
attack horses and oxen, and even men. In hard winters
packs of hungry Wolves come down from the forests of
the Alps and other mountains in Europe and commit
great ravages; and many terrible stories have been told
of travellers who have been chased by them in great for-
ests, especially in Russia and Siberia. In one case a man
and his wife, who were riding in a sleigh through the
woods, were so hard pressed by Wolves that they saved
themselves only by throwing out their children, one by
one, to be devoured by the hungry beasts. It is said that
in Russia more than two hundred human beings are killed
by Wolves every year, and a great many thousands of
cattle and sheep.
The GRAY WOLF, of North America, is usually gray
above and yellowish-gray below, but is sometimes nearly
white. It is three or four feet long, with a tail about a
foot and a half long. Packs of these Wolves follow the
buffalo herds on the Western plains, feeding on the sick
and straggling ones. They also attack horses, and some-
times men, when very hungry. They were once plentiful
in New England, but now only a few are found in moun-
tains and thickly-wooded parts.
The Indians catch many Gray Wolves in traps, and
also kill many by surrounding them in a circle, which
they make smaller, little by little, until they get near
enough to shoot them.
The PRAIRIE WOLF, which the Mexicans call Coyote, is
smaller than the Gray Wolf, and is much like the Jackal.
The true Wolf has a howl like that of a dog, but the
Prairie Wolf has only a kind of snapping bark, whence
it is sometimes called the Barking Wolf. It lives in bur-
rows on the great Western plains, is very swift, and hunts
The Fox, this terror of hen-roosts and delight of sports-
men, is found in many parts of America and many other
t -- ..'.I ,
countries. It varies very much in color and size, accord-
ing to the country where it lives.
The habits of this animal are mostly nocturnal. It lies
by day concealed in its burrow; but towards evening it
sallies out in search of food, and woe to the hare, rabbit,
pheasant or fowl that comes in its way I
Sometimes he steals into the hen-roost, destroys and
carries off most of its inmates, some of which he devours
on the spot, others he carries home, and the remainder he
buries for a future repast.
When irritated the Fox gives out a strong, disagreeable
scent, which lies so long on the ground that it may be per-
ceived for nearly an hour after the Fox has passed. Partly
on this account, and lprtly on account of its speed, endur-
ance and cunning, the chase of the Fox is a favorite sport.
WEASELS are easily distinguished by their long, slender
bodies, short muzzle, sharp teeth and predatory habits.
They inhabit almost every part of the world, and procure
their food by creeping on the unsuspecting victim, gen-
erally a rabbit, rat or bird, and then suddenly darting at it
and piercing its neck with their sharp teeth. Almost all
the Weasels devour the brain and suck the blood of their
prey, but seldom touch the flesh, unless they are pressed
There are two kinds of MARTENS, named, from their
favorite haunts, the Pine and the Beech Marten. The
Pine is common in North America, where it is much too
fond of chickens and ducklings to be a desirable neighbor.
This animal, as well as the Sable, is much sought after on
account of its skin, which furnishes a beautiful fur, not
much inferior to that of the Sable.
The STOAT, or ERMINE, is another common animal. It
is smaller than the polecat, but its habits are scarcely less
predaceous. Hares and rabbits fall easy victims to their
little enemy, who dispatches them with a single bite, pene-
- ~// 3L~~-.--~/ ..*
-- -,;, -'i
treating the brain. During the winter the Stoat becomes
partially white, in northern countries wholly so, except
the tip of the tail, which remains black. In this state it is
called the Ermine, and is killed in great numbers for the
sake of its valuable fur.
The WEASEL is the least of this tribe. It is very useful
to farmers, as it wages war on rats and mice, and extir-
pates them from a barn or stack. It hunts by scent like
dogs, and tracks the unfortunate rat with the most deadly
certainty. It is a courageous little animal, and will even
attack men, who have found it by no means a despicable
antagonist, as its instinct invariably leads it to dash at
the throat, where a bite from its long sharp teeth would be
The BADGER.-This harmless and much injured animal
'which is often subjected to such ill-treatment that the term
"badgering a person is used to express irritating him in
every possible way) lives at the bottom of deep burrows
which it excavates, and in which it passes all the day,
sleeping on a bed of hay and grass. When the evening
approaches it seeks its food, consisting of roots, fruit, in-
sects, and sometimes young rabbits. It is also said to at-
tack the wild bee, and boldly to devour the honey-combs,
its thick hair and skin rendering it utterly regardless of
the stings of the enraged bees.
The power of the Badger's bite is caused by the manner
in which the under jaw is set on. Not only are its teeth
sharp, and the leverage of its jaw powerful, but the jaw is
so contrived that when the creature closes its mouth the
jaws lock together as it were, and are held fast without
much exertion on the part of the Badger.
Its skin is rather valuable, the hair being employed in
the manufacture of brushes, and its fur being in some re-
quest for holsters. The length of the Badger is 27 inches.
The OTTER seems to play the same part in the water as
the Polecat and the other weasels on the land. Like the
THE GRIZZLY BEAR. (49)
Polecat it is rapacious, and destroys many more creatures
than it can devour; and as the polecat only eats the brain
and sucks the blood, so the Otter daintily eats the flakes at
the back of the fish's neck and leaves the remainder for less
It slides noiselessly into the water, turns and twists
about below the surface with the same ease as a fish, then,
with a graceful sweep of the body, it glides to the surface
and ascends the bank with almost the same motion.
While below the surface it bears a great resemblance to the
seal, the method in which it disposes its hind-feet greatly
assisting the effect. Its rapid and easy movements in the
water are mostly performed by the assistance of its pow-
erful tapering tail.
The Otter is easily tamed, and is sometimes trained to
catch fish and bring them to shore.
The Hindoos have brought the art of Otter-training to
great perfection, and keep their Otters regularly tethered
with ropes and straw collars on the banks of the river.
The BEARS and their allies are mostly heavy, and walk
with the whole foot placed flat on the ground, unlike the
cats, dogs, etc., who walk with merely their paws or toes.
All the Bears eat either animal or vegetable food, so that a
leg of mutton, a pot of honey, a potato or an apple are
The BRowN BEAR inhabits the north of Europe, Switzer-
land and the Pyrenees. It is hunted with much skill, and
taken in traps and pitfalls.
In the olden time the bear used to be baited, that is, tied
to a pole, and several dogs were set at him, the object be-
ing to see whether the bear could bite the dogs or the dogs
bite the bear with the greater force. This cruel sport is
The GRIZZLY BEAR is a native of North America. It is
the most ferocious and powerful of its family, and is an
animal which must either be avoided or fought, for there
rOLAR lEAIR AJND TMLkUM- rREY.
is no medium. If a Grizzly Bear once sees a man it will
probably chase him, and will do so with great persever-
ance. A traveller relates that he had been chased nearly
thirty miles by one of these Bears, who would probably
have kept up the chase as many miles more had he not
crossed a wide river, over which the Bear did not choose
to follow him.
The Grizzly Bear is marvellously tenacious of life. It is
said after a party of hunters have been combating one of
these bears it is impossible to find four square inches of
sound skin on the animal's body, a ball through the brain
or heart affording the only means of safety to the hunter.
It is rather singular that this Bear has the power of mov-
ing each claw separately, as we move our fingers. It is
able to overcome and carry off the enormous bison, and to
dig a pit in which to bury it.
The POLAR, or WHITE BEAR, called Nennook by the
Esquimaux, lives in the Arctic regions, where it feeds on
seals, fish, and even the walrus, but it dares not attack the
latter animal openly. It is a formidable antagonist either
by land or water, as it dives with great ease and is able to
chase the seal amid the waves. As the seals frequently
crawl out of the water upon rocks or fragments of ice, the
Polar Bear is forced to swim after them; but lest they
should observe him he makes his approaches by a suc-
cession of dives, and contrives that the last dive brings
him directly under the unsuspecting seal, who is imme-
diately grasped and killed. These Bears are often drifted
from Greenland to Iceland on fields of ice, and they find
the flocks and herds so very delicious after a long course
of seal diet that the inhabitants are forced to rise in a body
and put an end to their depredations.
To give this animal, who is constantly running over
fields of ice, a firm footing the soles of its feet are thickly
covered with long hair.
The RACCOON is an animal about the size of a large fox,
and inhabits Canada and parts of America. It is said to
wash its food before eating it. Its skin is valuable, and
much sought after.
The food of the Raccoon is principally small animals
and insects. Oysters are also a very favorite article of its
diet. It bites off the hinge of the oyster and scrapes out
the animal in fragments with its paws. Like a squirrel
when eating a nut, the Raccoon usually holds its food be,
tween its fore-paws pressed together, and sits upon its
hind-quarters while it eats. Poultry are favorite objects
of its attack, and it is said to be as destructive in a farm-
yard as any Fox, for it only devours the heads of the mur-
dered fowl. Like the Fox, it prowls by night.
When taken young it is easily tamed, but very fre-
quently becomes blind soon after its capture. This effect
is supposed to be produced by the sensitive state of its
eyes, which are only intended to be used by night; but
as it is frequently awakened by daylight during its cap-
tivity, it suffers so much from the unusual glare, that its
eyes gradually lose their sight.
Many ridiculous stories of the MOLE and its habits are
told. It is said to be deprived of eyes, to undergo un-
heard-of tortures in forcing its way through the earth,
and to spend a life of misery in damp and darkness.
But so far from being a miserable animal, the Mole seems
to enjoy its life quite as much as any other creature.
It is beautifully fitted for the station which it fills, and
would be unhappy if removed from its accustomed damp
and darkness into warmth and light.
Its eyes are very small, in order to prevent them from
being injured by the earth through which the animal
makes its way; indeed, larger eyes would be useless un-
derground. When, however, the Mole requires to use its
eyes, it can bring them forward from the mass of fur
which conceals and protects them when not in use. The
acute ears and delicate sense of smell supply the place of
Upper and lower surface of right
fore-foot of Mole.
THE COMMON IVIOLE.
eyes. Its fur is very fine, soft, capable of turning in any
direction, and will not retain a particle of mold. But the
most extraordinary part of the Mole is the paw or hand
with which it digs. The two fore-paws are composed of
five fingers, armed with sharp, strong nails, in order to
scrape up the earth; and to prevent the accumulated
mold from impeding the mole's progress, the hands are
Turned outwardly, so as to throw the earth out of its way.
The Mole is a most voracious animal, and is incapable
of sustaining even a slight fast. Its principal food is the
earth-worm, in chase of which it drives its long galleries
underground; but it also will eat insects, bits of meat, and
is said sometimes to catch birds, which it takes by sur-
prise, and then rapidly tears to pieces with its powerful
claws. This ravenous appetite causes it to suffer from
thirst if a supply of water is not at hand. For this reason
the Mole always makes a tunnel towards a pond or brook,
if there is one near. If no water is near, it digs a number
of little wells, which receive the rain or dew, and enable
it to quen ih its thirst. It is a good swimmer, and can
pass from bank to bank, or from the shore to an island,
and when the fields are inundated by floods it can save
itself by swimming.
The construction of the Mole's habitation is very sin-
gular and interesting. Each Mole has its own habitation
and hunting-ground, and will not permit strangers to tres-
pass upon its preserves, which it guards by its claws and
Its passion for work, i.e., search after its food, has some-
thing fierce in it. The animal works desperately for sev-
eral hours, and then rests for as many hours. Its mode
of burrowing is by rooting up the earth with its snout, and
then scooping it away with its fore-feet. The depth at
which this animal works depends almost entirely on the
time of year. In the summer the worms come to the sur-
face, and the Mole accordingly follows them, making quite
superficial runs, and sometimes only scooping trenches on
the surface. But in the winter, when the worms sink
deep into the ground, the Mole is forced to follow them
there, and as it cannot fast above an hour or two, it is
forced to work at the hard and heavy soil as it did in the
light earth nearer the surface.
Moles vary in color, the usual tint being a very deep
brown, almost black, but they have been seen of an orange
color, and a white variety is not uncommon. I have a
cream-colored skin in my possession. There are several
Moles known-the Shrew Mole, the Changeable Mole, the
Cape Mole, and the Star-nosed Mole, are the most con-
THE SHREW MOUSE is very like the Common Mouse, but
is easily distinguished from it by the length of the nose,
which is used for grubbing up the earth in search of earth-
worms and insects.
The Shrew has no connection with the true mice. It
belongs to an entirely different class of animals, its teeth
being sharp and pointed, while those of the Mouse are
broad and chisel-shaped, like the teeth of the rabbit. A
peculiar scent is diffused from these animals, which is
possibly the reason why the cat will not eat them, although
she will readily destroy them.
Many species of Shrews are known, inhabiting various
countries. There are, besides the common species, the
Oared and the Water Shrew. The formation of their hair
as seen under a microscope is very beautiful, but quite
distinct from the hair of the Mouse or Rat. In the autumn,
numbers of these little animals may be seen lying dead,
but what causes this destruction is not known.
This is one of the numerous animals that have suffered
by false reports, and have been treated with great cruelty
on account of those fables. Rustics formerly believed that
the poor little harmless creature paralyzed their cattle by
running over them, and that the only way to cure the dis-
eased animal was to place a bough of shrew-ash on the
injured part. A Shrew cut in half and placed on a wound
supposed to be caused by its bite was considered a
The HEDGEHOG is one of the remarkable animals that is
guarded with spikes. These spikes are fixed into the skin
in a very beautiful and simple manner. When annoyed
it rolls itself up, and the tightness of the skin causes all
its spines to stand firm and erect, bidding defiance to an
unprotected hand. While rolled up, even the dog and the
fox are baffled by it; but their ingenuity enables them to
overcome the difficulty by rolling it along until they push
it into a puddle or pool, when the astonished Hedgehog
unrolls itself to see what is the matter, and before it can
close itself again is seized by its crafty enemy.
Its food consists of insects, snails, frogs, mice and snakes.
Buckland placed a snake in the same box with the Hedge-
hog. The Hedgehog gave the snake a severe bite, and then
rolled itself up, this process being repeated until the spine
of the snake was broken in several places; it then began
at the tail and ate the snake gradually, as one would eat
a radish. It has been known to bore down and eat the
roots of the plantain, leaving the leaves and the stem un-
The flesh of the Hedgehog is said to be good eating, and
the gypsies frequently make it a part of their diet, as do
the people in some parts of France and Belgium.
During the winter it lives in a torpid state, in a hole
well lined with grass and moss, and when discovered
looks like a round mass of leaves, as it has rolled itself
among the fallen foliage, which adheres to its spikes.
The quill is, as it were, pinned through the skin and re-
tained by the head. The curvature is such, that when the
animal contracts itself the quills are drawn upright, and
form a strong and elastic covering, useful for more pur-
poses than merely defense from foes. The Hedgehog has
been known to throw itself boldly from a considerable
height, trusting to the elasticity of the spring for breaking
its fall. When the spines are upright the shock of the
fall would not tend to drive the end of the quill upon the
animal, but merely
spend its force upon -
the elasticity of the
The KANGAROO. In
the Mole we saw that
the power of the body
was placed chiefly in
the fore-legs; we now
come to a family
which has the princi- HEDGEHOG AND YOUNG.
pal power placed in
the hinder-part of the body. In the Kangaroos the hind-
legs are very long and immensely powerful; the fore-legs
are very small, and used more as hands than for walking;
the tail also is very thick and strong, and assists the ani-
mal in its leaps.
The Great Kangaroo inhabits Australia. Its singular
formation, peculiarly adapted to the country, calls forth a
corresponding degree of ingenuity on the part of the na-
tives, who live much on its flesh. Its method of progres-
sion is by immense leaps from its long hind-legs.
The natural walking position of this animal is on all
four legs, although it constantly sits up on the hinder-legs,
or even stands on a tripod composed of its feet and tail, in
order to look out over the tops of the grass among which
it lives. The leaping movements are required for haste
or escape, the length of each leap being about fifteen feet.
Hunting this animal is a favorite sport. The natives
either knock it down with the boomerang, spear it from
behind a bush, or unite together and hem in a herd, which
soon fall victims to the volley of clubs, spears and boomer-
angs which pour in on all sides. The colonists either
shoot it or hunt it with dogs, a pack of which is trained
for the purpose just as we train fox-hounds. The "old
man," or boomer," as the colonists call the Great Kan-
garoo, invariably leads the dogs a severe chase, always at-
tempting to reach water and escape by swimming. It is
a formidable foe to the dogs when it stands at bay, as it
seizes the dog with its fore-legs, and either holds him un-
der water until he is drowned, or tears him open with a
well-directed kick of its powerful hind-feet, which are
armed with a very sharp claw.
The female Kangaroo carries its young about in a kind
of pouch, from which they emerge when they wish for a
little exercise, and leap back again on the slightest alarm.
All the Kangaroos and the Opossums have this pouch.
The length of the Great Kangaroo is about five feet,
without the tail, the length of which is about three feet.
There are many species of Kangaroo, the most extraor-
dinary being the Tree Kangaroo, which can hop about on
trees, and has curved claws on its fore-paws, like those of
the Sloth, to enable it to hold on the branches.
The OPossuM inhabits North and South America, and is
t ,' ,l-' I
- I ---~I d '
- ~ ~ h9~''i
/l~.( r C
hunted with almost as much perseverance as the Raccoon,
not, however, for the sake of its fur, but of its flesh. When
it perceives the hunter, it lies still between the branches,
but if disturbed from its hiding-place, it attempts to escape
by dropping among the herbage and creeping away.
Its food consists of insects, birds, eggs, etc., and it is
very destructive among the hen-roosts. The Opossum
uses its tail for climbing and swinging from branch to
branch, as the Spider-Monkeys use theirs, but the Opos-
sum uses its tail in a manner that the Monkeys have never
yet been observed to do, that is, making it a support for its
young, who sit on its back and twist their tails round their
mother's in order to prevent them from falling off.
It is a most crafty animal, and when overtaken by its
pursuers can simulate death so admirably that it fre-
quently deceives the foe, and quietly makes its escape.
The length of the Opossum is about twenty-two inches,
and its height about that of an ordinary cat. When dis-
turbed or alarmed, it gives out a very unpleasant odor.
The name Opossum is derived from the Indians.
The SEALS and WHALES, although they are truly mam-
malia, are inhabitants of the water, and specially formed
for an aquatic existence.
The fore-feet of the seal are used as fins, and the two
hinder-feet almost as the tail of a fish, to assist and direct
its course. On land its movements are very clumsy; it
shuffles along by means of its fore-feet, or rather paddles,
and drags its hind-feet after it.
Seals live during warm weather mostly in the cold re-
gions of the north and south poles, and go into milder
waters in the winter. Their food is chiefly fish, and they
sometimes chase salmon quite far up rivers. They like
to bask in the sun upon rocks, sand-banks or ice-floes,
always keeping a good lookout for danger, They can see
far, and their sense of smell is very sharp.
r;'- -;~~_i,~~OrossuM'l ;~
Seals mostly live on mollusks, crabs and fish. In the
winter they make holes in the ice, where they can come
up to breathe. Sometimes one comes out to eat a fish.
The Esquimaux watch near seal holes until one is seen
coming up, then crawl softly along on the ice, making a
cry like a seal, and the poor animal, who takes it for an-
other seal, does not discover its mistake until it gets a
Seals are among the most useful of animals to man. The
Greenlanders use their flesh for food; their oil for light,
warmth and cooking; their skins for clothes, boots and
coverings of boats and tents; their sinews for thread and
fishing-lines; the skins of the entrails for window-curtains
and shirts, and their blood for making soup. Seal-skins
are an important article of commerce, and the seal-fishery
is largely carried on along the coast of Newfoundland and
Labrador, and also on the islands off the coast of Alaska.
The fur in its natural state is yellowish, spotted and
marked with brown, and is unfit for use until it is dyed.
Dressed seal-skins are largely used for ladies' cloaks,
6apes, etc. The skins are tanned sometimes and made
into a fine soft leather for pocketbooks, card-cases and
other things. Seal-oil, made from the blubber of fat, is
more valuable than whale-oil.
The length of the Common Seal is about five feet, and
its weight often over 200 pounds. When surprised bask-
ing on the shore, it scrambles off towards the water, but
if intercepted, dashes at its antagonist, oversets him if pos-
sible, and makes its escape as fast as it can.
There are many Seals known, among which are the Sea
Leopard, a spotted species; the Harp Seal, so called be-
cause the markings on its back resemble a lyre; the Sea
Bear and the Sea Lion.
The WALRUS inhabits the northern seas. Its most re-
markable point is the great length of its upper canine
teeth, which extend downwards for nearly two feet, and
resemble the tusks of the elephant. They furnish very
fine ivory, and are used by dentists in making artificial
teeth, as teeth made from them remain white much longer
than those made from the tusks of elephants. These
tusks are used by the Walrus for climbing the rocks or
heaps of ice, and also for digging up the seaweeds on which
the animal mostly subsists. It will also eat shrimps and
The Walrus is hunted for the sake of its oil, its flesh, its
skin and its teeth. It is generally found in troops, and if
one is wounded, its companions rush to its rescue and at-
tack the enemy with their sharp tusks, which they have
been known to drive through the bottom of a boat. The
length of the Walrus is about fifteen feet, and it yields
about twenty-five gallons of excellent oil.
The WHALE tribe closely resemble the fishes, and have
often been placed among these animals by naturalists.
They, however, are distinguished by possessing warm
blood, and, in consequence, being forced to rise at inter-
vals in order to breathe the air, instead of separating from
the water, by means of their gills, sufficient oxygen for
Yet the Whale remains under water for a time so much
longer than could be borne by any other warm-blooded
animal, that the most indifferent observer cannot fail to
perceive that the Whale is furnished with some plan for
supporting life during its stay beneath the water.
Along the interior of the ribs is a vast collection of
blood-vessels, ramifying from one another and capable of
containing a large quantity of blood, having no immediate
connection with that portion of the blood which is already
circulating in the body. As fast as the exhausted and
poisonous blood returns from its work it passes into an-
other reservoir adapted for its necessities, while a portion
of the arterialized blood in the arterial reservoir passes into
the circulation. It will be seen from this that the Whales,
and others of the same order, possess more blood in pro-
portion than any animals. By means of this wonderful
apparatus a whale can remain below the water for more
than half an hour at a time.
The depths to which the Whale can descend are aston-
ishing, wounded whales having been known to take
down perpendicularly nearly 800 fathoms of line. The
pressure of the water at this depth is very great, amount-
ing, according to Scoresby's calculation, to 211,200 tons.
This pressure would certainly cause the water to burst
WALRUSSES ON THE ICE.
through their nostrils and enter the lungs, were it not
that the nostrils are formed so as to close themselves more
firmly as the pressure of water increases.
The great GREENLAND WHALE is found in the Northern
Oceans. Many ships are annually fitted out for the cap-
ture of this creature, which furnishes oil and whalebone.
The oil is obtained from the thick layer of fatty substance
called blubber, which lies under the skin; and the whale-
bone-which, by the way, is not bone at all-is obtained
from the interior of the mouth, where it fringes the jaws,
and acts as a sieve for the Whale to strain his food through.
The throat of the Greenland Whale is so small, that the
sailors say that a penny loaf would choke a whale. The
greater proportion of its food consists of a little creature,
about an inch and a half long, called Clio borealis, one of
the marine Mollusca, belonging to the class Pteropida, or
wing-footed creatures, so called because it propels itself
through the water with two wing-like organs. The Whale,
when it wishes to feed, rushes through the water with its
immense jaws wide open, inclosing a host of little sea ani-
mals and a few hogsheads of water. As the Whale only
wants the animals, and not the water, it shuts its mouth
and drives all the water out through the fringes of whale-
bone, leaving the little creatures in its jaws.
The Whale shows great attachment to its young, which
is called the cub, and on the approach of danger seizes it
with its fin or flipper, and carries it down out of danger.
The Whale has no fins, properly so called, as it is not a
fish, but one of the mammalia. Its flippers, which supply
the place of fins, are in fact fore-legs, furnished with a
kind of hand covered with a thick skin. They seem to be
principally employed in balancing the animal. The hind-
legs are wanting. The length of this Whale averages sixty
feet. Its tail is placed transversely, and not vertically, as
in the fishes.
The SPERMACETI WHALE is not furnished with baleen,"
or whalebone, but is armed with a number of strong coni-
cal teeth, which are placed in the lower jaw, and which
are often used in defending itself from the attacks of the
whalers' boats. In the Oxford Museum is an under jaw-
bone of this Whale, sixteen feet in length, containing forty-
eight huge teeth. Besides this method of defense, it has a
very unpleasant habit of swimming off to a distance, and
then rushing at the boat with its head, thereby knocking
it to pieces. One of these Whales actually sank a ship by
three or four blows from its head.
Spermaceti is obtained from the head of the Whale, and
it is this substance that causes the immense size of the
head. When killed, a hole is made in the upper part of
the head, and the spermaceti is baled out with buckets.
When just procured it is almost fluid, but is rendered
solid and transparent by being first drained of its oil, then
boiled in water, and lastly set to cool in wide pans, where
it soon assumes the white, flaky appearance so well known
in this country. The skull occupies but a small portion
of the head, the huge mass at the end of the mouth being
composed of a gristly kind of substance. The bone of the
upper jaw occupies about one-fourth of the distance be-
tween the mouth and the top of the snout. It runs back-
wards nearly straight until just before the eyes, when it
joins the remainder of the skull with a bold sweep. That
part of the skull is called Neptune's Chair by the sail-
ors, and is the part where the spermaceti is found. The
layer of blubber is thin, but yields a fine and valuable
oil. Ambergris, so long a riddle to all inquirers, is now
found to be produced in the interior of this Whale. This
substance is of the consistency of wax, inflammable, and
gives out a kind of musky odor. It was once in great re-
pute as a medicine, but is now only used as a perfume.
Although an inhabitant of the Arctic seas, it has some-
times been found and captured off the English coasts.
The length of this Whale is about seventy feet.
Those readers who have formed theii ideas of DOLPHINS
from the very graceful and elegant creatures represented
THE SPERM WHALE.
under that name in the pictures of the "old masters," will
find that the real animal differs greatly from the ideal.
Almost the whole history of the Dolphin is imaginary-
very poetical, but very untrue. Our Dolphin, when we
have harpooned and brought him on deck, is only black
and white, and all the change that he makes is that the
black becomes brown in time, and the white changes to
The creature that really displays colors when dying is
a fish called the Coryphene. The sailors generally call it
the Dolphin, which has led to the mistake. The Dolphin
is, like the Whale, a warm-blooded animal, suckles its
young, and is forced to come to the surface in order to
breathe. Its snout is very long, and is apparently used
for capturing such fish and other animals as live in the
mud. The length is from six to ten feet. Several species
PORPOISES may be observed in plenty playing their ab-
surd antics off every coast of America. They frequent the
mouths of rivers, because they find more food there than
in the open sea. They tumble at the surface of the water
for the purpose of breathing.
In the olden times, wheh glass windows were consid-
ered a luxury, and rushes supplied the place of carpets,
the flesh of the Porpoise constituted one of the delicacies
of a feast, but it has long since been deposed from rank at
the table. Its flesh has a very strong, oily flavor.
The Porpoise feeds on various fishes, but its great feasts
are held when the periodical shoals of herrings, pilchards,
and other fish arrive on the coasts. In the pursuit of its
prey, it frequently ventures some distance up a river, and
is then often taken in nets by the fishermen.
Its teeth are numerous, and interlock when the jaws are
closed, so that the fish when once seized cannot escape.
Its length is about five feet ; its color a rich black, be-
coming white on the under side.
The NARWHAL unwittingly contributed to propagate a
very old error. Its spiral tusk used to be sold as the real
horn of the unicorn; and as an accredited part of that
animal, forming direct proof of its existence, it used to
fetch a high price. When the Whale fishery was estab-
lished, the real owner of the horn was discovered, and the
unicorn left still enveloped in mystery.
The Narwhal possesses two tusks, one on each side of its
head. Only the left tusk projects, the other remaining
within the head. Sometimes a specimen has been found
with both tusks projecting, and some think that when the
left tusk has been broken off by accident, the right one be-
comes large enough to supply its place. Although an in-
habitant of the northern seas, it has several times visited
English coasts. Its body is from thirty to forty feet in
length, and its tusk from five to nine.
The RODENTIA, or gnawing animals, are so called from
their habit of gnawing through, or paring away, the sub-
stances on which they feed. For this purpose their teeth
are admirably formed, and by these teeth it is always
easy to ascertain a member of the Rodents. They have
none of those sharp teeth called canine, such as are seen
in the Lions and in those animals which seize and destroy
living animals, but in the front of each jaw there are two
long, flat teeth, slightly curved, and having a kind of chisel-
edge for rasping away wood or other articles.
The constant labor which these teeth undergo would
rapidly wear them away. To counteract this loss, the
teeth are constantly growing and being pushed forward,
so that as fast as the upper part is worn away the tooth is
replenished from below. So constant is this increase that,
when an unfortunate rabbit or other rodent has lost one
of its incisors, the opposite one, meeting nothing to stop
its progress, continually grows, until sometimes the tooth
curls upwards over the lips and prevents the wretched
animal from eating, until it is gradually starved to death.
The BROWN RAT, sometimes called the Norway Rat, is
the species usually found in England and America. It
was imported into England and from thence here, and
from its superior size, strength, and ferocity, has com-
pletely established itself and expelled the original Black
It is at all times difficult to get rid of these dirty, noisy
animals, for they soon learn to keep out of the way of
traps, and if they are poisoned they revenge their fate by
dying behind a wainscot or under a plank of the floor,
and make the room uninhabitable. There are, however,
two ways recommended to attain the desired object:
Place a saucer containing meal in a room frequented by
Rats, letting them have free access to it for several days.
They will then come to it in great force. When they have
thus been accustomed to feed there regularly, mix a quan-
tity of jalap with the meal, and put it in the accustomed
place. This will give them such internal tortures that
they will not come near the place again.
A second plan is to mix phosphorus with the meal and
make it into a ball. The phosphorus is said not to kill
the Rats, but to afflict them with such a parching thirst
that they rush to the nearest water and die there. By this
method the danger of their dying in the house is avoided.
The Common MOusE is so well known that a description
of its form and size is useless. It almost rivals the Rat in
its attacks upon our provisions, and is quite as difficult to
extirpate. It brings up its young in a kind of nest, and
when a board of long standing is taken up in a room, it is
not uncommon to find under it a Mouse's nest, composed
of rags, string, paper, shavings, and everything that the
ingenious little architect can scrape together. It is a round
mass, looking something like a rag ball very loosely made.
When opened, seven or eight little mice will probably be
found in the interior-little, pink, transparent creatures,
sprawling about in a most unmeaning manner, apparently
greatly distressed at the sudden cold caused by the open-
ing of their nest.
A white variety of Mouse is tolerably common, and is
usually bred in cages. As it is very tame and beautiful,
it is in some repute as a pet.
The HARVEST MOUSE is very much smaller than the or-
dinary mouse. Its nest is raised about a foot from the
ground, and supported on two or three straws. It is
made of grass, about the size of a cricket-ball, and very
The WATER RAT is common on banks of rivers, brooks,
etc. I have watched them feeding, and never saw them
eating fish, nor found fish-bones inside their holes, except
when a kingfisher had taken possession; but I have seen
them gnawing the bark from reeds, which they completely
strip, leaving the mark of each tooth as they proceed.
North America is the principal country where the
BEAVER is found, but it is also common on the Euphrates,
and along the Rhone and the Danube.
The houses of the Beaver are built of mud, stones, and
sticks. They are placed in a stream, and their entrance is
always below the surface. As a severe frost would freeze
up their doors, it is necessary to make the stream deep
enough to prevent the frost from reaching the entrances.
This objects attained by building a dam across the river,
to keep back the water until it is sufficiently deep for the
Beaver's purposes. The dam is made of branches, which
the Beaver cuts down with its strong, sharp teeth, and mud
and stones worked in among *the branches. The Beavers
throw these branches into the water, and sink them to the
bottom by means of stones, and by continually throwing
in fresh supplies a strong embankment is soon made.
As many Beavers live together in one society, the forma-
tion of a dam does not take very long. By their united
efforts they rapidly fell even large trees, by gnawing them
round the trunk, and always take care to make them fall
towards the water, so that they can transport the logs
easily. The mud and stones used in their embankments
are not carried on their tails, as some say, nor do the
Beavers use their tails as trowels for laying on the mud,
the fact being that the stones and mud are carried between
their chin and fore-paws, and the mistake respecting the
tail is evidently caused by the slap that Beavers give with
that member when they dive. In order that their pond
may not be too deep they always leave an opening in the
dam to let the water escape when it rises above a certain
During the severe winter their mud-built houses freeze
quite hard, and prevent the Wolverine,their greatest enemy,
except man, from breaking through and devouring the in-
mates. Every year the Beavers lay a fresh coating of mud
upon their houses, so that after the lapse of a few years
the walls of the house are several feet in thickness. Many
of the houses are built close together, but no two families
can communicate with each other except by diving below
the walls and rising inside their neighbors' houses.
When in captivity the Beaver soon becomes tame, and
will industriously build dams across the corner of a room
with brushes, boots, fire-irons, books, or anything it can
find. When its edifice is finished, it sits in the centre, ap-
parently satisfied that it has made a beautiful structure
to dam up the river-a proof that the ingenuity of the
Beaver is not caused by reason, but by instinct.
Its fur consists of a fine wool intermixed with long and
stiff hairs. The hairs are useless, but the peculiar con-
struction of the fur causes it to penetrate and fix itself into
the felt which forms the body of a hat. In making the
hat, the only method required to fasten the fur into the felt
is to knead the fur and felt together. The hair is toothed
on its surfaces, and makes its way into the felt, just as an
awn of barley will travel all over the body if placed up
the sleeve. The length of the Beaver is about 3f feet.
BEAVERS AT WORK. (77)
The PORCUPINE is found in America, Africa, Tartary,
Persia, India and some parts of Europe. It lives in holes
which it digs in the ground, and only comes forth at night
to feed. It eats vegetable substances only, such as roots,
bark and other similar substances. The array of spines
or quills with which this animal is covered forms its prin-
cipal means of defense. If it cannot escape, it suddenly
stops, erects all its quills and runs backwards against its
adversary, striking the quills against him by the weight
of its body. Occasionally a looser quill than usual re-
mains in the wound or falls on the ground, which evi-
dently gave rise to the foolish error that the Porcupine
could dart its weapons at its adversary from a distance.
There are two kinds of these quills-one kind long and
curved, the other short, thick and pointed. These last are
the weapons of defense, as the former are too slender to do
much service. When it walks its quills make a kind of
rustling sound, caused principally by those arranged on
the tail, which are large, hollow, and supported on large,
The Indians use the quills for ornamenting various parts
of their dress, especially their moccasins or skin shoes.
The length of the Porcupine is about two feet, and its
spines or quills are from six to fourteen inches long.
The CAPYBARA is the largest of all the Rodentia. At
first sight it looks very like a pig, and its skin is covered
thinly with hairs like bristles, which add to the resem-
blance. It inhabits the borders of lakes and rivers in many
parts of South America. During the day it hides among
the thick herbage of the banks, only wandering forth to
feed at night, but when alarmed it instantly makes for the
water, and escapes by diving. It is hunted for the sake
of its flesh, which is said to be remarkably good. The
food of the Capybara consists of grass, vegetables- and
fruits. Its length is about forty-two inches.
The GUINEA-PIG was originally brought from South
.... .. kv
America. Its beauty is its only recommendation, as it
shows little intelligence and is never used for food.
Children are fond of keeping them, as they are wonder-
fully prolific, easy to manage and do not make much
noise. They are supposed to keep off rats, and are there-
fore patronized in connection with rabbit-hutches.
The HARE is one of our most common quadrupeds.
When full-grown it is larger than the Rabbit and exceed-
ingly like that animal. But its color is slightly different,
and the black spot on the extremity of its ears is a simple
method of distinguishing it. It does not burrow like the
Rabbit, but makes a kind of nest of grass and other mate-
rials. In this nest, called a form," the Hare lies, crouch-
ing to the ground, its ears laid along its back, and trusting
to its concealment, will often remain quiet until the foot
of an intruder almost touches it.
Innumerable foes besides man surround this animal.
Foxes, ferrets, stoats and all their tribe are unmerciful
enemies, and sometimes a large hawk will destroy a leveret,
as the young Hare is called. Although destitute of all
means of defense, it often escapes by the quickness of its
hearing and sight, which give it timely warning of the
approach of an enemy.
In cold countries it changes its fur during winter, and
becomes white, like the Arctic Fox and the Ermine.
The RABBIT is smaller than the Hare, but closely re-
sembles it in form. It lives in deep holes, which it digs
in the ground. The female Rabbit forms a soft nest at the
bottom of her burrow, composed of fur torn from her body,
of hay and dried leaves. Here the young Rabbits are kept
until they are strong enough to shift for themselves and
make their own burrows. The tame Rabbit is only a
variety rendered larger by careful feeding and attend-
The GERBOAS are celebrated for their powers of-leaping.
Their long hind-legs enable them to take enormous springs,
during which their tails serve to balance them. Indeed a
Gerboa when deprived of his tail is afraid to leap.
In the history of the Polar Bear it was mentioned that
its feet were prevented from slipping on the ice by a coat-
ing of thick hair. The foot of the Gerboa is defended in
the same manner by long, bristly hairs, which gives the
creature a firm hold of the ground for its spring, and also
defends the foot from the burning soil on which it lives.
It is very timid, and on the slightest alarm rushes to its
burrow, but if intercepted skims away over the plain with
such rapidity that it seems to fly, and when at full speed
a swift greyhound can scarcely overtake it.
Grain and bulbous roots are its chief food; while eating
it holds the food with its fore-paws and sits upright on its
haunches, like the Squirrels and Marmots.
The DORMOUSE is common in all the warmer parts of
Europe. It lives in copses and among brushwood, through
which it makes its way with such rapidity that it is very
difficult to capture. During the winter it lies torpid, but
takes care to have a stock of food laid up, on which it
feeds during the few interruptions to its slumbers. A
warm day in winter will usually rouse it, but during the
cold weather it lies rolled up, with its tail curled round
its body. While in this state a sudden exposure to heat
kills it, but a gentle warmth, such as holding it in the
hand, rouses it without injury. It lives principally on
nuts, acorns and grain. It brings up its young in a nest
composed of leaves and hay, and seems to be fond of
society in its household labors, as ten or twelve nests have
been seen close to each other.
The SQUIRREL is a very common animal in woods, where
numbers may be seen frisking about on the branches, or
running up and down the trunks. If alarmed it springs
up the tree and hides behind a branch. By this trick it
escapes its enemy the hawk, and by constantly slipping
behind the large branches, frequently tires him out. The
activity and daring of this little animal are extraordinary.
When pursued it makes the most astonishing leaps from
branch to branch, or from tree to tree, and has apparently
some method of altering its direction while in the air, pos-
sibly by means of its tail acting as a rudder.
It is easily domesticated, and is very amusing in its
habits when suffered to go at large in a room or kept in a
spacious cage; but when confined in one of the cruel
wheel cages its energies and playfulness are quite lost.
Men often go about with squirrels for sale, and generally
cheat those who buy them. They try to sell old squirrels
for young, but this imposition may be detected by look-
ing at the teeth of the animal, which are nearly white if
young, but if old are of a light yellow. The purchaser
should beware of very tame and quiet squirrels. These
are generally animals just caught and perfectly wild, but
made sedate by a dose of opium.
Its color is a deep reddish brown, and its tail so large
and bushy as to shade its whole body when carried curled
over its back.
The Ruminanti, or those animals that chew the cud,
include the oxen, sheep and goats, deer, giraffe and camels.
They have a peculiar construction of stomach, which
receives the freshly-gathered food, retains it for some
hours, and then passes it back into the mouth to be re-
The Ox is spread widely over the earth, scarcely any
country being without its peculiar breed. In England,
where it is the most useful domesticated animal, there are
many breeds, generally distinguished by the length or
shape of their horns. There is the long-horned breed,"
the "short-horned," the "middle-horned" and the
" polled or hornless breed. Each of these breeds has its
peculiar value: some fatten easily, and are kept especially
for the butcher; others give milk, and are valuable for the
dairy. The best dairy cow is the Alderney, a small, short-
horned animal, furnishing very rich milk. The Texas cat-
tle are descended from Spanish stock.
In some parts of America oxen are used to draw wagons,
or to drag the plow. They are not so strong as horses, and
their movements are much slower.
Every part of the Ox is of value. We eat his flesh, we
wear shoes soled with his skin, our candles are made from
his fat, our tables are joined with glue made from his
hoofs, his hair is mixed with the mortar of our walls, his
horns are made into combs, knife-handles, drinking-cups,
etc., his bones are used as a cheap substitute for ivory and
the fragments ground and scattered over the fields as ma-
nure, and soup is made from his tail.
The young Ox is called a calf, and is quite as useful in
its way as the full-grown Ox. The flesh is termed veal, and
by many preferred to the flesh of the Ox or Cow, which is
called beef; jelly is made from its feet. The stomach is
salted and dried, and is named rennet. Cheese is made
by soaking a piece of rennet in water and pouring it into a
vessel of milk. The milk soon forms a curd, which is
placed in a press, and the watery substance, called whey,
squeezed from it. The curd is colored and salted, and is
The CAPE BUFFALO is a native of South Africa. It is ex-
ceedingly ferocious and cunning, often lurking among the
trees until an unsuspecting traveller approaches, and then
rushing on him and destroying him. The ferocious creat-
ure is not content with killing its victim, but stands over
him, mangling him with its horns and stamping on him
with its feet.
The BIson is a native of Europe and North America.
They have short horns, which are curved inward at the
point. They are distinguished from the Ox by long woolly
or shaggy hair, which covers the neck and shoulders of
The American Bison is known by the incorrect name of
Buffalo. This is the only species of the Ox family indige-
nous to America, except the Musk Ox. It is similar to
the European Bison, but the fore-parts are more shaggy,
and it is a powerful and ferocious-looking animal, which
no American beast can overcome or resist, except the
Grizzly Bear. The color of its hair is mostly brown. In
former years vast herds of Bisons roamed over- the plains
and prairies between the Mississippi River and the Rocky
Mountains, feeding on grass and brushwood. They are
generally inoffensive, and will not attack men, but prefer
to run rather than to fight. During their migration they
move in enormous herds, which are innumerable and ir-
resistible. Their hides are valuable, and under the name
of buffalo robes are an important article of commerce. The
bisons are swift in running, and have so keen a sense of
smell that the hunter cannot easily approach near enough
to shoot them. The Indians circumvent them by setting
fire to the prairie-grass on several sides, and thus driving
them in confusion towards a central position. They also
drive them over precipices in large herds, the momen-
tum of which is such that the leaders cannot stop or re-
treat, being forced forward by the mass behind them. The
chase of Bisons is attended with some danger, as they
sometimes turn upon an assailant, who is liable to be
trampled under the feet of the herd. Numerous tribes of
Aborigines are mainly dependent on the Bison for their
food and clothing. Their skins, which are covered with
soft hair or fur, are much used for blankets, and their
flesh and fat are converted into pemmican, the favorite food
of the fur-hunters and voyageurs of North America. The
Bison differs from the true Buffaloes in having a hump
upon the back, and in the absence of the dewlap, which
is small in the Buffaloes. The Buffaloes have cavities in
their horns communicating with the nasal passage, the
Bison has not; the horns turn outward in the true Buffa-
loes, and inward in the Bisons.
The flesh of the Bison is tolerable eating, but the "hump "
appears to be unapproachable in delicacy. It is very ten-
der, and possesses the property of not cloying even when
eaten in excess. The fat is also said to be devoid of that
THE AMERICAN BISON.
sickening richness which is usually met with in our do-
The cow is smaller than the bull and considerably
swifter. She is also generally in better condition and fat-
ter than her mate, and in consequence the hunters who go
to "get meat" always select the cows from the herd.
The YAK inhabits Tartary. Of this animal in a native
state little is known. The name of" grunniens," or grunt-
ing, is derived from the peculiar sound that it utters. The
tail of the Yak is very long and fine, and is used in India
as a fan or whisk to keep off the mosquitoes. The tail is
fixed into an ivory or metal handle, and is then called a
chowrie. Elephants are sometimes taught to carry a chow-
rie, and wave it about in the air above the heads of those
who ride on its back. In Turkey the tail is called a
"horse-tail," and is used as an emblem of dignity.
From the shoulders of the Yak a mass of long hair falls
almost to the ground, something like the mane of a Lion.
This hair is applied to various purposes by the Tartars.
They weave it into cloth, of which they not only make ar-
ticles of dress, but also tents, and even the ropes which
sustain the tents.
The GNoo, or WILDEBEEST, inhabits Southern Africa. At
first sight it is difficult to say whether the horse, buffalo
or deer predominates in its form. It-belongs to neither
of these animals, but is one of the bovine Antelopes. The
horns cover the top of the forehead, and then, sweeping
downwards over the face, turn boldly upwards with a
sharp curve. The neck is furnished with a mane like that
of the horse, and the legs are formed like those of the stag.
It is a very swift animal, and when provoked very dan-
gerous. When it attacks an opponent it drops on its
knees, and then springs forward with such force that, un-
less he is extremely active, he cannot avoid its shock.
When it is taken young, the Gnoo can be domesticated,
and brought up with other cattle, but it will not bear con-
finement, and is liable to become savage under restraint.
There are several species of this animal, the Common
Gnoo, the Cocoon and the Brindled Gnoo.
The size of the Gnoo is about that of a well-grown Ass.
Its flesh is in great repute both among the natives and
The KooDoo is a native of South Africa, living along the
wooded borders of rivers. It is noted for its beautifully-
shaped horns, which are about four feet in length and
twisted into a large spiral of about two turns and a half.
A bold ridge runs along the horns and follows their curva-
ture. When hard pressed it always takes to the water, and
endeavors to escape by its powersof swimming. Although
a large animal, nearly four feet in height, it can leap with
wonderful activity. The weight of the horns is very con-
siderable, and partly to relieve itself of that weight, and
partly to guard them from entanglement in the bushes
among which it lives and on which it feeds, it carries its
head backwards, so that the horns rest on its shoulders..
The GAZELLE inhabits Arabia and Syria. Its eyes are
very large, dark and lustrous, so that the Oriental poets
love to compare the eyes of a woman to those of a gazelle.
It is easily tamed when young, and is often seen in the
courtyards of houses in Syria. Its swiftness is so great
that even a greyhound can not overtake it, and the hun-
ters are forced to make use of hawks, which are trained to
strike at the head of the Gazelle, and thus confuse it, and
retard its speed, so as to permit the dogs to come up. Its
color is a dark yellowish brown, fading into white on the
The CHAMOIS is found only in mountainous regions,
especially the Alpine chains of Europe and Western Asia.
It lives on the loftiest ridges, displaying wonderful ac-
tivity, and leaping with certainty and security on places
where the eye can hardly discern room for its feet. The
skin of the Chamois is used extensively by shoemakers.
The IBEX inhabits the Alpine regions of Europe and
Western Asia. It is recognized by its magnificent horns,
which curve with a bold sweep from the head almost to
the haunches. The horns are surrounded at regular in-
tervals with rings, and are immensely strong, serving, as
some say, to break the fall of the Ibex when it makes a
leap from a height. Its height is thirty inches; the length
of its horns often three feet.
The GOAT is not in much request in America, but in
Syria and Switzerland large herds of them are kept fof
the sake of their milk. They almost entirely take the
place of the Cow. The most celebrated variety of this
animal is the Cashmir goat, which furnishes the beauti-
fully fine wool from which the costly Cashmir shawls are
There are many kinds of SHEEP, among which the
Common Sheep, the Long-Tailed Sheep and the Wallachian
Sheep are the most conspicuous. Next to the Cow, the
Sheep is our most useful animal. California produces
better wool than any country. The Spanish Sheep is finer
than the English, but it is much less in quantity. The
Merino, as this Sheep is called in Spain, is annually con-
ducted from one part of the country to another, and back
again. The distance traversed is upwards of 400 miles,
about six or seven weeks being occupied in the journey.
The proprietors of the flocks think these journeys improve
the wool; probably a mistaken notion, as the stationary
flocks of Leon produce quite as fine a fleece.
The Long-Tailed Sheep inhabits Syria and Egypt. Its
tail is so large and so loaded with fat that, to prevent it
from being injured by dragging on the ground, a board is
fastened to the under side of it, and wheels are often
attached to the board. The peculiar fat of the tail is con-
sidered a great delicacy, and is so soft as to be frequently
used as butter. The weight of a large tail is about 70
The Wallachian or Cretan Sheep is found in Crete, Wal-
lachia, Hungary and Western Asia. Its horns are exceed-
ingly large, and are twisted in a manner resembling those
of the Koodoo. It is very strong, and extremely vicious
and unruly. In this and several other Sheep the fleece is
composed of wool and hair mixed. The hair of the Wal-
lachian Sheep is long and silky, like that of a spaniel, and
of great length, falling almost to the ground.
The GIRAFFE is found only in South Africa. As the
Gnoo seems to combine the properties of the Antelope,
Horse and Buffalo, so the Giraffe appears to bear the char-
acteristics of the AnteloDe and the Camel. Naturalists say
it holds a place by itself between the Deer and Antelope.
It forms, at all events, a group to which no other animals
Its height varies from thirteen to eighteen feet. Its
beautiful long neck enables it to browse on the leaves of
the trees on which it feeds. It is very dainty while feed-
ing, and plucks the leaves one by one with its flexible
tongue. On its head are two projections, closely resem-
bling horns. They are not horns, but only thickenings
of the bone of the skull, covered with skin, and bearing
a tuft of black hair at the extremity of each. The fore-
legs at first sight appear longer than the hind ones, but
this apparent difference is only caused by the great length
of the shoulder-blades, as both pair of legs are of the
same length at their junction with the body. Its eyes are
very large and prominent, so that the animal can see on
every side without turning its head. Just over and be-
tween the eyes is a third bony prominence, resembling
the projecting enlargements of the skull, called horns.
The use of these projections is not very well known, as
although in play the Giraffe will swing its head round
and strike with it, yet when it wishes to repel an assailant
it has recourse to violent and rapid kicks from its hind-
legs. So light and swift are these kicks that the eye can
scarcely follow them, and so powerful are they that the
lion is often driven off by them. The skin of this ani-
mal is an inch and a half in thickness, so that it is neces-
sary for the hunter to make very sure of his aim before
he fires at an animal so well defended.
The Giraffe has much difficulty in reaching the ground
with its mouth, nor does it often attempt to do so, unless
it is bribed with something of which it is very fond, such
as a lump of sugar. It then straddles widely with its fore-
legs, and with some trouble succeeds in reaching the object
The first living Giraffes, in the possession of the London
Zoological Society, were brought in 1835. M. Thibaut
succeeded in taking four, which he brought with him.
One of them is still living. From this stock several
Giraffes have been born, some of which are still in Eng-
land, and others have been sent to other countries.
Its tongue is one of the most remarkable parts of its
structure. It is very flexible and capable of great changes
of form, the Giraffe being able to contract it so that its
tip could enter an ordinary quill. The animal is very
fond of exercising its tongue, and sometimes pulls the
hairs from its companions' manes and tails and swallows
them-no very easy feat, as the hair of the tail is often
more than four feet long,
The movements of the Giraffe are very peculiar, the
limbs of each side appearing to act together. It is very
swift, and can outrun a horse, especially if it can get
among broken ground and rocks, over which it leaps with
a succession of frog-like hops.
Those born and bred here seem healthy and are exceed-
ingly tame. They eat herbs such as grass, hay, carrots,
and onions. When cut grass is given to them, they eat
off the upper parts and leave the coarse stems, just as we
There is some confusion about the names of the camels.
The BACTRIAN CAMEL is distinguished by bearing two
humps on its back, the ARABIAN CAMEL by bearing only
one. The Arabian is sometimes erroneously called the
Dromedary; but the Dromedary is a lighter variety of
that animal, and only used when dispatch is required.
The Camel forms the principal wealth of the Arab;
without it he could never attempt to penetrate the vast
deserts where it lives, as its remarkable power of drinking
at one draught sufficient water to serve it for several days
enables it to march from station to station without requir-
ing to drink by the way. The peculiar structure of its
stomach gives it this most useful power. In its stomach
THE BACTRAN' CAMEL.
are a great number of deep cells, into which the water
passes, and is then prevented from escaping by a muscle
which closes the mouth of the cells. When the camel
feels thirsty it has the power of casting some of the water
contained in these cells into its mouth. The habits of this
animal are very interesting.
The foot of the Camel is admirably adapted for walking
on the loose sand, being composed of large, elastic pads,
which spread as the foot is placed on the ground. To
guard it from injury when it kneels down to be loaded,
the parts of the body on which its weight rests are defended
by thick callosities. The largest of these callosities is on
the chest, the others are placed on the joints of the legs.
The Bactrian Camel inhabits Central Asia and China.
The LLAMAS, of which there are several species, inhabit
South America, and are used for the same purposes as the
Camel. When wild they are very timid, and fly from a
pursuer the moment that they see him; but their curiosity
is so great that the hunter often secures them by lying on
the ground and throwing his legs and arms about. The
Llamas come to see what the extraordinary animal can
be, and give the hunter an opportunity of firing several
shots, which the astonished animals consider as part of
The Llamas, like the Camels, have a series of cells in the
stomach for containing water, and can go for several days
without requiring to drink. If too heavily laden, or when
they are weary, they lie down, and no punishment will
induce them to rise, so that their masters are forced to
unload them. When offended they have a very unpleas.
ant habit of spitting at the object of their anger. Theii
saliva is not injurious.
Its fleece is very long, resembling silk more than wool.
It is very valuable, and is used for making cloth and other
fabrics. The fleece of the Alpaca is considered the best,
and it is sometimes twelve inches in length and very fine.
A FAMILY OF RED DEER.
I\ W1 I
In Chili and Peru the natives domesticate the Llama,
which in a state of captivity frequently becomes white.
It is by no means a large animal, as it measures about four
feet six in height. In general shape it resembles the Camel,
but has no hump on its back, and its feet are provided
with sharp hoofs for climbing the rocky hills among which
it lives. In Peru, where it is most commonly found, there
are public shambles established for the sale of its flesh.
The RED DEER, or STAG, is the largest of the Deer. In
the language of hunters it bears different names according
to the size of its horns, which increase year by year. All
the male Deer have horns, which they shed every year and
renew again. The process of renewal is most interesting.
A skin, filled with arteries, covers the projections on which
the horns rest. This skin, called the "velvet," is engaged
in continually depositing bone on the footstalks, which
rapidly increase in size. As the budding horns increase,
the velvet increases also, and the course of the arteries is
marked on the horn by long furrows, which are never ob-
literated. When the horn has reached its full growth it
cannot be at once used, as the velvet is very tender, and
would bleed profusely if wounded. The velvet cannot be
suddenly removed, as the blood that formed the arteries
would rush to the brain and destroy the animal. A ring
of bone forms round the root of each horn, leaving pas-
sages through which the arteries pass. By degrees these
passages become narrow, and finally close entirely, thus
gradually shutting off the blood. The velvet, being de-
prived of its nourishment, dies, and is peeled off by the
Deer by rubbing against a tree, leaving the white, hard
Hunting the Stag is a favorite amusement in Europe,
and packs of hounds, called Stag-hounds, are kept ex-
pressly for that purpose.
The FALLOW-DEER are usually seen in parks. One
large buck always takes the lead, and suffers none but a
**-'* ';" "l.7
--- '-~BISI~-I_- I
few favorite does to approach his regal presence, all the
other bucks moving humbly away when he puts in an
appearance. They are generally tame, and will suffer
people to come very close to them; but at a certain time
of the year they become savage, and will not permit any
one to approach their domains. If an intruder ventures
within the- proscribed distance, the buck will instantly
charge upon him. They soon become familiar with those
who treat them kindly, and will eat from their hands.
The REINDEER is found throughout the Arctic regions
of Europe, Asia, and America. The finest animals are
those of Lapland and Spitzbergen. The Laplander finds
his chief wealth in the possession of the Reindeer, which
not only serves him as a beast of burden, but furnishes
him with food and clothing. A Laplander in good cir-
cumstances will possess about three hundred deer, which
enable him to live in comfort. The subsistence of one
who only possesses one hundred is very precarious, and
he who has only fifty usually joins his animals with the
herd of some richer man, and takes the menial labors
The Reindeer feeds principally on a kind of lichen, which
it scrapes from beneath the snow. During the winter its
coat thickens, and assumes a lighter hue, many deer being
almost white. Its hoofs are divided very high, so that
when the animal places its foot upon the ground, the
hoof spreads wide, and as it raises the foot a snapping
noise is heard, caused by the parts of the hoof closing to-
gether. When harnessed to a sledge it can draw 300
pounds' weight at about ton miles an hour.
The EUROPEAN ELK inhabits the northern parts of Eu-
rope. It was considered at one time to be identical with
the American Elk, but naturalists now believe it to be a
distinct animal. Its usual pace is a high, awkward trot,
but when frightened it sometimes gallops. In Sweden it
was formerly used to draw sledges, but on account of the
great facility of escape offered to criminals by its great
speed, the use of it was forbidden under high penalties.
A FAMILY OF ELK.
The skin of the Elk is so tough that a regiment of soldiers
was furnished with waistcoats made of its hide, which
could scarcely be penetrated by a ball.
Like the Reindeer, the Elk makes a great clattering with
its hoofs when in rapid motion. It is a good swimmer,